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Volume 6, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 2040-2457
  • E-ISSN: 2040-2465



This article documents the practice of act2 and Teater Vildenvei, two collaborative theatres in health companies in Norway. Based on an analysis of the companies’ aims and objectives, their ethos, their particular working methods and the plays they have produced, I will examine the values that underpin the work of the two companies. The aim here is to assess what strategies the companies use in their work to promote health and well-being for marginalized and socially excluded groups in society. Working with people affected by addiction and mental health service users, respectively, act2 and Teater Vildenvei are using the medium of theatre to facilitate change processes that help the participants gain access, networks and a voice to enable empowerment. If health is the manifestation of empowerment, what might the empowerment of these voices mean for both individuals and for the groups at large? This article will not address the health effects of theatre in terms of medical effects, but it will assess why some participants of act2 and Teater Vildenvei describe the interventions as ‘better than medicine’ and ‘good medicine’. A tentative explanation is that both act2 and Teater Vildenvei provide radically different solutions to people’s problems than those offered by the biomedical model of health. Instead of treatment and diagnosis, act2 and Teater Vildenvei focus on resources, personhood, enablement, social support and empowerment in their attempt to promote health and well-being.


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