Coming Soon: The Summer of Play Play!

There’s this term I use for plays that I think epitomize the passive theater experience: Play Plays.

In the past, when I’ve used the “play play” term I‘m generally making fun of a kind of play that exists in a very narrowly defined idea of theater one that, in my opinion, doesn’t makes the full use of the superpowers of a live medium. I’ve been thinking a lot about the word “play” in the last couple years and in particular about the ways our “plays” contain very little “play” for the people we invite in to experience them. I’ve been looking to games as inspiration for how theater might learn to do things a little differently. Lately, I’ve realized I need to do more than just read about these ideas, I want to put them into action.

So! This summer Swim Pony is going to re-define it’s own snarky definition.

We’re launching “Play Play”: an exploration of theater and games in collaboration to find whatever engaged and play-full experiences might be possible. We’re inviting anyone interested in the intersection of games and theater as an avenue for play (play) to join in on an open-source six week research and exploration project. What exactly does that entail?

Throughout June, July and August the Play Play team will meet up six times for 2.5 hours, the first half for research and discussion and the second for on the ground trial and error in the real world. This is pure research, no final products in mind here. We’re just interested in learning more about what’s out there, and conducting some simple experiments in real time. Swim Pony will offer up a meeting space, some snacks and a little cash if an idea simply needs some resources to come to completion. Meetings will be lead collectively and topics of interest decided together.

So if you’re already looking into game and theater hybridization or if you’re just intrigued by the idea look at the dates below and email with your name, preferred email and a few sentences about why you’re interested.

Participation is free and selection will be first come, first serve-ish. (What does that mean? Mostly, if you email first you’re in! That said, we want to create a balanced group, ideally with a variety of perspectives and experiences so we’re just being upfront that we reserve the right, if we have to cap, to pull from responses with an eye for group diversity.)

Can’t take part! Have no fear. We’ll chronicle the work and share a post on each week’s discoveries on the blog.


DATES: Mondays June 22nd & 29th, July 13th & 20th, August 3rd & 10th. All from 10am – 12:30pm. YOU MUST AGREE TO COME TO AT LEAST 5. Everyone gets one off but the idea of this is to get a running convo, which isn’t possible if it’s too hodge-podge attendance-wise. If you need to miss one please indicate the date in your email.

LOCATION: TBD depending on size. We’ll let you know.



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