Showing up and allowing ourselves to be fully seen is an invaluable tool for catalyzing foundational change in yourself, your community, and systemically. Over the course of five days and four nights, The Winter Blast is an on your feet exploration of B4 The Other’s Pedagogy of Play. Focusing on B4’s six Buoys and Anchors of Play system: Great Effort, Conscious Vulnerability, Bold Choice, Grounded Acceptance, Grateful Surrender, and Easeful Buoyancy. We do not see them as “pillars” because they are not immovable. We do see these six Buoys and their Anchor counterparts, as points on a horizon in the vast ocean of the unknown. They offer us a foundational level of ease in every situation which establishes the invisible structure felt within B4 The Other’s facilitation.
Being some of the pioneers of facilitating Play work, we are certain that the level of effort, risk and communication one puts into their lives is in direct correlation with what one gets out of their experience. B4’s pedagogy of play empowers the individual to live in abundance within the community by giving self-validation a seat at the table. We reinforce what is most authentic for each individual player in order to make meaningful contributions to our Winter Blast community. We will be engaged in preparing community meals together, dormitory style lodging, outside snow activities, reflective campfire chats, and physical play exploration in the studio. Opening the channels for one’s restorative personal Play revolution and our communal destination of a new horizon.
In our experience, many training and belief systems are based on tearing one down in order to build one back up. The last 60 years of methods have shown this idea to be one of the main reasons for suppressing creativity among adults. At the end of the day these methods hinge on another’s validation of your individual process.
The truth is that play seems to be one of the most advanced methods nature has invented to allow a complex brain to create itself. - Dr Stuart Brown MD
B4 The Other Creations strives to build stronger communities by holding space for a universal experience through the Pedagogy of Play. Changing the language to change the story by deep diving into the core values of effort, choice, buoyancy, generosity, and vulnerability. Paving a path of Vibrational Activism in our everyday world.
Earthdance, 252 Prospect Street, Plainfield, MA 01070, USA
Earthdance is located on unceded Nipmuc territory, in the hills of Western Massachusetts.
Their facilities include two large and sunny studios with wood-sprung maple floors & radiant heating. Commercial Kitchen, Library & living room (for relaxing & meeting), Gratitude Lodge for dormitory-style sleeping, 100 acres of woods (including an apple orchard), streams and trails. It is the ideal place to explore crazy layers and wool socks!
GETTING TO EARTHDANCE
Earthdance is in a rural location. Earthdance is 2hrs west of Boston, MA, An hour and a half east of Albany, NY, and hour and a half north of Hartford, CT and 1hr south of Brattleboro, VT.
Please feel free to reach out to Christopher to request support for travel planning and logistics.
- $650 if you are financially flourishing
- $600 if you are financially comfortable
- $525 if you are financially stretching
The opposite of play is not work—the opposite of play is depression. - Dr Stuart Brown MD
As the nature of Play requires connection, we are asking for all players to be vaccinated by January 3rd, 2022 in order to attend the Winter Blast. Proof of vaccination is required within the registration. Both facilitators are vaccinated. We understand this is a difficult time in navigating the climate of Covid. There are some medical exemptions for getting the vaccine and we will address those on a case by case basis with the highest priority being communal health and safety.
- All players are asked to procure a negative PCR covid test the week prior to arrival.
- We ask that you please not attend the Winter Blast if you have any symptoms of illness in the week leading up to your arrival.
- We request that players please limit exposure as much as possible the week prior to the Winter Blast. Especially after the PCR covid test (ie: forgo other events/concerts/parties/indoor-dining/crowds or spaces where there are high risks for transmission.)
- B4 The Other will be the only retreat group on the Earthdance property and therefore the only players using Earthdance facilities at that time.
- Attending the Winter Blast will be a minimum of twelve players and a maxim of twenty five players which allows spaciousness throughout the property, play studios, and dormitory.
- There will be plenty of cleaning supplies made available throughout the Winter Blast.
- Once at Earthdance, masks can be worn at the player’s discretion.
Local Covid Information:
Massachusetts is currently the second highest vaccinated state (75% with at least one shot and 66% fully vax’d) only behind Vermont. Delta rates have unfortunately been on the rise with an average of 1350 new cases a day in MA. Hampshire County, where Earthdance is located, has some of the lowest rates in the state with a current average of 16 cases a day.
*Please note, small breaks during Playtimes are not listed here but will be given.
*Please note, this event is not catered as part of the play exploration is to investigate Great Effort.
* Earthdance offers a set of sheets and 1 towel for a rental fee of $15. The rental fee is per person and per sheet and towel set used. You must also include laundering and folding sheets and towels as part of your Final Clean.
** Communal meal planning will be offered to the community through an email chain 1 week before the event.
Chris is such a pleasure to collaborate with- dynamic, engaging, and just plain fun. I’ve known Chris for ages now, first as a student, and now as a valued colleague and friend. My most treasured memory of Chris’s work was when he helmed a workshop for my advanced students at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. A serious lot, Chris was able to get them out of their heads and playing with their whole instrument like children again. The creativity, joy, and effortlessness of their expression was breathtaking. I cannot recommend Mr. Beaulieu and his system of ‘Play’ highly enough!
It actually takes a lot of guts to play with the B4 The Other Creations team and I recommend every artist do so if they get the chance. Every time I have worked with them, they had a discernment that honed in on what was able to elevate me on my journey and push me to my next milestone—one I didn’t even know I needed a breakthrough for. The hardest part was not allowing the filter of my own bias to deflect the neutral observations and instruction they offered. But the idea of play, learning while I did it, breaking out of my own barriers, and developing a sense of fruitful ensembleship that I can take into other projects was invaluable! I look forward to the next time I get a chance to spend hours with Christopher and Malia’Kekia. It is well worth the energy, effort, and investment!
“As a child, play was an expression, an experience, exercise, growth and social. As an adult I lost most of the knowledge of play and substituted in the rules and expectations of others. I didn’t realize this until my first Play Retreat in 2016. I didn’t realize it fully then, but I knew I was being opened to an experience that would change my relationships to work and those around me. With B4theOther I have reinforced my lessons from 2016 and gained new tools for maintaining and growing play in my life.
I have entered both Play Retreat experiences with a preconceived notion of what I was going to experience. I was wrong both times. This was and will continue to be necessary work to bolster my creativity in my work of theatre and in my personal relationships. Don’t let what you think you know keep you from what you need to know.
“Malia’Kekia and Christopher bring a unique and energizing mix of empathy, incisive insight, true listening, and playful provocation to everything they do. If you need to spark up some facet of your creative life (however you define that), they are skilled space-holders and playmates. Re-discovering with them how much I enjoy high-stakes play totally shifted my perspective on theater-making (and life in general).”
“This experience was a light in my life. It came exactly when I needed it to. Yes, it’s about ‘play’ but that word has come to mean so many different things to me now. POP helped me open up doors I didn’t know were closed. Some weeks were effortlessly joyous and others were a massive challenge. Through it all, Malia’Kekia and Christopher lead with such present grace and love. Apart from that the community you gain is beyond what I thought possible, I wish it could have lasted even longer. SO WORTH IT! I also was able to see that the more work we do, the more work there is to be done. Love. Love. Love.”