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Chicago Playback Theatre Ensemble

2019-2020 season

Category: Non-Equity Audition
Pay: No Pay

The Chicago Playback Theatre Ensemble is seeking new ensemble members for our 2019-2020 season!

In Playback Theatre, personal stories told by the audience come to life onstage using improvisational theatre, movement, and metaphor. The result may be joyous, sad, funny, or powerful, but it will always stem from a place of honesty in honoring the teller's story. Playback Theatre is an improvisational storytelling method -- with roots in improvisational theatre, oral traditions of storytelling, and psychodrama -- developed in the 70's that is currently practiced worldwide in communities, schools, clinics, prisons, and more.

As an ensemble, we are committed to pursuing collective justice and access. In our first season, we built and trained our ensemble and provided 14 diverse experiences for audiences to connect to their own stories and each other. We've partnered with local organizations like State Matters, Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Chicago Public Libraries, and the Howard Brown Center. In our second season, we plan to deepen our training, set a self-produced show series, and focus on our partnerships with community organizations and activist groups.

We hope to keep building an ensemble that is a reflection of Chicago and are seeking civic-minded performers of all ages above 21, ethnicities, sexual orientations, gender identities, abilities, and silhouettes that have great collaborative skills, empathetic listening skills, and improvisational abilities. We especially welcome performers of color, men, trans and gender-nonconforming folks, and people with disabilities. Musical improvisers, physical and devised theatre artists, folks with experience working with youth, parents, and people with non-theatre backgrounds are also highly encouraged to attend.

All rehearsals take place on Mondays from 7pm-9pm in spaces generally on Chicago's North side. Shows and workshops will take place on Monday nights or be scheduled (generally) outside of weekday daytime hours with plenty of notice. Our season will run from Mid-November 2019 through June 30, 2020 with winter holiday and mid-season breaks. Ensemble members are expected to attend a majority of rehearsals and shows and will be expected to fulfill 2 hours every two months of ensemble service outside of rehearsals and shows. Additional commitment to steering committee roles is encouraged but not necessary.

The ensemble will make every effort to compensate for rehearsal/show travel and additional show pay, but due to the civic nature of our work, compensation will be determined by the success of the ensemble's pursuit of grant proposals and fundraisers.

Auditions will be held on Sunday, October 27th at North Shore Baptist Church from 2pm-3:30pm and Monday, October 28th at Unity Lutheran Church from 7pm-8:30pm. The audition will be casual and focused on team building where we'll work with some playback short forms, so come ready to move and play! If you cannot make our audition time but this work sounds exciting to you, please contact us anyway!

Accessibility Info: The audition space on Sunday is wheelchair accessible; the audition space on Monday is not. Please let us know via the google doc if you have access needs and we will work to meet them!

Contact Info:
To be considered for an audition, email a headshot and resume to Allison at and fill out this audition form by clicking here.

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Audition Dates:

Oct 27 2-3:30pm
Oct 28 7-8:30pm
Posted Date: Oct 3, 2019