top of page

Playback theater training

What is playback theater?

It is a unique method created by Jonathan Fox and Jo Salas at the intersection of improvisational theater and psychology. The basis for actors' performance on stage is the stories of the audience, which are spontaneously performed on stage here and now, without preparation. A playback theater performance is a vivid, unique event where the audience and actors together create a play in which the real stories of the audience begin to take on new meanings, colors, and emotions.

Benefits of studying playback theater:

  • Playback theater reconnects you with the energy of your inner child, helps you relax, open up, and discover previously untapped creative talents within yourself.

  • You will learn how to act in uncertain situations, develop sensitivity towards yourself and others.

  • You will feel more comfortable on stage, in any public performance.

  • Through training, you will find a community of like-minded individuals with whom you can share a lot. 

What is included in this course:

  • Two-day intensives with a trainer every 1.5 - 2 months - 10 sessions.

  • ZOOM - 2-hour meetings with a frequency of 1-2 times between in-person sessions - 12 sessions.

  • Independent group work.

  • Performances - 2-3 during the program.

  • Intensives/Zoom meetings with invited international trainers are also possible.

  • 1. Introduction (Sessions 1-3):
    Introduction to the basics of playback theater, its forms, and basic rituals. Getting to know each other and forming a team. Developing improvisational skills and expressive acting. Strengthening the connection with the body and developing physical expressiveness. Playing games and nurturing creative sources within us. Learning to tell and listen to stories, understanding their essence, and transforming them into theatrical form. Fun, joy in interaction, co-creation, drive, and the sense of valuable contact with each other. Zoom sessions will cover the theoretical foundations of playback theater.
  • 2. Main Phase (Sessions 4-6):
    Immersion in the world of stories, layers of meaning, dynamics, and rhythm of stories. Developing sensitivity to the moment and the actor's experience "here and now." Enhancing partner interaction and variability of team play. Mastering key, long improvisational forms of playback theater. Exploring different roles - performer on stage, conductor, musician, storyteller, and audience member. Expanding our perception of playback theater. Playing on stage, listening to stories on a deeper level, and incorporating vocal and other expressive possibilities. Introduction to the structure of a performance. Zoom meetings will cover storytelling basics and working on the perception of story meanings.
  • 3. Practical Phase (Sessions 7-8):
    The focus will be on performance during this stage. Understanding the laws of collective interaction with the audience. Preparing for the first public performances, starting with close friends and family, and gradually expanding to include others. Learning about the "red thread" and exploring social dialogue possibilities through playback theater. Practicing conductor techniques with the audience. Analyzing performance experiences from the perspective of narrative reticulation theory and performance energy and rhythm. Continuing to work on and immerse ourselves in the world of stories.
  • 4. Advanced Phase (Sessions 9-10):
    Developing practices for applying playback theater to various tasks - communities that have experienced traumatic events, performances for social dialogue, performances for business teams, etc. Mastering the technology of preparing and conducting thematic performances. Expanding the expressive palette and adding experimental experiences to our practice. Culminating in a vibrant final performance and setting dreams for the future.

A Brief Overview of the Program, Lesson Titles, and What is Included in Each Lesson:

The program takes place at the Dragon Nest Center in New Paltz, NY

The program cost is $385 per month for 12 months


Main presenter of
the program

Sanachina Olga
Accredited trainer in the playback theater (Playback Center, New York), playback actress and founder of playback theaters in US and Russia, psychologist and psychodramatist, graduate of acting and directing courses at the Polish Theater in Moscow, performer. Conducts workshops on playback theater, improvisational movement, performance and long-term training programs in Europe, Canada, USA, Russia, Africa, India, the Middle East.

Co-author of the program

MIRRASTUDIO -1629.webp
Dina Ostrovsky
Master of Arts in Process-Oriented Psychology, transformational career and success coach, therapist and facilitator of family constellations, and founder and director of the TERRApia transformational school.
bottom of page