The photos on the next page provide a glimpse of the life and times of Jacob levy Moreno (1889-1974), the Father of Psychodrama, Group Psychotherapy and Interpersonal Relations. The first two photographs were taken at the time of the First World War, showing Moreno in uniform and then in the refuge camp at Mittendorf in the Tyrol. It was from here that the idea of sociodrama was born.
The next few photos show the first Theatre of Psychodrama, the Moreno Stage at Beacon, Moreno sitting on the tiers of the stage, and a young Zerka Moreno. Other photos illustrate J.L, as he was affectionately called, working dynamically, Zerka doubling a protagonist in a scene from a court of law, with actual lawyers in the role of jurors and, in one scene, an actual prisoner and lawyers.
There is a plaque of Moreno on a building in Pleven, Bulgaria - Moreno's Grandfather came from Pleven. Moreno is standing by a bust of himself, this is a late photo of him not long before he died. He visited Maital, the house in Bad Voslau in Austria where he lived and worked as the town doctor before he went to live in America. The next photo is of Moreno in Argentina. He and Zerka travelled extensively throughout the world. Further down the page is a favourite poster of Zerka's which was on the wall of her home in Charlottesville, Virginia, entitled, Beacon Forever. Beacon was the name of Moreno's sanitorium in Beacon, New York. The next and last photos include a montage of the many faces of Moreno, Zerka Toeman Moreno and the encounter sign.
The next pages under Memorabilia illustrate the Encounter Poem (Motto), written by J.L in 1914 and the Magic Charter of Psychodrama, which he wrote in 1969 and still holds true today.
Zerka Toeman Moreno’s contribution to the field of group psychotherapy and psychodrama began immediately upon meeting Dr. Jacob Levy Moreno. Within a year of their meeting J.L. and Zerka founded the Sociometric Institute on Park Avenue, New York City.
They established the Psychodramatic Institute in New York in 1942. They began producing the journal Group Psychotherapy (originally called Sociatry) in 1947, publishing a volume of research documenting their application and refinement to the social sciences of sociatry, psychodrama and sociometry.
Zerka Moreno was J. L. Moreno’s wife, professional partner and co-creator for over thirty years until his death in 1974. Zerka continued teaching and writing about the psychodramatic method for 42 years after Dr. Moreno’s death, training psychodramatists worldwide. She died on the 19th of September 2016. Zerka Moreno is recognized as a leader in the field of psychodrama and group psychotherapy, further realising Dr. Moreno’s vision in bringing these methods to the lives of communities worldwide.
A collection of her many years of research and writing is now available in The Quintessential Zerka: Writings by Zerka T. Moreno on Psychodrama, Sociometry and Group Psychotherapy (Routledge), co-edited by The Moreno Institute East Director, Edward J. Schreiber, T.E.P and colleague Toni Horvatin, M.S.W. This book is not only a textbook, essentail reading for the serious psychodramatist and those who would like to know more about psychodrama but also a rare reference to the written history and development of group psychotherapy and psychodrama. Her book of poetry, Love Songs to Life, and To Dream Again: A Memoir are both additional gems.