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News Archive 2004

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Facilitators Review 2004.  PaperBag PlayBack was the “guest presenter” at the Sydney Facilitators Network’s final meeting for 2004.  The Network meets on a monthly basis to share information, and to interact with the guest presenter around a specific process or topic.  At the Network’s meeting on Monday 6th December PaperBag created a space for attendees to reflect upon the year in terms of their own challenges as facilitators and what the network offers them.  Feedback on the performance was very positive, as evidenced by the following testimonial from the organising committee - "I want to acknowledge your group’s generosity in performing for us and your talent for creating a phrase or image that really resonated with the story tellers and the audience."  Sharon McGann, Sydney Facilitator’s Network



Natalie and the Real Thailand.  After joining PaperBag earlier this year, Natalie Smith has further expanded her performance repertoire by recently travelling to Thailand to work with Makhampom, a community theatre company that uses theatre primarily as a tool for educating young people on issues affecting their community.  Natalie was placed in a small, very poor community where she ran workshops with the community youth group. These theatre workshops act as an educational tool, allowing communities to express themselves and start to identify and overcome issues that they face.  Despite the language barrier, the ‘real Thailand’ with its issues of drugs, poverty and cultural survival revealed itself through the medium of theatre. “The Thailand that I saw was a very different country to the Thailand that most Western tourists see.  What struck me most about this country is that its people, with their amazing spirit, are determined to overcome adversity”.  Natalie reflected that working with Makhampom allowed her to experience the real Thailand, in all its guts and in all its glory.



Going with the Grain.  On Saturday 28th August 2004, the Theosophical Society celebrated the International Year of Rice by hosting an event to raise money for UNICEF.   Under the theme “Rice is Life – The Golden Grain” a diverse menu of activities was offered, including lectures, music, food tasting, and a performance by PaperBag PlayBack.  On the day a number of people shared not only the rice dishes they had brought but also the stories that these dishes evoked for them.  The playback of these stories by PaperBag realised journeys across space and time to Malaysia, Rome, China, Sri Lanka, Europe, the Sinai, and even Sydney.  With appetites whetted for both food and conversation, the event concluded with attendees mingling to sample the dishes and share more stories.



Sublime Performance for ACPM. The Sublime - Paperbag Playback.  We are grateful to this group for an extraordinary performance which touched the emotions of many of the members who observed and participated.  We were privileged to witness and enter into the experiences of many members in their practice of psychological medicine; and in particular to witness the journey of two members in more detail and emotional depth.  It is planned to run another playback theatre in October.

This item is reproduced with the kind permission of the Australian College of Psychological Medicine from the June 2004 issue of their Connection newsletter. 



Nicole’s Journey of Imagination.  Since she was ten years old Nicole Levin has been acting, dancing, and writing her way through the world of the imagination. As a newcomer to Playback Theatre, she loves the spontaneity, playfulness, communal story-telling and jumping into the unknown!  Nicole trained as an actor at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, and went on to complete an Honours degree in Educational Drama and Directing. She has subsequently worked as a drama teacher, theatre director, facilitator and writer, and has written and directed several educational plays, and directed productions such as The Vagina Monologues and SinkSongs. Nicole’s fascination in the transformational potential of the arts, led her to co-found TheStoryPeople, a company that helps individuals and organisations change through the mediums of story-telling and creative learning processes.  She made her playback acting debut at PaperBag's most recent public performance on the 25th July.



Creative Crime Busting!    A free training seminar, 'Identifying and Supporting Senior Victims of Crime', was hosted recently by [Leichhardt] Council for local community aged care field workers. The seminar aimed to enhance the support provided to senior victims of crime and examined the effect of crime upon seniors, current levels of support and levels of uptake, present ways senior victims may be identified for support, practical advice relevant to aged care workers. The seminar included a performance by the 'PaperBag Playback Theatre'. The group acted out scenes and stories of elder abuse, drawn from the audience of aged care field workers. Feedback from the participants at the workshop was very positive - well done to all involved!

This item appeared in Leichhardt Municipal Council's Team Update Newsletter (May 2004)



PaperBag Plays The Valley.  PaperBag is bringing playback theatre to Kangaroo Valley on the evening of Saturday 8th May 2004.  The idea for this event emerged when Paperbag and the Kangaroo Valley East Timor Group crossed paths in October 2003.  This fortunate meeting of the two groups has now realised a special event for the Kangaroo Valley community, and will also assist the East Timor Group in its fund raising activities.


The performance, to be held at the Upper Kangaroo Valley Hall, will start at 7pm and will run for approximately 90 minutes.  The cost of admission (including tea and coffee) is $10 for Adults and $5 for Children, with proceeds from the evening going to the Kangaroo Valley East Timor Group.


For bookings and further information phone the organisers in Kangaroo Valley on (02) 44 651 285 or (02) 44 651 299.  Tickets will also be available at the door.



New Tune for PaperBag.  Our most recent public performance on the 4th April saw the debut of a new musician / actor in PaperBag Tomomi Takahashi.  Since starting her musical education in Japan at the age of 4, Tomomi has been exposed to a wide variety of musical styles, which today are reflected in her activities as a freelance composer, arranger, performer, director, teacher, adjudicator, and translator.  She holds degrees in both musical education and composition, and over the past decade has won several competitions and awards, including the John Antill Composition Scholarship for a work incorporating theatrical and multimedia elements.  It was Tomomi's passion for story telling that initially drew her to playback theatre, where she has found a space in which to explore her own unique expression through the integration of sounds with improvisation and the creative process.



PaperBag Joins IPTN.    PaperBag PlayBack has recently been accepted as a member of the International Playback Theatre Network (IPTN).  Formed in 1990, IPTN is an association of Playback Theatre groups, practitioners, and supporters.  The purpose of this association is to further the development of Playback Theatre worldwide, by enriching, strengthening, and inspiring its global members to maintain the aliveness of the Playback process.

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