Surprising, Synergetic, Fun, Touching, Philosophical, Political – These are some of the words used to describe our sold-out fall conference: Performing the World, held October 12-14, 2001 at the Montauk Yacht Club, Long Island.
The conference was co-sponsored by Performance of a Lifetime, a New York based training and consulting firm with a performance approach to personal, professional, and organizational development and the Taos Institute. The program emphasized diverse forms of interaction and participatory performance, as well as plenary sessions with dialogue among conference presenters. Ken Gergen, Director of the Taos Institute, and Fred Newman, founder of Performance of a Lifetime led off with a joint presentation called "Performance: Act before you think".
Mary Gergen, a Taos Institute founder, joined several others, in a plenary session on performance in everyday life. Mary and Ken also teamed up for a workshop entitled Relational Realities: Performing Theory. Other founders of the Taos Institute included Harlene Anderson, who presented a workshop entitled Performing Therapeutic Realities and Sheila McNamee, whose topic was Educational Performance. Frank Barrett, Taos Institute associate, made music with the audience in a plenary session entitled "Improvisation and Organizational Life."
Taos Institute invitees included Jonathan Shailor from the University of Wisconsin who created a Theater of Empowerment with members of the audience, Kay Picart, Florida State University, who invoked dance traditions as part of the "body politic" and Osvaldo and Raquel Romberg of Philadelphia. Osvaldo presented his video, "Besame Mucho: A hypertext on love" and Rachel gave a session "Healing as Performance" from her anthropological work with Puerto Rican healers. Performance of a Lifetime personnel, including members of the "All Stars Talent Show Network" and the "Castillo Theatre troupe also were heavily involved in the production and presentations of the conference. Conference planners were Ken, Mary and Sheila, as well as Lois Holzman and Fred Newman from Performance of a Lifetime.