Saturday, April 16, 2016

EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED AT EARTH WISDOM: Join Jennifer Denning and the Soulprint Players for an evening of InterPlay improvisational forms

JENNIFER DENNING AND THE SOULPRINT PLAYERS. Pictured here on a Saturday rehearsal Soulprint Players look on while Director Jennifer Denning tells the last 3-sentence story  in a performance structure called "The Pittsburgh Form."(photo by Ruth Schowalter)
On April 22, the Soulprint Players will give an improvisational performance on the theme "Earth Wisdom" at Moving in the Spirit. See details HERE. In preparation for this first spring performance, Soulprint Player founder and director Jennifer Denning was interviewed by Ruth Schowalter, certified InterPlay Leader.

As the founder, director, and member of Soulprint Players, InterPlay Atlanta's performance troupe, can you tell us something about who you and your members are and what you do?

I am an actor and teaching artist. In my early 20's I improvised with Dad's Garage Theater. I loved having a platform to try on so many different characters and to make things up in the moment. I was great at committing to characters and being fully engaged, but not as great at having a quick wit or being up to date on current pop culture references. I am in awe of the talent of some of the improvisors at Dad's, but I wondered about what type of improvised performance might make the audience cry or connect or reveal the world in a different sort of way. 

When I discovered InterPlay and then the possibilities of InterPlay performance it clicked for me. InterPlay performance gives me a context to create and share the real stuff of my own life through story, movement and voice. I've found all three of these forms of artistic expression to be full and joyous for me.
Most of our ensemble members are performers of some sort- but not all. We have a man who is an 80-year-old dharma teacher who performs with us.  He creates some of the most honest and unexpected moments. Part of the magic of a Soulprint Player performance is the connection we create with each other and the audience. Training is less important than a willingness to show up with honesty and heart. That said, the InterPlay forms create an engaging format for what we create. That structure is important.

EARTH WISDOM PERFORMANCE. Soulprint Players give an improvisational performance on Friday, April 22, 2016, at Moving in the Spirit. Titled "Earth Wisdom," Jennifer will lead herself and her performers into the "unexpected" with inspirational input from audience members.
"Earth Wisdom" is the theme of your improvisational performance on Friday, April 22. What can the audience expect to happen and how do you engage them?

They can expect the unexpected! That is the joy and aliveness from creating out of who shows up and "what wants to happen." We are all connected to the earth, and I imagine everyone has a story to tell about a moment something in the natural world awed, inspired or changed them. We'll ask the audience to share a bit on that topic and use their offerings as inspiration for the dances and songs we create.  

In any InterPlay offering (performance related or not) we make space for the difficult stories as well. There is certainly plenty to grieve about when we think about losses in our natural world. There can be power and healing in a collective acknowledgement of what has been lost, and perhaps a greater awareness and commitment to action can emerge.

The funds that you collect from ticket donations will support scholarships for the InterPlay Atlanta sponsored June untensive, "Nda Ku Ona (I see you): From Fear to Promise," with national InterPlay leaders Coke Tani and Masankho Banda. Why?

Our connection to each other cannot be separated from our connection to the earth. If I am living my life primarily from a state of self preservation I am less likely to care about the earth or the needs of other people on the planet. Masankho and Coke are amazing leaders who will lead participants in an embodied exploration of the ways we cut our selves off from people who are different than us. 

The practice of releasing fear and stepping into promise in relationship with other people organically leads us into healthier relationship with the earth as well. We want to make this untensive available to those who might not have the funds to attend. Creating a scholarship fund through funds raised from this performance seemed like a perfect opportunity.

What are upcoming SoulPrint Player performances?
We will be performing on the theme of "The Art of Being Human" as a part of Breaking New Ground at the Decatur Arts Festival over Memorial Day Weekend.

Below is a slideshow of a previous Soulprint Players' performance with guest artist, Masankho Banda.


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