Tuesday, October 21, 2014

SOULPRINT PLAYERS: An InterPlay Performance Group is Forming in Atlanta

written by Ruth Schowalter,  InterPlay Leader-in-Training

SOULPRINT PLAYERS. Here is a logo in progress for the Soulprint Players for Atlanta's InterPlay performance. As we rehearse and get acquainted with one another for our first public performance as the Soulprint Players on Sunday, November 16, 2014, we are collaborating on our logo. (ideas by Marie Carrera and Jennifer Denning, art by Ruth Schowalter)
What an opportunity to go deeper into play by participating in an InterPlay performance group! InterPlay is many things to many people and can be used in so many different venues. 

Here in Atlanta, we are so fortunate thanks to Jennifer Denning, to be forming an InterPlay troupe to help us connect and build communities within our large city as well as help create positive social change. We are the Soulprint Players! Ta da!
SECOND REHEARSAL FOR SOULPRINT PLAYERS. On Friday, October 17th, 2014, we had our second rehearsal since forming as the Soulprint Players. Here in this photo are only  a handful of us. It is so exciting to know that we have grown in numbers since our first performance workshop with Sheila K. Collins in January 2014 (to read about this first workshop, see "Ecstatic Following: Learning what it means to be part of an InterPlay performance group!"). (photo by Jennifer Denning, director InterPlay Atlanta)
With five performance workshops under our belts from seasoned InterPlayers, Sheila K. Collins and Phil Porter, we are gaining momentum through incremental steps. 

Last Friday, on October 17th, we had fun playing with a familiar InterPlay form, "Walk, Run, Stop." We expanded the form by adding solo dances with frills! Yes, "solo dances" and "frills"!

In InterPlay, we like to be curious and see what emerges for us when we move. And, yes, when we experiment with that movement how we feel differently. For example, to see what happens if at first we move simply in a group, just walking, running, and stopping and then begin to create more dance-like movements, waving our arms, tapping our feet, spinning, whirling--frills.

Add another important ingredient to this form--the distinction between "ensemble" or group movement and "solo" or individual movement. As we played with this improvisational form in our performance rehearsal, we were invited to have "break-out" solo dances. And the rest of our performance troupe would copy that solo dance. This creation of solo dances with frills was an incremental step. Because...
PLAYING WITH FRILLS. (photo by Ruth Schowalter)
...then we used each "solo dance" as a "dance phrase," which we could use as a part of the vocabulary for building a community or group ensemble dance. 

Was it fun playing around with this form? Yes!

Was it energizing? Yes!

Was it expansive? Yes!

Afterwards, we all felt amazed at how much fun we had had. How surprisingly beautiful this improvisational dance appears to the witnesses!
FINDING THE THING.  As we experiment with each others dance frills, we search for the "thing," the movement that has magic and creates the spell for everyone. (photo by Ruth Schowalter)
We will have two more rehearsals before we have our first performance as the Soulprint Players. We have decided to celebrate "Gratitude" for this first performance occurring during the season of thanksgiving. Please come see us at the Mask Center in the Little Five Points Community Center on Sunday, November 16th, 2014. 

Then in December, we are already looking forward to the next performance workshop, "The Power of Story," which will take place on Friday, December 5th and facilitated by seasoned InterPlayers from North Carolina , Ginny Going and Tom Henderson (see their website). We are so excited to be here! The Soulprint Players!

TOM HENDERSON AND GINNY GOING. InterPlay Leaders in Raleigh, North Carolina, are coming to Atlanta in December and conducting an InterPlay performance workshop on story telling.


  1. Love reading your perspective on this rehearsal. I'd never articulated our individual repeatable movements as solos- but they are! mini solos I guess! And there is a moment of putting yourself in the spotlight when you offer one to the group. Hooray for committed leading and ecstatic following!

  2. Thanks for creating our InterPlay performance group here in Atlanta Jennifer! And being able to lead, follow, and blend with us all!