We help individuals and organizations grow, heal, and flourish through theatre

Unduplicated in Memphis and gaining momentum, the Playback experience is unique, innovative and galvanizing. There are many different applications for this methodology and we have only scratched the surface of Playback’s potential in Memphis.


Playback Memphis performing at the Frayser Community Center. (Photo by Mike Brown)

When Memphians from Whitehaven, Orange Mound, Frayser, Midtown, and east Memphis spend an evening bringing to life personal stories that illuminate core issues of public concern (community /police relations, educational reform, economic disparity, justice reform) and leave feeling unified instead of polarized, inspired instead of overwhelmed, hopeful instead of despairing, the result is a more unified Memphis.

  • 100% of audience members who completed our survey said they felt Playback could be useful for improving communication in schools and the workplace.
  • 85% felt Playback could be useful in faith communities and neighborhoods.
  • 84% of Community Matters survey responders said they felt inspired by their Playback experience to address the needs and concerns of their community.
  • The top five qualities Community Matters participants felt were present in their Playback experience are: Kindness (84%), Joy, Courage, Respect and Honesty (79%, each).
  • UPPs program participants called the performance “wonderful” and “therapeutic.” “Enlightening and very DIFFERENT,” the experience was also lauded as practical “effective communication for an organized group setting” and “a breath of fresh air.”
  • During Performing the Peace, quantitative results of Integration of Stressful Life Experiences Scale (ISLES) showed significant pre-post intervention changes in meaning made in relation to a specific stressful life event. Meaning-making abilities for Lifeline participants (ex-offenders) went up 13 points on the scale, while MPD officers saw an increase of 3 points on average.
  • On average, MPD officers and ex-offenders saw an 11% increase of positive perception of one another during our Performing the Peace program in Frayser.
  • When asked to describe the Performing the Peace experience in one word, participants said: Empowering, Eye-opening, Interesting, Understanding, WOW, Awesome, Moving, and Emotional.
  • 87% of participants felt their Playback experience relieved their stress.
  • 90% of participants would recommend Playback Memphis to a friend.
  • 100% of participants surveyed felt that we were living up to our Mission Statement.   (We bring stories to life in a safe space to unlock healing, transformation, and joy.)

“I feel Playback can encourage us to be more HONEST and OPEN about the strengths of Memphis.” – Written audience feedback

Tennessee Arts Commission
Arts Memphis

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