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Toronto Playback Theatre is dedicated to listening to people's stories and transforming them spontaneously into theatre. Our mission is to provide organizations with dramatic, audience-interactive performances and programs that build trust, deepen dialogue and generate opportunities for personal and professional development. Playback Theatre aims to create a ritual space where every voice and any story - however ordinary, extraordinary, hidden or difficult - might be heard and told. The Toronto Playback Theatre is committed to a theatre that values community, service, and the possibility of personal and social transformation through art.

Clients have employed the Playback Theatre process for:
• annual meetings and special events
• opening and closing of conferences
• educational workshops
• corporate training programs
• holiday gatherings and celebrations
• community-based projects and activities

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• Toronto Playback Theatre was recently invited by the Canadian
Millennium Foundation to perform for 400 excellence award laurates at the
BMO Learning Institute in Toronto.


• How does Playback Theatre work? Check out Julia Gotz beautiful photography
which documents the process of our workshops and performances.

A Brief History of Playback Theatre

The original Playback Theatre Company came together in 1975 in upstate New York, with Jonathan Fox as its director. The company was looking for ways of reaching out and bringing theatre closer to the everyday reality of the community, and breaking away from the scripted literary tradition of theatre. Toronto Playback Theatre is a member of the International Playback Theatre Network, which links Playback companies in over 50 cities in 20 countries in many different languages and contexts. Playback Theatre thrives in a variety of settings, existing as community theatre gatherings as well as a professional service to both the business and social sector. Performances occur in public theatres, schools, prisons, community celebrations, hospitals and corporate training rooms.

What audiences are saying about Toronto Playback Theatre

“Very engaging, moving, joyful, funny, sad. Much admiration for actors - such talent, courage and freedom! I found it stimulating, creatively leading me inward and outward at the same time. Inspiring, rejuvenating, reflective. Thanks!”

“I was touched by the honesty, courage and risk of the audience to tell their stories and the sensitivity of the actors and the depth which they achieved in their portrayals. I was moved to tears several times as well as laughing out loud. Thank you.”

“What a delightful, thought provoking evening. I loved to see the depth and skill of your spontaneous playback troupe. I appreciated the sensitivity of our conductor, Chris von Baeyer, and his ability to find the important threads of each story. I didn't particularly come to tell my story but it becomes clear at this intentional community event that that's why we are here - to tell, to engage, to feel deeply together. Bravo!”

“Ruthless in its attempt to have you feel and empathize. Shockingly therapeutic! Life affirming. Because this is not intended to be comedy, when there is humour it's often unexpected and natural, and therefore very funny.”