Theater has always been considered to be a part of human life. It is not only the mere depiction of what is happening around but rather a more comprehensive medium of understanding life from different perspectives. Theater Therapy is term that not many Indians are acquainted with, though some have been working on this for quite a few years. It is in fact one of the most effective approaches towards helping the mind achieve catharsis and get rid of the agony it has been suffering from. It has been proved that Theater Therapy can have a healing effect on the mind through the participation of the subject in a play.
In many parts of the world Theater Therapy has gained recognition as a viable method of helping people get rid of the psychological agony. In most of the cases the therapy sessions are conducted in schools, prisons, mental health centers and hospitals where there is a prevalence of people under a psychological chaos. Through proper guidance, handling and execution of a play it is possible for them to redeem the psychological agony they have been suffering from. This process has been tried and tested many a time and have been announced successful always.
Those of us who are ardent admirers of Bengali films should not have problem recalling the theme of the film Muktodhara, released back in 2012. The film directed by Shiboprasad Mukherjee is an excellent portrayal of what we call Theater Therapy. Just remember the scene where the inmate Happy Singh (the role was played by Shiboprasad himself) bursts into tears when during the rehearsal of the play Valmiki-Pratibha he is asked to act like as a wild beast and pounce on a little girl. Happy is put behind bars because he molested a young girl and that scene placed him face to face with the reality that he has been trying to escape from, thus giving him an initial thrust and then alleviating the pain once and for all. This is what Theater Therapy is.