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Natural Awakenings Greater Boston - Rhode Island

Playback Theater Festival Invites Audience Stories


Playback Theatre’s first public North American festival will take place from June 16 to19, at Lesley University, in Cambridge. Described as theater for personal, organizational and communal change, Playback involves audience members in ways that most theatrical performances do not. Christopher Ellinger, who directs an Arlington Playback troupe called True Story Theater, says the process is simple, yet profound.
“In Playback, volunteers from the audience are supported to tell important moments from their lives, and the actors creatively play back the heart of those stories, using music, movement and dialogue,” he explains. “From this simple interaction, people laugh, cry, share fresh insights and bond. Most of the time, we are deeply moved by the powerful compassion and healing that takes place.”
The festival includes evening performances, daytime workshops and skill-sharing sessions. The fee for the entire festival, including lunches, is $240; the day rate is $95; and the price for two evening performances is $15 ($10 for students/low-income).
Ellinger says the time is right for more individuals to participate in this unique art form. “So many people feel buffeted by the economic, environmental and societal crises of our times,” he advises. “The world deeply needs what Playback Theatre offers: humor, playfulness, empathy, deep listening, perspective and a profound connection to the human spirit.”
Location: 29 Everett St., Cambridge 02138. For information, visit the Facebook page Playback Theatre Festival North America, call 781-646-1705 or visit For information about Boston’s True Story Theater performances, workshops and classes, visit