Thursday, October 29, 2015

IMPROVISING ON THE TOPIC OF AGING: Soulprint Players Rehearse for Upcoming Performances

SOULPRINT PLAYERS REHEARSE.  An improvisational troupe, the Soulprint Players rehearse in order to be familiar with the "forms" of InterPlay and to "play" together and develop what InterPlay calls a "group body." Here Jennifer Denning, the director, tells a three-sentence story on "aging," the chosen topic for the 3-hour rehearsal. (all photos by Ruth Schowalter)
by Ruth Schowalter, Certified InterPlay Leader
THE INTERPLAY WARMUP.  Generally, every InterPlay gathering includes a warmup in order to be present and to access the bodywisdom we all have. InterPlay activities play around with the entirety of being human, uniting the body, mind, heart and spirit.
Soulprint Players are excited! As we celebrate our second year of existence, we are preparing for two upcoming performances in the month of November. Happy Birthday Soulprint Players and thank you Jennifer Denning for creating us!

This Sunday afternoon, Soulprint Players will join other artists at the Pine Lake Art Salon, in Pine Lake, Georgia. Those of us InterPlayers who are in the performance troupe know that the theme will be on "The Day of the Dead," an appropriate subject matter since it will be the day after Halloween and approaching the Mexican celebration of cleaning cemeteries and building altars for their deceased. However, the topics we will use for improvisation will be given to us from the Pine Lake audience.

So what does it mean to prepare or "rehearse" when you are an improvisational InterPlay troupe? It means getting performers together so that they can be familiar both with the InterPlay forms and one another. Let me explain using our 3-hour rehearsal from this past Sunday, October 25th.  

After assembling at the Mask Theatre in the Little Five Points Community Center in Atlanta, Georgia, at 10:00, we pulled the topic of "aging" from an envelop filled with topics that Jennifer created with us for our rehearsals. Then we began to "play" around with ideas related to aging such as limitations, gifts, and retirement.
FULFILLMENT. In pairs, we witnessed one another dance or move in whatever way we chose to do in response to the word "fulfillment." My partner, Marie (right), who I witnessed, experienced an expansion and embodiment of the richness of her life.
LIMITATIONS. Here three Soulprint Players, Lesly, Lynn, and Joyce, improvise a "side-by-side" movement story on the "limitations" of aging.
TWO NEW SOULPRINT PLAYERS. We are so excited to welcome two new members to Soulprint Players (left)--Vivian Slade, one of the three Pacha Mamas, and Wade Levering, percussionist.
THREE SENTENCE STORY ON AGING. Sharon Levering is the last storyteller in an InterPlay form, "Pittsburgh Form" crafted by the Pittsburg InterPlay performance troupe. She is telling a story about reclaiming bright red lipstick after an odyssey of wearing it, not wearing it, and being a makeup artist and putting it on others.
For me, just being an InterPlayer has allowed me to dive deeply into the issues of my life in a creative and community supported way. Then being an InterPlay "performer" has given me still another dimension to explore a variety of ways to tell my stories and what I want to say publicly. 

It was such a rich experience to explore the theme of aging in our Soulprint Players' rehearsal. I found that I was able to "exform" some frustrations I have about having gathered 57 years and then also recognize and claim the "gifts" that come with my aging. And the jewels given to me by the other InterPlayers in their stories about aging! 

What a privilege it is to have the profound experience of feeling "like" everyone else while being "different." We connect through the similarities and respect one another for our differences. The principles and tools of InterPlay are magical! And Jennifer Denning is an incredible director, who is also able to be vulnerably present to share her own stories.
You will want to attend one of our upcoming performances and see what you made contribute.  Join us this Sunday, November 1st at Pine Lake, Georgia, for the Art Salon (free) or the following Sunday, November 8th, 5:00 to 6:00 PM at the Holy Comforter Episcopal Church for our performance with International InterPlay Leader and Storyteller Masankho Kamsisi Banda. Suggested donations are $10 to $50 pay what is affordable and be generous if possible. Donations will be used to support InterPlay sessions at The Friendship Center of Holy Comforter.

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