For over thirty years, The Power of Play® has used Adaptive Applied Improvisation to open hearts and minds through laughter, play, imagination and creativity. Founders Rahla Kahn and Richard Rossner – both professional actors as well as gifted corporate trainers – delved into the worlds of neuroscience, psychology and theater to bring the very best of each discipline into this unique world of transformation. The Power of Play® unlocks creativity and teaches the value of the art of a playful attitude within the workplace.
Rahla’s deep interest and curiosity in how the mind and the emotions affect behavior (and related to this, mental and physical health) led her to Norman Cousins, author of Anatomy of an Illness, and radiation oncologist, Dr. O. Carl Simonton, author of Getting Well Again. Cousins and Simonton were so intrigued by Rahla’s concepts of applying the rules of improvisational theater to health and wellness that they personally mentored her and helped her find opportunities to develop her program. She assisted Dr. Simonton for five years at “The Healing Power of Laughter & Play” conferences in the mid 1980’s and many Simonton Cancer Center residential retreats in the Pacific Palisades. Rahla and her husband Richard have been permanent staff members at the Simonton Cancer Center since 2003 and continue to teach The Power of Play® at week-long residential retreats for cancer patients and their caregivers in Santa Barbara, California. Along with delivering The Power of Play® at Simonton Cancer retreats, Rahla accomplished a long held dream by completing a rigorous training program to become a certified Simonton Therapist- deepening her expertise in how attitude, emotions and behavior can impact overall health and well being, as well as quality of life.
Cousins introduced Rahla to an opportunity that led to her serving on staff at the Mental Health Association’s Step Up On Second facility in Santa Monica, California, from 1984 to 1993. Step Up On Second is an outpatient mental health facility serving mentally ill adults, the homeless and veterans. Rahla’s work at Step Up On Second has received wide public attention.
In recent years, The Power Of Play® and their unique approach has expanded greatly. Seeing the need to introduce the business world to this material, Rahla adapted her work to benefit corporate clients and smaller businesses. A sampling of the firm’s clients includes The Harlem Globetrotters, American Express, Viad, IBM, Vistage, the City of Scottsdale, The Dr. Gladys T. McGarey Medical Foundation, San Diego State University, Hyrian Recruitment Services, The Motion Picture Television Fund Wellness Program and the United States Army.
Richard has a varied background in the creative arts and comedy. An honors graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in communications from Boston University, he chose to follow his passion and began a career as a writer. His talent brought him to Los Angeles, where he wrote situation comedies and variety television shows including, “Welcome Back, Kotter,” “She’s The Sheriff,” “Comedy Break,” “Full House,” and the historic “Live Aid Concert”. Richard met Rahla while studying improvisational theater at The Groundlings, Los Angeles’ premier improvisational theater company. Richard’s partnership in The Power Of Play® has been a perfect fit to satisfy his creative spirit, as well as help people realize their full potential.