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3 basic theories of expression that will help us navigate human connection:

A.     Representation: how we communicate.

B.     Spectacle: how we display. 

C.     Distancing: how we manage reality. 


This is not a heart.

A. This is a representation of a heart

As well as a MISrepresentation of a heart. 

A REP is a symbol that is never fully accurate. 

We must understand all REPs as a sign of the absence of the thing itself.  

Plato + Aristotle called this “Mimesis: To Imitate” when teaching us about humans’ relationship to the natural world.   


REP is How we understand meaning through the way our world is produced. It is not about a particular Message or Theme but rather a theory around how we communicate meaning through our REPs. There is No such thing as an accurate REP, but there is always a purpose in succeeding at trying to REP reality.


Example: How people understand something is simple codes in the brain: 

The first train on film scared people

Example: 3 walls on a stage = house 

Example: There are words in some cultures that do not REP anything in other cultures. 

Example: “So I might be butchering this idea, word, image BUT this is MY understanding of this Thing, Idea, word...”

Example: Media forms our ideas around culture through Capitalism when learning new terms such as, “Kleenex” for a tissue. Q-tip.


What do you think of when I say Willow Tree? Might be Different to the Arctic Willow.

This theory asks:

Sharing stories is known to conquer The Fear of the Unknown elements of what is Not being represented. If we talk about a story with a Tree in it, we may have many ideas come up of the kind of tree in the story. (poster, book, seed catalogue, art, cat tree, family tree etc.). Sharing those ideas creates more understanding, connection and eventually catharsis. 


1.     If someone else described you…

2.     Why is it important to think about what is “missing” from the images we see or portray?

a.     To help us take ownership of our perceptions and fill in the gaps

b.     To make effort to validate every individuals version of reality 

c.     To encourage cultural awareness and sensitivity

d.     All of the above. 

3.     Catharsis is “the purging of pity and fear”. Can you give me an example of a time when you absorbed an image, song or story that made you feel like a weight had been lifted because of a deeper understanding of yourself/life?  For example, a movie that made you think about how people work, or a song that makes you think of a certain time and brings nostalgia? 

4.     How does your family represent togetherness? Can you give an example of a tradition or rite of passage that displays the feeling of togetherness for you and your loved ones? 

B. Spectacle

Our universal yearning for a place to discover, open, level, explore & present our pain, beauty, revelation, raw selves to the world is apparent: to build a life lived with fluidity of spirit & mind between the external world and internal cognitive social emotional self. We can have the life that we want by being present in the life that we have. We can be exposed to an issue through expression & in that moment choose to imagine a different future for your world. There are no answers, only the self-empowering gift of finding the right questions to ask, starting from: So what happens next?
Þ     Greek Theatre: Use of Liturgical Drama, Tropes and the Chorus to affirm powers of the church and state. 
Þ     Popular theatre: “Theatre for the People” Coined by Jacques Rousseau in 1758 in protest of the inaccessibility of Art and Theatre.  
Þ     Epic Theatre: Piscator and Brecht pushed for the rights of every person to be embodied in all forms of expression.  
Þ     Theatre of the Absurd
Þ     Vaudeville
Þ     Executions
Þ     Viewed Surgery 
Þ     Viewed Asylums 
Þ     Liturgical Drama 
Þ     French Baroque Drama
Þ     Melodrama
Þ     Revolutionary theatre (of protest)
Þ     Invisible Theatre 
Þ     Clandestine Theatre 
Þ     Avante Garde Theatre 
Þ     Total Theatre
Þ     Counter Spectacle 
Þ     Agitation-Propaganda (Agit-Prop) 
Þ     Political Interventionist Theatre 
Þ     Theatre of the oppressed. 
Þ     Noh Theatre 
Þ     Kabuki Theatre 
Þ     Viral Theatre/Surveillance Theatre. 
Þ     Meme warfare/Electronic Disturbance Theatre
Þ     Cyborg theatre
Þ     Global Invisible Theatre.
Þ     Clown Therapy
Þ     Play Therapy 
Þ     Recreational Therapy 
Þ     Neuropsychology
Þ     Personal Psychology
Þ     Social Psychology 
Þ     Anthropology
Þ     Occupational Therapy 
Þ     Functional Medicine 
Þ     Orthomolecular Medicine 
Þ     Speech Pathology 
Þ     French surrealism
Þ     Naturalism
Þ     Expressionism
Þ     High Modernism
Þ     Alternative Theatre Movement
Þ     Ethnography and Reception Theory 
Þ     The Centre for Community Dialogue and Change (CCDC
Þ     Donovan Kings The Optative Theatre
Þ     J.L.Morenos Psychodrama (The science which explores the truth by dramatic methods” and Sociometry (visual representations of Data) 
Þ     The Theatre for The Living In Vancouver
Þ     1950 Film Roshoman Inspired Theatre of the Oppressed. 
Þ     Therapeutic storytelling
Þ     role-play
Þ     catharsis
Þ     Verbatim Theatre 
Þ     Reenactment Theater 
Þ     Live Action Role Play 
Þ     Simulation Based Learning 
Þ     Standardised Patient Testing
Þ     Programed Patient 
Þ     Surrogate/Simulated Individual
Þ     Intrapsychic identity structures 
Þ     Post-Memory Technique 
Þ     Para logical Thinking 
Þ     Ambivalence and Attachment Theory 
Þ     Counter will Theory 
Þ     Neufeldian Theory 
Þ     Psychoeducation
Þ     Wellness Training 
Þ     Alienation Effect: Brecht aimed at provoking non-conventional responses by expressing beyond the individual therefore speaking of the universal human condition. 
Þ     Therapeutic Masquerade
Þ     Puppetry and Disguise 
Þ     Painting and Sculpting 
Þ     Fabricated Living Opportunity
Þ     Collage 
Þ     Process Web
Þ     Graphic Recording 
Þ     Apple Pen and Graphic Art/Design
All of these methods ask: 
1.     What structures of expression are currently impacting the way we function as a society and how? 
2.     What are the different languages of transformation and healing?
3.     If we can understand the Human Mind and Behavior can we better understand how to have an impact on people’s lives in a positive way? 
4.     Why is it important to unpack the different ways people navigate society? 

C. Distancing

If you would like to see with confidence on a sunny day: you wear sunglasses. 

If you would like to enjoy a cold winter: you wear durable gloves. 

In order to enjoy something of intensity: you must have some sort of barrier. 


When there is an object or idea that separates you from the reality or truth: you are protected and therefore able to understand more and engage in a reflective process. 


This is why using animation to express satire is an effective non-offensive tool for communicating political messages (the cartoons aren’t “real”). 


If removed (distanced) from the everyday world in a moment of expression, 

our world is recreated through identifying with the reality of the scene, character, emotion, idea etc. therefore all expression is tied up in a process of distancing and representation of that gap. 


Disguise in theatre creates a purposeful distance from ideas of the mind, body and soul.

This distance allows us to ponder mental health, relationships, and the movement of our world. All the while growing towards self-actualization, 

a deeper connection to the individual as well as collective emotional quotient 

and managing the equipment and tools we use to exist and live. 


This theory asks: 


1.     Why does that individual feel safer wearing his favourite sweater? 

2.     Why does taking a picture of yourself affirm your reality? 

3.     Why when wearing a mask does a person feel protected in their vulnerability?    

4.     Have you ever written a letter to yourself? Why would you do something like that? 

5.     Do you ever talk in the voice of your pet at home when tension or stress is high? 

6.     Why do we use humour as a way to connect over not so humorous notions?

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