Embodied Voices: Using Applied Theatre For Co-Creation With Marginalised Youth

Elinor Vettraino*, Warren Linds, Divya Jindal-Snape

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this article, we take a strength-based approach to understand how applied theatre as a vehicle provides opportunities for embodied voices to have a positive influence on the well-being, and attitudes to health, of young people who have been ‘pushed’ to the margins. We begin by explaining the concepts of well-being, embodiment and embodied voices, and applied theatre. Following this we explore an example of a theatre project developed in Canada with Indigenous youth to illustrate how the well-being of those who might be termed ‘marginalised’ in this context, is enhanced through a process of embodied reflexivity using applied theatre approaches. Finally, we discuss challenges with this approach to working with ‘marginalised’ youth, and also present some recommendations for professionals using applied theatre for co-creation with ‘marginalised’ youth for their well-being.We share how our research led us to conclude that a commitment to the arts as a fundamental and core process for developing wellness and wellbeing is necessary. This would mean professionals associated with any programmes or projects generated to explore embodied work with young people need see the arts as a philosophical underpinning, rather than as just an additional activity that can be inserted into any programme.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-95
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties
Issue number1
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Feb 2017


  • Marginalised youth
  • Indigenous youth
  • voice
  • embodied
  • applied theatre
  • well-being


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