A letter from our Chair

Dear Playback community,
It was wonderful to see so many of you in Montreal last July, learn from you and your work, and share a little bit about where the Centre is headed. I am happy to announce that our recent auction has raised US $3,756.00 that will be given to our students in the form of scholarships for our upcoming classes.

As we prepare for 2016 with exciting new programs, we are also going through new cycles with our Board of Directors. Last month, we said goodbye to two of our oldest Board members: Jen Kristel, from Vermont, USA and Pamela Freeman, from Pennsylvania, USA. With their passion, dedication, and a lot of hard work, they supported the School of Playback Theatre as it became the Centre for Playback Theatre, they supported Jonathan and the Centre when he retired from CPT, and together with other Board members, they stepped up as administrators at a time when the organization could not afford an Executive Director. Thanks to all their effort we are still moving forward and back on a thriving path.

Jennie-Pamela_web_11-15Jen joined the Board in 2002. She played a key role when the School transitioned into a nonprofit organization and established the Libra scholarship Program which worked to restore the balance so more individuals could gain access to Playback Theatre training. Pamela, the first African-American to join our Board, arrived in 2004. She was instrumental in helping establish the “PT Responds” program for the Centre with our work in New Orleans in 2006.

For part of their time with us, Jen has been our Board Chair and Pamela our Vice-Chair, and were vital in helping to implement our committee-structure, leading several committees themselves. In fact, although they are stepping down from the Board, they are still serving on several committees. There isn’t a way to express enough gratitude for all their hard work. We wish them all the best in the new phase of their lives!

Now, as we say goodbye to our dear colleagues, we are happy to announce that some amazing people have joined our Board:

  • Debe Edden, from the United States. She is the Director of the Heartsparkle Players Playback Theatre Company in Olympia, Washington.
  • Jester Lee, a social entrepreneur and facilitator from Taiwan. Jester is the standing director of Taiwan Playback Theatre Association, and the founder of Winds Playback Theatre company.
  • Nurit Shoshan, from Israel. She teaches and conducts PT workshops and performances with ‘Play-Life’ Playback Theatre Company, in Tel Aviv, and is the founder of “creative space” Playback Theatre.
  • Karin Gisler from Switzerland, the founder of Playback-Theater Zürich. She is trained in arts therapy, theater, Pantomime, Clown and Action Theatre.
  • and Ron Miller, our new Treasurer, from the Unites States. He is a Professor Emeritus of Theatre Arts from McDaniel College and has been the director of two Playback Theatre companies: the Maryland Playback Ensemble, and McDaniel Playback.
  • Michael Cheng, Tim Reagan, Veronica Needa, and I, together with our Executive Director Heidi Reagan are excited to welcome each of them into our CPT board family.

    The challenges of the world are escalating. Our newspapers and TV news reports are full of deep and disturbing stories. Including Playback Theatre, there are many creative ways to support your community and yourselves and we are here to help your efforts in any way we can. This is an important time to be together as a community. We encourage you to reach out to other playbackers in your area and share the healing qualities of Playback.

    With love from Brazil,
    Sheila Donio
    Chair of the Board of Directors
    Centre for Playback Theatre