About the performance
Playback theatre is used in various contexts from purely performative formats to conflict resolution, and peace-building, and from engagement through dialogue and discourse to understand and work through the issues of representation. The roots of playback theatre are in theatre, rituals, community storytelling, psychodrama, and education. It was first developed by Jonathan Fox and Jo Salas with a group of performers in Hudson Valley, in 1975. It is practiced in scores of countries around the world.
We believe that a playback performance for the Nepal International Theater Festival would be a great way for the audience to co-create an experience of being a part of this space that houses diversity across borders. Given that our team is a mix of different cultures and nationalities we believe this will be a unique experience for the audience to share stories with us and have them played back.
The theme of our play ‘Together and Alone’ is an ode to the resilience that each of us showed during the time of the ongoing pandemic. Through our performance, we aim to be witnesses of stories that capture the essence of solitude, resilience, unity, pain, love, loss, and a range of varied emotions that folks have been experiencing during these unpredictable times. As playback performance invites stories from all walks of life we believe our performance would be a transformative experience for the audience in order to visualize how they’ve been feeling to organically witnessing them in artistic representations. While the aim of a playback theater performance is not to advocate itself as a therapeutic tool, we believe that bringing this platform to this year’s Festival would be a much-needed cathartic experience for all audiences.
Synopsis of show
Playback theatre is an improvisational form of community theatre where we invite the community/ audience to share real-life, first-person feelings and stories to be played-back theatrically, along with music, movement, and metaphor. Though usually done live in an intimate physical space, it is, since early 2020, practiced and performed online due to the pandemic.
In this performance, we will invite you to share your stories with us and we will perform these stories back to you by co-creating a space of listening, sharing, and performing. A performance usually begins with short feelings/emotion-based questions asked by the conductor, who is the link between the audience and the performers and progresses to longer questions that asks audience members about their real-life stories that they are inspired to share in that moment and time. A performance goes on for about 90 minutes. These performances will center on empathetic listening to the stories, creating connections between the attendees, and creative exploration of the stories in a manner that is resonant of social themes as well as the particularity of specific emotions nesting in those stories.
Director's note/Playbacker's note
Together and Alone in these trying times, we witnessed people isolating themselves
Together and Alone in these times, we found democracies breakdown step by step
Of wars that were waged despite a global outbreak
Of climate catastrophes that unfolded in front of your eyes
Of stories that happened inside closed doors that never came out
And amidst all of this
Together and Alone we witnessed communities coming together in solidarity
In these testing times encountering isolation and at the same time also finding unity and togetherness have been plenty. Together and Alone is a playback theatre experience that aims to take the audience on a journey of stories that allows moments of self-reflection and sharing. With everything happening around us globally, we believe an afternoon of a playback theater performance offers a space for deep listening and reflecting. Let’s Watch!
About the Group
We are currently an unregistered group named Enroute KTM/BLR and have mostly come together as an organic group for the purpose of performing for NITFEST 2022.
List of casts
Five story tellers enter the stage to narrate three stories having a salve, King and prince & a promising boy named Premathilaka as major characters. After all the characters expose their fate, the audience has to choose who was the best hero out of these three.