All The World's A Stage

— 13th October 2016 —

As I travel around the world, I have been seeing theatre and live performance in many languages and styles. There is something special about watching actors when you can't understand the language - it always surprises me that I can follow the story. This comes down to the power of gesture, vocal modulation and physicality.

I have also enjoyed watching various forms of improvisation in Barcelona, Seattle, Vancouver and New York. The long-form improvisations are always impressive, and clearly demonstrate the basic principles: listening and responding, serving the scene, establishing given circumstances. One audience member in Barcelona told me that watching performances and taking classes with the troupe we were watching had changed her life and saved her marriage by teaching her to listen! Improvisation is a powerful tool: it also exercises flexible thinking, playful attentiveness and creative problem solving.

For me, as I travel with no plans, it has been fantastic to be reminded that, just as in an improvisation, I should let go of my expectations, stay open and trust that what is happening is enough.