Business leaders across the globe are in search of creative people according to a study by by IBM. To those in charge of the world’s most powerful corporations, creativity ranks top of the list of leadership qualities, beating off competition from virtues such as integrity and humility.
Yet if we look towards our systems of preparation for a life of creative work – school, college and if you can afford it, perhaps university, it would be fair to suggest that these pressured institutions are inadequate breeding grounds of the creative skills the business sector is crying out for.
So where else might we turn?
It’s doubtful many of you have just leaped out of your seat expelling the answer of THEATRE from your overexcited faces and even less likely that any used the terms; collaborative theatre making or youth theatre.
But why not?
The ingredients of creativity are largely made up of our abilities for divergent thinking, improvisation, insight (unconscious creative problem solving) and self expression.
Divergent thinking is largely measured by ones ability to find multiple uses for an everyday object, such as a brick, a paper clip or a plastic bottle
Youth theatres and collaborative theatre makers around the world have been using and developing the skills of divergent thinking since they began.
Whether it is referred to as Bricolage, prop manipulation, devising or improvisation, collaborative theatre makers know so well the potential for an ordinary plastic bottle to become a rocket, a telescope, voice modulator, musical instrument or even a leaning tower of Pisa for the inhabitants of Lilliput. In this creative setting the possibilities are endless.
Most collaborative theatre makers and youth theatre members also know their way round many of the techniques of what is now often referred to as Mindfulness.
mindfulness is a process of meditation, a way of emptying the mind, often through focusing on ones own breath which most often results in an increased sense of well being
Whether through the theatrical practices of Alexander technique, voice production, or techniques drawn from yoga, many theatre makers are experts of lying/sitting in a room bringing focus to our own breath and letting the thoughts flow in and out of our minds.
These techniques often lead to creative eureka moments and encourage the brain to offer insights we might not otherwise have realised.
Being creative or thinking creatively doesn’t just subjectively feel different. Thanks to recent discoveries of neuroscience and neuroimaging it is proven to be an objectively different process in our brains. Collaborative theatre makers have instinctually had an awareness of this since their practice began.
Perhaps now we can all draw upon the discoveries of science to enhance, defend and make more fulfilling livings from our creative work. And do this with an increased sense of its relevance to other sectors beyond theatre.
If more theatre practitioners across the globe were to open their doors to psychologists, neuroscientists and philosophers, allowing them to witness the inner workings of theatrical creation, we might discover an untapped mine of creative phenomenon.
It is true we are all born creative but to remain that way we must continually expose ourselves to creative environments, learning and practising as often as possible. Where better to do this than with a brilliant youth theatre or as part of a collaborative theatre making ensemble.
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Thanks for reading.
Ideas to live by