Some of my thoughts about ‘play’ …


In my work with people I try to connect different elements of dance, rhythm and acting (based on play). My focus has always been on the relation between playing and personal experiences. Play seen as an holistic experience and as a possibility to come into deeper contact with me and with others means becoming aware of my ‘shadow’ as well as my potential for creativity. Letting go the concepts of ‘good’ and ‘evil’ allows me to accept all of my experiences and discoveries as inherent of my inner wealth. Whilst playing I become aware of my boundaries and learn to extend them, unmasking old patterns of education, socialization and discovering new possibilities of expression: I realise that I live.

Playfully I discover my deadlocked communication patterns, learning and un-learning difficulties of opening and relating to others. Without the seriousness of everyday life (‘Oh God, what will follow now..?’) I experiment with myself by slipping into different roles – encountering other people not only through words, but also with my body, senses and emotions, with my sadness, anger and desperation as well as with my love, joy and happiness. Whilst playing I discover the support and security of the group. The synthesis of the powers and potentials lead to a new and stronger whole. Through the artistic process I create culture and change my self-perception. Together with others I experience new ways of interaction and being together.

I am deeply convinced about the sociotherapeutic power of theatre:

” […] I see in theatre training_2work […] a sociological, individual and spiritual healing power, which not originates from a psycho-therapeutic approach but is instead based on a specifically artistic motivation. I focus on the socio-therapeutic effect of artistically motivated theatre work, because it regards man not only as a physical being, but also as an active and spiritual being. When the notion of healing is equated not only with repairing defects, but also seen as a prophylactic and Training Theaterlabor Bochumhealth stabilizing component, too, then the creation of spaces for collective, practical, creative and spiritual work becomes absolutely necessary. Precisely here lies the power of theatre. It is a collective art allowing us to experience that man is a zoon politikon, a social animal in need of specific forms of coming together.” (Gandalf Lipinski, actors’ trainer, Hannover in: “Grenzüberschreitungen”, Akademie Remscheid 1999. Translation: Karen Lüdtke)

For further reflections on play, theatre, art and education see my homepage (in German):