Friday, April 18, 2014

Asking youself what you need and doing that: Untensive InterPlay Asheville

ASHEVILLE INTERPLAY, APRIL 2014. (photo by an InterPlayer's husband)
Hallelujah for InterPlay! Hallelujah for a powerful way to learn, grow, and get where you are going! InterPlay is a way to access the wisdom of your body and to fully integrate it with your mind, heart, and spirit--to wrap all those elements of BEING HUMAN into one!

In the middle of April 2014, I journeyed from Atlanta to Asheville, North Carolina, with Lynn Hesse, another Atlanta InterPlayer, to experience the unique flavor of another InterPlay group! Since I only began partaking in InterPlay last year at this time, this trip was my first opportunity to sample the InterPlay improvisational system developed by Cynthia Winton-Henry and Phil Porter in another region. I was delighted! 

This three-day "untensive," introduced the first night as an opportunity to experience the "theology of self-indulgence" (asking yourself what you need and doing that), promised to be a lot of fun! And it was! A number of regional InterPlay leaders facilitated the play during the weekend, resulting in deep rich connection with others through telling stories, making dances, and singing. 

On Saturday afternoon, one of the facilitators took us outside to play! How freeing it was to be childlike, moving in a group and following the leader! And, yes, it was fun to watch the traffic go by and see drivers observing our silliness!

PLAYING FOLLOW THE LEADER! It was such fun playing follow the leader as we traveled to our outdoor play spot, where we told stories! (photos by Ruth Schowalter)

Oh! We had a tremendously good time--both outside and inside! One of the many things I appreciated during this weekend was how well-developed each play session was crafted by the different leaders.  An important concept in InterPlay is INCREMENTALITY. And I was able to observe as I participated in one-to-two-hour sessions, how tiny incremental steps (significant in themselves) build to something larger than the parts. All the while, we moved at "the speed of the body"--another important InterPlay concept.

Highlights of this InterPlay weekend? 

Being with seasoned InterPlayers (many were leaders and others had 10 to 15 years of InterPlay experience).  

Experiencing a variety of InterPlay forms, which were crafted into deep rewarding play.

Having lunch and snacks provided for us out-of-towners was a pure luxury, greatly appreciated.

Expanding my personal InterPlay experience, allowing me to further cultivate my BODY WISDOM.

Getting to know fellow Atlanta InterPlayer, Lynn Hesse, better.
FINAL HOUR OF INTERPLAY ASHEVILLE. Gathered to witness and play. (photos by Ruth Schowalter
The final hour of the three-day untensive gave InterPlayers the opportunity to choose the forms they wanted to make with one another and to witness that play. The time evaporated quickly in meaningful, connective splendor before we travelers had to say good-bye and head back to Atlanta.
A SMALL GATHERING BEFORE LEAVING. Thank you to the organizers and leaders of this Asheville InterPlay untensive weekend! It was wonderful, meaningful and sneaky deep!
That's Coffee with Hallelujah. SOUL BLOG with me and tell me about your experiences playing as an adult!. What is playful for you? What do you think the results might be for engaging with your playful self in community with others?


  1. Sounds like a rich full experience Ruth. Love the phrase 'connective splendor', you embody that my friend.

  2. Callahan thank you for holding that phrase for me--connective splendor--yes it was indeed! And thank you for being one of my deep and soulful witnesses in life!

  3. What a wonderful experience for you Ruth

  4. Darlene! It was deeply enriching! I hope one day to do some InterPlay with you! I know you would like this theology of self-indulgence!

  5. Thanks for sharing your experience of the Untensive in Ashville. I love that the role of leader was shared by a number of people. I wonder how that was set up. From your account, whatever organizing they did was behind the scenes and resulted in a seamless experience for the participants. Congratulations to everyone who made it happen.

    1. Sheila you are so right! As a participant, I experienced a seamless well planned exchange between leaders. And it was clear that they had coordinated. I believe some of the leaders are leaders-in-training and they did a great job too!