What do you do if no one has a story?
It’s never happened! Everyone has stories. As long as we do a good warm-up, audience members will want to speak up. There might be a pause while they think about which story to tell, and decide if it’s the right time for them.
Is Playback Theatre a form of therapy?
No. We hope that it is salutary for the individual and the community, through the alchemy of stories and art. Drama therapists and psychodramatists sometimes adapt Playback to use in therapeutic settings. But Playback Theatre is not therapy.
Do you get paid for this?
Usually yes, except for occasional gratis shows, and public shows.
The show that I saw looked rehearsed. Was it?
We rehearse regularly, but we can’t rehearse stories in a show because we don’t know what they’ll be! Actors and musicians pick up on each other’s cues so intuitively and instantaneously that it can look as though we’ve heard the story before and we’ve planned the enactment. But we haven’t. The events of a Playback show emerge during the performance.
How did Playback Theatre start?
A vision in the mind of Jonathan Fox, in 1974, then developed by Jonathan along with Jo Salas and the other pioneers. It’s now used all over the world. You can learn lots more about Playback’s history online and from published material. Check out www.playbacktheatre.org and www.tusitalapublishing.com.
I saw Playback at Boughton Place in Highland. Was that you folks?
No. Community Playback Theatre, a separate company, performs at Boughton Place on the first Friday of each month. They’re our friends and occasionally our two companies share actors or performances. If you would like to contact Community Playback Theatre, you can reach Judy at 845.255.5613.
Do you do shows for birthday parties and weddings?
Sometimes. Talk to us.
Otherwise, you could take part in Centre for Playback Theatre workshops (visit www.playbackcentre.org).