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”

Inspiring Words

I’m in the middle of doing research for another book in the works, and I came across this from Brian Sutton-Smith in his book The Ambiguity of Play: However, modern chance games and modern festivals have fallen away from religion and become secularized. Yet one can see that, along with all forms of play, theyContinue reading “Inspiring Words”

Musings inspired by the Vienna Improv Festival

The Vienna festival has come and gone. Hugs, kisses and farewells have been exchanged, and the post-festival reflecting has begun. These gatherings are best described as revivals of a sort. This intense and charged air emerges and blooms from the heroes of play that have been called from across the world. Sometimes I feel likeContinue reading “Musings inspired by the Vienna Improv Festival”

Elements of Ritual and Communion in Improvised Theatre

Introduction Whose Line Is It Anyway?, The Upright Citizen’s Brigade, Saturday Night Live, and a host of other modern popular comedic fare all draw roots from the North American tradition of improvisational theater as developed largely in Chicago, Illinois and Calgary, Canada. This brand of performance creates scenes, stories, characters, themes, dialogue and staging spontaneouslyContinue reading “Elements of Ritual and Communion in Improvised Theatre”

Smelling a Rat on Easter Island

The narrative that Dr. Hunt wove from his years of research on the island turned out to be quite different. Strangely, at the beginning of his research, he truly believed he was merely going to catalog the evidence that was going to support the assumptions of previous researchers who had proposed the human driven ecological collapse. A different picture began to emerge.

A Tool for Understanding Humor and Empathy

If you were stuck on a desert island with only one other person, would you rather be on an island with someone who was far too serious and seemed to have no interest in or understanding of ‘you’, or would you rather be with someone who has an engaged interest in your shared fate andContinue reading “A Tool for Understanding Humor and Empathy”