Inspiration: Bridgeport Occupied

A large inspiration for the beginnings of  the Interview Based Theater Project was the work of Anna Deavere Smith. See excerpts here from her most recent show, Let Me Down Easy. 

Favorite Quotations and Wise Words

Non-Violence by Mark Kurlansky
“Is the source of violence not human nature…but a lack of imagination?”

“The only obligation which I have a right to assume is to do any time what I think right.” -Thoreau, Civil Disobedience

“The U.S. all-volunteer army is nothing more than a draft of the poor, the disadvantaged, and the unemployed.  Recruiters are scrupulous in avoiding the subject of war, instead of promising education and job training.”

The Optimism Bias: A Tour of the Irrationally Positive Brain by Tali Sharot
“In other words, an ability to imagine the future had to develop side by side with positive biases.  The knowledge of death had to emerge at the same time as its irrational denial.”

“Humans are largely affected by the expectations placed upon them.”

“The optimism bias, is, by definition, our tendency to overestimate the probability of positive events and underestimate the probability of negative ones.”

“Economists have suggested that the optimism bias was a root cause for the financial meltdown of 2008.”

“The assertion that our brains have evolved to overpredict future happiness and success, because, funnily enough, doing so makes health and progress more likely.”

Talk to Me: Listening Between the Lines by Anna Deavere Smith
“American seems to be addicted to hope.”

“I thought I was actually in search for the authentic.”

“Imagine the potential of the magic of words –  to communicate, to intoxicate, to sway a crowd.  To concoct a vision? Without language, there is no vision.”

“What is the relationship between language and identity?”

“I think we can learn a lot about a person in the very moment that language fails them.  In the very moment that they have to be more creative than they would have imagined in order to communicate.  It’s the very moment that they have to dig deeper than the surface to find words, and at the same time, it’s a moment when they want to communicate very badly.  They’re digging deep and projecting out at the same time.”

“It’s in language that I think I can find the other.”

“Empathy is a proof of humanity.”

Further Reading:

Mark Kurlansky Webpage

The Optimism Bias: by Tali Sharot, Time Magazine

Anna Deavere Smith: New York Times