“Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” Luke 18:17
Pray Thru Play is an interactive experience, a different kind of retreat than listening to a speaker. Everyone is up on their feet and participating together in a safe, fun and engaging encounter with improvisation and play. Each play session is then followed with free space for quiet personal reflection and engagement with God in imaginative prayer. Through the dual rhythm of play and prayer, participants learn:
- How to better Invite and Welcome both stranger and friend (Hebrews 13:2)
- How Paying Attention can really pay off (Exodus 15:26)
- The simple truth about Creativity (Genesis 1:27)
- Saying “Yes!” and where it can take you (2 Corinthians 1:17-20)
- The many subtle ways we say “No” and what we miss (Matthew 8:19-22)
- How to Work Together Harmoniously as a group (1 John 3:11)
- The power of Telling a Good Story (Psalm 66:16)
No previous experience with improvisation or acting is required! Simply bring a willing spirit, an open heart, and a sense of adventure! Re-engage with how you used to learnand grow as a child: through imaginative play!
One participant writes of her experience:
“As a professional performer and spiritual director, Monica explained a structure of safety and acceptance, gradually easing any performance anxiety. She urged us to say ‘anything’ and to be ‘dull’ and ‘ordinary’ as we played along with theatre exercises. How those boring words freed us into wild creativity!”
If you are interested in hosting a Pray Thru Play retreat for your church or group, contact me for more information.
My background in improv:
I began studying improvisation while a student at Stanford University under my mentor and friend Patricia Ryan Madson, author of the book Improv Wisdom. I quickly came to embrace and practice the principles taught by Patricia, based on Keith Johnstone’s school of theatrical improvisation.
I am also one of the founding members of the Stanford Improvisors – or SImps – an official Theatresports™ team. In 2012, I returned to Stanford to celebrate the SImps 20th Anniversary, where I was invited to speak on an alumni panel about my experience connecting improvisation and my work in spiritual direction and teaching.
For several years, I have offered workshops in churches, seminaries and spiritual direction training programs, sharing the joy and freedom of improvisation, helping others to truly embody the Gospel of Christ. I am currently writing a book which expands upon my workshop and retreat teachings, highlighting how practicing the principles of improvisation can help us grow in our relationship with God, ourselves and others.