Theatrical production to mix improv, artistry

A creative, alternative theater experience awaits area residents on Sunday, May 22.

Playback Theatre performers Davis Rodriguez Melendez (front row from left), Andrea Jacobs, Sarah Hormell (top row from left), Bianca Adger, and director Jessie Cocks are shown.

Playback Theatre performers Davis Rodriguez Melendez (front row from left), Andrea Jacobs, Sarah Hormell (top row from left), Bianca Adger, and director Jessie Cocks are shown.

Playback Theatre will perform in Kennett Square from 3 to 4:30 p.m. at Kennett Friends Meeting, 125 W Sickle Street. Tickets are $12 (children are free) at the door, but organizers stressed that people will not be turned away and can pay what they can, a press release said.

The production involves weaving together spoken word, dance, music, storytelling and theatre in an improvisational form that can be serious, deeply moving and often hilarious, said Jessie Cocks, Playback Theatre’s director and a Kennett Square resident.

Cocks explained that the content comes from the audience, in the moment, through people's real life experiences, stories, and dreams. Someone tells a story or moment from his or her life, chooses actors to play the different roles, then watches as the story is immediately given artistic shape and coherence.

"There are many kinds of alternative theatre. Playback Theatre is found at the intersection of art, social change and healing while providing opportunities for laughter, reflection, and connection, based on audience stories,” said Cocks in the release. “Join us. It’s fun!”

Cocks recently invited students at The Garage in West Grove to be guests. The same offer goes out to the Kennett Square Garage students, she said.

Inspired by the experimental theatre movement, psychodrama, and oral tradition of indigenous cultures, Playback Theatre was created in New Paltz, N.Y., in 1975 by Jonathan Fox and Jo Salas. The method is now practiced across the world in 60 countries, and is used in a variety of settings including conferences, schools, colleges, prisons, hospitals, service agencies, and public theaters, the release said.

 

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