• Virginia Murphy

    Founder & Director

    Virginia Reed Murphy holds a master's in Counseling Psychology with a concentration in drama therapy from the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco. After 10 years of studying and performing Playback theatre, she founded Playback Memphis, a vibrant non-profit whose mission is to bring stories to life in a safe space to unlock healing, transformation and joy. Virginia is also a certified Mindfulness Meditation teacher through the Greater Good Science Center, at the University of California at Berkeley, as well as a skilled facilitator delivering dynamic training in cultural humility, strengths-based mindfulness, and emotional intelligence in leadership.
  • Joe Murphy

    Joe Murphy

    Actor and Musician

    Joe was a professional actor in NYC for 20 years before moving to Memphis with his wife, Virginia. He was an actor with Big Apple Playback Theatre in NYC from 2002-2005. He has also served as the director of Music for Aardvarks, Memphis, an interactive children's music program.
  • Bob Klyce

    Bob Klyce


    Bob Klyce studied drama in NYC, and has been acting most of his life. A PhD candidate at the University of Toronto in Philosophy and Theology, he enjoys exploring ways to transpose his academic interests into experimental theatre (he is also a member of Our Own Voice Theatre Troupe) and creative writing. Bob also has a background in science, especially zoology, and is passionate about wildlife and habitat ecology and conservation. Married for 26 years, he and his wife, Christina, have three sons.
  • Ekpe Abioto


    Ekpe is a traditional African musician living in Memphis. He teaches and performs regularly.
  • Giovanna “Gio” López


    Giovanna 'Gio' López, is a native Peruvian but spent her adolescence in Costa Rica. She graduated in Costa Rica with a degree in Theatre and a focus in Theatre for Development. She moved to the U.S. in 2005 and the very next year founded the Bilingual Theatre group Cazateatro in Memphis. From 2009 to 2010, Gio had a weekly radio show on Radio Ambiente, a local Hispanic radio station. Her program, called Mujer de Valor, focused on the development of women. Gio has worked at the Mid-South Peace and Justice Center since June 2010 and became the Training Director in 2014.
  • Glenda Mace


    When Glenda reenrolled in Memphis State in 1979, she fell in love with the theatre department. Having dipped her toe (as they say) in Memphis theatre she was blessed to have the opportunity to move to NYC in 1984 where she lived, studied and performed. She took classes from such luminaries as Sandy Dennis, Ann Jackson, Austin Pendleton and the incomparable Wynn Handman. She has appeared in movies, on national TV and acted in theatres up and down the eastern seaboard. Glenda moved back to Memphis in 2000 and became Facility Manager at TheatreWorks where Virginia Reed Murphy began Playback Memphis. She was allowed to become part of the new company. Playback was an important addition to the performing arts and social change in Memphis and Glenda was honored to be part of these beginnings. In 2015 Glenda launched her own theatre company, Cloud9 Memphis. The additional demands of the new company made it necessary to take a break from Playback, but she is delighted to once again be part of this performing company.
  • Holly Lau


    Holly Lau is Chair of Theatre & Dance at the University of Memphis. As a choreographer, Lau works to expand the audience for modern dance. Significant works include; Private Words; The Hiding of Anne Frank’s Diary, Grandmas in Tennis Shoes and The Garden of Tranquility. She also reconstructed The Negro Spirituals by Helen Tamiris. Lau has published articles on the politics of race for which she received the Superior Performance in University Research award. In 2012 she was awarded the prestigious Benjamin Rawlins Meritorious Professorship. In 1996 she conceived, designed and implemented an arts-infused education model for an inner-city Memphis school.
  • Wayne Smith


    Wayne M. Smith (he/him). Wayne is an independent and recognized improvisation-based dance theatre artist, choreographer, performer, and professor interested in artmaking and social activism. He has been a professional ensemble member, plus conductor and facilitator for Playback Memphis since 2010. He is also an adjunct dance professor and alum at the University of Memphis Theatre & Dance Department. Wayne is also a teaching artist with Company d, a dance company for dancers with Downs Syndrome and collaborates in a number of creative projects with various individuals or organizations. He is a native Memphian and holds an MFA degree in Dance from the Ohio State University and a BFA in Theatre/Dance (minor Mathematics) from the University of Memphis.
  • Cequita Monique


