Michael A. Carollo, Psy.D., is a 2019 graduate of the Psy.D. Program in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University, New England

Dissertation Committee:

  • Theodore Ellenhorn, PhD, ABPP, Committee Chair
  • F. Alexander Blount, PsyD, Committee Member
  • Meg Pilling, PsyD, Committee Member


alcohol, theater, occupations, problem drinking, performers, creatives

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Objective: The perception of a culture within the professional theatrical community that promotes problem drinking has been discussed anecdotally within the industry. No meaningful research has been conducted within this population. This study presents initial epidemiological survey data on the drinking habits of professional theatrical community (PTC) members as compared to the general public (GP) in order to confirm whether the phenomenon exists for further study. Methods: Data are from a convenience sample of 104 members of the PTC and GP who were each provided two previously clinically validated measures of problem drinking, the AUDIT and CAGE questionnaire. Drinking habits were also coded into a risk category using criteria from the NIAAA. The prevalence of problematic drinking (PD), understood as clinical significance on either measure or behaviors that indicated at-risk drinking or above, was compared between the two groups. Results: 79% of the PTC sample met criteria for problematic drinking, significantly above the 48% observed in the GP sample. Individually, all three measures of alcohol consumption were found to be significantly elevated within the PTC sample. Over half of PTC participants had an AUDIT or CAGE score that was above the measure’s clinically significant threshold and two-thirds of the sample displayed at-risk or above drinking. Conclusions: The study empirically confirms the previously anecdotal perception that problem drinking is more prevalent within the PTC than the GP. The findings strongly indicate that future research is necessary to better understand how occupational factors unique to the professional theater contribute to this prevalence so that occupational, clinical and public health prevention and intervention programs can appropriately respond.


Michael A. Carollo

ORCID Scholar ID# 0000-0001-6833-0397