A Quote on Play and Evolution

My childhood play took me to extremes, and all of them, I now understand, were a fun way to test the social realities into which one is born. Surely this is a most important evolutionary function of play—finding out what is fun and fair or not fair on the field of life. – Jaak PankseppContinue reading “A Quote on Play and Evolution”

What can improvised theater teach us?

Introduction Improvisation is at the heart of the process of life; from the construction of RNA to a flock of birds to actors creating characters, narrative, and relationships onstage. It is a process that requires focus, intent, communication, connection, and action. From the hard skills of survival to the soft skills of human interaction, makingContinue reading “What can improvised theater teach us?”

A Culture of Play

A Culture of Play This new book is a collection of my research and writings on improvisation. Some of the chapters are familiar, but there are several new unpublished works in these pages. Please take a look at the link. There is a preview. Happy New Year and Enjoy!!! Now I can sleep for aContinue reading “A Culture of Play”

Improvisation and Trance: an Experiment

Recently, while at the Applied Improv conference in San Francisco, a Dutch colleague approached me to collaborate on creating a workshop that was focused on bringing the participants towards a state of trance. She had some knowledge of neo-shamanism from reading and participating in some European personal growth workshops, and she wanted to collaborate withContinue reading “Improvisation and Trance: an Experiment”

What Connects Us? (Chapter 1, section 1)

In the Ever-Changing Maze: Introduction In Greek mythology, there is the story of Daedalus constructing a maze for King Minos of Crete in order to hold the Minotaur, a half man-half bull hybrid. The Minotaur was born from a union of Minos’ wife and a bull, which was payback from the gods for Minos’ greed.Continue reading “What Connects Us? (Chapter 1, section 1)”

Upcoming series: “What Connects Us?”

The Internet, Smart Phones, Facebook, Twitter, Spotify, Foursquare, Xbox, YouTube, Skype, Email, the Googleverse, international flights, highways, trains, cars: in a world more ‘connected’ than at any point in history, the human race seems to act or ‘is portrayed as’ more disjointed, factionalized, fragmented, and anonymous than ever before. For most of us in theContinue reading “Upcoming series: “What Connects Us?””

Improvisation and the Evolution of Memes

[This is a segment of an article in development] Variation, one of the essential parts of the theory of evolution, is all about mistakes. Selection is about those mistakes being discarded or used. In improvisation, whether a mistake is useful or should be passed on depends on the social and contextual environment of the currentContinue reading “Improvisation and the Evolution of Memes”

The Human Brain on Improvised Theater

Here is the text of a 5-minute speech I gave at Ignite Portland 10: After performing and teaching improvised theater for years, I noticed two things. 1) in the best of performances, many of us would have this incredible feeling of ‘unity of thought and action’ as a side effect during the show, a sort ofContinue reading “The Human Brain on Improvised Theater”