On The Power of Theatre:
Presence, Connection, Flow, Happiness, Community
Presence, the Second Circle, and Theatre
Patsy Rodenburg - Why I do Theatre
Patsy Rodenburg on the Power of Presence
Patsy Rodenburg - The Second Circle
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi: Flow and Happiness
A basic, simple, efficient description of flow
FLOW BY MIHALY CSIKSZENTMIHALYI | ANIMATED BOOK SUMMARY
A more complex description of flow, by Csikszentmihalyi himself.
"Living in flow - the secret of happiness with Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi" at Happiness & Its Causes 2014
"Compared to an evening of Netflix and Uber Eats, theater is downright risky: going somewhere strange to be a human, sitting with other humans, sharing nothing but air, space and a story. You might have to look at (and reckon with) things that make you squirm.”
"I am incurably attracted to that moment when the house lights dim on a roomful of strangers, just before the stage lights flare up on other strangers who are about to become characters.
There’s a radical possibility in that dark interval, that gap. Doesn’t matter whether I’m in a cramped basement or razzle-dazzle show palace...The promise of that interval is the same. We’re all there together, for a common purpose: to let the rest of the world drift into the background like mental wallpaper, to see what’ll happen next to these people in this room. That is, to us.
You can only find that level of heightened group communion in a few places: theater, sports and church. People have been gathering to do those three things for thousands of years — and they aren’t going to stop.”
On isolation, loneliness, anxiety, and the need to connect with other humans
The Loneliness Epidemic
On theatres as communal centers
“Both are communal spaces where people come to meet and share stories. The Ancient Greeks knew this of course, regularly combining theatre and religion, but in an increasingly secular society the gap between is now vast...Churches used to be socially vital to the communities they served. In their absence, we need to create social spaces for people to gather in and I think theatres are just the place.
As libraries and community centres are forced to shut their doors, a theatre is increasingly one of the last public spaces where people can meet under one roof.”
“This is not simply about creating an environment that will encourage such discussions but about curating and nurturing the social importance of it."
"I’d like to see more venues programming series of events that bring the outside world into theatres – not just artistically-led platforms, but socially-led ones too.
This is already happening in a few places. The Royal Court’s The Big Idea series, which structures in time for specialist led discussions around the issues dealt with on stage (belief, death and greed) is one example. Another is the Albany’s Meet me at The Albany, a weekly event that’s “for anyone over 60 who’d like another place to call home”.
Here, artistic activities are combined with lunch and a chance to engage with friends – combating loneliness that has been proven to shorten life expectancy. This is socially led outreach work and it’s also about art, culture, theatre and community.”
On Theatre and Empathy
“'The Play’s the Thing' Is Theatre our Ideal Empathy Workout?"
On Theatre and Collaborative Civic Engagement
"Can Shakespeare teach us to be better citizens?"
On "Paying Attention" (experiencing flow, presence, and connection while acting)
As Opposed to "Getting Attention" (through social media)
On conquering anxiety onstage by focusing on the person you're talking to (listening and sharing), not on yourself
More Johann Hari
On isolation, the human need to connect with others, depression, digital technology, and flow
"This could be why you're depressed or anxious" | Johann Hari
On collective problem solving, connecting with and helping others, creating community
"Isolation is the dream-killer, not your attitude" | Barbara Sher | TEDxPrague
On micromastery and the happiness that comes from learning new skills
Why You Should Try Micromastery