I was fortunate enough to attend NYU for my MFA in Acting under the legendary theater director, Zelda Fichandler. Zelda taught a class for the first years called, The Actor’s Space, which I later came to realize was an in-depth exploration into our Imagination. We created one-person shows which she called Universe Projects and performed them just for the other 17 members of our class and, of course, Zelda. We learned intimacies about each other, in an instant of mime, mask or music that would have taken years to reveal, and which would make our work as an ensemble incredibly strong. Every day there would be another brave sharing of personhood. And ironically, the more specific the work, the more universally we all felt it.
And then the games began. Zelda led us in the kind of theater games that rely on the trust an actor has in her ability to play. It was like a wonderful regression to kindergarten, where what you make-believe teaches you about the world and yourself, and you don’t even know it.