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 (traditional and simplified), Portuguese, Russian, Hebrew, Korean, and Nepali.
The 20th Anniversary edition, published in 2013, includes new photos and an afterword by the author with comments on Playback’s current development, as well as a foreword by Roberto Gutiérrez Varea, a steering committee member of Theatre Without Borders and cofounder of the Performing Arts and Social Justice Program at the University of San Francisco.
“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.”
“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