Playing the Game
"This performance is not something you simply go and see, it's something you experience—moving, hilarious, and deeply profound. All those layers of cultural sludge that clog our sense of self are washed away as Denise shows us a deeper, more human way of seeing. Clear your schedules because you'll be talking about this performance all through the evening and the next morning too."
"We're living through a time when old stories are deconstructing and we need new ones. This is a new story." -Audience Member
In Playing the Game, Denise Casey explores the many games she's played in order to belong- from taking cover in a monastery to skip out of rehab, to going halfway across the world to hear the Himalayas, or time traveling through a seventh grade science class. In this 60-minute, one-woman play, Denise follows the games she's played through the seen and unseen world into a larger collective moment, the summer of 2020. Part memoir, part meditation, part make believe, Playing the Game is unshaking in its exploration of possibility and courage.
Denise Casey is a master storyteller and gifted performer. Playing the Game gives truth to the claim that the more we mine our own experiences of suffering, of insight, and of grace, the more universal our story becomes. Casey stages a performative autobiography that never forgets that - more often than not - we are a mystery even to ourselves.
Katie Gough, dramaturge and Associate Professor of English & Theatre at UVM
I left the show feeling calm and inspired and DELIGHTED - to have experienced storytelling, meditation, music, dance and my own personal art drawing in one show... Still thinking about the river and my ancestors.
Everything touches Everything.
themes explored in Playing the Game
It’s a story about ancestry, about where we come from and how where we come from moves through us with the exact and unexpected medicine we need to heal past, present and future.
It’s a story about mental health, about what we believe it to be and then stepping into imagination, to explore the possibilities of what it might actually be.
It's a story about grief, about what it has cost me to play a game with only two choices: right and wrong. A game we are, collectively, so deeply steeped in right now.
And lastly, it's a remembering of how we love out loud.
Playing the Game Workshop:
Imagination as Possibility in Practice
Our voices are one way we communicate our inner experiences with the outer world. It is also how, overtime, we've learned to sensor, edit and shrink our voices in order to belong to a family story or a cultural story that doesn't value the fullness of our humanity.
In this workshop we'll explore permission as a practice. By centering voice and vocalization as the main tools of self-reflection in this workshop, we'll slow down the practice of expression and learn how to relate to, listen and trust the many different parts of ourselves, from the inside out, that are longing for a new story. Through voicework, breathwork, movement, active imagination, songwriting and drawing participants will learn more about the many internal patterns and beliefs that influence our capacity and agency to express our voices with love and courage. No experience singing is necessary.
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