003: Elise Robinson - On "Holy Theater"

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Elise Robinson - theater director, writer, blogger, teacher, and general smarty-pants - brings to the conversation her witty and joyful mix of academia and traditional theater into the context of “communication.” In true Elise form, she references Peter Brook’s concept of “deadly” and “holy theater" - and shares with us some delightful and transformative moments.  (Which happens to include several references to the charm and brilliance of Brits - and Patrick Stewart - twice.)

I adore her, and I know you will, too!

(If you'd rather listen in iTunes, you can find it and SUBSCRIBE by clicking >>>>> HERE.)


Trust the Process:  You don't know the outcome, you just have to keep showing up to put on the "show."

Erving Goffman's Performance of Self in Everyday Life - cemented for her that "theater is training for  life... [training] for how to be a human."  [I LOVE that, by the way!]

Two-way communication ties speakers with actors... if we can "bring the wall down" and remember that we are all (speaker AND audience) experiencing this together. Peter Brook's Four Categories of Theater

 - Relying on Slides ("Deadly Theater") - we might as well not be in the room


 - Holy Theater - if you are present in the moment and aware as the audience as your partner, then that can become transcendent...

Great speakers create "holy theater" that can transform us!

A moment when Elise was transported... 

Patrick Stewart's One-Man show of Dickens' The Christmas Carol...It was a story that Elise's family read out loud at Christmas every year, but to see it come alive as a 1-person show knocked her over.

Another transcendent moment is from a Church History Professor from her time studying abroad in London, Alan Walker.

He lectured with "skill and aplomb" vs. Brook's version of "deadly theater" which is how she thought of lecturing. He was creative, visual, engaging, funny... Lecturing doesn't have to be deadly, it can be engaging, warm, informative and transcendent.



- Discovered the podcast Intelligence Squared.

Listened to the debate on Scottish Independence.

The American lacked charm (and Sally wanted him to stop talking).  Once again, the Brits win on pure charm and intelligence.


- On a trip to New York, got to see Waiting for Godot with Ian McKellan and Patrick Stewart(again!).  It was performed with "grace and affection" - which sounds like a lovely version of Godot! 


You can check out Elise's online life via her website: http://www.eliserobinson.com/

Or, via Twitter - @eliserobinson - https://twitter.com/eliserobinson