FREEDOM TO PLAY BY LEAH BALL
In the world of theatre, the phrase “building ensemble” has become a buzzword. Almost every show I’ve been a part of has preached the same message: the foundation of a good show is building ensemble.
But what does it really mean? And how does it relate to creativity? Building an ensemble is essentially the journey of creating a safe space for actors in a show to collaborate with one another and feel comfortable exploring, playing, and failing without fear of judgment. Building ensemble is also about creating a culture that believes that the contributions of every single person involved with a production are valuable.
I find that I am able to connect with my most creative self when I am in this sort of environment, and what I’ve discovered from practicing brainstorming and innovative thinking is that it fosters the same setting. A successful ideation session and an effective ensemble will embrace all of the same principles. Both cases call for participants to silence their voices of judgment, encourage wild ideas, build on the ideas of others, listen actively, take big risks, and be unafraid of vulnerability.
In order for any creative to reach their greatest potential, they must be able to completely trust the other individuals in the room to fully support them and to unconditionally match their passion. And they must have freedom to play. Building ensemble truly allows creative exploration and playfulness to thrive, both on the stage and within innovation.