About Playback Theatre

Playback Theatre is spontaneous – it is theatre created through a unique collaboration between performers and audience. Someone tells a story or moment from their life, chooses actors to play the different roles, and then watches as their story is immediately recreated and given artistic shape and coherence. Whether in the classroom, hospital, at a business conference, community centre or theatre, there is always the familiarity of this basic set-up for Playback Theatre. 



DSC_0143This is the essential structure for a Playback Theatre performance. There is no script, but there is a rhythm and sequence to a Playback Theatre performance. The conductor is the host and facilitator of the process. DSC07092After a period of introductions and  warming up of the audience, someone will volunteer to tell a story. It could be a short moment, or about a longer event. They may be past, present or future stories. They could be about a very special time or about something that happens everyday.



cropped - Quangs Story at Arts Depot 08In the course of a performance maybe 3, 4, or more people will come forward to sit in the Teller’s Chair to tell a longer story. The enactments may take many different forms, but always aiming to capture the essence of the story with as much truth and artistry as possible. Jane at Simon's wedding LPTIn this way we weave the threads of our stories together, musical instruments LPTcreating a tapestry of our communal experience – hoping to catch a glimpse of the eternal in the spontaneous moment, and the universal through individual voices.


first PT CompanyPlayback Theatre was first created in the mid 1970s by Jonathan Fox with the original Playback Theatre Company in upstate New York, USA.  Since that time, Playback Theatre has now spread to six continents of the world and is now practiced in many countries serving a variety of contexts, from community events to crisis situations. 

TEDx Talk by Jo Salas, one of the founders of Playback Theatre  http://youtu.be/R-UtiROCm6E

Read this – Dialogue at the Great Divide – the McGill Tribune (Canada)


 IPTN-SignLook up the International Playback Theatre Network (IPTN) www.playbacknet.org for more information.


一人一故事劇場」於1975年在美國紐約由 Playback Theater Company 所創立,自此他們與世界各地的人分享,讓劇場的種籽撒播到不同的地方。有興趣者可到 International Playback Theatre Network (IPTN)  的網頁 www.playbacknet.org 瀏覽。


Playback Centre logoThe Centre for Playback Theatre (CPT) offers a comprehensive training programme and resources –  www.playbackcentre.org



SPT UK TREEThe School of Playback Theatre UK is affiliated to the CPT and offers equivalent training in the UK – www.playbackschooluk.org 

Go to  FACEBOOK page


True Heart Theatre is a

Company Partner of the Centre for Playback Theatre


Group Member of the International Playback Theatre Network.


The True Heart Playback Theatre team has been serving communities in London since 2006.


As well as its open regular public performance / workshops (Open Sundays / AMC- Art for Multicultural Communities / Living Stories) True Heart has performed in a variety of venues on a wide range of themes and contexts.

THT at Charing Cross Library 16 Jul 06 for CIAC

Email info@trueheart.org.uk if you would like to commission us to work with you on your project or support your event.knot of hands