Tag Archives: Viola Spolin

You are beautiful when you are free

This was the on the USSRNR Blog today:

The introduction to Improvisation for the Theater by Viola Spolin (geeky sidenote for me: I am sitting at a table at Northwestern Settlement. This settlement house is the second oldest in Chicago, founded in 1893, to Hull House’s 1891. Hull House was where Neva Boyd created and workshopped many of the improvisation exercises that Spolin adapted into her teaching. When you are participating in improvisation, you’re part of a history going back over a hundred years, and that’s just in this country.) throws down some pretty compelling reading:

            Everyone can act. Everyone can improvise. Anyone who wishes to can play in the theater and learn to become “stageworthy.”

            We learn through experience and experiencing, and no one teaches anyone anything. This is as true for the infant moving from kicking to crawling to walking as it is for the scientist with equations.

            If the environment permits it, anyone can learn whatever he or she chooses to learn, and if the individual permits it, the environment will teach everything it has to teach. “Talent” or “lack of talent” have little to do with it.

            We must consider what is meant by “talent.” It is highly possible that what is called talented behavior is simply a greater individual capacity for experiencing. From this point of view, it is in the increasing of the individual capacity for experiencing that the untold potentiality of a personality can be evoked.

            Experiencing is penetration into the environment, total organic involvement with it. This means involvement on all levels: intellectual, physical, and intuitive. Of the three, the intuitive, most vital to the learning situation, is neglected. Continue reading

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