The Global Play Brigade (GPB) has emerged in response to the global pandemic that is affecting all of humanity. We are artists/performers/therapists/educators who come out of the growing social movement of performance activism. We believe that integrating and utilizing play, impro, clown, theater and therapeutics into everyday life is a vital methodology for creating hope, possibility, emotional well-being and development. This current human crisis is unleashing a surge of human creativity and connection that has always been there but was hidden or suppressed — and now, out of necessity, it’s seeing the light of day in beautiful expressions across the globe. The Global Play Brigade supports and builds with this creative human surge in order to serve, to create the “viable unheard of” and to build a global community for change. What kind of change? An end to poverty and all forms of discrimination. Equitable access economically, socially, educationally, culturally. People’s democracy. Saving our planet. And, like performance activists the world over, we understand that an integral part of building a community that can make change means we must play, improvise and perform; developing our human ability and need to be creative, to love, laugh, cry, be socially connected, grow and be happy. We’re not closing shop when this crisis is over. We aim to create well beyond the here and now; to improvise, imagine, and fight for a new world.
Want to know how the Global Play Brigade started? Read on...
In March of 2020, when it became clear that Covid-19 was turning into a worldwide pandemic, a gathering of about 40 performers, improvisers, educators, musicians, clowns, therapists and coaches across the world began meeting over Zoom to see if we might be able to be of organized support and help to our fellow human beings as we weathered this crisis together. As performance activists, we also saw that with this crisis came the possibility of creating an initiative/movement that would continue beyond this moment. We had no interest in “going back to normal”, but rather wanted to see if we could contribute to growing an initiative/movement geared to creating a new world in the face of the clear failure and fissures of the old. We were inspired by the words of Arundhati Roy:
— Arundhati Roy, “The Pandemic is a Portal,” Financial Times, April 3, 2020
And so over the course of our three months of creative dialogue, play, and exploration together, we formed the Global Play Brigade (GPB). We are now 160 activists (we call ourselves Brigadiers) from almost 40 countries. Our slogan is Play it Forward. Change our World. Our country members are growing every day, we now hail from: Australia, Austria, Bali, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bermuda, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Denmark, Gambia, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Nepal,Tanzania, The Philippines,The Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Serbia, South Africa, Spain, Syria, Taiwan, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, and the United States.
We are now offering free Play and Conversation sessions/workshops via Zoom and WhatsAPP, in different languages and time zones around the world. These sessions are a place for people across borders to play, improvise, grow, and tell stories together. To share how we’re doing, hear and listen to others about how they are doing as we all navigate through this crisis together.
The Global Play Brigade session leaders are creative, caring, and diverse. We use theater and improvisation working with children and teenagers in Nigeria, Nepal, New Zealand, and Peru. We employ play and performance tools for helping people stigmatized with mental illness in India. Teach improvisational games and theory to university students across America, Canada and Europe. Provide improvisation training for fun and for living life for students and workers in China. Offer social therapy to support emotional growth across international borders, with people from many different walks of life. Work with inner city teenagers from poor communities in the US bringing them play, performance and possibility. Facilitate applied improvisation programs with business professionals from Hong Kong to South Africa to Pakistan. Provide support, hope, and community in the favelas of Brazil and the slums of Mexico.
Come play with us!
Want to volunteer? Co-lead a workshop? Lend us your talent, skills and expertise? Help with administrative work?