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SummerPlay 2020 Report


Playing in Sale, Canberra and Adelaide with Phil and Trish


In January 2020 three day SummerPlay events were held in Sale, Canberra and Adelaide; all led by Trish Watts and Phil Porter.  All three events proceeded relatively smoothly, in spite of the national fire emergency at the time, which clearly affected all three locations; and there were marginally more overall participants than last year, with 39 in Canberra, 38 in Sale, and 50 in Adelaide. 


The impact of the fire situation around each of the venues, both before and during the various events, could not be underestimated, so it was important that this impact be appropriately acknowledged.  To this end a significant portion of time was given over at each venue for a ritual associated with the fires, designed and led by Trish.  These were particularly significant and reinforced just what a brilliant vehicle InterPlay is for experiencing in community the disparate stories, feelings and experiences which tragedies such as these bring up.

Once again, the participants’ feedback about the leadership of Trish and Phil was overwhelmingly positive.  Words such as ‘encouraging’, ‘generous’, ‘inspirational’, ‘brilliant’, and ‘outstanding’ were used, and a number of participants commented on how well they worked together.  As one said, ‘they model the practice and inspire new possibilities within me’. Phil and Trish were very happy with the outcomes.  Phil commented: “It was an interesting experience to be there in the middle of the fires and to witness firsthand how folks were responding and coping.  I learned a lot about how body wisdom might be used to deal with the complexity of responses.  That we are able to improvise seems like such a valuable tool in times such as these on so many levels.”

This year as a result of the 30-year celebrations of the founding of InterPlay, Alee Lee was invited to be an artist in residence for Canberra SummerPlay.  Her impressions and representations were greatly appreciated, and it is recommended this continue and possibly be extended, to include writers and musicians in residence. 

The venues and catering worked well for the most part. Mounting an event such as SummerPlay requires significant time and energy in terms of organisation, and without local InterPlayers stepping up to be Regional Coordinators each year, SummerPlay would cease to exist.  This year they were all well organised, able to take initiative, and responsive to any requests made of them, and this contributed greatly to the successful outcomes we all achieved.  In addition, many participants volunteered in all 3 venues to assist with all the work at the time to ensure the smooth running of the events.

The Board will be looking for a National Coordinator for SummerPlay 2021. If you might be interested see link




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