Performative Well-Being Course

Performative Well-Being

a course based in solo improvisation and themed discussions 

Open to the general public

No previous theatre or performance experience required

February-May 2017, Helsinki, Finland

Classes meet once a week on Wednesday evenings, 17.30-20.00 for 18 weeks

Taught in English, with Finnish and Swedish possible

Participants practice improvisation in the language of their choice, usually in their native tongue

We all perform

Each one of us performs in our professional and personal worlds every day. We perform our jobs.

We perform as parents, partners, friends, teachers, students, and citizens.

We perform ourselves

Each of us performs our personal life stories in individual ways in shared situations.

Who we are becomes what and how we perform. And what and how we perform becomes who we are.

Well-being and performance

When we perform are we well? How can we be well while we perform? What does well-being mean for us?

How can we train, explore, and transform well-being through performance?

The course

In this course we explore how we do well-being, what well-being means, and how we can transform our well-being as we perform. We will practice and learn important skills and capabilities as part of a dialogical and participatory path of exploration and training through improvisational practice and themed discussions. We will practice and reflect on who and how we are, and who and how we can be through what and how we perform. We will witness ourselves as individuals in a shared situation. We will cultivate personal and collective freedom and power through studying and practicing Performative Well-Being™.

You are welcome to join this course especially if:

– you are interested in exploring how you perform and how you can be well while you perform in every day life and in professional situations.

– you are interested in well-being.

– you work with the public and/or perform in front of others – you work as, for example, a performer, teacher, social worker, lawyer, doctor, psychologist, public administrator, manager, team leader, or you are studying or interested in these and related fields.

– you are interested in participatory, dialogical study.

– you are interested in learning principles and practices rooted in the fields of theatre/performance (improvisation, open acting, devising, dramaturgy, authorship, writing), pedagogy, psychology, and philosophy.

– you enjoy performative play.

– you are interested in studying (Inter)acting with the Inner Partner (IwIP).

No previous theatre or performance experience required. 

Please note: This course is only open to those who have NOT studied (Inter)acting with the Inner Partner (IwIP) before. If you have studied IwIP before, we will be opening up a Performative Well-Being™ course for you in autumn 2017. (Inter)acting with the Inner Partner also goes by the name “Acting with the Inner Partner” (AwIP).

How will we study?

We will study primarily through solo improvisation. We will also study through themed discussions.

Solo Improvisation

The solo improvisation we will practice is called (Inter)acting with the Inner Partner (IwIP).

IwIP is a movement and action-based solo improvisational practice. It is a way of practicing the art of performance. It is also a way of studying and researching through artistic performance. IwIP is about coming to know yourself and how you relate to yourself in a performance situation. It is concerned with the basic principles and dynamics of performance, creative communication, dramatic play, and authorship. Practicing the discipline cultivates creative communication by developing the “fitness” you need to be able to act spontaneously and to make conscious, empathetic decisions when interacting with yourself and others. After a longer experience with IwIP, you can develop your authorial personality (for example, as a performer, a writer, a teacher, a leader), and learn how you discover, develop, and present personal themes through situations you shape and create. Rather than offering easy answers, IwIP challenges you to discover the different possibilities of creative and free existence on stage and off.

IwIP was developed from the fields of performance, psychology, philosophy, and education. IwIP is not meant exclusively for any one field, nor does it have any one predetermined application. IwIP is an “opening” discipline – it opens paths to possibility and humanization. It involves risking encounter, discovering questions, asking them and responding to them fully. In its broadest sense, IwIP is a path of self-discovery, self-understanding, self-acceptance, and self-realization. In its more specific applications, IwIP becomes what you make of it. IwIP was originally developed by Professor Ivan Vyskočil at the Theatre Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, where Alexander, the course leader, studied the discipline (MFA, Ph.D.) under him.

In this course, we will have a basic introduction to IwIP. We will focus on exploring Performative Well-Being™ through IwIP and study how IwIP trains capabilities and skills related to Performative Well-Being™.

Participants practice improvisation in the language of their choice, usually in their native tongue.

