What is Playback Theatre

.Playback Theatre is an interactive form of improvisational theatre in which audience members tell stories from their lives and watch them enacted on the spot. Created in 1975, Playback Theatre is now used in over 70 countries around the world to help build bridges across differences and to honor the human condition. In addition to public performances, in person and online, Playback Theatre is used with all ages and in a wide variety of contexts–education, health, social services, businesses, and community organizations. Its applications include social dialogue, peace building, conflict resolution, organizational change management, team building, celebrations, and much more.

A few landmark dates in Playback history

1975: The original Playback Theatre Company came together when Jonathan Fox and his partner Jo Salas gathered a group of actors and began rehearsing in Hudson Valley of upstate New York (USA).

1980: Playback Theatre was brought to Australia and New Zealand. Through the decade, Playback was brought to Japan and Switzerland, and many companies began to emerge around the world.

1990: The International Playback Theatre Network was established by Jonathan Fox, Jo Salas, Judy Swallow and Mary Good and held its first international conference the following year. As of 2022, IPTN has held eleven international conferences in ten different countries.

1993: The School of Playback Theatre was formed in New York (US) and later became the Centre for Playback Theatre. As of 2022, there are 19 Schools of Playback Theatre in different parts of the world.

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