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Theatre on doctor’s orders

A wide variety of approaches and methodologies on the impact of the arts on improving health have shown numerous benefits of this binomial: the arts reinforce the critical turn of mind to improve the promotion of healthy habits; they slow the onset of dementia and age-related physical impairment; they help in the treatment and management of mental illness, noncommunicable diseases and neurological disorders, and also significantly improve care in acute and end-of-life illnesses.

Within this framework, and with the specific aim of fostering links between theatre and health, the UOC Universitat Oberta de Catalunya and the Teatre Lliure, in partnership with the Apropa Cultura programme are implementing the pilot plan Theatre on doctor’s orders, which will be carried out between 2020 and 2022. The design of the initiatives in the pilot plan will be decided upon after an analysis of the needs of the target group, in partnership with the health professionals and the patients themselves. An experience

successfully undertaken and evaluated in several countries, which could be replicated in Catalonia, has been selected as a preliminary proposal.
Theatre on doctor’s orders takes the form of a general practitioner’s prescription for patients with mental illnesses (dementia, autism, depression, feeling of loneliness or social isolation, etc.) instructing them to attend various theatrical performances. These performances will be adapted in order to provide appropriate to suit the audience, with a series of relaxed sessions within the season’s usual programming. The experience will be investigated and documented by academics in this research area, who will also  compile socio-cultural indicators in order to assess whether objectives set have been achieved.