Theatre troupe plays it again

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 11 December, 2001, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 11 December, 2001, 12:00am

It is no secret that a play is not much of a play without an audience. But for members of Playback Theatre, who have no script or plot, the audience is crucial. Made up of students from Li Po Chun United World College under their English tutorial programme, the cast of Playback Theatre literally 'play back' the life experience of members of the audience.

Unlike conventional stage performances, the actors ask the audience to share their feelings and experiences such as recalling good and bad moments during the day. They then act out those feelings immediately without a script.

Meanwhile, the production team adds sound effects and lighting to complement the situation and the actors' performance.

'You are independent from your audience in ordinary theatre. However, in Playback Theatre, you rely very much on your audience,' said 17-year-old performer Sturm Gabrielle.

'We have to get the energy from the audience. If you don't get the atmosphere from the students, it doesn't work,' she added.

Playback Theatre performs for students throughout the year, and Sheng Kung Hui Bishop Mok Sau Tseng Secondary School in Tai Po had the chance to see a show earlier.

Wendy Szeto Pok-man, 13, said: 'I didn't think they would carry out the performance in this way as I thought they would just do drama. It was interesting!'

Trista Li Lok-yin, 13, said: 'It's fun because we created the stories.'

Not only do the members of Playback Theatre perform, they also conduct workshops and English classes for children.

During the summer they undertook a two-week intensive training course, learning the essential skills needed to perform in educational theatre.