Who We Are

At Playback Memphis, we strive daily to cultivate a healthy and thriving organizational culture by living into the following practices:

  • We practice presence and create a space for compassionate listening.
  • We deepen dialogue and build trust.
  • We acknowledge that each person’s story is a gift.
  • We foster goodwill and strengthen communal bonds.
  • We create ample opportunity for laughter and reflection.
  • We practice ongoing self-evaluation and self-critique.
  • We celebrate diversity and create hospitable spaces of equity and belonging.
  • We work to fix power imbalances by centering voices that have been marginalized.
  • We develop partnerships with people and groups who advocate for those living on the margins.
  • We inspire people to see themselves, one another, and their community in new and refreshing ways.
  • We model the kinds of personal sharing we are inviting by opening our hearts and sharing our own stories.
  • We respond with nimbleness to change.

Founded in 2008, Playback Memphis’ mission is to bring stories to life, in a safe space to unlock healing, transformation, and joy. Playback Memphis trains and employs professional artists and facilitators to use the unique art form of Playback Theatre to engage diverse groups of people in a variety of settings. Playback Theatre is a healing, restorative practice that emphasizes deep and empathic listening to a community member who shares a personal experience or story. Through improvisational, embodied storytelling, ritual and music, that person’s story is given a voice, their humanity affirmed.Playback staff and contracted artists also employ a variety of experiential learning tools to create a process of shared exploration where people and organizations can nurture integrity and cultivate the courage to act on their core values and purpose.

Our core/flagship programs have historically engaged 2,000+ individuals per year. All programs have evolved organically from the voices, stories, and dreams of community members.

Our vision for 2027 is to become a leading resource for developing community based, culturally responsive tools for social healing and community wellbeing, elevating Memphis as a national model for the transformative power of Applied Playback Theatre.


Tennessee Arts Commission
Arts Memphis

Playback Memphis is proud to be supported by ArtsMemphis and the Tennessee Arts Commission.
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