In addition to language comprehension, meaningful communication often also has feelers for non-verbal signals such as voice & volume, body language, and facial expression.
Asperger children, for example, are often good imitators who can act out parts of their favorite film or TV program almost literally and with a great sense of nuance, but often do not understand non-verbal communication in a 1 to 1 conversation. A nod of the head, a grimace, how you look, or a change of voice are misunderstood or not even noticed. Or words and expressions are absolutely taken. Word jokes are not for them. Playing with the language is foreign to them.
These children who have difficulty making contact and especially keep in touch with another person become more socially malleable if they feel that they can play a “role”. It is precisely the stage that offers them the safety to feel at ease and to open up to others. For most of us it is the other way around: the spotlight inhibits us to think flexibly and to communicate smoothly.
Apparently for these special children this is less confrontational “in the theater” than at home, on the street or at school in a direct and spontaneous – and therefore improvising – conversation. Because if you find it difficult to put yourself in the other person and you are hardly able to think about how you come across to someone else, then you know little “stage fright”. Inter-Acting literally responds to this. To quote Johan Cruijff: “Every disadvantage has its advantage”.
With the basic principles of improvisational theater, the professional actors and actresses, together with the supervisors of ChildCenter, work with the children. The children experience how they can work with others, how they can complement each other’s ideas and how they can learn from others with pleasure. Script behavior wants to transform Inter-Acting in the theater into meaningful interaction. From imitation via conversation to improvisation.