I know of two times a psychodrama was done when the protagonist was not present and a substitute was used. Huh? Isn’t the protagonist supposed to be there? Isn’t that important? Isn’t the psychodrama about the protagonist’s issue, not about the substitute’s problems?
That would be like doing sit-and-talk therapy with a stand-in client.
This is difficult to explain. At the first instance a therapist portrayed her client (who was not there) as the protagonist in the psychodrama. The therapist was not the protagonist, her portrayal of her client was the protagonist. The second instance: a client portrayed another client as protagonist. Again the portrayed person was not present. How screwed up are these?
In the first instance, if the therapist had problems with the client, then the therapist must be the protagonist.
In the second instance, if the client (A) had problems with another client (B) then (A) should be the protagonist and work on his/her issue when, preferably, (B) is present.
Both of the missing protagonist examples were dismal failures. These so-called psychodramas cannot be supported by any theory. Remember that the psychodrama is a learning experience for the group and the group could not get emotionally involved with these messes. Only frustration and anger were the results. I bet you don’t want those feelings in any group.