Andrea Halwas, BA, MFA

Drama Instructor and Consultant, BA, MFA, PhD Student, E:

Andrea Halwas is a PhD student in the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program at the University of Calgary. Her research is focused on tragedy and the therapeutic affect that drama impacts on individuals that are facing difficult life experiences. Drawing on scholarship from the Drama, Psychology, and Nursing departments, her dissertation aims to identify the intrinsic goal that motivates individuals to watch tragedy. Her research strives to articulate the motivation of individuals to engage in material that is emotionally demanding as well as the psychological and spiritual beliefs about death and grieving that exist in Western culture, and furthermore, how tragedy informs and is a result of those beliefs.

As part of her dissertation, Andrea is writing a tragedy that will premiere at the University of Calgary. Her research will begin to bridge the gap between the artistic representation of death and dying in theatre and film and the existential angst that contributes to the anxiety and distress associated with death. The aim of her research is to provide an understanding of the therapeutic value in the arts, notably theatre and film, as a means of communication and therapy.

A professional actor and drama instructor, Andrea has been performing for the past ten years and teaching drama for the past five years. She is currently a resident actor with Pegasus Performances, Calgary, AB as well as a drama instructor for Centre Stage Theatre, Calgary, AB. Andrea has acted as a dramaturge for Centre Stage Theatre as well as a drama consultant in Calgary, AB. A member of the Alberta Play Therapy Association, Andrea strongly believes in the power of drama and theatre as a means of healing and understanding. She is the creator and facilitator of a children’s drama therapy puppet show entitled The Nicki and Little Bear Show.

For more information regarding The Nicki and Little Bear Show, please click here.

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