Talking Tea: Tea, Heart to Heart

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This week on Talking Tea
we return to the Tea Institute at Penn State University to explore
the evolution and burgeoning growth of interest in Japanese tea
ceremony study at the Institute and beyond, and the transformative
nature of tea ceremony practice. We first chat with Drew Hanson,
founding instructor of the Urasenke program at the Institute. Drew
talks with us about his own journey from art to tea, the history
and development of the Japanese track at the Institute, and
changing demographics and perspectives among students of Japanese
tea ceremony.

Aside from his work in
tea, Drew’s teaching background is in literature and theater, and
since tea ceremony has been called an “improvised drama”, we look
at whether tea ceremony in the Japanese tradition is a form of
interactive theater. We explore the roles of action, dialogue and
utensils, the “parts” played by participants, and those
transformative moments of giving freely from the heart which are
common to both theater and tea ceremony.

We’re also joined by
Courtney Singley, current student director of the Japanese tea
ceremony track at the Institute. Courtney is an architecture
student at Penn State, and she shares with us her perspectives on
openness and intimacy in the spatial elements of tea ceremony, and
how those elements can be internalized and then used in building
for ourselves and our world.


More about the Tea
Institute, its programs, events and tea house, is in our earlier
episode, “Tea Goes to College”, and at the Institute’s

For information on
Drew Hanson’s private classes in Japanese tea ceremony, go to his

Info about Japanese
tea ceremony classes offered through Urasenke Philadelphia and
Shofuso is available at Shofuso’s website
or at


For more information on Talking Tea and updates on new
episodes, visit our Facebook page at

To inquire about being a guest or having your
organization featured, please email us at

Have something in mind you’d like to hear discussed
on Talking Tea? Leave us a comment on Facebook or on our Libsyn
episode page, or email us.

Talking Tea is produced and hosted by Ken Cohen.
You can follow Ken on Twitter @Kensvoiceken.


This podcast features music from “Japanese Flowers”
( by mpgiiiBEATS
( available under a Creative Commons
Attribution 3.0 Unported license
( Adapted from

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