Laugh and Think Tank

Laugh and Think Tank explores the resonance of improvisational play to the latest discoveries in physics, neuroscience, psychology, music, environmental science, and the science of happiness.

“Play is democratic.”

—Viola Spolin, the Godmother of Improvisation

“Reality is not a thing, but connections.”

—Carlo Rovelli, Theoretical Physicist

“It is a civic duty to give people joy.”

—Steve Kerr, Coach of the Golden State Warriors

Check our our blog posts, videos and performances which focus on the relational nature of all things.

  • Improv and Exoplanets
    My dad’s career as an Air Force officer included working with NASA as an astrobiologist during the early days of the space program. I’m an improviser, interested in science, and specific to this post, astroscience and the search for exoplanets. Exoplanets are planets that orbit around stars other than our sun. The first exoplanet was discovered in 1992. Now nearly …

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  • Monk’s Music and Jazz and Improv
    When I first heard Thelonious Monk’s music, almost every note held a little surprise for my brain. It reminded me of how I felt when I was doing or watching really good improvisational theater. Jazz critic Nat Hentoff described some of Monk’s compositions as “seemingly bare skeletons for improvisation.” And, as an added bonus, to my ears it was “funny” music. …

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  • Picasso Teaches Improvisation
    When Pablo Picasso taught art classes, one of the first exercises he told his students to do was to take pen to paper and draw a perfect circle. All of the students worked hard to impress their teacher. Spoiler alert: there is no way to draw a perfect circle! So, after all of the students tried and failed, Picasso gave …

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