“All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players.
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts” (Shakespeare)
Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood. (Mr. Rogers)
On Sunday, May 16th, I had the pleasure of chatting with my grandson, Adrian Greensmith, and three of his classmates. They are all studying acting and devised theater at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London. We talked about play, what it means in their acting classes and what it was like growing up in four different countries – Russia, (Ksenia Elinson) Peru (Sebastian Alonso), Turkey (Omer Cem Coltu) and the U.S. ( Adrian Greensmith)
Their thoughts were fascinating – play as preparation for life, training the muscles of the imagination, thinking out of the box, never losing the child inside, being in the moment all the time….the thoughts poured out of them and I had the feeling that we could have continued this conversation much longer. One thought that Ksenia shared was that at the core of playing is doing things together. It made me think about all that children lost this year when they did not have the opportunity to take part in play with their friends and classmates.
Our conversation spoke to some interesting quotes that I shared during our zoom talk:
“It is a happy talent to know how to play.” Ralph Waldo Emmerson
“The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct.” Carl Jung
“In every real man a child is hidden that wants to play.” Friedrich Nietzsche
“If you want to be creative, stay in part a child, with the creativity and invention that characterizes children before they are deformed by adult society.” Jean Piaget