How appropriate that during this veritable renewal of theatre in the Ottawa region, a new and different sort of theatre company should emerge. Yesterday, I participated in my second, for lack of a better word, workshop with Sanitas Playback Theatre and was invited to be a part of the company.
Playback Theatre has been around for over 30 years and yet I had never really heard about it before this summer. There are companies in almost every major city centre (like Toronto and Montreal), but this is a first for Ottawa.
According to Wikipedia (the guru of all things), "Playback Theatre is an original form of improvisational theatre in which audience or group members tell stories from their lives and watch them enacted on the spot. Playback Theatre is sometimes considered a modality of drama therapy."
I'm quite excited at the prospect of working with this new company. It involves a great mix of local professionals as well as two newcomers from Montreal who have experience in the form; one is a drama therapist, the other a musician.
For me, this is an opportunity to hone my improvisational skills, learn about a different way to produce theatre, interact on a deeper level with an audience, and witness first hand (through the sharing of stories) how theatre can actually help people.
A few gigs have already been booked for the ensemble and are coming up in the very near future. Stay tuned!