    Cequita Monique is a vocal stylist that weaves stories, music, images, and ideas with a pure and honest unique delivery of art and exchange. Cequita Monique is based in Memphis, TN where she has been performing for over twenty-five years as a vocallist and actress. She performs locally and across the United States as a solo artist, an ensemble member, as a chorus member, and as a featured vocalist with various bands and musicians. She also performs for both private and public events including, arts education initiatives with projects such as the ' I Am a Genius' program, also a ensemble member of the Playback Memphis Improvisational Theatre Group. In April 2006 Cequita decided to spread her wings by working for Memphis based Pinnacle Airlines as a Flight Attendant and performing when she was not flying. She worked this position based in Memphis, Atlanta, and Detroit until October 2017.
  • Terric Edwards

    Terric Edwards

    Actor and Playback Fellow

    Terric Edwards is a 2016 graduate of Playback Memphis' Performing the Peace, an innovative program (active 2014-2018) that brought together cohorts of Memphis police officers and individuals with justice histories from LifeLine to Success to learn the art form of Playback Theatre as a tool for breaking down barriers of distrust, building authentic relationships and learning whole-hearted leadership skills like active listening and empathy. His story is featured in the documentary film Performing the Peace. Discovering his own performance and storytelling skills as well as his love for Playback theatre, Terric continued to work as an apprentice ensemble member with Playback Memphis from 2016-2021. Currently, Terric is in the second year of a Fellowship with Playback Memphis and also performs regularly as a professional ensemble member while working full time at Graceland. He's a proud father and husband and passionate about sharing his journey in recovery to inspire individuals and systems to grow, heal, and flourish.
  • Kayla Brooks


    Kayla Brooks is a Memphis native with a passion for people and performing. A true creative at heart, Kayla is a poet, writer, actress, and a lover of storytelling. In addition to being an artist, Kayla is a yoga teacher and avid traveler. In her time away from the stage, she enjoys supporting groups and teams navigate difficult conversations and arrive at sustainable solutions.
  • B-Tree Rogers

    B-Tree Rogers

    B-Tree Rogers aka "Tree like the one outside " is one-third of Friends That Rap. He fell in love with music as early 8 years old. His father was a musician as well. He would travel a round with his father as he gigged around the South. Born in Memphis, TN, B-Tree wants to spread the words, inspiration, trial and errors, and dedication of Friends That Rap. B-Tree is very inspiration and motivational. B-Tree's musical ear is quite unique with mixture of rock, pop, hip-hop, R&B, and rap. He looks at the world as a canvas. He's just waiting to show the world his painting.
  • Dabrell Thompson

    Dabrell Thompson


    The sun shines brighter when he sees smiles glide higher across peoples faces. To love yourself is to love life. Dabrell Thompson is a musician, a artist, and author. He wants to inspire through love of sound, theatre, and cinema. He is currently enrolled at Full Sail University for his bachelor's in Creative Writing. Hoping to be a voice to a generation with the necessary skills to minister positive change. He is one-third of music group Friends That Rap with his brothers. He is the golden Lion of Playback roaring with his family members of this fantastic Ensemble.
  • Michael Khanlarian

    Michael Khanlarian


  • Rhonda Woodfork-Johnson


    Beginning in high school and later in college, Rhonda Woodfork-Johnson began to love and participate in the arts and its culture. Locally, she has graced many stages in Memphis and the tri-states, from Hattiloo Theatre (I Ain’t Your Uncle, Once on this Island, Simply Simone, If Scrooge was a Brother), Evergreen Theater (Inner City South’s Rhyme or Reason, Mind Games, Where’s Nyla?), Cannon Center for the Performing Arts (Akeelah and the Bee), and The Pulpit is Not a Playground. Rhonda also served as actress, director, and assistant director for Blues City Culture (The Big Ten, The Spirit of Kwanzaa, Ritual Murder). She was nominated for and won the 2018 Diversity on Stage Award for Best Comedic Stage Actress, and also earned the coveted Ostrander Award as an ensemble member.
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