The Elusive Group Mind (with Asaf Ronen and Ted DesMaisons)
Shared flow. Peak performance. Everyone in the zone. Most experienced improvisors have experienced the singular on-stage joy of those rarefied moments when everything clicks and the whole troupe works as one.
Are such sweet spots an example of shared mind, a larger intelligence rising from or moving through a human group? Or are they a direct result of skillful attention, carefully cultivated and mindfully tended? Could they be both—or neither?
Come join Austin-based improv luminary Asaf Ronen and San Francisco’s Ted DesMaisons as we run through improv exercises and activities designed to dive into this dynamic first hand. You may leave with more questions than answers but hopefully you’ll have had a taste of that sweet shared nectar—and know more about how to find it for yourself in the future.
ASAF RONEN is the Education Director of The Institution Theater where he also regularly performs, teaches and produces. He has also taught and performed improvisation in Canada, Great Britain, Norway and in twenty-eight of these United States with such groups as the B. Iden Payne Award winning Confidence Men (improvised plays in the style of David Mamet) and imp (mostly silent improv). He was also producer on TRUST US, THIS IS ALL MADE UP, a documentary on legendary improvisers TJ & Dave that premiered at Austin’s South by Southwest Festival in 2009 and helped develop the improvised film Days of Delusion with director Scott Myers. He is the author of Directing Improv: Show the Way By Getting Out of the Way. In 2000, Asaf worked with Cirque du Soleil as a scout for improvisational talent.
Ted DesMaisons has been synthesizing innovative approaches to teaching and learning for over 25 years. A graduate of Stanford Business and Harvard Divinity Schools, he serves as US Coordinator and Lead Teacher Trainer for the Mindfulness in Schools Project and is a UMASS-trained Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) instructor. Ted studied improvisation with Patricia Ryan Madson, BATS Improv, and the Loose Moose Theatre, and has performed with the Stanford Improvisors; Walking the Dog Theater company of Hudson, NY; and the undefeated three-time BATS Cave Match champion group, Teddy Likey. He writes regularly about improv, contemplation and positive reinforcement on his blog at AnimaLearning.com/blog
Join Asaf's other workshops over Memorial Day Weekend!
Directing Improvisation, Saturday, May 28, 11-4:30 (http://directingimprov.peatix.com)
Rhythm of the Scene, Sunday, May 29, 10-1:00