What Does Centrum Have in Common with Duke University?

Improv at Centrum

What does Centrum have in common with Duke, UCLA, MIT and Stanford?

Improv Theater!

According to a story recently aired on National Public Radio, “Professors say these [theater] techniques help students increase collaboration, creativity and risk taking.”

Here at Centrum, we have seen this happen again and again. For our middle school Explorations program, students from all over Washington State come together for a week in March, and they become part of a creative community. In this community, those who learn the most and have the most fun develop the art of saying “Yes, and….” It is a basic rule of Improv Theater- whatever someone gives you, take it and run with it. If you get into the habit of shutting it down with a “Yes, but” or an “Are you crazy?” all energy stops and no progress can happen!

The “Yes, and” attitude is important whether you are learning to play a new instrument , dancing, writing or trying your best to paint. This spring at Centrum’s middle school program, Explorations, students say “Yes, and” to Improv, Taiko, Spoken Word, Creative Writing, Graphic Design, Surrealistic Painting, and African and Hip-Hop dance.

While each person comes to Centrum as an individual with a set of skills, collaboration with others and willingness “to put yourself out there” spurs creative and intellectual growth. The creative community welcomes and applauds these efforts!