I ran out of blogging steam after my third day of teaching improv workshops at QuiltCon, but I'm finally back in Oakland, settled into my routine, and ready to report. With each workshop, I approach the improvisational process from a different discipline. For the Improv Round Robin, which is essentially communal, we followed the cardinal rule of improv theater --no matter what fellow performers say or do always affirm and build on their actions to keep the skit going.
It turns out that this is also a great way to succeed at conversation. The best conversations unfold when participants work together to affirm and build or say "Yes And..." In the next conversation you have notice how quickly a "Yes But..." will kill the exchange.
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During the Improv Round Robin, students are encouraged to think about improvisation as a conversation. They are asked to listen for the conversation laid out in the patterns made by the people who worked on the quilt before them, and then respond in turn by affirming, joining and adding to that conversation, before passing the quilt to their neighbor for the next round.
If you look at the results above closely, you will see that some conversations are more coherent than others. At the end of the workshop many of the students noted that as in life, some quilt conversations are easier to join and participate in than others.
All of my QuiltCon classes and students were awesome! They (you) worked hard and I think it shows. Can you believe that all 26 of these beautiful round robin quilt tops were made in just six hours?!