A new kind of listening

A personal story told and immediately enacted in a spirit of respect, creates an atmosphere of deep listening, both on the part of actors and audience.

The excitement of the theatrical event stimulates attention and can create moments of breakthough.

Performing playback theatre, where the content is not known beforehand, and basic trust must be established before a teller is willing to come forward, requires a sophisticated understanding of group process. Thus each performance of playback theatre is by definition a highly collaborative experience, where success is shared by audience and performers alike.

Playback theatre is a modern recreation of an oral traditional ceremony. Such events were, and still are in some places, highly entertaining for a village or clan community, but the purpose was always something larger–to heal sickness, solve social problems, or remind constituents of ancient wisdom.