Erica Marx Erica Marx Coaching

I am a Tree

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Additional info

Goal

Supporting your team players 
Creating a sculpture of an event or experience

Attachments

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Materials

    Instructions

    One person starts by taking a posture and making a statement (“I am a tree.”) Another person joins them, choosing something or someone to interact with the tree. They might say “I am a cardinal singing” and clasp the tree person’s arm. Or maybe they say “I am the water running beneath the roots of the tree” and lie down on the floor to wriggle beneath the tree person’s feet. A third person then joins the first two, choosing their own related identity and action: “I am the lovers’ carving in the bark on the tree” while forming a heart shape with their body in front of the tree person’s torso. At that point, the person who started the scene—here, the tree—chooses one of the players to stay (“The cardinal stays”) and everyone else leaves. The cardinal restates "I am a cardinal singing" and one by one new people join, creating an entirely new scene.


    Variations
    Full-team Tableau (all people enter the scene)

    Create a sculpture of the shared experience (ie. the conference). Each person adds something. "I am the delicious coffee the first morning"

    Takeaway Tree - Each person comes in silently to form a group sculpture and then when they step out they say what they are taking away from the class. 

    Future State Tableau
    One person initiates a tableau, arms outstretched, with a statement of themselves in the future with their goal achieved "I am a children's book author". One by one players add to the tableau ("I am the desk where you sat and wrote every day" "I am the child reading your book and feeling understood" "I am the book publisher that saw something special in you" "I am the friend who you called and supported you when you questioned whether this was worth it" etc. You can decide if you want to give instructions for people to play humans or objects or feelings/energies to create different types of tableaus. Works especially well for groups that know each other.

    Current vs Future State Tableau
    David's Koff's work with teens. Start with one person experiencing something challenging (ie. "I am the child being bullied"). Each person comes in one at a time as people in that scene ("I am the teacher looking the other way"). 

    Second Tableau. First person restates, everyone comes in one by one into the same physical positions but what they say and perhaps the shape of their body has changed ("I am the teacher noticing what is happening and making a connection with the child"). 


    Background

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