“I’m an artist, but with other tools!”: Le Théâtre Aphasique and the intersection between artistic and clinical practices with people living with aphasia


  • Alberto Osa Garcia Université de Montréal
  • Camille d'Anjou Université de Montréal
  • Natasha Létourneau Edwards Concordia University
  • Sandro François
  • Pénélope Goulet-Simard
  • Karine Marcotte
  • Richard Gaulin
  • Isabelle Côté
  • Ingrid Verduyckt




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.

Author Biographies

Alberto Osa Garcia, Université de Montréal

Alberto Osa García: is a PhD student in aphasiology and biomedical sciences at Université de Montréal. With a degree in Medicine and a master in neurocognitive science of language, he aims to understand the problems that people with aphasia may have at medical and social level, with an interest in the interaction between brain recovery potential and socio/linguistic factors. He has been a volunteer for three years with Le Théâtre Aphasique.

Camille d'Anjou, Université de Montréal

Camille d’Anjou: is a master’s student in speech and language pathology at Université de Montréal, involved in patient-partner approaches in the study and development of novel interdisciplinary interventions for persons with communication disorders.

Natasha Létourneau Edwards, Concordia University

Natasha Létourneau Edwards: is a student in psychology at Concordia University, looking forward to continuing her future career as theatre therapist. She has a background in theatre performance and literature, and she is a facilitator in the theatre workshops of Le Théâtre Aphasique.

Sandro François

Sandro François: is a stroke survivor, amateur actor and currently a member of several workshops of Le Théâtre Aphasique.

Pénélope Goulet-Simard

Pénélope Goulet-Simard: is a stroke survivor, amateur actress and currently a member of several workshops of Le Théâtre Aphasique.

Karine Marcotte

Karine Marcotte: is a speech language pathologist and researcher in aphasiology, as well as a professor in speech language pathology at Université de Montréal, founder of the lab RENATO, aiming at research about recovery in neurological conditions with communication impairments.

Richard Gaulin

Richard Gaulin: is a professional actor, stage director, and theatre instructor at the art center Les Muses (Quebec), joined le Théâtre Aphasique and has worked as facilitator, creator, and counselor for artistic projects since 2000.

Isabelle Côté

Isabelle Côté: former theatre instructor, was a regular assistant before taking over the administration of the Théâtre Aphasique (Montréal) in 1996, working at the same time as part of the administration council, workshop facilitator, and artistic director for Le Théâtre Aphasique.

Ingrid Verduyckt

Ingrid Verduyckt:  was a speech language pathologist for over 10 years and now works as a researcher leading interdisciplinary projects studying the contribution of artistic practices in the field of speech language pathology, based at Université de Montréal.



How to Cite

Osa Garcia, A., d’Anjou, C., Létourneau Edwards, N., François, S., Goulet-Simard, P., Marcotte, K., Gaulin, R., Côté, I., & Verduyckt, I. (2021). “I’m an artist, but with other tools!”: Le Théâtre Aphasique and the intersection between artistic and clinical practices with people living with aphasia. Canadian Journal of Disability Studies, 10(2), 130–161. https://doi.org/10.15353/cjds.v10i2.794