Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Education




Allan Pitman


This thesis examines the potential benefits of using drama as a therapeutic tool inadolescent cancer patients, diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), for the construction of hope, grounded in curriculum theory. An examination of literature pertaining to drama therapy, hope, death, and curriculum theory, helped to create a drama therapy program intended to build hope for the patient admitted to hospital receiving chemotherapy for AML. Specifically,the study focused on the construction of a drama therapy program that combines theories and practices of drama therapy, grounded in curriculum expectations, which offers a complementary approach, alongside medical treatment, to ensure a patient’s physical, emotional, mental and spiritual well-being. The program included many therapeutic techniques from various therapists, all grounded in a sequencing structure taken from therapist Phil Jones. The objective of the program is to move from projection to sharing, and finally to transformation, identifying a new self, through the construction of hope. A seven unit structure was created using specific therapies, including: games, masks, improvisation, storying, playback theatre, monologues and collective ensemble. The program as a curriculum is reflected in the planning and sequencing of group activities which are designed to facilitate the development of hope among adolescent AML patients. The program has not been implemented for use, however the programs reflects an essential requirement in hospitals, encompassing the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual care of the patient.



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