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Storytelling on Screen: An Online Playback Theatre Archive and Guidebook

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Jordan Rosin

Heidi Winters Vogel

Sammy Lebron

Copyright Year: 2021

Publisher: Virginia Tech Publishing

Language: English

Formats Available

Conditions of Use

Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike

Table of Contents

Foreword by Jo Salas   How to Use the Archive and Guidebook    Introduction to the Project

I. The Archive      Performance #1 World Playback Theatre: "New Beginnings"      Performance #2 The Ume Group: “Voices in the Stone” at Virginia Tech      Performance #3 Pangea Playback Theatre: “What Now?”

II. The Guidebook    What is Playback Theatre?       Roles       Concepts      Forms       Further Reading, Listening, and ViewingAppendix I: Adding to this ArchiveAppendix II: Additional Viewing

Ancillary Material

  • Virginia Tech Publishing
  • About the Book

    Playback Theatre is a form of community-centered storytelling theater where the audience tells stories, which are then reflected by a company of actors and musicians. Storytelling on Screen: An Online Playback Theatre Archive and Guidebook is an open education resource consisting of a collection of full-length recordings of online Playback Theatre performances, and a 55-page explanatory guidebook. The guidebook, featuring a foreword by Playback Theatre co-founder, Jo Salas, explains the adaptation to online performances and some of the key concepts, roles, and forms involved in online Playback Theatre. The resource as a whole is suitable for a wide range of theatre students in courses such as applied theatre, theatre for social justice, improvisation, theatre appreciation, or acting. The guidebook contains hyperlinks to specific sections of the archive where students can see a given form or concept in action, allowing for a comparison of how different companies approach a given form.

    If you are an artist, educator, or theatre-maker using this resource, please help us understand your use by filling out this form

    About the Contributors


    Jordan Rosin (he & they) is a director/choreographer, actor-creator, and researcher/teacher, specializing in applied and ensemble-devised physical theatres. He is a Co-Founder and Co-Artistic Director of the New York City–based physical theatre ensemble, The Ume Group and is a frequent collaborator with the butoh/physical theatre company 連翹奏 Ren Gyo Soh. Since 2014 Jordan has been recognized for their work as co-choreographer of Butoh Medea (Poland, Italy, Turkey, Czechia, Scotland, Germany) with awards for “Best Physical Theatre” (2015) and “Best Choreography” (2014) at the United Solo Festival and a nomination for “Best Physical Theatre” (2018) at the Hollywood Fringe Festival. Critics have hailed his other directorial and choreographic works as “beautiful and disturbing” (; “commanding, physically impressive” (Village Voice); and “minimalist theatre at its expressive best” (North Coast Journal). They hold a BFA in Drama from Syracuse University and an MFA in Ensemble Based Physical Theatre from Dell’Arte International, where their practice-as-research thesis explored the intersection of clown and melodrama. Jordan is a member of the Association of Theatre Movement Educators and winner of their 2019 “Integrated Artist-Scholar” and 2020 “Innovation Fellowship” awards as well as a member of Playback North America; International Playback Theatre Network; The Ume Group Playback Ensemble; Playback for People; Network of Ensemble Theatres; and the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC Associate). During the creation of this archive and guidebook, Jordan was on the faculty at Virginia Tech’s School of Performing Arts where he taught acting and applied Theatre as a 2019–2021 Post-MFA Teaching Fellow in the Department of Theatre and Cinema. / @jordanrosin

    Heidi Winters Vogel (she/her) is a director, performer, educator, and activist. She is a member of the theater faculty at Wabash College in Indiana, teaching acting, improvisation, dramaturgy, and socially engaged theatre. Heidi co-founded Inside Out Playback Theatre over a decade ago in Virginia and continues to perform with World Playback Theatre, Playback for People, and Thursday Zoomers. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she played back stories with artists from all over the world for international audiences. Her chapter in Playback North America’s Playback Theatre for Social Impact on Inside Out’s work with migrant workers on the Eastern Shore of Virginia details their successful collaboration with community organizers. Heidi’s work with her students, “Building Participatory Theatre in a Time of COVID” was published in Routledge’s Undergraduate Research in Theatre. She is an accredited Playback Theatre trainer, continues studies in conflict resolution and peacebuilding, and is an associate member of Stage Directors and Choreographers. Heidi serves on the Advisory Council for Playback North America, will join the Centre for Playback Theatre’s board as treasurer in the fall of 2021, and serves in regional leadership for the Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival. She has directed for such companies as Crossroads Repertory Theatre, Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, Penn State’s Centre Stage, and Loaves and Fish Repertory.

    Sammy Lebron (he/him) is a student, aspiring actor, and lover of all things involving storytelling. He provided editorial assistance for this volume. As of the fall semester of 2021, Sammy will be entering his fourth and final year at Wabash College. He is currently studying toward a BFA in Theater. Throughout his time in college, Sammy managed to stay heavily involved with theatre in multiple curricular and extracurricular activities. He was cast in several mainstage productions, compiled data for the costume department, interned with companies such as Crossroads Repertory Theatre and the Sugar Creek Players’ Vanity Theatre, and was nominated to compete for the Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival’s Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship.

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