Founding Faculty:

Jonathan Fox
Jonathan is the founder of Playback Theatre and the artistic and executive director of the original Playback Theatre company from its inception in 1975. He is the author of Acts of Service: Spontaneity, Commitment, Tradition in the Nonscripted Theatre; the editor of The Essential Moreno: Writings on Spontaneity, Psychodrama and Group Method; and co-editor of Gathering Voices: Essays on Playback Theatre. In 2008 he was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Kassel in Germany for artistic and scholarly achievement in theatre.


Jo Salas
Portrait of Jo SalasJo is a founding member of the original Playback Theatre company, and founder-director of Hudson River Playback Theatre, now in its 20th year. Jo co-produced and is featured in the DVD Performing Playback Theatre. A core faculty member of the School since its inception, Jo also teaches playback internationally. She writes frequently about playback and is the author of Improvising Real Life: Personal Story in Playback Theatre and Do My Story, Sing My Song: Music Therapy and Playback Theatre with Troubled Children. Her two CD’s include Listen and Remember, a collection of songs for groups.


Centre Faculty Includes:

Aviva Apel-Rosenthal

Amanda Brown

Will Chalmus

Penny Clayton

Alison Fairlove

Hannah Fox

Pamela Freeman

Sarah Halley

Audun Mollan Kristoffersen

Tjitske Muller

Veronica Needa

Joke Rood

Nurit Shoshan

Judy Swallow

Sarah Urech

Tim Van Ness

Christopher von Baeyer

United States and Canada Faculty:

Will Chalmus
Will is a cum laude graduate of Brandeis University ’07′ with high honors in Theater Arts. As a teacher he has trained youth theater skills for personal development in Boston, (MA) USA, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Brisbane, Australia. Will is the founder of the Brandeis Playback Theatre Society, the Secretary of the Board of Directors of the Centre for Playback Theatre, and serves on the Board of Trustees of the Internet Players.


Penny Clayton
Penny has been an actor, conductor, and administrator with Hudson River Play-back Theatre since 1998. A graduate of the Centre training program, Penny presented last year at the “Playback in the Academy” conference in Windsor, Canada.



Hannah Fox
Hannah is an Associate professor of Dance and Theatre at Manhattanville College. She is the founder and artistic director of Big Apple Playback Theatre. Hannah teaches dance, theatre and improv workshops internationally and is the author of Zoomy Zoomy: Improv Games and Exercises for Groups.


Pamela Freeman
Pamela is a psychotherapist in Philadelphia and a long time social activist in peace and social justice. She is co-founder of Playback for Change in Philadelphia, and a graduate of the School of Playback Theatre.



Sarah Halley
Sarah is a co-director of Playback for Change in Philadelphia and past president of the International Playback Theatre Network. Sarah uses playback theatre and other experiential methods in organizational development work, including diversity change initiatives. She is also a lead facilitator for the Whites Confronting Racism series at Training for Change, a global training organization for activists, and an artist-in-residence with the Pennsylvania Council of the Arts.



Judy Swallow
Judy is a founding member of the original playback theatre company and founding director of Community Playback Theatre, now 25 years old. She is Co-director of the Hudson Valley Psychodrama Institute and a body/mind psychotherapist with a private practice.


Sarah Urech
Sarah is assistant director of Hudson River Playback Theatre and has been acting and conducting together with Jo Salas since 1994. A graduate of the Centre for Playback Theatre, Sarah served on the board of the International Playback Theatre Network from 2006 to 2010. She has taught and performed playback in 12 countries and multiple languages. In 2011, she co-moderated the IPTN World Playback Theatre Conference in Frankfurt, Germany. Sarah is a Licensed Master’s Social Worker, a certified psychodramatist, and the Program Manager at the Omega Women’s Leadership Center.



Tim Van Ness
Tim is founder and President of Van Ness & Company. For 15 years he has been using PT and action methods for leadership development and transforming organizational culture in fortune 100 and 500 companies.


