Improv for Everyone: Another Path to Mindfulness

The practice of improvisation is more about waking up than about being clever. By definition, improvisers are problem solvers, and team players. Improvisation is a form of mindfulness in action. Most of us have fear around presenting anything without careful preparation. Improv games teach us that we already have all that is necessary to do what needs to be done. Join Patricia Ryan Madson, Stanford Emerita and author of Improv Wisdom: Don't Prepare, Just Show Up, (Bell Tower, 2005) for a day of learning how to think on our feet. Improv exercises foster a spontaneous spirit and a willingness to take a risk. In this four hour workshop we will explore the terrain of saying YES, making mistakes, and learning how to work with a partner. Improv teaches us to use what we have and to make an artful life from the offers that come to us. We will tell stories, find gifts, and above all, learn to trust our own voice. Life lessons emerge as we laugh, play, flounder, fall, pick ourselves up and help others to do so. No experience or background is needed, just an open mind. Wear comfortable clothing as we will be moving around.
Date: June 16, 2012
Time: 10:30am - 3:30pm, including an hour for a pot luck lunch.  
Location: Kannon Do Zen Meditation Center, 1972 Rock Street, Mountain View, CA 94043
Fee: $25 (including lunch)

About Patricia Ryan Madson

Patricia Ryan Madson, Sr. Lecturer Emerita, Stanford University, has been teaching for four decades. On the Stanford drama faculty since 1977, she founded the Stanford Improvisors in 1991. As head of the undergraduate acting program, she won the university’s highest teaching prize, the Lloyd W. Dinkelspiel Award for outstanding contribution to undergraduate education. She also teaches at the Esalen Institute and for Stanford’s Continuing Studies. Patricia lives with her husband, Ronald Madson, and their Himalayan cat, Tara, in El Granada, California, where they direct the California Center for Constructive Living.

In 1996 she founded the Creativity Initiative at Stanford, an interdisciplinary alliance of faculty who share the belief that creativity can be taught. Patricia has taught Design Improv for the School of Engineering, and was a guest lecturer for the Stanford Technology Ventures Program and for the Mayfield Fellows Program.

She teaches regularly for the Esalen Institute, and has given workshops for the Banff Centre for Leadership Studies, the California Institute for Integral Studies, the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, the National Association of Drama Therapists, the Western Psychological Association, Duke University East Asian Studies Center and the Meaningful Life Therapy Association in Japan. Patricia combines her teaching of improvisation with work as a counselor using an Eastern approach to problem solving known as Constructive Living TM.  For ten years she was the American Coordinator of the Oomoto School of Traditional Japanese Arts in Kameoka, Japan. Patricia was one of the founding Board members of Bay Area TheatreSportsTM, and has been a long time student of Keith Johnstone.  She currently serves on the Outside Financial Advisory Board of the San Francisco Zen Center.

She is the author of Improve Wisdom: Don't Prepare. Just Show Up available at Amazon.

Patricia Ryan Madson
Improve Wisdom