Updates from Canada: New Contexts for the Critical Response Process

Cassie, Shula and I are on a winter excursion north of the border to conduct Critical Response Process workshops under the auspices of the Professional Association of Canadian Theatres. As usual, we keep discovering new contexts for CRP and new ways of understanding its significance. Yesterday at our first stop, Toronto’s Staging Sustainability conference, plenary speaker Douglas Worts addressed the nature of societal change, diagramming a theory called the Adaptive Renewal Cycle. This features stages of exploitation, conservation, release, and regeneration; it reminded me of how CRP can function to expose work-in-progress, surface anxiety, clear out excess, and point new directions. Worts also discussed the essential role of feedback loops for creating, testing, and maintaining adaptive capacity. “Feedback loops!” I thought, “There’s a central role for CRP in the work of sustainability.” In an afternoon workshop we dove into applications of CRP values for organizational sustenance. Today: a six-hour CRP immersion for Toronto’s arts community. Tomorrow: catch the train to Montreal.

About John Borstel

John’s role with the Dance Exchange encompasses functions in documentation, dissemination, and dialogue.