centre stage

Centre Stage: A Comedy of Eros

“If psychotherapy is to understand the dreaming soul from within, it had best turn to ‘theatrical logic’. Our lives are the enactment of our dreams.” James Hillman

“We try to escape the truth about ourselves, whereas in the theatre we are invited to stop and take a closer look.” Jerzy Grotowski

“One always hopes to become someone only to find out in the end that one is several.” Raymond Devos

Every person plays different roles in their lives. With friends, at work and in public spaces, behaviours and even thinking and moral choices vary. One day we can be kind and generous, and the next, impatient and ill-mannered. Happiness gives way at times to sadness or depression and posture, speech, clothes, diet and productivity can differ, depending on the dominating emotion. It is usually assumed that these parts are ‘just me’, but they are often characters as different in their views as people from different cultures, or two people from the same family who do not always get along.

Although there are many players on the psychological stage, routines tends to be dominated by a small number of predictable characters who steal the limelight. This might be due to social or financial necessity, religious or cultural pressure, physical or emotional inhibition, relationships or psychological insecurity or intellectual or creative anxiety. We tend to repeat ourselves and these scripts eventually become boring to ourselves and to others.

We need to first discover, then acknowledge and then make place for some of the suppressed cast of characters of ourselves. As these other characters on the internal stage are embodied and then engaged with, interests expand, conversations become more animated and vitality returns. Personal life dramas do continue, of course, but now within the context of a more interesting and satisfying script. By freeing ourselves of obsessive attachment to one or two dominant story lines, experiences are more authentic. And others can reach us by the heart.

With theatrical techniques, using movement, improvisation and performance, we facilitate the playful access into this inner ensemble. This opens us into the possibility of living a more creative, passionate, humorous and religious life.

Weekend Foundation Workshop. Homework. Residential in Knysna, non-residential elsewhere.