Playback Theatre is a non-scripted, interactive theatre form in which audience members share true stories or experiences from their lives and see them “played back” by an ensemble of actors in ways that encourage insight across chasms of difference. 

Like a cross between a town hall meeting and an improvisational performance, one actor from the ensemble (“the conductor”) engages the audience in a collective conversation, asking questions that address the specific concerns of those who’ve gathered. The audience’s responses are played back on the spot in non-confrontational ways that build bridges, strengthen social bonds, and lift civic spirit.  

CU's Playback Ensemble

CU’s Playback Ensemble, made up of faculty, staff, graduate and undergraduate students from several different departments, performs for a wide array of campus and community events. The Ensemble also runs the Critical Conversations Project, which uses Playback Theatre to facilitate conversations in areas of rural Colorado that are experiencing rapid and destabilizing change (social, economic or environmental).

For More Information

To learn more about CU’s Playback Ensemble, find out how to join, or book the Ensemble to perform for your class or event, please email thdnoutreach@colorado.edu.