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  • Writer's pictureInterplay Project

A Joy-full Art of Recovery

Updated: Nov 23, 2018

August 14th, 2018

Photography by Ruth Schowalter.

InterPlay Leader-in-Training, by Ade Anifowose

Joy is underrated.

Perhaps this is because we do not fully understand its power. Joy is a resistant force against limited thinking, everyday challenges, and it empowers us to redefine what we are looking at and how we are looking at it.

However, in a world where working hard, struggle and adversity are given more credence over play, being joyful and moving through the world with ease is often an afterthought. I get it. Humans are hardwired to focus on problems, who to blame and to pay more attention to struggles. With all of this being said, there are moments when people give themselves permission to be different, to try something new and maybe even allow themselves to be vulnerable. When they do, everyone in the vicinity is uplifted.

The Reveal:

A few months ago, Jennifer, Carolyn Renee, I and other guests had the pleasure of watching the men at Trinity House give themselves permission to reveal what is possible using the tools of InterPlay. This performance was preceded by 8 weeks of rehearsal. 

The most amazing thing about this performance for me was, during the 8 weeks of rehearsal, there were times some of the men who committed to participating in the performance could not attend due to work schedules and other appointments to support them on their recovery journey. With all the angst that comes with creating such a performance, we had to trust the wisdom of play. We had to trust that the performance would be what it needed to be and everyone who attended would experience exactly what they needed. 

The day of the performance, the men were excited. We even had two men who were not part of the rehearsal ask to be a part of the performance. Again, trusting the wisdom of play, Jennifer said, yes. 

The men sang, danced, moved, chanted, told stories and left us feeling lifted up. They had us laughing out loud and literally brought us to tears. The theme of the performance was “The Art of Recovery.” They did just that, they opened the way for us- the observers, to recover our humanity individually and together.


capture the essence of the beautiful and life affirming experience we all had.

"I really enjoyed performing in InterPlay.  It opened me up to explore creative activity, and seeing other people of different parts of life to come together and do a performance.  That was very moving.  I look forward to performing again.  Thank you Jennifer, Carolyn Renee, and Ade for taking the time, for helping me in my recovery and coming out." –Jacob

"I had never heard of InterPlay until Saturday and I really enjoyed all the performances.  Even though I did not perform myself because I’m the shy type, but all in all it was a great experience.  It gave me a peace of mind to know that I can enjoy life and have fun without using drugs." –Frederick

It was like I was doing something I’ve done before.  Maybe in a past life.  -Mark
InterPlay was a very good session.  We do a lot of fun things.  We dance, laugh and play fun games.  We also have group activity such as, “I Can Talk About,” where we talk about things we experience.  We also do breathing exercise we let go with a sigh in which it allows us to express our in sound. We do different exercises, listen to the drum.  We also get to play the drum in group.–Alajuan Wilson 

To Whom It May Concern:

InterPlay has been a blessing to the men here at Trinity House-Big Bethel.  The performance on Saturday, April 14th was magnificent. The performance that was displayed with the men put a new twist on the men’s recovery that showed talent, motivation, and expressions for themselves and others.

What the men displayed will help them to express more openly to their family members and loved ones. I really enjoyed the performance and to see men interact with the guidelines through InterPlay.

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