As we prepare to brace ourselves and be open to whatever 2021 has to offer, we – Radhika Jain and Steve Nash – are delighted to kick off the new year as the new editors for the IPTN journal! We are two individuals with vastly different backgrounds, identities and cultural experiences but we are bound by a common love for Playback Theatre. We hope that our diversity becomes our strength. And that’s the vision we have, as co-editors, for the journal too; to tap into the diverse voices of Playback Theatre from around the globe – be they individuals and teams, academics and practitioners, new beginners and old hands. Our aim is to share experience and evidence gained from Playback Theatre practice; the different cultural nuances, the challenges, the new experiments, the lessons learned, and the wisdom gained. And of course we cannot do any of this without your help. We will be saying more about our plans for the Journal soon, including an invitation for articles and other items; in the meantime, if you have any ideas or suggestions about what you’d like to see we’d be delighted to hear from you.
I witnessed a Playback Theatre performance almost a decade back and since then, I have been hooked to the magical world of this powerful yet sensitive format of theatre. Like a child, I have taken small steps to explore this space; pausing to question at times, spellbound in wonder at other times. What has stayed all along has been this deep desire to learn. This led to the birth of my own company, First Drop Theatre, in 2015 in Bangalore, India. The relationship that I share with Playback Theatre has only become stronger along the way. The quest to dive deeper led me to complete my Playback Theatre Leadership training in 2019 in Buckden, U.K and, subsequently, to gain my accreditation as a trainer. I am looking forward to many more years of learning,connecting and evolving through Playback Theatre. Nothing gives me as much pleasure as contributing back to the larger Playback Theatre community and I am hoping that this opportunity as co-editor for the IPTN journal would be a wonderful way to continue doing the same.
Playback Theatre found me in 1991 and straightaway I was hooked by the way it affirms, explores and celebrates ordinary (and extraordinary) human experience. Since then I have been playing with and learning about this fascinating and important form as a member of PT companies in York and Newcastle (in the UK). For many years I focused on the roles of musician and actor, and more recently I’ve focused more on learning about conducting, training and leadership. I have been very fortunate to meet, create and study with talented Playback colleagues from many different countries, and one of the big positives from 2020 has been that I have been able to connect and work online with friends I would normally only see at conferences or similar gatherings. Sharing responsibility for the IPTN Journal feels like a small way of giving something back to our much valued international community.