Tusitala Publishing


Improvising Real Life cover

Improvising Real Life
Personal Story in Playback Theatre
by Jo Salas

$21.00 | 1993 | 186 pages
ISBN 978-0-9642350-1-4

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From the Introduction

Playback Theatre is a form of improvisation that is based on stories of ordinary and not-so-ordinary life events told during a performance—dreams, memories, fantasies, tragedies, farces: all holographic glimpses into the lives of real people. It is accessible and fun, and yet carries dimensions of depth and sophistication. It takes place in theatres, but also outside them—it can work in virtually any setting, because by its nature it adapts to the needs and concerns of whoever is present. Whether in the hands of polished performers or awkward beginners, Playback Theatre celebrates individual experience, and the connections between people—their collective experience—through their stories.

People who are drawn to practice Playback usually find themselves doing it for its own rewards—the fun of it, the satisfaction of bringing a story to life and knowing that you have given a memorable gift to a stranger, or perhaps to a friend. Other kinds of rewards—money, recognition, prestige—are not so easy to come by through something that defies categorization the way Playback Theatre does. It is artistic, healing, community-building, visionary, all at the same time. It is, perhaps, a kind of synthesis of these functions that has not been familiar in our culture for hundreds of years.

I have written this book most of all as a resource for the many people now doing Playback, and for those who would like to learn more about it. As someone who teaches Playback Theatre to new and experienced people, I know that it's not something you can really learn from a book. What I'm offering will be, I hope, a supplement to hands-on training, a supportive and informative companion.



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