Theatre and The Brain

  • One-day masterclass with US theatre pioneer John Bergman.

On Thursday 24 July 2014, Rideout will host a very special one-day masterclass, Theatre and The Brain, led by John Bergman.

John is the founder of Geese Theatre Company USA (est 1980) and is one of the world’s leading practitioners in the use of drama and theatre with offenders. Birmingham’s own Geese Theatre Company (UK) began as a franchise of John’s work in the US.

This workshop – an official pre-conference event for the World Congress of the International Federation of Theatre Research – will explore John’s more recent work where he has been developing drama-based methodologies that draw extensively on research from neuroscience.

Theatre and The Brain is a rare opportunity to work with a pioneer in the applied drama and will provide a fascinating insight into some of the newest thinking in this field.

The workshop will take place at the University of Warwick 10am-4pm on Thursday 24 July. Cost £30 (lunch not included). For full details of the workshop see:

Spaces are limited. Contact to book.

  • For listings:

Thursday 24 July 2014
Theatre and The Brain: Helping Offenders Develop New Neural Pathways
Exploring the impact of trauma on the brain, and how drama-based approaches can be used with offenders to change neurological and behavioural responses to stressful experiences.
Milburn Studio, Milburn House, University of Warwick, Coventry, CV4 7HS
Book via:


Rideout (Creative Arts for Rehabilitation) was established in 1999 in order to develop innovative, arts-based approaches to working with prisoners and staff within UK prisons.
It is Rideout’s assertion that crime is not always an inevitable consequence of personal difficulties. Nor is it validated as a career option. Other strategies are always available. To access and understand these interventionist strategies however, often requires the offender to use imagination and to envision alternative behaviours. The creative and performing arts have a particular appropriateness therefore in offering a language within which these arguments and speculations can take place
For more information:


John Bergman MA, RDT, MT, BCT has spent over 30 years as a drama therapist/theatre director/trainer/ and master teacher working with prisoners and prison officers, men, women and adolescents in criminal justice settings, prisons, detention centres, indigenous communities and mental health centres, internationally including Brazil, UK, Romania, New Zealand, Australia, Bulgaria and Croatia. He is the founder and Director of Geese Theatre Company USA, and on the Board of Transcena in Romania. He is the recipient of the 2005 Research Award from the National Association of Drama Therapists and co- author of the book: Challenging Experience, An Experiential Approach to the Treatment of Serious Offenders. He currently writes about and works with brain/ trauma/ attachment approaches to drama therapy treatment.

NB: The International Federation of Theatre Research (IFTR) World Congress takes place at the University of Warwick from July 28 to 1 August 2014. For details of pre-conference (and conference) events, see: