Play Attention: Improvisation and Mindfulness

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

12:00 pm

Memorial Hall, Acting Studio Rm 129 Map

Sponsored by:
Health Improvement Program

This is a 4-session class.

Mindfulness—paying attention to the present moment with curiosity and kindness—enhances many aspects of our physical health and emotional wellbeing. Want to increase immune function, positive emotion, social connection, emotional intelligence, focus and creativity? Want to decrease pain, anxiety, stress, depression, or emotional volatility? Mindfulness can show you how.

In this course, we'll move toward all those benefits by putting mindfulness on its feet! Combining formal practices with highly engaging improvisation-based activities, is an approach that will help participants experience the benefits of mindfulness in a new and enlightened way.

After 4 sessions you will have concrete tools to:

• change your relationship to “failure”

• train the “puppy mind” with patient, kind, and firm repetition

• develop an attitude of kindness and curiosity toward self and others

• turn off autopilot and turn on a fuller range of experience and expression

• choose from a range of nuanced responses rather than relying on hair-trigger reactions

This course incorporates insights and practices from the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) model first developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn at the UMASS Medical School, the .b Foundations course run by the Mindfulness in Schools Project, and decades of improvisational theatre training. We will refer to improv principles and techniques and use some improv exercises, but all are welcome regardless of improv experience.


Lisa Rowland is a lecturer at Stanford in the Theatre Department, and a member of the faculty of the BATS School of Improv. Lisa performs and coaches improvisation and speech skills around the world. She and fellow instructor Ted DesMaisons have produced a series of “Monster Baby Podcasts” where they explore the sometimes surprising intersections between mindfulness and improvisation.

Ted DesMaisons, MBA, MTh. Ted is a trained Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) instructor who serves as the US Partner for the UK-based Mindfulness in Schools Project. He has studied, performed, and taught improvisation internationally, including with Patricia Ryan Madson, the Stanford Improvisors, and BATS Improv of San Francisco. Ted is founder and principal of ANIMA Learning.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017
12:00 pm – 1:15 pm
Memorial Hall, Acting Studio Rm 129 Map


Course fee: $125 (STAP/EA: Yes) 


Lecture / Reading 

General Public, Faculty/Staff, Alumni/Friends, Members
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