Auckland PlayBack Theatre

This is Playback

Playback theatre is theatre of stories - the audience tells moments and stories from their lives, chooses actors to play different roles and then watches as the actors and musician play it back instantly, with value added. There is never any obligation to tell a story and never enough time to tell them all. Part of the magic is that each story inspires another so we never know where we will end up.

It is funny, poignant, touching, empowering and brings communities together. A performance group usually consists of a conductor (the facilitator), actors and a musician. The whole performance is improvised - the company have practiced together and they follow a simple structure, but the content of what might emerge during a performance is unknown. Playback Theatre was created and developed in the United States in 1975 by Jonathan Fox and a group of theatre artists. Currently this form of improvised theatre is practiced in over 25 countries - in local communities, public theatres, workshops, educational and clinical settings.

In any setting, Playback Theatre draws people closer as they see their common humanity expressed through the medium of storytelling. Playback theatre can be used as a medium for social change. The format can be used as pure entertainment or have a therapeutic result when dealing with issues of importance to the communities concerned. The telling and re-enactment of a story creates opportunities for new perspectives on the material to be opened up and different responses to emerge. Auckland Playback Theatre has been operating for 25 years.

About Playback