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Jan 15

Visceral: transforming trauma through theatre (documentary film screening)

January 15, 2023 @ 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm


“Visceral: transforming trauma through theatre.” The film tells the stories of four individuals, three of whom are veterans, who perform Shakespeare, dramatic and musical theatre productions as a way to begin healing from post-traumatic stress.

Carissa, Jon, Etiene and Charlie, are living with the impact of complex post-traumatic stress (PTS). They discover that rage, isolation, physical pain, substance abuse, and poor mental health caused by PTS rob them of their health and their will to live. But when they perform in musicals, dramatic theatre and Shakespeare productions, they recapture their vital life force. For them, performing works like nothing else has before. They begin healing by getting the support they need because they’re connected to others onstage, and off.

Key PTS neurophysiology themes are presented by Stephen Porges, PhD; Bessel van der Kolk, MD, Gabor Maté, MD, and Michael McBride, MD. These include how PTS affects the nervous system leaving people with PTS to feel constantly in a threat-surveillance state; and, how the residue of unprocessed trauma, “plays out in the landscape of their bodies,” said Bessel van der Kolk, MD. The invisible scars of PTS are embedded viscerally – deep in the tissues of their bodies’ system and begin to affect every aspect of their existence, leading to damaged relationships and shattering hopes for a meaningful life.


Brain & Creativity Institute — Joyce J. Cammilleri Hall
3620A McClintock Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90089-2921
Los Angeles, CA 90089-2921 United States
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(213) 821-1059
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