this is not an intermission.
it is not a hiatus, a sabbatical, or a dark night.
this is not your 2-day diversity training
or your season planning retreat
held in a velvet-draped rehearsal room with a fresh spread of bagels and coffee.
this — this cannot be solved on a giant white board
or with audience subscriber data
or by booking the latest, greatest emerging playwright.
you see, we need you to start doing things differently.
your mission states your work is urgent, that it is about humanity.
well, this moment is urgent. this moment is about humanity.
“We have learned what is possible. We now have the information to understand the potential of not just what the student is capable of, but also what we as Spy Hop instructors are capable of.”
- Adam Sherlock, Spy Hop Director of Community Partnerships and Learning Design
Imagine you and your colleagues are out for a hike and reach a fork in the road. You consult your map to choose which path to follow. One person identifies the waterfall as a possible destination. Another thinks checking out the overpass will be more worth your effort. Still another might prefer to…
Like many of you, I am struggling. In March, when the U.S. government declared a state of emergency and closed all non-essential businesses, the directions were clear enough: stay home, go to the grocery store when you have to, wash your hands, and don’t socialize with anyone outside your household.
In the intervening six months, a lot has changed. Regulations have relaxed, businesses have re-opened, and public health experts have continued to modify their guidance for which activities carry the highest risk. …
I am a tireless collector of wisdom. I like to joke that I have no real original thoughts — only curations of ideas collaged from across domains, geographies, and networks. And yet, I am sympathetic to the perspective of Brainpickings founder Maria Popova, who argues that curation is a form of authorship, and also of “pattern recognition — pieces of information or insight which over time amount to an implicit point of view.” After all, each of us stands on the shoulders of our respective giants, and true wisdom is always a collective effort.
But wisdom — like perhaps poetry…
why we actually need creativity in a crisis
Note: this piece initially ran as a brief op-ed in the Chicago Tribune on July 6, 2020. This post is a fuller version of that text.
These were the words of my friend and former colleague, typed to me via Facebook chat in late April from her new home in Switzerland, where the coronavirus situation was much further along than in the U.S. …
Note: this essay first appeared in a compilation called “The First Three Minutes,” assembled by Dr. Steve Seidel and members of the 2017–2018 cohort of the Arts In Education program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
As a theatre artist, I trained in the art of games — games to build trust, games to release inhibitions, games to energize, games to activate the imagination. The games were there to cultivate the acuteness of the physical, mental, and emotional capacities that would be needed when our selves were both artist and artwork. We called them “warm-ups.”
When I was younger…
I study learning. This can be a frustrating topic, in part because so many of the concepts appear self-evident.
Consider this phrase from a recent text I read: “the intent to bring about learning is a consistent characteristic of teaching”(1). This sounds so ear-splittingly obvious! Of course teaching intends to bring about learning. But if you ask somebody to perform the task of teaching for you — or to “bring about learning” — what follows is no longer obvious. In fact, the meaning behind the statement becomes significantly more challenging to grasp.
Anyone who’s taken an acting class knows the…
I’m holding a stubby plastic cup of white wine in my right hand, talking with a professor at a nearby university about my work. She approached me because I had said something in my introduction that caught her attention. “What was it, again?” she wondered aloud. Oh yes, I mentioned my interest in stories.
As someone who works in theatre, I think a lot about stories. It’s not uncommon to hear somebody in my industry refer to themselves as a “storyteller,” and it’s true that a good chunk of being a theatre artist is writing, finding, and sharing narratives (the…
A resource for when cynicism bestows clarity.
Inspired by Ambrose Bierce’s Devil’s Dictionary: http://xroads.virginia.edu/~hyper/bierce/bierce.html
Contributors: Jacob Watson, Rose Connelly, Rebecca Solomon, Amanda Dunne Acevedo, Vanessa Chung, and Jordan Koffman
“Grad school” can be a confusing place. People function on little sleep, many burritos, and they may use strange words that are difficult to understand. Lucky for you, I have assembled — in collaboration with my colleagues at the Harvard Graduate School of Education — a guide to 60 of the most perplexing and frequently-used words and phrases in graduate school terminology (in our experience). We hope this guide (while irreverent)…
Note: this post originally appeared on the Lyric Opera’s Chicago Voices blog on June 9, 2017 as part of their Community Created Performances series.
Returning to Chicago Voices as animateur for a second year I feel both bolstered by the experiences I’ve had so far and braced for unexpected twists and turns. A process like this is never the same the second time around. As a facilitator, you have to be on your toes: what worked last time may not work this time, and you’re bound to be met with opportunities and challenges that you haven’t seen before.