Breaking Character

Theater student and instructor
Joshua Bright for the New York Times

Fifty participants in the World Economic Forum’s Global Leadership Fellows Programme came to Columbia for a weeklong series of intensive drama workshops in July. The fellows, most of whom work in economic development and are in their 20s and 30s, were encouraged to sing, dance, shout, and improvise silly jokes—all toward the goal of expressing themselves with greater self-awareness and clarity. “There’s a world of theater in the term ‘global fellows,’” says theater arts professor Kristin Linklater, who led several of the workshops and is pictured above with fellow Nicolas Kim. “If they’re going to be supreme global communicators, they need to know their voices in the way actors know their voices.”