“While I was sharing my experience with creativity during a speech at Stanford, a MBA student asked me, “Can we learn to be creative?” I asked him, “Doesn’t business school teach you that?” He said, “I guess. We learn various techniques on brainstorming and unconventional thinking.” After our chat, I found out that it is not the techniques he was looking for, but creativity itself.”
Page 28, Stan Lai on Creativity.
In order to share the passion of challenging creativity and to exchange information about top contemporary cultural and artistic aesthetics, Performance Workshop has been promoting the performing arts project, “Just Perform It,” since 2004. Through “Just Perform It,” Performance Workshop shares twenty-eight years of creative experience and point of view with schools, local government and corporations, and discovers something even more fun than the very act of performing. The activities are indeed the very medium that provokes new talent. This year, “Just Perform It” has been updated and renamed as “Campus Folic!” and provides classes especially planned for corporations. The subject of the class is creativity. At Performance Workshop, we divide creativity into two parts: “thinking” and “executing.” “Thinking” concentrates on getting inspired, whereas “executing” focuses on how you accurately execute your inspirations. The class will generally focus on the “thinking,” as different fields will require different ways of executing. But can we really teach the “thinking?” If so, how?
In cognitive science, almost every application-driven classes include declarative knowledge and procedural knowledge. The latter requires practical hands-on experience for the training of capability of executing knowledge; knowing your “know-how,” that is. Just like driving – it is not a knowledge you can learn from reading or talking about it.
“One day I talked about creativity with Hou Hsiao-hsien. It was in the 80s. He was shooting A Time to Live, A Times to Die, whereas I was rehearsing The Night We Became Crosstalk Comedians. I asked him, “Don’t you think creativity is like this big machine?” He replied, “I think I’m already in the engine room, I can see the dashboard and the buttons. ” I told him I could see the entrance of the engine room, but I have yet to enter.”
Page 234, Stan Lai on Creativity.
For innovators, the nature of creativity is closer to procedural knowledge; only hands-on experience will take you into the “engine room.” Renowned for his theory of multiple intelligences, Howard Gardner also states that creativity is knowledge that is not only embedded in the environment but also interacts with it. Learning is accomplished by trial and error. However, school does not provide such experience-applying environment and this is exactly why we, by instinct, regard creativity as unteachable. Hence, learning creativity has two essential conditions: one is being able to allow the students to have practical exercise; two is having lecturers who are familiar with interactive learning. Campus Frolic! classes for corporations by Performance Workshop are equipped with those essentials. Lecturers with different expertise in performing arts will design various specific context for students to learn via a social process. Through the characterization and scenes, students will be able to learn creativity. There are three lecturers who will utilize different fields of performing arts as the medium to lead the students to true creativity. We look forward to share twenty-eight years of creative experiences with people in a systematic way, because creativity is inevitably the core of corporations. Contact us if you’re interested.