Purpose of the Study: Although a number of existing reviews document the health and social benefits of arts participation by older people, there are none which focus specifically on theater and drama. This article presents the findings of a study conducted as part of the UK's Arts and Humanities Research Council "Cultural Value Project." The 2-year (2013-2015) "Cultural Value Project" sought to make a major contribution to how we think about the value of arts and culture to individuals and to society. It made 72 awards: 19 critical reviews of existing bodies of research, 46 research development awards to carry out new research, and 7 expert workshop awards to facilitate discussions among academics and practitioners. Together, these awards explored the components of cultural value and the ways in which cultural value is evidenced and evaluated. Design and Methods: Following an extensive search of academic databases and E-mail requests via relevant organizations and networks, 77 publications formed the basis for our own critical review. Results: Our findings highlight the benefits and value of older people's theater and drama participation on health and well-being, group relationships, learning and creativity, and draw attention to the importance of the esthetic value and quality of older people's drama. Implications: Despite the recent surge of interest in this field (a third of the reviewed literature was published between 2010 and 2014), we suggest that there are multiple areas for further research.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Geriatrics and Gerontology