Claire Schrader, professional background


Claire Schrader founded Making Moves in 1997 in London and developed the Sunflower Effect over a 20 year period. Her approach is one of the fastest ways for shy, reserved and introverted people to break out of their shell and develop a natural self-confidence.

It combines an adapted form of dramatherapy with the most effective personal development tools for building confidence.

Claire holds a B.A., M.A. and a distinction from the Institute of Dramatherapy at Roehampton (U.K.).

She won awards for her first play Corryvreckan, and over the years she has been featured in Marie-Claire (Malaysia)Kindred Spirit, Positive Health, and Counselling News, on Sky TV, BBC World Services and Radio 4

She has pioneered numerous performance projects over the years, including an innovative therapeutic theatre project funded by the Arts for Everyone Lottery Scheme working with disadvantaged young people.

For six years she was the Co-ordinator of the Performance Programme at The Studio Upstairs (London).

Her wide-ranging career also includes periods working as a business development manager for an American barter company, a playwright, an alternative cabaret performer and a trainer of actors.

See Interviews with Claire Schrader

Books Published

Claire is author of From Wallflower to Sunflower, the quiet person’s path to natural self-confidence (2017) and editor of Ritual Theatre: the power of dramatic ritual in personal development groups and clinical practice published by Jessica Kingsley (2011).

She has contributed to Emotions: experiences in existential psychotherapy and life by Freddie Strasser (Duckworth) and the Routledge International Handbook of Dramatherapy edited by Sue Jennings and Clive Holmwood

Chrissy B of the Chrissy B Show (Sky TV) interviews Claire Schrader and 2 Making Moves clients on a programme entitled “How to stop shyness from ruining your life”.

Biographical Snapshot

Born in London

Trained as a nurse at King College Hospital 1973-77

B.A. Hons. in English Literature (Sheffield University) 1977- 80

M.A. in Drama (Leeds University) 1981

Trained at the Actors Institute in Viola Spolin methods (Andy Harmon) Keith Johnstone Improv (John Muirhead)

Postgraduate Diploma in Dramatherapy (Roehampton Institute) 1995 (Distinction)

Performance of “Avatar” at the Rag Factory in 2012

Year Experience Type
1982-1986 Acting Experience
Worked in theatre, theatre-in-education, small scale touring and experimental theatre. Companies include Thorndike Theatre (Leatherhead), Gemini Productions & Newcastle Theatre Workshop.
1983-1987Alternative Cabaret
Created and performed solo cabaret act “La Dame de Flamme,  the fire-eating ballerina” at numerous venues and events. Including Oxford balls, Royal fundraising event attended by H.M. Queen Elizabeth. Featured in the press, women’s magazines (She, Woman’s World and Women’s Realm) and Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour
1990- 1991First play: Corryverckan
Awarded Royalty Supplement Grant by Arts Council for first play Corryvreckan, produced at the Old Red Lion Theatre. Shortlisted for Best Play, nominated for Best Director and Best Sound Design, won Best Actress Award (Julia Tarnoky) at the 1991 Charrington Fringe Theatre Awards.
1991-1992Business development manager
Active Media Services
1993 -1994Theatre Work
Commissioned work One Two Three The Firebird (Single Step Theatre Co 1993.) Midnight Madness at the Rhumba Bar (Odyssey Opera Productions 1994).
1994-2001Work in Drama Schools
Guest writer at RADA.(June 1995) Trainer of acting students at London Academy of the Performing Arts. (Autumn Term 1994-2001) and at Guildford School of Acting. (Autumn – Summer Term 1994/5). Director of two devised projects with postgraduate and second-year students. Visiting Lecturer at the Royal College of Music (Opera Dept), and the City Literary Institute, London.
1992-1995Dramatherapy Training
Graduate Diploma in Dramatherapy – Distinction (Roehampton Institute 1995)
1996-2002Studio Upstairs – Diorama Arts
Co-ordinator of the performance programme for members of the Studio Upstairs, an art and drama studio with a therapeutic concern. Facilitated numerous devised performances in Diorama Theatre around themes from King Lear, Alice in Wonderland, Pantomime Fairy Stories, Poetry, Nativity myth. (August 1996 to May 2002)
1997-2012Founded Making Moves
Developed and lead personal development workshops and courses in London. Dramatherapy-based but evolved a unique style. Also ran courses in Crete, France, San Francisco and Santa Cruz, USA and for Alternatives at St James.
1997 -1998Therapeutic Theatre Project
“Life Story”, an innovative therapeutic theatre project funded by the Arts for Everyone Lottery Scheme for with disadvantaged young people. Based at Hammersmith Unemployed Workers Centre.
1999-2003Regents College Teaching
Taught at Regents College School of Psychotherapy and Counselling on Short Courses and contributed to the existential psychotherapist, Freddie Strasser’s book Emotions: Experiences in Existential Psychotherapy and Life.
2000Play: A Gathering of Birds
Produced at Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2000 by Wise Part Productions.
2000Shamanic Practitioner’s Training
1-year training with Eagles Wing in tribal healing methods
2007-2009Practitioners Training in Creative Expression
Launched in 2007, training in the Making Moves method.
2008-2010Making Moves in the Bay Area of California
Workshops, courses and individual sessions at numerous locations.
2000-2012European Workshops
Workshops in Rotterdam, Lisbon & Skyros (Greece)
2011Ritual Theatre Book published
Editor of Ritual Theatre: the power of dramatic ritual in personal development groups and clinical practice published by Jessica Kingsley November 15th 2011. Featuring contributors from UK and US. Book launches in London and California
2016International Handbook of Dramatherapy.
Contributed chapter “Breaking Through the Walls of Shyness: Overcoming Shyness, Self-Consciousness and Social Anxiety Through Dramatherapy” to the Routledge International Handbook of Dramatherapy.
2017From Wallflower to Sunflower published
Book From Wallflower to Sunflower, the quiet person’s path to natural self-confidence Book launch in 2017. Feature in
2019BBC World Service
Featured in “Why Am I Shy”, where a BBC World Services producer and presenter recorded parts of a Finding Your Voice Session
2021Sunflower Effect Confidence Course Leader Training
Launch of the Foundation Training

Claire Schrader is a member of the British Association for Drama Therapists (BADth)  https://badth.org.uk/  and is registered as an Arts Therapist with the HCPC (Health & Care Professions Council)

Claire Schrader, dramatherapist, London

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