Journal of Child & Adolescent Trauma

, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp 239–256 | Cite as

Dramatic Healing: The Evolution of a Trauma-Informed Musical Theatre Program for Incarcerated Girls

  • Meade Palidofsky
  • Bradley C. Stolbach


In juvenile justice settings, interventions intended to address the effects of trauma are unavailable to most youth. This article describes the evolution of an innovative program for incarcerated adolescent girls in which youth work collaboratively with theater professionals to create, develop, and perform musicals based on their experiences. The article also examines the links between trauma and incarceration through the voices of the girls, as they appear in participants’ writing and lyrics. Finally, the article presents anecdotal evidence of the therapeutic benefits of the program and discusses implications for juvenile justice systems, psychotherapy with incarcerated adolescents, and trauma-focused intervention.


juvenile justice trauma incarcerated females musical theatre narrative intervention 


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Copyright information

© Taylor & Francis Group, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Storycatchers TheatreChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Chicago Child Trauma CenterLa Rabida Children’s HospitalChicagoUSA
  3. 3.Pritzker School of MedicineUniversity of ChicagoChicagoUSA

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