“I’m an artist, but with other tools!”: Le Théâtre Aphasique and the intersection between artistic and clinical practices with people living with aphasia
Theatre has come to be one of the main artistic ways to convey the voices of people with disability to the general audience, and this includes people with language and communication disorders. This article aims to describe and discuss the activities of Le Théâtre Aphasique, a non-profit organization located in several cities in Quebec that delivers dramatic art workshops to people with aphasia, an acquired language disorder. Our interest is to understand how this activity has become a successful phenomenon in different disciplines, with different a priori theoretic frameworks, such as disability arts as well as rehabilitation sciences. Specifically, we suggest that the complexity and means of this activity are indeed the cause of its success given that 1) it allows people with different communication abilities to participate, while 2) encouraging the presence of people with disabilities in the theatrical scene and 3) supporting the understanding and use of different communication styles, from both individual and social perspectives. We believe that a framework built upon social, artistic, and care-driven views of disability can account for the complexity of this activity and nourish further research into how different models of disability are integrated in the experience of people with aphasia.
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