Detection and Care of Concussions in Performing Arts Venues

Concussions are injuries to the brain. Though these injuries receive unprecedented attention in sports, concussion occurrence in performing arts—whilst common—is not properly understood or publicized. Moreover, research indicates that concussions are under-reported and poorly managed in performing arts.

In light of the popularity of performing arts as an occupational pursuit and the relatively sparse injury care access for those in the profession, this workshop will highlight the essential information needed for non-medical personnel to recognize possible concussions so these injuries can be referred for appropriate care. Preventive measures that may reduce the likelihood of theatre personnel sustaining a concussion will be discussed, along with ideas for establishing partnerships between qualified healthcare practitioners and theatre, film, and entertainment related occupational settings. Attendees also will leave the session equipped to promote implementation of a concussion management protocol in their workplace.

At the end of the session, attendees will be able to:

  1. Describe the injury of concussion, how it occurs, and how it is recognized.

  2. Report current research knowledge about concussion in theatre and related occupational settings.

  3. Identify how concussions may occur during performing arts activity.

  4. Outline the components of an effective concussion management protocol for performing arts personnel.

  5. Implement a concussion management program in performing arts venues.


Dr. Jeff Russell is a certified and licensed athletic trainer [USA credential; credential is known in Canada as a certified athletic therapist] and a researcher who works exclusively with performing arts as the Founder and Director of a university-based performing arts medicine clinic.

Learn more about the facilitator here.