The Salem Playback Theater exists to provide training and acting opportunities for artists with a passion for purposeful performance.
The goal is to establish this participatory social impact art in the mid-Willamette Valley; improving the quality of life of everyone in the community through compassion, humor, deep listening, perspective, and connection to the human spirit.
Playback Theatre is theater based on stories told by audience members. Life stories are shared, cast, and then enacted on the spot by a team of actors/dancers and a musician. Be they comic or tragic, our life stories are full of important moments worth sharing and remembering. Telling our stories to each other in a theatrical context is both redemptive and invigorating. Listening to the stories of our community is crucial as we strive towards a world without hate and violence. Inspired by the experimental theater movement, psychodrama, and oral tradition of indigenous cultures, Playback Theatre was created in upstate New York in the 1970s by Jonathan Fox, Jo Salas, and the original PT Company. The method is now practiced across the world in sixty countries, and is used in a variety of settings including conferences, schools, colleges, prisons, hospitals, service agencies, and public theatres.