PLAYBACK THEATRE REFLECTS is an independent blog for writing on Playback Theatre. I publish one article per month, more or less (occasionally including mine).
All topics and genres are welcome, from academic essays to creative writing. Please look at the submission guidelines and send me something you want the world to see.
Accepted articles will be considered for an anthology that Tusitala Publishing plans to publish in 2019 (in print and as an e-book). This book will be an eclectic collection of essays and other writings, representing today’s thinkers, practitioners, and writers, as well as some gems from the past.
Our work is action-based—we Playback performers think with our bodies. Our choices onstage are moved and shaped by swift currents of empathy, imagination, social awareness, the interplay with other performers and the audience. Not all of us are inclined to enter a reflective space and explore the layers of meaning of the experience. But our field needs contemplation and careful expression for the practice of Playback Theatre to grow and mature. PLAYBACK THEATRE REFLECTS is for those within and beyond the Playback world who want to think, write, and read.
Please note that PLAYBACK THEATRE REFLECTS is not affiliated with the Centre for Playback Theatre, the International Playback Theatre Network (IPTN), or any other institution. It is not a vehicle for Playback Theatre news or announcements, which should instead be sent to the IPTN website, the IPTN Journal, and other forums.
My background as a writer and Playback practitioner:
As a founding member of the original Playback Theatre, I wrote much of our early descriptive materials. Within the first year or two I began chronicling our experiences and retelling the remarkable stories we heard. My essay “Culture and Community: Playback Theater” appeared in The Drama Review in 1983 and since then I’ve written many articles, chapters for anthologies, and two books, Improvising Real Life: Personal Story in Playback Theatre (now in eight translations) and Do My Story, Sing My Song: Playback Theatre and music therapy with troubled children. I co-edited the bilingual book Half of My Heart/La Mitad de Mi Corazón: True Stories Told by Immigrants and often edit other people’s writing. I also write fiction–short stories and novels.
Writing has always been central in my life, as an art form, a means of communication, and a mode of inquiry. The process of writing about Playback deepens my understanding of what it is that we are doing when we gather with people to listen to each other and enact stories.