A Christian Liberal Arts University, Est. 1846

Taylor University Theatre Group Touring Scotland

  • Published: Aug 21, 2015 4:15PM

A group of student actors from Taylor University has been in Scotland this week, presenting an interactive play based on biblical writings and poetry.

Out Of Darkness, an improvised and interactive playback theatre production by students from Taylor University, explores ancient paradigms of spiritual deliverance borrowed from biblical poetry alongside the audience’s stories of coping and hoping. Audience participation is a key component of Playback Theatre, conducted and led by Christina Howard.

Developed over 30 years ago, Playback Theatre is an improvisational theatre form which is practiced in over 50 countries. As the name implies, the actors "play back" stories and experiences of audience members in an engaging, non-scripted format. Particular attention is paid to the emotional experiences of the "teller" in the audience. The experience is then embodied in the performance by the cast of actors.

The Taylor Theatre Touring Company has traveled across the United States and Ireland sharing their gifts and their faith since 2007. The company traveled to Scotland on August 16, to participate in the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. According to director Tracy Manning, collaborating with Dr. Fergus Macdonald and Taylor University’s Center for Scriptural Engagement to incorporate passages of scripture into the Playback forms has been an incredible opportunity. 

“The incarnated story has power; power for healing, power for reconciliation, power for joy, community building and truth telling,” Manning said. “This is never truer than when the stories are Scripture stories. This year’s production, Out of Darkness, explores ancient paradigms of spiritual deliverance borrowed from biblical poetry, alongside audience stories of coping and hoping.”