This seminar cycle offers an introduction to basic methods and working approaches of drama/-and theatre therapy and is aimed at all those who are active in fields of art, social work, pedagogy and therapy and want to expand their methods in a group or individual setting.

To bring along are playfulness, curiosity, joy in experimentation and interest in new approaches. Pre-training in acting  is not a prerequisite.

The modules are structured as weekends complete in themselves. The participants get to know a variety of drama therapy methods that they can apply in their own field of work and use for projects.

Workshop times: Every Thursday evening to Sunday noon. The Thursday evenings are led by Susanna Stich-Bender and Birgit Fritz or someone else from the ÖGDTT core-team and serve the transfer  between the workshop modules and Q&A. A person from the ÖGDTT will also be present during each module. Translations are offered if required. All seminars/workshops will cost 275€ (Reductions upon request and possibilities).


Registration and contact:


Workshop locations:  Schloss Goldegg, Hofmark 1, 5622 Goldegg and Seminarraum Templo de Guaracy, Puchstrasse 17, 8020 Graz



Workshop 1: 01. – 04.12.2022 with Susana Pendzik in GRAZ


Dramatherapy Core Concepts and Processes at the Roots of Dramatic Resonances


Dramatic reality is a core concept in Dramatherapy that is woven like a delicate fabric, as the world of imagination is brought into existence through a shared act of will between people. Aesthetic distance is the optimal distance that we need from our feelings in order to experience therapeutic transformation, and is usually mediated through artistic means. Both these concepts are pillars of Dramatherapy theory and practice, and constitute the roots of the method of Dramatic Resonances.


Dramatic Resonances uses the transformative power of dramatic reality in order to further communication, cultivate a synchronized connection with ourselves and between ourselves and others, foster creativity and spontaneity, and nurture our ability to be present, focused, receptive, and alert. The method is based on the creative responses that participants offer from within dramatic reality to an input that could be a member’s personal experience (memory, dream, etc.) or a non-personal narrative (tale, text, etc.). Shaped by aesthetic pulses, the method is conceived as a collaborative endeavour in which ultimately the group becomes the therapist. The approach integrates elements from various sources – including the shamanic tradition, Playback Theatre, meditative practices, feminist spirituality and deconstruction theory.


This workshop acquaints participants with core concepts in dramatherapy through experiential processes. It familiarizes them with the field through the approach of Dramatic Resonances. 


Prof. Susana Pendzik (PhD, RDT) is an internationally renowned dramatherapist and supervisor, former Head of the Dramatherapy Graduate Program at Tel Hai College (Galilee), lecturer at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, at the Swiss Dramatherapy Institute, and at the Argentinian Association of Dramatherapy. She has a private practice and does extensive international work, in Europe, Latin America and the U.S. Susana is a prolific author, having published books, chapters and articles in academic journals. Among others, a book with the topic of women having suffered from experiences of violence (1999), coedited of Assessment in drama therapy (2012), The self in performance (2017), and co-authored Dramaterapia: Un enfoque creativo para el trabajo terapeutico. She is a specialist in Autobiographical Therapeutic Performance, has developed the Six-Key Model for assessment and intervention in dramatherapy, the Dramatic Resonances approach.



Workshop 2: 23. – 26.02.2023 with Eva Nagl-Pölzer and Ilse Lang in SCHLOSS GOLDEGG


Consciousness through embodiment. Sensing- Consciousness in spiritual-systemic constellation work

Autopoietic constellation work according to Siegfried Essen


++ATTENTION++ CHANGE OF DATE!! This seminar has to be postponed for organizational reasons.

NEW DATE: 03.-05.11.2023


In constellation work, awareness takes place through active, physical comprehension. The complexity of a concern often cannot be grasped with linear thinking. This is achieved with another complex system, namely the body. Externalizing and embodying are the means of using the body as a medium and tool for awareness and presence.

In this workshop we deal with the basic concepts of spiritual-systemic constellation work, such as the ego-self-embodiment. We work in alternation of theoretical inputs, exercises and constellations of personal and social (collective) aspects. The difference between embodiment and scenic play can be experienced. This workshop is a training in sensing-consciousness and does not replace therapeutic work.

