Participants in this workshop will imagine themselves first shipwrecked, then cast adrift on a boundless sea, and then marooned on an island with no sign of human life and with no hope of rescue. But the castaways will also use their talent, inventiveness, and ability to work together to transform the island into a human community.
The island is a natural paradise. It provides everything needed for a comfortable and secure life. But the abundance of food and fresh water and the unchangingly perfect climate support a life better suited to animals than to people. The island affords nothing at all to alleviate the boredom or cure the despair of bare life in a state of nature.
Fortunately, there are three magic spirits who will help remake the island. (The spirits are in actuality three outstanding artists.) Each will lead one group of participants. The groups will create works of art—plays, stories, dances, works of visual art, or pieces of music—that will create the history of the island, begin to fashion its culture, and transform the ragged crew of castaways into a community of islanders. Participants will make a community by trading their works of art with each other.
Island commerce consists solely of ideas, images, stories, theatre, dance, and music. Participants will learn—by the imaginative work of making art—how creative commerce changes bare life in nature into human society. The new society will find its ethical foundation in the trust that grows between the participants and the three magic spirits, figures whose powers of leadership derive from their long commitment to art and their dedication to teaching artistic practice. The participants will experience how creative risk-taking and leadership as service and as teaching can promote effective team-building and transformative creativity, where what is transformed is first of all the participants themselves.