Jonathan Fox on the Essence of Playback Theatre, recorded at a Press Conference at the Haus am Dom, Frankfurt on 11.11.11
Transcription: “People tell all kinds of stories – whatever is important for them to tell in that moment, on that day. Often it’s an everyday story. We bring that story to the stage. What is the atmosphere? What is the feeling? That’s what we listen for. What interests me most is for people to listen to each other. And for people to have the chance to tell what they need to tell in a context that’s secure and people will listen. And so in such a situation, many problems do get solved. A situation, a social situation, can be transformed. But this idea of dialogue, of connection is perhaps what’s most important. And the most amazing thing is – one person tells, and the next story is a story that shares a different perspective and so you have a series of stories that express the different sides of a question.”
Playback theatre is an original form of improvisational theatre in which audience members tell stories from their lives and watch them enacted on the spot. Founded in 1975, playback theatre is practiced in hundreds of locations and contexts around the world.
The School of Playback Theatre (UK) – an affiliated school of the Centre for Playback Theatre (USA) – offers a comprehensive training for all levels of experience. These range from Core Training for newcomers, to a variety of Selected Topics, and then to the five-day Advanced Skills & ten-day Playback Theatre Practice which are the first of the advanced level courses. The three-week Leadership Course with Jonathan Fox (the founder and artistic director of the original Playback Theatre company) completes the training spiral and leads to graduation from the school.
A one-year Certificate Course in Playback Theatre Practice (188 hours) is being launched as a series of monthly weekend trainings which will bring newcomers up to practitioners’ level of competence. Those who have prior Playback Theatre training and/or experience are welcome to join in at various stages.
Training in Playback Theatre can also be custom-designed for specific communities and contexts. These can be sessions introducing playback, or a series of workshops towards launching a playback theatre company, followed by supervision and mentoring.
School of Playback Theatre (United Kingdom)
Coordinator: Veronica Needa
Enquires: +44 (0) 207 221 2694