Playback Theatre: Honoring Stories and Healing Wounds

Heidi Winters Vogel and Roger Foster

Playback theatre uses storygathering and embodied performance to activate individuals, organizations and communities; facilitating participant-generated empathy and cooperation. This form of theatre is not intended to guide participants to the “correct” path (pre-determined outcomes), but rather to facilitate exploration and discovery that lead to deeper understandings (pedagogy of participant-generated change).

This course will introduce and develop fluency in the participatory theatre technique of Playback Theatre for use in mediation, intervention and group facilitation. Students will investigate theatre’s connection with civic dialogue and learn to use interactive tools of storytelling and public performance leading to participant-generated change.

Learn the art and craft of embodied performance and facilitation using movement, music, and story for healing and connection. Playback Theatre co-founder, Jo Salas describes it as “an original form of theatrical improvisation in which people tell real events from their lives [and] watch them enacted on the spot…Any life experience may be told and enacted in Playback Theatre, from the mundane to the transcendent, the hilarious to the tragic–and some stories may be all of these.”