Themed Discussions

Themed discussions will develop principles of Performative Well-Being™. We will reflect on our own experiences improvising in terms of well-being. We will also discuss various notions of health and well-being, including those proposed by the World Health Organization and positive psychology. We will collaboratively develop and transform what Performative Well-Being™ means to us as individuals and as a collective. This process will take advantage of the principles of dialogical teaching, critical pedagogy, and participatory action research.

Discussions and feedback will be primarily in English, with Finnish and Swedish possible too.

Course Schedule & Location: 01.02.2017 to 31.05.2017 (18 classes). Classes meet once a week on Wednesdays from klo 17.30-20.00, except for three weeks in March when we meet 18.00-20.30. 15 min break included in each class. We meet at the Finnish Actors Union Rehearsal Space, Annankatu 31-33D, Helsinki, Finland. Maximum 12 participants.

Teachers: Lead teacher/researcher: Alexander Komlosi, MFA, PhD. Co-teacher: Ida Backer, MFA. Hanna Raiskinmäki, MFA. Teachers-in-training may also be in attendance. For more information about the teachers, please see below.

Cost: 18 classes 285€ (regular rate) / 225€ (unemployed/student rate). Fee can be paid in two installments of 145€ + 140€ (regular rate) or 125€ + 100€ (unemployed/student rate). First payment is due by January 25th or immediately if you sign up after the 25th. The first payment is also your non-refundable course deposit and secures your place in the course. Second payment due latest April 5th. No refunds or credit for classes you do not attend or for any other reason. Culture Current ry will bill you.  If there are not enough students registered by January 27th, the course will be cancelled and your payment will be returned to you.

Become a Supporting Member of Culture Current and receive a 5€ discount off this course. You will also receive similar discounts on other CC events and have the benefits of being a CC Supporting Member.

Application Period: December 20th – January 31st or until the course has been filled. Maximum 12 participants.  Minimum 6 participants.

More information/Applications: Alexander Komlosi, +358 (0)404 110 706, alexander[at] Please send your CV and a brief email to Alexander explaining why you would like to take this course.

Special note: This course is part of a research project on Performative Well-Being™. By participating in this course you agree to video and other documentation throughout the course. This material will be kept private and used for research purposes only. Any public use of the material (samples, etc.) will be used only with the participant’s explicit permission beforehand.

keywords: Performative Well-Being™, performance, theatre, improvisation, play, participatory action research, transformative pedagogy, positive psychology, critical pedagogy, well-being

Lead Teacher

Alexander Komlosi, MFA, Ph.D

I am an educator, performer, and artistic researcher with over 20 years of professional international performance experience performing in other’s work and creating my own. My latest performance, It Could Be Worse…in your home town, which first premiered at Teatteri Takomo, is a community-based participatory project exploring various viewpoints on immigration and putting them into dialogue. I am a long-time IwIP practitioner (18 years) and teacher (16 years). I taught IwIP and other performance courses at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague /Theatre Faculty for 11 years. I have also taught IwIP at the Theatre Academy/University of Arts Helsinki (Department of Theatre Pedagogy and Acting in Swedish). I have given IwIP workshops in Finland (Teatteri Takomo, Svenska Teater) and internationally. I have also trained other IwIP teachers including those co-teaching this course. I dabble in clown and stand-up. I enjoy playing Ultimate Frisbee and spending time with my family.


Ida Backer, MFA

I am an actor, singer and theater educator. I studied musical theater at Lahti University of Applied Music and Drama Institute (BFA, musical theater). I graduated from the Theatre Academy of the University of Arts in Helsinki (MFA) in the field of theater pedagogy 2014. My studies have deepened my interest in group processes and individual growth as connected to community. As an actress, I have performed in musicals, song evenings and concerts. I have been a member of the Kapsäkki Music Theatre cooperative since 2008. I have also worked in the field of social clowning, touring in Estonia, Poland and Bosnia and Herzegovina. I teach youth musical theater at the Vantaa Music School. I have been studying IwIP under Alexander Komlosi since 2011. This practice has given me much as a teacher, artist and person. I have been training as an IwIP teacher with Alexander since 2014. I have also co-taught IwIP workshops with him at the Theatre Academy and the Swedish Theatre.