Rebellious Reflection: Why We Made Our Debut On A Theater Stage

Written by in Events & Meet-ups
- 4 min read

It's 20.30h on a Monday evening in our hometown Eindhoven. It's dark behind the curtains of the local theater. We are nervously walking in circles, our hearts beating in overdrive. It's about time for yet another new adventure. The noise of the growing and excited crowd is becoming louder every minute. We take a sneak peak through the thick black curtains and observe about 400 people eagerly taking their seats around the stage. Our eyes cross and we ask each other quietly: are we actually doing this? A few seconds later the host calls out our names. An applause follows and we cross the line fr

Since our start as Corporate Rebels we have been mostly communicating about our adventures through our blog, (newspaper) articles, presentations and workshops. We can now proudly add a theater show to the list! The show, developed and directed by Leon van der Zanden, covered an evening about happiness at work. Together we aimed to entertain and inspire the visitors about Corporate Rebels, our mission, our Bucket list heroes, our adventures and the lessons we learned along the way.

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The Dutch Happiness Week

Our theater show kicked off this year's Erwin Hoeks from Fontys Hogescholen. It was founded in 2015 in order to create more awareness around the happiness theme. The organizers are expanding their reach rapidly and programming with a strong focus on the practical side of three distinguished topics: happiness at work, education and social innovation. The week is filled with shows, talks, presentations and workshops featuring both local and international guests.

Keep developing ourselves

Our Corporate Rebels journey feels like a never ending experiment full of adventures and surprises. So far, Corporate Rebels has continuously provided us with the freedom to discover and develop new skills and disciplines in any direction we desired. Our experimental journey started with our impulsive decision to start writing about our adventures on our own blog (while at the time our writing experience was limited to writing holiday greeting cards and WhatsApp texts).

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Soon after we started to share our adventure on our blog we were asked, by several different organizations, to share our adventures and lesson learned through talks, presentations and workshops. Again, without prior experience in the format, we decided to give it try. Time and time again we started new experiments. Often with good outcomes, but sometimes we failed. More importantly, we managed to keep learning on the job.

A culture of continuous experimentation

Organizational development should always be an evolution, just like our journey. In the most progressive organizations we visit we witness a strong culture of continuously experimentation. We learned that we should always be willing to experiment, with everything we do. If you can't find any hard objection to experiment, just do it and be curious about the outcome. Don't be afraid for mistakes, but create a safe environment where people dare to fail. The world has become way to complex to predict and do all things perfectly. It's way more productive (and fun!) to experiment and learn from your mistakes along the way!

A broader and different audience

Earlier this year the organizers of the Dutch Happiness Week invited us to play an important role in their programming for the 2017 edition. As impulsive as we are, we didn't doubt for a moment and grasped the opportunity with both hands. Yet again we started a new experiment. And yet again, we barely knew what we started and we had no idea what to expect. There were just two things we knew. First, this show would provide us with a unique opportunity to share our story and message to an even broader (and different) audience. Secondly, it would probably be a lot of fun and another experience to check of our personal bucket lists. So, we decided to give it a try!

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Trust and let go

The organizers put an amazing amount of trust in all of us. We wanted to come across as authentic and as genuine as possible and started the show without a proper rehearsal from our side. The stage director admitted it was a major gamble and a big lesson in letting go of control. An experience in trusting in the outcome without knowing exactly what to expect, without the possibility to predict and control. We improvised in our comments and answers, digging from all our experiences, stories and lessons learned so far. We experienced that time flies once you are on stage. The two hours passed in a heart beat.

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But it worked. It worked brilliantly. We managed to spread our message once again in a completely different format and to a completely new audience. We are proud with the realization of this show, we are happy with yet another milestone in the Corporate Rebels story, and we are very thankful to everyone who was kind enough to contribute to a great theater production. Next step: Broadway ;) !

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