Student Services Overview


DATE: Monday, November 18, 2013
TIME: 12:45 p.m
PLACE: Room A, Ladera Lane campus
CANDIDATE: Kirsten Frantzich Allen
DISSERTATION TITLE: "Theater of the Psyche: The Emergence of Embodied Theater Ecology and the Stage as Home(be)coming"
CHAIR: Dr. Alexandra Fidyk
READER: Dr. Nor Hall

Allen, K. (2013). Theater of the Psyche: The Emergence of Embodied Theater Ecology and the Stage as Home(be)coming (Doctoral dissertation, Pacifica Graduate Institute, 2013)  


This imaginal study explores the unfolding of an embodied theatrical performance, She Myth. Listening, living, and being moved by and with images and felt-sensations emerging through the body, the performer-researcher unearths fresh language and practices within the field of depth psychology and the arts. The inquiry’s aim is artistic, trusting that art—in and of itself—offers aliveness.

Performative inquiry was the methodology initially used to explore the primary research question: In what ways might the theatrical stage provide the body and psyche with a room of one’s own? This central query was expanded upon using an auxiliary question: In what ways might felt-sensations and images arriving through the body be shared through the theatrical landscape?

This inquiry began with fragments. Myth, ancestral story, personal narrative, live music, body, the natural world, and depth psychology merged to create a simple yet powerful personal and communal experience in a site-specific performance space. Simultaneously, supporting herself with embodied practices, ritual, flight simulation, participating in three theatrical approaches, attending performance, and gathering a circle of talented artists for guidance and support, a new form of depth psychological inquiry and theatrical process was born, Embodied Theater Ecology (ETE).

ETE opened the possibility of directly embodying images and felt-sensations. Unknowingly, rather than the performer embodying images, more often images were living the performer-researcher. Where conceptual language struggled ETE often flourished. Co-creator-witnesses (audience members) relayed ongoing aliveness, creativity, and affect hours, days, weeks, even months after the She Myth experience. Similarly, through “falling” (a journey of descent), the performer-researcher was met by synchronous phenomenon not previously experienced during 30 years of acting. The natural setting, ritual entry, theatrical imagery, and the ineffable resonated in ways deeply personal, communal, and numinous, a collective awakening she calls, Home(be)coming.

She Myth offers a fresh language for depth psychology after The Red Book.

Key words: Theater, Soul, Embodiment, Image, Felt-Sense, Language, Imaginal, Archetypal, Unconscious, Nature.




Please note: Parking is available on the Ladera Lane campus. Shuttle service is not provided.