At the heart of community transformation is an act of play. Play is the to and fro of interaction without expectation. Play as creative expression opens space in and around cultural expectations and knowledge, for something entirely new to show up. Being in play allows new things to be present and tested. Being in play regards not-yet-getting-it-the-way-you-want (failure) as a natural aspect of finding workable innovations.
Play encourages listening, observation, creative thinking, decision-making, and immediate action. Creative and novel thinking stimulates the growth of new neural networks in the brain. See Wonder. Creative thinking enhances problem solving and innovative abilities. Play enhances that capacity for all aspects of life. Deep Play or transcendent play in which a person may become wholly absorbed in the activity has been suggested to be necessary for a person to feel whole.
In Phoenix Functions products, play is inclusive, intergenerational, and collaborative. With these characteristics it can create unique and vital responses in social transformation.
Phoenix Functions play products include: Creative Physical Games; Theatre Design and Script Writing; and Dance. See below and links to examples. Owen has also designed games for other educational purposes including "The Consultation Game" that is a large group problem-solving game.
Owen can guide your organisation or group in designing a game or games that suit your client needs or internal team building; and theatre workshops for leadership development, conflict resolution, or creative design.
Creative movement games provide people of all ages to re-train physical abilities through fun.
Physical games that have been designed through collaborative efforts or which challenges are open ended, will tend to be safe for participants while challenging the level of strength, flexibility and balance.
Playing with life as it seems from varied perspectives, is the script writer's method.
Out of the Box Theatre is a role playing, script writing workshop, that gives participants practice at unravelling the forms we have built around our lives, that create barriers between others, and may be at the heart of many oppositional stances. There may not always be a happy ever after but participants get to play with their nemesis.
Creative writing, short stories, skits, and poetry, are great vehicles for unleashing the creative imagination. Creative writing begins with the practice of seeing something common to the writer, from another viewpoint, maybe with a twist. We are story-telling and meaning-making machines and creative writing allows us to practice that machinery to our hearts content. Practice in story-telling is also practice in recognising when we are making extra meaning of things that happen in our life. Separating out 'life as it is' from the meaning we give it, is crucial to transformative experiences. When we can just look at what IS, we can then try to see it from different persepctives. This allows us to engage others in the inquiry of the event, open to their perspective. It also allows us to see our cultural habits and enquire into alternative responses in our imagination.
Owen can facilitate creative writing workshops for children and youth, writing groups, or creative problem-solving.