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Health Literacy and Theater Arts: A match made in heaven?

Enchanted Circle Theater (ECT) Associated Artist Steve Angel as Deacon Hubbard, President of the Board of Trustees of Cooley Dickinson Hospital, welcomes guests on "Opening Day 1886" in ECT's production of Cooley Dickinson Hospital: Living History Vignettes, which premiered in January of 2011.

Photo credit: Janine Norton

I recently set up a meeting between two of my favorite organizations: CommunicateHealth and Enchanted Circle Theater.

CommunicateHealth, as you all know, is a champion of health literacy.

Enchanted Circle Theater is, to quote their website, “The regional leader in the field of arts integration, using theater arts as a dynamic teaching tool on the stage, in the classroom, and in the community.”

I knew as soon as we sat down, that putting leaders from these organizations in a room together was a great choice.

When teamed up together, public health and theater can make a big difference. We’re big fans of storytelling, and theater can bring stories to life. A great example of this is Canyon Ranch Institute’s innovative Arts Behavior Change (ABC) Program, which uses storytelling arts — like theater, music, and dance — to advance health literacy about healthy hygiene practices. (Check out Dr. Andrew Pleasant’s presentation on the ABC Program in Peru [PDF].)

I can’t wait to see where this collaboration with Enchanted Circle Theater leads!



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