More information: What is sensing- awareness? Decisive for the autopoietic constellation work are the development of the sensing -consciousness of everyone, the gradual confidence in one's own physical understanding, the ability to resonate and the empowerment of the individual in the whole. This applies to everyone, the excluded and the enclosed parts of the system, the spectators, the representatives and the leadership. Everyone finds his/her place, his/her function for the whole. It is essential that this process can be carried out through embodying and trial acting. Each developmental step of an individual in a constellation is created by the empowerment of the individual.

Autopoietic constellation work assumes that each representative is fully competent to intuitively perceive their own place and their own effect within the system.


Eva Nagl-Pölzer is a coach, consultant and trainer with a wealth of experience and knowledge. With spiritual-systemic constellation and embodiment work, she is fascinated by the wisdom of the body, which is expressed in the sensing consciousness. Since 2021, she has headed a constellation salon for social and economic policy concerns. Her way of working has deepened through dealing with transitions in hospice work.  Eva wants to contribute to the development of individuals and a good life for all with the spiritual-systemic constellation work.   


Ilse Lang has been accompanying the conscious development of people in their personality, of managers in their effectiveness and of teams in their cooperation as a coach in business for twenty years. For her spiritual-systemic constellation and embodiment work is the most helpful method of our time for them to grasp the complexity of a challenge in the interaction of topics and forces. Ilse trusts out of many constellations the surprises that arise from the field of tension between ones own wishes, resistances, fears, obstacles, contradictions, longings,... as possibilities.



Workshop 3: 13 – 16.04.2023 with Vera Rosner and Birgit Fritz in GRAZ


DanceAbility and transformative theatre: trust as a connecting element


In dance and theatre we explore the fullness of the moment, communicate in images and movements, create new things and play with the supposedly familiar and rediscover it. What does trust mean to us? Presence, mindfulness and joy of improvisation accompany this workshop. The healing element lies in overcoming what divides and in the discovery of what connects.

Steve Paxton on DanceAbility: "You start with the realities of your body – the basics of every BODY/MIND work – and slowly and gently in the dance  with the partner appears the common ground on which you stand, lie- dance. The uniqueness of this moment, brought about, produced, even created by the uniqueness of your encounter, presupposes trust – trust in what connects. This requires the exact opposite of what is usually an unquestioned foregone conclusion – a path of trust, of connecting, is a path of healing. The healing of all those divisions that seem to be pre-installed everywhere – in our societies, our thoughts and our hearts."


Vera Rosner is a dance trainer, choreographer, performer and lives in Vienna. She teaches different formats at home and abroad. From 2005 to 2009 she danced with Danse Brute. In 2008 she founded the group A.D.A.M., with whom she designed the performances 6 tanzen, Auf frei fuß, dancing with paints (cooperation with L.A.C.E. Theatre, Los Angeles), (ruderal) flora and foot notes. As a performer, she was last seen on stage in Gala by Jerôme Bel and in Habitat, Habitat pandemic and Everybody Electric by Doris Uhlich.


Dr. Birgit Fritz is a theatre therapist and pedagogue, Feldenkrais teacher. The roots of her theatre work and the themes of her research work lie in the emancipatory folk theatre of Latin America. She is a lecturer for transformative theatre work at the University of Applied Sciences Würzburg (social work), leads autopietic theatre year groups, seminars and workshops on diverse topics at home and abroad. From 2018-2021, she led the open drama therapy group of Group 94, a center for cancer sufferers and their relatives in Vienna. She now lives in Feistritz im Rosental, Carinthia.

Publications: "The Courage to Become", "InExActArt – a handbook on autopoietic theatre work according to Augusto Boal", "Forum Theatre and Democracy in India", "Hamlet and the Baker’s Son" – the Autobiography of Augusto Boal" and the translation "Orixás on the Divan. On the Importance of the Spiritual Forces of Nature in Psychotherapy and Art Therapy" by Tina de Souza.



Workshop 4:  29.06.- 02.07.2023 with Mary Smail in SCHLOSS GOLDEGG


The Sesame Module at Goldegg 


The three days will introduce you to the four ideas on which Sesame rests. The Sesame Approach to Dramatherapy is based on the philosophy of Carl Jung, the movement observation work of Rudolph Laban, Peter Slade's research into children's play and Movement with Touch and Sound - the non-verbal communication language of Marian (Billy) Lindkvist, Sesame's Founder.

