Tusitala Publishing


Improvising Real Life cover

Improvising Real Life
Personal Story in Playback Theatre
by Jo Salas

$23.00 | 1993/2013 | 200 pages

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View excerpt


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First published in 1993, Improvising Real Life: Personal Story in Playback Theatre by Playback cofounder Jo Salas is the basic text used by new and seasoned Playback practitioners, trainers, and in university courses. The book has been translated into German, Japanese, Spanish, Chinese, Portuguese, Russian, and Hebrew.

The new edition includes a foreword by Roberto Gutiérrez Varea, a steering committee member of Theatre Without Borders and co-founder of the Performing Arts and Social Justice Program at the University of San Francisco.

Other new material in the book includes new photos and an afterword by the author with comments on Playback’s current development. The main text is mostly unchanged except for revisions in the chapter called “Scenes and Other Forms,” bringing it in line with current practice.

Kindle Edition

Photos to accompany the electronic edition are available here

Discounts are available on orders of 10 or more copies. Please contact us.


“A basic operating manual for anyone who works with expressive therapies, role play, storytelling. Jo Salas's language is as direct and evocative as a Playback Theatre episode. Study this book, use it!”
—Robin Larsen, PhD, co-author of A Fire in the Mind: The Life of Joseph Campbell

“Readers concerned with story and theatre will find much of interest in this clearly and simply written account, which combines some of the elements of a how-to manual with reflection and theory.”
—Parabola Magazine

“This is a must-read book not only for theatre artists, but for educators and social service professionals interested in the arts as a tool toward both self-expression and community building.”
—Mady Schutzmann, Co-Editor, Playing Boal: Theatre, Therapy, Activism



Tusitala Publishing 137 Hasbrouck Road, New Paltz, NY 12561
Jo Salas, managing editor| Tel & Fax: 845 255-7716
E-mail: TusitalaPublishing@gmail.com