Playback Theater is a form of shared storytelling, where an audience member tells a story and actors re-enact that story on the spot. Motus has been training a diverse group of actors to be able to use playback to listen across difference. We work with actors to develop not only the technical skills related to improv but develop the cultural competency essential to telling stories from a wide range of cultural and identity experiences.
Motus Playback collaborated with actors trained in diversity work from Playback Theater West on two performances for One Action 2012:
During One Action 2012 community members learned about the Sand Creek Massacre and Chief Niwot through the exhibit at the Boulder History Museum, the Boulder Public Library’s common read program or by attending Rocks Karma Arrows. They were then able to share personal experiences of learning the tragic history of this Arapaho chief during the Reflections on Chief Niwot playback performance. The performers created brief sketches, capturing the events and experiences of the audience.
The second Motus Playback show for One Action 2012 was called, “Talking Past, Talking Present,” in this performance audience members shared their experience of feeling included or excluded in our community and the actors re-enacted those experiences on the spot. This performance allowed for a community conversation on issues of inclusion and diversity that allowed for thoughtful reflection, that was both emotive and empathetic.