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Video From Past Live Events 

ThroughPlay is an “arts-informed” presentation, which means that we use the creative arts to help inform and bring to life the developmental science on the benefits of play. The multimedia presentation is as much about the importance of play for continued adult development as it is about the need for children to play. In fact, that's why the ThroughPlay team integrated their own hobbies and artistic interests when creating the program! 

What can you expect to see and hear at a ThroughPlay presentation? The answer is a lot of music, film, photography, and research-based information about play.  

Music occurs throughput the program, some of it live and some recorded, but all of it created to complement our original film and photographic content. For example, sometimes we use recorded music and film to simply introduce a topic and inspire a positive mood. 

We also combine film and photography with live music. The ambiance and emotion of a live performance helps us communicate ideas that are difficult to express with words alone. Here are two examples recorded at past ThroughPlay events to show you exactly what we mean. All of the film sequences were shot by Conor Provenzano.

This next clip is called “Engagement” and illustrates the (simultaneous) focused improvisation of children at play and Dr. Rathunde playing guitar.

Play can manifest itself in many different ways, including in the experience of awe while taking in nature. In the next clip named “Mono no Aware” after a Japanese concept of feeling an agreeable melancholy, the music and images help communicate the "play" of light and color and the bittersweet beauty of the changing seasons.   

A special thanks to Alan Watts' son, Mark Watts, and the Hartley Foundation for permission to use some of the 16 mm footage from "Buddhism: Man and Nature" and "Zen and Now."

Photography also plays a central role in ThroughPlay. Dozens of Dr. Isabella's photos are scattered throughout the presentation slides and packed into short photomontage movies. A few large-format prints are even integrated to our stage design.

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Some of the best photography is concentrated in two, unique, 20-page booklets created by graphic designer Chris Howard for our two ThroughPlay programs. Here are a few sample pages from one of our booklets.


Finally, sandwiched between all the arts-related content, the ThroughPlay program explains the science behind what makes play and similar experiences such as flow (i.e., enjoyable concentration) so essential for child and adult development. For those of you who would like to hear Drs. Rathunde and Isabella talk about the main ideas that animate the program, the following 7-minute clip should do the trick. You can also read more about the importance of play and see more photography and video here