Chicago Playback Theatre Ensemble
2023 Season Ensemble Auditions

Pay: Stipend


The Chicago Playback Theatre Ensemble (CPTE) is seeking new ensemble members for our 2023 season! In Playback Theatre, actors guide audience members in sharing their own memories and experiences which are then brought to life onstage by the actors using improv, movement, and music. 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. Learn more about Playback Theatre here:

In our 2023 season, we will continue educational youth programming with the Woodlawn Restorative Justice Hub, perform at least 4 shows, including with partner No Shame On U, and host 2 educational open rehearsals.

We intentionally strive to keep building an ensemble that is a reflection of Chicago's rich community. We are seeking civic-minded Chicago-based performers above 21 of all ethnicities, sexual orientations, gender identities, abilities, and silhouettes that have great collaborative skills, strong listening skills, and improvisational abilities. We especially welcome performers of color, men (trans or cis), gender non-conforming people, people over the age of 35, and people with disabilities. Musicians, folks with experience working with youth, therapists/counselors/healers, people proficient in ASL, and people with non-theatre backgrounds are also highly encouraged to attend.

Rehearsals start on January 7th and continue meeting once weekly on Tuesdays from 7pm-9pm. Rehearsals take place at the Second Unitarian Church at 656 W Barry Ave and virtually. Partner programming will primarily take place on Tuesday nights but may also be scheduled on other weekday evenings or weekends with advanced notice. The season will run until the end of September with Spring and Summer breaks. Ensemble members are expected to attend a majority of rehearsals and shows.

Auditions will be held on Tuesday, November 29th from 7:00pm - 8:30pm at the Second Unitarian Church at 656 W Barry Ave, Chicago, IL 60657. 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!

CPTE will make every effort to compensate ensemble members for participation in the season, but our commitment to accessibly priced shows has kept our budget small. Therefore compensation will be determined by the success of the ensemble's pursuit of paying gigs, grant proposals, and fundraisers. Our plan is to divide 80% of season profits to the ensemble, which we estimate will be a $110 stipend.

COVID Info: All CPTE ensemble members must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 for in-person auditions, rehearsals, workshops, and performances. Proof of vaccination and booster status (as applicable) must be provided at auditions. Everyone at the audition must remain masked at all times.

Safety at Rehearsals and Performances: CPTE intends to have masked performances and workshops for both the performers and the audiences/participants. Due to the ever evolving nature of COVID-19, CPTE and the production staff will follow the latest local and CDC guidelines for rehearsals and performances and will partner with cast and staff to ensure the safety and comfort of all involved. Presently, masks that cover the lower half of the face including the nose must be worn at all times during rehearsals.

Accessibility Info: Our audition and rehearsal space is currently in the process of becoming wheelchair accessible, but should we have ensemble members needing a wheelchair accessible space we will find a new location. Also, to be transparent, we currently have minimal experience adapting our Playback practice for participants with sight and hearing impairments, but we have many resources and mentors to draw upon and are committed to developing a Playback practice that works for the abilities of our ensemble. 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, fill out this audition form by 12pm (noon) on Friday, November 25th:

Please don't hesitate to contact us with any questions at

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