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What is Playback Theatre?
Playback theatre is using improvisation techniques to create theatrical scences out of the audience personal stories.
How playback theatre works:
The director asking a volunteer from the audience to come to the stage and tell everyone a personal story of his, the director can ask for a specific subject (like relationships, family, childhood) or leave it totally open to the teller to choose.
After the story is told a group of actors (3-6 usually) improvise a scene based on the story. The scene will not replicate the story but will try to create a new angle to what was told.
For example, if the story teller described a fight with her mother the scene could be made out of the mother point of view, it could be shifted to the fairy land world in which the teller could be snow white, or any other crazy idea the improvisation will lead to. The goal of the scene is to express the emotional peak the actors heard in the story.
The scenes can be very funny, very emotional or both and the one who told the story gets a gift to see a part of his life on a the stage.
Playback theatre was created more than 35 years ago by Jonathan Fox and now there are professional and amateur groups shows all over the world.
Playback theatre can be experienced not only through shows but also as workshops, even if you are not an actor and want to taste a bit of a theatre, a bit of improvisation and have the chance to watch some of your important life stories on stage you should join a playback group.