Keep the Circle by Audun Mollan Kristoffersen

Using the lens of John Dewey’s philosophy, Audun Mollan Kristoffersen’s article shines a light on something that Playback Theatre practitioners are familiar with in  practice and training: the circle, a physical embodiment of Playback Theatre’s commitment to inclusiveness and equality.

Keep the circle

By Audun Mollan Kristoffersen

“Keep the circle.”

“Is this a circle?”

“This looks like the shape of an egg.”

These quotes are from my teachers Jonathan Fox, Veronica Needa and Aviva Apel-Rosenthal at a Playback Theatre Leadership workshop in Hungary in 2013. The ritual of starting and ending in a circle is well known for us who do Playback Theatre. It is easy to think, “Why stress so much to get the circle round, isn’t this egg shape good enough?” or “Could we just start with the exercise instead of working on getting this circle right!” I have probably had those thoughts myself at some point. In this article I will look at why getting the circle right is important in Playback Theatre, and what this could tell about its essential character. The question I am investigating here is this: Can the circle as symbol say something essential about Playback Theatre, through the optics of John Dewey’s theoretical experience perspective and through the term inclusion?  Continue reading “Keep the Circle by Audun Mollan Kristoffersen”