'Rise Up' is a pilot program for an acting class at Mobilong Prison in Murray Bridge, South Australia. A 10-week trial has been approved by the prison which should begin in July 2018.
The aims of this pilot are to work with prisoners to develop their artistic and creative potential through the provision of education and training in the performing arts which includes writing, reading, speaking, acting and performing in order to contribute to rehabilitation outcomes and prisoner health and well-being.
Drama therapy is action oriented and therefore allows participants to act out negative behaviours safely and consider their harmful impact in a more concrete way than traditional treatment approaches, without consequences. Participants are urged not to rationalise or deny negative or unhealthy thoughts; rather, through the dramatic process, they are challenged to face their issues directly and truthfully. Through this program clients will have the opportunity to practice new skills, and to imagine and take on new roles, such as a sober self or a working self. In addition, techniques such as roleplay and improvisation offer clients a new perspective on their behaviours, choices, and relationships. Clients explore and develop their strengths through theatrical techniques that offer the distance necessary to process their actions without feeling overwhelmed.