Interplay 2014. pub



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Interplay XIX-2014
Main risks
Of course, I had my concerns before the launch of such a project. I had to find a way to avoid things that would be in conflict with 
my values. I was worried about the safety of young actors. Can they possibly play each other’s stories without having or causing 
traumas of any kind? I decided to move slowly and to be very consistent. It was necessary to monitor the development of each kid 
in order to decide if he or she was ready to perform certain activities. Children in different groups, studios and at school often have 
an inclination towards depreciation of their own abilities and of each other. So I wanted to prevent our activities from turning into 
comedy. 
In theater schools the learning process is often based on different mottos, such as: "You have to! You are to!" I think that such a 
process kills children's spontaneity and doesn’t leave them any space for creative activities. Excessive inclination towards psycho-
logical group - it’s another extreme, and I also tried to avoid it. There was one more risk factor: our group was mixed-age. There 
were participants from 9 (nine) to 13 (thirteen years old) - I think, it's quite a difference. Since each age has its own interests and 
values, it was a challenge for me – what if they'll start to get into stable informal groups based on age only? It was my deliberate 
choice, and this situation only stirred my interest. Each task which I gave to the participants fell into one of the following categories: 
Group tasks, Specific actor’s tasks, Rituals and narrative. 
What helped me with group tasks? Maybe my personal drive to stand on an equal footing with children. I'm deeply interested in 
each child, and first of all, in his or her personality. That's why our group is characterized by informal relationships between children 
and me. I think it helps them to feel their personal contribution to the development of our studio. 
When using actor's exercises in playback, I always adapt them to our original goals and age of children. Our exercises are a com-
bination of contact improvisation, voice training, art of pantomime, street theatre, musical improvisation and so on. During eight 
months we have elaborated and successfully implemented more than 50 original exercises.
We pay great attention to playback rituals. Rituals are especially important for children. Their imagination is very vivid. For exam-
ple, children tend to wander too far from the teller's story. So, the rituals help them to stay focused on the main points of the story. 
Narrative practice is also very important. We learn to treat our stories carefully and emphasize the key point. In my opinion, all of 
these goals should be set and achieved in combination. All of them are equally important. 

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