The biennial festival goes digital to bring the joy of play into our lockdown lives
It's difficult to find time for play amidst the frantic pace of everyday adult life; and now, in the midst of a global pandemic, with most of us stuck at home on lockdown, it can feel nigh on impossible. Luckily, the International Playfulness Festival has now announced an entirely online programme, set to launch from Thu 4–Sat 6 June, to help us make space for happiness and play in our strange new daily routines.
Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, the biennial event – formerly known as the Edinburgh Contemporary Clown Festival – was to take place at Edinburgh's Summerhall. Though the pandemic quickly put paid to those plans, the festival's Artistic Director Saras Feijoo expressed hope that the festival's new life online will not only widen its scope beyond the traditional pool of Scottish theatre-goers, but potentially reach people anywhere in the world who are looking for new ways to bring the energy of play into their daily lives. Shifting its focus from staging performances, the International Playfulness Festival's new digital programme will now host storytelling sessions and workshops exploring various aspects of play – led by practitioners and performers from the likes of Edinburgh theatre companies Curious Seed and Plutôt la Vie – as well as a live streamed performance of Plutôt la Vie's show By the Seat of Your Pants.
Saras Feijoo, the Artistic Director of the International Playfulness Festival, says, 'In our last edition of the festival and the original 2020 programme for this year at Summerhall, the focus was on performances and workshops for artists. Now, my vision for the PlayfulFest has shifted to provide audiences with tools to bring more playfulness into their lives. Every event in our programme will provide practical ways to help choose a more playful and cheerful approach to our day-to-day routine.
'I believe in the power of being playful as a 'tool' to heal our hearts because it engages our imagination – and especially at the moment when many people are finding more time to explore creativity.'
International Playfulness Festival takes place online from Thu 4—Sat 6 June, with more information available on their website.