More about TRIE, e.V. director Dana Rufolo

Dana Rufolo was born in New York and grew up in La Jolla, California. Her adult career as an author began at the  University of California at San Diego when her play Monopolis, a Structural Drama was produced in conjunction with her being named a UC President’s Undergraduate Fellow. As art editor of the “Triton Times” in the early 1970s she argued in print that focusing belligerently on gender issues weakened the radical student movement. Under the influence of the on-campus German philosopher Herbert Marcuse, she urged implementing philosophical attitudes to underpin alternative structures of thought and behavior, arguing that lifestyle choices were necessary freedoms that were the consequence of fundamentally re-thought attitudes.

Rufolo was a member of the Young Socialists and, as did most of her generation, believed deeply in the power of individuals to change society. However, participating in meetings that patently lacked organization and polemical rigor, she began to feel that the student struggle to revitalize American democracy was becoming  a masquerade.  She left America and journeyed to Europe, returning briefly in the late 1970s to study for a Masters and then a Doctorate in Theatre Studies (under Esther Jackson) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Marriage, three children, and three decades in the country of Luxembourg taught the important lesson that no geophysical region of the world is either a dystopia or a utopia. Rufolo’s dramas, poems and essays took up the issues of immigration and integration as psycho-social phenomena. She added a diploma (DESS) in the Arts Therapies, recognized as a form of  psycho-therapy which transforms human-to-human transference into human-to-created-object transference and specialized in Drama Therapy. She then began to publish,  teach and practice as an Art (psycho) Therapist. In 2007, she founded TRIE as an a.s.b.l. in Luxembourg and opened a private Art Therapy practice in Luxembourg city. As of 2010, she acquired Luxembourg nationality while retaining American citizenship.

In 2014, Rufolo re-located TRIE to Constance, Germany.

As of January 2016, Dr Dana Rufolo is the Executive Editor of the theater magazine Plays International. Within the course of 2 years, Rufolo intends to shift the magazine’s focus onto contemporary European theater, and to offer readers a glimpse into the exciting, dynamic and alternative worlds of both experimental and commercial drama.

Dana Rufolo as an author

Rufolo’s writing focuses on three distinct themes:

1) the family as a retreat from socialization, competition, and stereotyped behavior;

2) the need for an “existential empathy” which is purpose-driven or “engagée” in social matters and

3) the observational position of the outsider as valuable, because it offers the possibility of truth and clarity.

Rufolo’s 38 interconnected poems in the poetry book I am Viola da Gamba of the Singing Building (Schortgen Press, 2005) was set to music by Philippe Partridge. It was performed at the Conservatory of Luxembourg on 27 April, 2013 with Ralph Rousseau Meulenbroeks as violist.

The bulk of Rufolo’s work is unpublished. She established an institute of Art Therapy and Drama studies, the Theater Research Institute of Europe (TRIE, asbl) which became active in 2005 — see She directs the theatre troupe “TRIE Justice” (pronounced “Try”) which will be involved in performing her socially critical “dramatic metaphors” in open air. As of 2015, and possibly in a German location, Rufolo intends to initiate international summer theater workshops of two weeks’ duration that follow her own methodology of training participants to express themselves dramatically and to then perform in an original play which she writes specifically for the participating group, following a combination of drama therapy and play-writing techniques.

Rufolo is the author of numerous academic papers including those that support the philosophy of her DESS thesis in Art Therapy on developing methodologies to increase “Tolerance of Non-academic Forms of Learning.” She reviews English language literature for the national socio-cultural Luxembourg radio station 100, 7 since 1994, and is a senior European theatre critic for London’s Plays International (covering Vienna presently) since 2003.

In the summer of 2012 she instructed at the Austrian Study Center on Peace and Conflict Resolution combining instruction in the history of psychotherapy with participatory drama therapy so as to enhance the participants’ understanding of themselves as complete and psychologically complex persons who meet and deal with equally complex individuals. This work on actively developing a peace psychology reflects Rufolo’s belief that change happens “one person at a time,” a development of her early interest in the philosophies of social justice, for which she wrote several prize winning essays as a teenager.

In the spring of 2014, Rufolo joined a team of peace negotiators and artists for the Tekali Peace Project located in Tekali, Georgia which is dedicated to conflict transformation in the South Caucasus. After workshops involving actor training and improvisation, she staged a dream of peace with talented and mostly young Azerbaijani, Armenian and Georgian citizens in a multi-arts event.


Play Hurt, Dignified, directed by Tony Kingston produced in context of European Capital of Culture 2007, Dudelange, Luxembourg,  Stories, poems, essays: Der Augenblick Schwebt Über dem Fluss (editions Phi, 1999),  Writing from a Small Country (iUniverse, 2004), I am Viola da gamba of the singing building (Schortgen press, 2005), “An Olympic Life” in publication to accompany Olympic Games 2008, Lausanne, Switzerland, stories in D’Waasser an Mond, Walfer Bcherdeeg 2004…

Numerous “TRIE Justice” agit-prop street dramas for Amnesty International, Luxembourg and the African Women’s Movement. The most recent is “Punishment.”

2014 street performance TRIE & Amnesty International Luxembourg

For more information, follow these links:

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Since 1994 Rufolo broadcasts a short literary review on recent English language publications (novels, chiefly) for the literary program “Rendez-vous mam Buch” (run by Sylvie Flammang and Claude Mangen) on Luxembourg’s national radio station “100, 7.”

For more information, see this link:

Reference to Rufolo’s position in Luxembourgish literature can be found at…/identitaetsdekons_120908.html

The academic work of Dana Rufolo includes a series of lectures on Psychological Realism in the American Drama, which is also the title of a book in preparation. Rufolo welcomes invitations to deliver this series of lectures in academic settings. To see details of the course as offered at the 2009 summer school program of the University of Cape Town, click on this link:

References to many more papers presented in conferences, and other published material, can be found on by feeding in

Dana Rufolo

Dana Rufolo is the author of an extensive range of imaginative literature.

The following are links to some of these publications:

– The X Point in Education -> learn more about
– Rufolo, Partridge Viola performance, 25 May 2011,
Transatlantic Dialogue conference -> article

– Imaginative literature: [nggallery id=7]


More about  TRIE, e.V. Staff


David Best is TRIE’s media consultant. With a background in electrical engineering and media sciences acquired mainly in the UK (Cambridge University and at London-based Spectacle Productions Ltd.), David is presently engaged in documenting TRIE’s numerous activities such as workshops and trainings. He is a fan of French films and an avid skier, as well as being committed to a European way of thinking, which is not surprising given that he is fluent in several European languages.

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