“Creativity is, according to Moreno, the end result of the warming up process.”
On April 1st, 1921, JL Moreno invited a group of dignitaries in post-WWI Vienna to a theatre for the first official demonstration of psychodrama. On the stage,he had a throne, a crown and sceptor and a fool’s hat, and invited the audience members to take on the role of the king or the fool and speak about the future of Austria. Since it was a blasphemous act to even think about stepping into the role of the King, it was a disaster. People left the theatre in disgust and Moreno’s reputation in Europe was never the same. Needless to say, he learned a lot that evening about the importance of warm up.
What do I mean by that? One of my favorite things about psychodrama is the neutrality of its language: you’re not being resistant, you’re inadequately warmed up. That may seem like semantics to you, but it truly gives permission to participants to be where they are at, and warm up at their own pace to the idea of stepping into a new role or behavior. And rather than blaming someone for being unwilling to change, it puts the onus on the psychodrama director to lower the person’s anxiety and raise his/her #spontaneity.
The fool was always the wisest one on the court, and represented the authentic voice of the King. He was, in a way, the King’s inner voice – or as we say in psychodrama, his #double – that could say what was really going on inside. Because he was considered a “fool,” he had permission to speak the truth. But being able to do that also requires warm-up – an opportunity to tune into what IS the truth inside; to find the feelings attached to it; to find the words to represent it.
So on this 94th anniversary of #psychodrama, will you let your fool out of hiding and speak your truth, or stay silent and storm out of the theatre?