Playing With: Identity & Fragility

In the age of #blacklivesmatter and #metoo, it is easy to feel personally attacked. Aspects of our identity, things we have no control over, which happened before we were born, or are just the way we were born, seem to be up for constant criticism. We'd like to say and do the right thing, but what exactly is that? And why are people yelling at me for asking?! I'M ONE OF THE GOOD GUYS!!! ..... [..... wait, can I still say "guys"?!]

There is a way to start making sense of it all. To give yourself tools to understand (and learn from) your own reactions. To honor your feelings, fears, and experiences. To create an emotionally secure foundation from which to engage the breathtaking social change we are witnessing. They key is identity: your beliefs about what makes you "You". In this workshop, we explore our relationship to personal identity in a supportive environment, where mistakes are welcomed as a vital part of the learning process.

Our objectives are for Participants to:

  • Accept and articulate perception of your own identity
  • Understand and appreciate the way others perceive our own identity
  • Gain insight into how perceptions of our own identity affect our worldview
  • Prepare to work effectively with more diversity in your work and life communities


Duration of workshop:                       One Hour

Optimal number of Participants:        8 to 16

Methodology:                                    Interactive Learning. With interactive exercises and games, participants identify, express, and explore personal identity.

Instructors Rebecca Stockley and Ana Nelson met through improv, and love collaborating both on and off stage.
Rebecca is co-founder of BATS Improv, San Francisco’s premiere improvisational theatre company. A trained classical actress, Rebecca ‘became’ an improviser in 1984. Since the 80s, Rebecca has been using the principles of improvisation to inspire groups of people both on and offstage. A member of The Applied Improv Network, Rebecca facilitates workshops in business, education, and non-profit organizations.

Ana has over 40 years of experience struggling with her sense of identity, and is thrilled to have finally discovered improv as a powerful tool for exploring the self, one which she credits with helping her come out (to herself) as gay in her late 30s. She loves to combine her performing and storytelling skills with her background as a mathematical economist and computer programmer to create spaces and tools which honor both heart and head.


The Playing With Series

Part One: Identity and Fragility Callout culture is holding people accountable, but learning means making mistakes! How can we explore issues of identity and privilege when even asking questions is forbidden?


Part Two: Listening and Adapting When information threatens our sense of identity, we find a way to deny it. Our amazing brains "protect" us from learning important truths about ourselves. We'll apply our Identity and Fragility work to listening to some uncomfortable, identity-challenging truths and forge amazing new paths for personal growth.


Part Three: Engaging and Transforming Listening to the lived experiences of others is crucial for empathy, but expecting other people to educate us on our blind spots will only perpetuate systems of inequality. How do we find resources to educate ourselves and engage in real time with complex intersecting identities, while also retaining our critical faculties and honoring our own truths?