Yesterday my students and I were talking about people’s lack of social awareness because everyone is “plugged in” and not paying attention to their surroundings.
As an exercise, I took my Vanarts acting class(buffoonery physical course) to the Vancouver sea-bus station, a heritage edifice of beauty, to wander and observe the area, the people, the circumstances, the smells etc.. When we returned to the studio, each student played back, physically, what he or she spotted.
Everyone was very excited about their observations and how fun it was to physicalize all the ordinary people, and also the environment. They came up with such great representations of potential characters. It was an eye opener for them, and one that will feed their future work.
Unplugging re-opens what used to be an ordinary, normal state of being. The following article by the Vancouver Sun illustrates an idea about improv and putting away those portable devices.
Improv gives youth a chance to unplug, build community
You throw a dinner party and the conversation is stale because everyone is fixated on their smartphones. You board a transit bus and the passengers are doing anything but inter-acting – reading, plugged into headphones, texting.
These are some examples of isolating social situations participants in SFU Public Square’s youth conference on building a connected city took a stab at addressing through improv.