Improv

INTERVIEW – Global Play Brigade Launches Today

With the difficult times we are facing at the moment, it is the perfect time to try something new whilst you are forced to stay indoors and over the next couple of weeks we are interviewing acts that are putting on everything from projects to lessons. This afternoon, we are talking to Victoria Hogg about Global Play Brigade that launches today. Global Play Brigade is an international collective of performance activists who use the power of play for social change.


Hello there tell us a little bit about yourself!

Hi! It’s great to speak to Phoenix Remix again, thanks for having me. I’m Vic Hogg and I’m from London, now based near Brighton, UK. Lockdown means I’ve had to reinvent my work in all kinds of directions.

I’m a business improv coach at The Offer Bank (theofferbank.org) and weekly jam host at DDG Improv (ddgimprov.com) – both of which have continued in lockdown, using Zoom to connect with clients and jammers.

For someone who hadn’t even heard of Zoom in February, it’s been a up-skill whirlwind.

Tell us all about the project that you are bringing to the online world at the moment?

The project that’s taking up a lot of my time right now is the Global Play Brigade: an international collective of performance activists who use the power of play for social change.

We’ve come into being to help support individuals and communities around the world. We’re play professionals, improvisers, theatre-makers, clowns, coaches and therapists who run either pure Play Sessions or more therapeutically explorative and expressive Voices Session.

Our message is this: The Global Play Brigade(GPB) is a community of play and performance activists, artists, educators and therapists who have come together in response to the global pandemic and the distressing and inequitable state of the world. We aim to bring people together across borders – to play, create, connect, grow and affect social change.Check us out at www.globalplaybrigade.org. We launched today!

What times does it run throughout the day?

The GPB is 24/7/365, due to the Brigade’s global nature. We have Brigadiers in 35 countries around the world and counting – all of whom might be running a session in a time zone convenient to you any day of the week.

How much does it cost , what platform etc?

It’s all online using Zoom and WhatsApp and all sessions are free. You can donate to the cause via the website – we would hugely appreciate that since we are all volunteers and resources such as the website and the Zoom accounts have to be paid for. But most importantly, we want participants to join us without having to worry about cost.

How was the project formed?

It began by New York’s Cathy Salit being moved by the suffering around the global pandemic to gather her international networks and proposing this umbrella collective of practitioners. It continues with the spirit and intention of implementing and supporting positive social change.


How has it been going so far?

We d have been meeting for the duration of lockdown to skill-share, discuss plans and create our own community of performance activists. It’s been a really interesting mix of challenging and nourishing.


With everything happening in the world at the moment, why is it so important to have activities like yours available?

This movement was created in response to the coronavirus pandemic, to bring joy and strength and solace to people who need it. The recent disintegration of America and the continuing importance of the #BlackLivesMatter movement has only served to make life even more pressured and stressful for those affected. We aim to keep people and communities full of connection and hope.


What can people expect over the next few weeks from your project?

We’ll be putting online sessions around the world up on the website as we plan them. It’s thrilling to be reminded of all the various countries that might be on or an hour or two different in time zones. It’s a great way to make us feel closer.


If people want to find out more about you on social media where shall they visit?

Please go to our website: www.globalplaybrigade.org, on Facebook join the group Global Play Brigade and on Instagram we’re @globalplaybrigade. We’re building our social media presence as we speak so watch this space.


Finally why should people get involved?

If you need a play session or a deeper emotional connections session, then we can offer those to you. If you’re an improviser, please consider becoming a volunteer generally or training to become a Brigadier and running your own sessions. And we always appreciate anyone who amplifies our work. Added to the coronavirus crisis we have ongoing socio-political issues. There’s a real need to get online and reconnect.

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