Christopher von Baeyer
Chris is Artistic Director of Toronto Playback Theatre in Canada and Director of Client Relations for the Ariel Group, an international training and consulting firm. He is a graduate of the School of PT.

International Faculty:

Aviva Apel-Rosenthal
Aviva is founder and artistic director of PlayLife, and currently president of IPTN – the International Playback Theatre Network. She has a BA in Theatre Studies, MA in Gender and Arts Studies, and Diploma in Arts therapy.


Nurit Shoshan
Nurit has been a Playback Theatre practitioner since 1991, working with PlayLife in Tel-Aviv for many years bringing Playback Theatre into organizations and business. For over 12 years now, she has been conducting groups and performances dealing with crises and trauma.

Both Aviva Apel-Rosenthal and Nurit Shoshan are full time Playback Theatre practitioners teaching and conducting PT workshops and performances for artistic, therapeutic and business oriented organizations with PlayLife Playback Theatre Company, in Tel Aviv, Israel. Together they are the directors of the Israeli School of PT which is affiliated to the Centre for Playback Theatre in NY. www.playback1.co.il

Amanda Brown
Amanda trained & worked professionally as a dancer & choreographer in theatre & television. Alongside her work with Playback Theatre, Amanda works in community arts and teaches movement and improvisation workshops internationally.

Alison Fairlove
Alison has a background in Theatre in Education, and as a Counselor with particular experience in sexual & domestic abuse. She has a commitment to discovering how we can bring some balance back to the world by remembering & embracing the deep feminine voice in us all which continues to be devalued and largely unheard.

Both Amanda Brown and Alison Fairlove have been playbackers since 1995, and are co-artistic directors of Mirror Mirror and Tarte Noire Playback Theatre Companies in the United Kingdom.
www.tartenoire.co.uk & www.mirrormirrortheatre.co.uk



Audun Mollan Kristoffersen
Audun started with Playback Theatre in 2001 and is artistic director and actor for Teater Momentum in Trondheim, Norway – a group that does research on playback theatre from an educational perspective. His MSc in Education is on the topic of inclusion and aesthetics and he works as a special needs teacher in an elementary school.


Veronica Needa
Veronica is co-artistic director of True Heart Theatre, and founder-member of London Playback Theatre. She coordinates the School of PT (UK) and is a past president of the International Playback Theatre Network (1998-2003). She currently sits on the Board of the Centre for Playback Theatre. Her MA in Drama is on Autobiographical Theatre. www.trueheart.org.uk, www.londonplayback.co.uk & www.playbackschooluk.org


Tjitske Muller

Tjitske is the founding director of the first professional Playback Theatre company in Holland – Theatre Draad (Thread Theatre, founded in 2001), and was also the founding member of the first PT company in the Netherlands PBT Amsterdam in 1995. She has a BA in Dramatherapy, and is a fulltime Playback Theatre practitioner.  www.theaterdraad.nl


Joke Rood
Joke is a marketing professional in the arts and founder member of Wordt Vervolgd, which means ‘To be continued’. They have been an ensemble for 13 years. Their clients have included Greenpeace, Ministry of Finance, police, government institutions, schools, an asylum seeker centre and many others. She is highly motivated to create a good relationship between goals, cash, art and customers for playbackers.   www.wordtvervolgd.net

Both Joke Rood and Tjitske Muller are delivering Playback Theatre as a business in the Netherlands. They are keen to support other playbackers in finding a way to make it work in their own contexts. Tjitske’s motivation to share her experience and knowledge is: ‘ …The moment that all playback free-timers start to think about a part-or full time playback job, the impact of playback theatre, as a positive vibe in this world, will grow. That’s what the world needs now! If you start to do playback for a living, you will be able to invest more ‘lifetime’ in your playback work because you earn money with it. Doing this, Playback Theatre, this beautiful instrument of connection and communication, will be available whenever, wherever!’