The latest Interplay is now uploaded online.
This issue of Interplay places the work and practice of playback theatre in trauma contexts in focus. It sets out to chart the challenges of such work and reports on key learning from various perspectives. Influenced by the desire of the contributing practitioners to share their experiences and to engage the wider membership in discussion, the issue presents diverse approaches to preparing, delivering, and sustaining playback theatre within communities post-natural disaster, in war zones, and with displaced peoples, some as visitors and others within their own neighbourhoods. Patrick Seyler (USA) and Olga Sanachina (Russia) present the story that inspired them to initiate this issue, in collaboration with Paul Mc Isaacs and Shirley Legum. Alongside this, there are essays documenting the lessons learned through extended practice in places of long term conflict such as Isreal, from Shirley Legum (Play Life in Tel Aviv),Palestine, from Ben Rivers (Freedom Bus) and Afghanistan from Hjalmar Jorge Joffre-Eichhorn (Theatre and Transitional Justice).
Exploring the political complexity of bringing playback into situations within the neighborhood you live is variously explored in the essays of S. Cyril Alexander (Chennai), Paul Mc Isaac (NYC), and Anna-Leise Juge Fox New Orleans). Cyril’s essay brings together the traumatic political context within TamilNadu with Sterling PT’s strong intention to support their community after the political death of Child Balachandran; while Paul and Anna-Leise tells stories of responding after 9/11 and Katrina respectively and the personal nature of being ready to offer support through playback.
Jonathan Fox tackles the question of playback theatre in relation to therapy, while Pamela Freeman sets about documenting technical information about Trauma and about post traumatic stress disorder. The essays of both Freeman and Fox also consider some of the ethical aspects of playback within the trauma contexts from the point of view of the performer, the individual teller, and the affected community.
These ideas are central to the report from Japan’s Kayo Munakata – following the style of recent papers by András Zánkay (June 2011 page 1—Hungary mud-slide disaster) and Jen Kristel (December 2012, p.10—Bangladesh bus accident), Kayo shares the journey of her company, Playback AZ as they came to terms with what was necessary to support survivors of the complex 3.11 natural disaster. While my piece concludes the discussion from the distanced stance of those who are watching as traumatic things are happening to others, with the proposition that bringing artistic expression to the forefront is a natural human response.
TheIPTN Board report on the 2013 meeting in India in November and share news of recent changes in composition. There is also a call for help in renaming Interplay and for interest in taking on the Editor role as I vacate the role after 8 years.
Enjoy your reading.