An interactive form of improvisational theatre in which audience members share stories from their lives and watch them “played back” using music and metaphor

Playback theatre is a form of improvisational theatre where a troupe of actors and musicians create scenes honoring audience storytellers and their stories. Sometimes funny, sometimes serious, but always honest, Playback has the potential to transform audiences into a community. Playback UCF is composed of UCF undergraduate and graduate students under the mentorship of associate professor Sybil St. Claire, with Ralph Gregory Krumins as the conductor (or emcee) for the evening.

Please grab a friend and join us for an improvisational theatrical experience you won’t soon forget!

A note from the Faculty Advisor
Playback gathers us together symbolically around the campfire, where we are reminded that we are not alone, that our stories matter, and that we can experience joy and feeling through the journeys of others (and vice versa). What I love about playback is that it feels ancient to me. It is non-technological theatre of neighbors. We are given a story, some fabric, some music and each other from which to create emotional alchemy. Because it’s a very physical form of theatre, my way in is often through the viewpoints, as pioneered by Tina Landau and Anne Bogart. In the beginning, my Theatre for Social Change and Art of Storytelling Classes began learning the work and eventually we started hosting shows for the UCF community for free. We also bring playback to the community, and have worked with places such as the state attorney’s office sex crimes division to offer a safe container for story sharing. We learn and heal vicariously through other people’s stories. It doesn’t have to be our story that is shared for us to take the journey. As an educator and as a theatre for social change practitioner, my stance is that, if we can create community and catharsis, if we can raise consciousness and happier, healthier people while honing a craft, let’s do that!

— Sybil St. Claire, faculty advisor