Wellbeing for Student Actors: #MeToo and New Initiatives in the Australian Tertiary Drama Curriculum

Anne Pender, Tiffany Knight, Sarah Peters, Mark Seton

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Australian researchers have reported concerns about the health and wellbeing of those who work in the entertainment industries, citing mental health problems, excessive drug and alcohol use and suicidality. They also noted that 63% of actors earn less than the minimum wage ($34,112) per year (The minimum wage in 2022 is $42,255). They found problems related to economic and psychological wellbeing and extreme states of stress amongst those surveyed (Maxwell et al. in About Performance (13):69–113, 233–235, 2015). Complaints by actors about inappropriate behaviour, two high-profile legal cases and the #MeToo movement have led to curriculum initiatives to address student wellbeing during training. This chapter explores new initiatives for intimacy training and holistic student wellbeing in two Australian tertiary drama programs, in which the traditional methods of actor training already in use are combined with a range of new protocols for staff and students relating to the choreography of intimacy, education around consent and working within an ethic of care
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNew Research and Possibilities in Wellbeing Education
EditorsMathew A. White, McCallum Faye, Christopher Boyle
Place of PublicationSingapore
PublisherSpringer Link
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)978-981-99-5609-8
ISBN (Print)978-981-99-5608-1
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Creative arts and pedagogy
  • Higher education
  • Teacher and student wellbeing


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