An introduction to the Sesame Approach to Drama and Movement in Therapy.

"The word ‘Sesame’ is inseparable from the magic spell "Open Sesame!" uttered in the story of Ali Baba when he opens the door of the mysterious cavern into which the forty thieves enter. From the psychological point of view, "Open Sesame!" is significant in the context of the closed doors, which keep individuals isolated from one another. A password is required to open hearts and the secret pathways of the unconscious. "Open Sesame!" appeals to the riches hidden in the cavern, whether a chest stuffed with material wealth or the maze of the unconscious.   (Penguin Dictionary of Symbols)


How Sesame works

Sesame started in 1964 and is a trauma therapy because it meets people indirectly, through symbol, metaphor, story and embodiment.  A session aims to create a safe, resourcing environment where people can find ways to express their needs, fears, anxieties and frustrations spontaneously and at their own pace. The working method is non-confrontational and emphasises the health of the individual, encouraging creative and expressive use of the imagination. The therapeutic aim is to build self-esteem through creative expression without demanding premature understanding or the need for immediate verbal articulation.   When a person feels safe enough to be spontaneous and play, the riches or inner treasure which have been lost through a wounding event will gradually create pathways to health.

Each session follows the Sesame structure which holds unconscious processes in a boundaried yet flexible form. Although Sesame uses drama and movement, it is non-performance based.   You do not need experience of acting/dancing.  Sesame is a folk art available for anyone wishing to participate. 


Mary Smail is a Dramatherapist and Psychotherapist working as a multi-modal therapist in the UK under the name of SoulWorks UK. She was Director of the Sesame Institute for 25 years now and presently trains and supervises psychotherapy trainees at Re-Vision in London. Mary has lifelong experience of working through story as a crucial part of therapy. She was the Myth Tutor on the MA Sesame training at Royal Central School of Speech  and Drama, London and co-edited the book Dramatherapy with Myth and Fairy Tale – the golden stories of Sesame in 2013. She has contributed chapters to The Routledge International Handbook of Dramatherapy (2016 and The Routledge International Handbook of Therapeutic Stories and Storytelling (2022). She is particularly interested in secular spirituality and the place of the human soul in healing and therapeutic work. She runs her own part time course for registered clinicians – Psyche and Soma – Soulmaking through the Sesame Approach.   She is delighted to be invited to Austria as she has seen The Sound of Music twenty-nine times and loves the mountains. 




Workshop 5: 24. – 27.08.2023 with Susanna Stich-Bender and Birgit Fritz in SCHLOSS GOLDEGG


Healing spaces inside and out – what works, what heals?


In this module we explore healing spaces within ourselves and in nature and combine the fruitful methods of drama therapy with spiritual and eco-therapeutic approaches.

Robert Greenaway, one of the pioneers of eco-psychology, described eco-therapy as "the process of healing the human-nature relationship through connection and reconnection with natural processes."

The perception of a larger network of life helps us to create and co-shape living connections and to find a language for this interaction. Using different methods and working with rituals, we create transitions between inner experience and external action and thus create the possibility of transformation and healing. The ritual acts like a vessel that provides support when exploring new spaces and experiences. It conveys the familiar and facilitates the confrontation with the new and uncertain. Evermore valid models of becoming and passing, such as the Xiré of the Orixás, support us in this.


Susanna Stich-Bender is a theatre therapist, theatre pedagogue, eco-therapist, actress and coach. She is involved in her theatre and project work at various clinics and institutions in Bavaria and works in her specialist area with health authorities and therapeutic networks (Therapy Network Eating Disorder in Munich/Ingolstadt) for addiction prevention and aftercare. At the Danuviusklinik Pfaffenhofen/ Ingolstadt she has been leading theatre therapy groups since 2005 and also works in an individual setting. In addition, she is on the road with eco-therapeutic projects in the landscapes and mountains of Germany and Austria in cooperation with Danu e.V. She gives further training on theatre/eco-therapy and is a specialist in the field of eating disorders for the training Drama Therapy Switzerland.


Dr Birgit Fritz  as in Workshop 3