In this course we create characters inspired by history, memory, dreams and world lore through challenging exercises that fuse Eastern contemplative traditions and Western theatrical improvisation. Students learn how to access different aspects of themselves to enhance their own creative process and create a uniquely authentic theatre. Each session begins with vocal exercises and physical warm ups, based on Taoist exercises and Western dance techniques. Our character work starts with meditations and visualizations employing the Buddhist tradition of "mindfulness/awareness" practice, in which we place ourselves totally in the present moment. We work in solos, duos and groups, gradually adding costumes, props and music. Open to theater students, dancers, musicians, visual artists, writers, techies—all those interested in discovering their own source of deep invention. Readings include Chögyam Trungpa's Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior and Dharma Art (now titled True Perception), Louise Steinman's The Knowing Body , Ethan Nichtern's One City and John Welwood's Ordinary Magic and Pema Chodron's The Wisdom of No Escape .