Interplay 2014. pub

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Interplay XIX-2014
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The 2014 international gathering in Salamanca was a space to meet, experience and reflect together on the different 
types of participation in theatre, improvisation and transformation which are being developed in Spain and several coun-
tries (Germany, Portugal, Brazil, England , Argentina, etc). It was also a time to get to know about how the different com-
panies work, and to meet and theatre companies coordinators.
Although it was only an "appetizer" beginning .... a group of about 40 people, with such enthusiasm and energy that it 
seemed like many more, lived-in for the intensive long weekend of rich theatrical play, which left us deeply connected. A 
key outcome was the birth of a new project – the start of a new playback company, and the commitment to the next inter-
national encounter in Spain. As well as plans for a book on this subject. 
The bringing together of Latin America and European colleagues in and international forum was significant for all con-
cerned. There were diverse conversations about theatre: we witnessed a discussion between collaborators Angelo 
Medeiros and Moysés Aguiar from Brazil; social theater demonstrations by Fernando Crespo and collaborators, from 
Bilbao; Spanish Theatre of Spontaneity practitioners Andrea Montuori and Cristina Domínguez Vázquez (Spain), and J. 
Antonio Garcia Casal (Uruguay), Forum Theatre, listening and popular education with Emma and colleagues from 3So-
cial, Madrid; Sociodrama with Esperanza Fernández Carballada of Madrid; explored the effects of music applied to spon-
taneous theater and playback with Ana Fernandez and Pablo Vicente (Salamanca); and improvisation as a theatrical 
resource with Pablo Málaga (Salamanca); Integrated dramatherapy by Lucilia Gabriela Valente Cruz (Portugal); and 
playback theatre featuring José Marques and Antonio Vicente of Portugal), Jutta Heppekausen of Germany, and Brian 
Tasker of England.
A round table was conducted on the final day in which speakers shared personal stories; their personal and theatrical 
journeys, including very interesting features, such as differences or similarities between spontaneous theater and play-
back were discussed. This extended into a discussion about whether or not playback is therapeutic (concluding that while 
the goal of playback theatre is not therapeutic, that is, not part of the initial therapeutic contract, it has therapeutic effects, 
such as how personal worlds can become externalised through storytelling; and in this can then promote connections 
within the group. The point was also made that Playback Theatre has an implicit ethical dimension to it); there was dis-
cussion also about the listener and the particular role of the playback conductor, who is present as co-creator of the story 
that will be represented. There is a sense of family in playback companies due to the demand to be authentic and the 
challenge to ego which means that groups who practice intensely are tuned in on a very human level; resulting in a pas-
sionate melody that is close to a spiritual and / or "transpersonal" experience. Personally, I was impressed by the mission 
of one speaker, a Playback Master, who shared her vision to expand playback theatre around the world. The depth of her 
commitment was inspirational and touched me profoundly. 
We also shared performances. The first evening culminated in a presentation of Theatre of Spontaneity led by led Jesús 
Antonio García Casal in the Patio Chico, at the back of the Salamanca Cathedral. While, at the end of the second day we 
experienced a Forum Theatre performance in the cloisters of the Archbishop Fonseca College. This work, on the social 
roles of women today, was led by company 3Social’s Emma Lucia Luque Perez. Amidst of the rich program we also 
found a little free time to celebrate the birthday of our new friend Brian Tasker, and share with him the music of skilled 
improvised guitarist Dario Gomez and Cajon flamenco expert Pablo Vicente. Our final performance, to close our gather-
ing, was Playback Theatre with Entrespejos Salamanca (which much appreciate for your participation). This performance 
revealed the themes, “debates” and narrative of our group over the three days.
There was acknowledgement of the tribal aspect of 
group life and the need for key roles (support func-
tions, collaboration, containment and mutual aid). The 
need for continual apology among participants also 
featured (the need to repair the group or to appease a 
situation that caused pain or discomfort). The enjoy-
ment of sharing of knowledge and personal wisdom 
through relationships with others, and enjoyment of 
being aware of it (without reducing the experience to 
a narcissism); the joy of learning with others through 
spontaneous play, mixed with the experience of work-
ing under time pressure, leaving us with an ambiva-
lent flavour at times, with various shades to our expe-
rience. Themes also included: feeling at home, wit-
nessing transmission of skills and experiencing the 
learning that emerges from a fertile encounter, the 
commitment to continue creating and co-creating to-
gether, to live intensity and transformation through 
theater, to dream together, etc. 
A big thank you to all: directors, collaborators, organi-
sational helpers, performers, and all the participants 
for being here—you have all made this dream a reali-
(article written with invitation from Jutta Heppekausen) 
Ana María Fernández-Espinosa www.aki psychodrama. AEP Coordinator for the meeting 
Note: (1) Interna onal Gathering of Theatres of Transforma on 


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