Good People of Playback (Barbara Holden Nixon)

Longtime friend and supporter Barbara Holden Nixon has been connecting Playback to the community since day one!

How were you introduced to Playback?

I first became acquainted with Playback at the very first Memphis performance in a small theater on Marshall street.  I’m unsure of the year.  I was invited by my friend, Mary Reed, who is also Virginia “s Mother.

What is your connection and what do you love about Playback?

I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, and the venue reminded me of a psychodrama model we used in California’ in the 1970s.  I was struck by the talented players, and their capacity for empathy and healing.

How did you get involved?

Because I was working with a community leadership initiative around trauma, Virginia and I met for a conversation about Playback as a community partner in healing trauma. Years later, Playback and the Adverse Childhood Experiences Foundation have worked closely together.  My initial perception of the healing potential of Playback has been dwarfed by the many successful applications this group of talented artists has developed.

Where are you from and how are you enjoying life these days?

I was born in New Orleans,  but moved to Memphis at age two, therefore I claim native status.  I enjoy tennis (with Virginia ‘s Mom!) Mah Jong, travel, friends and family.

What is calling you to be brave?

Retirement is calling me to be brave, as I love my work and I have failed retirement three times.  But I am finding such joy in being more available to my family and friends.

What do you love about Memphis?

I love the Memphis vibe which is created by the many wonderful and diverse people who make up our unique city.

Why should people care about Playback Memphis? 

Playback  should matter to everyone because it is a venue for achieving authentic health and happiness.  Playback has the ability to dig deep,  and resurface in joy.  It is an experience in which we can all share ourselves, discover our mutual experiences and find shared healing.

If you had to pick one ensemble member to give your eulogy, who would it be and why?

If I could have one Playback member speak at my funeral,  it would be Virginia.  Because everyone present would feel her love.  That would be a huge send-a-way gift to me and others.  I also would want Joe to play and sing Amazing Grace!!

Anything else? 

I am very fortunate that I have been part of the Playback family.


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