Playback Theatre Ensemble



Moments of our lives can be touchstones, full of power and significance. Playback Theatre transforms personal stories told by audience members into theatre pieces using movement, ritual, music, and spoken improvisation.

Playback Theatre was first developed by Jonathan Fox, a director, theatrical scholar, and social activist, in the 1970s. The Living Arts Playback Theatre Ensemble is one of several Playback companies worldwide, affiliated through an International Playback Theatre Association.

Playback Theatre is an improvisational form whereby personal stories told by audience members are transformed into theater pieces. A story can be anything: a childhood memory, a current life dilemma, an anecdote from work or travel, or a vision of the future. The essence of a story is then “played back” by a company of trained actors and musicians using spoken improvisation, movement and music. Sometimes a story becomes a myth, sometimes a realistic enactment. Some stories are tragic; others are funny or illuminating.