The Living Arts Playback Theatre Ensemble is an interactive, improvisational theatre company that enacts personal stories. For nearly 30 years, the ensemble has created performances and workshops that transform, empower, and validate the human experience. 

Upcoming Events

What We Do

Since 1991, we have worked with schools, hospitals, organizations, social justice and activist groups, religious communities, and conferences. We also perform for private events such as weddings, birthdays and other milestones. We produce Playback Theatre performances for the general public in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond.

We practice a unique form of interactive and improvisational theatre called Playback Theatre, which prioritizes the values of empathy and mutual respect. In our performances, a skilled facilitator, or “Conductor”, elicits a multitude of feelings and personal stories from audience members or “Tellers”. Our ensemble of professional actors and musicians then brings those stories to life in a way that is honoring, illuminating, and transformative.             

Work With Us!


We offer performances, workshops, and classes for private groups and the general public. We have worked with large and small businesses, hospitals, nonprofits, schools, prisons, religious communities, and for milestones such as weddings and birthdays. Please visit our Work With Us page for more information about how to bring transformative, immersive experiences to your group, organization, or company.


“Playback theatre engages the mind and the heart while being a communal event, which is rare.”

Avital O.

“You bring so much unrealized healing out in the open.”

David C.

“Such a pleasure to witness the level of trust that each actor must have in him/her self and each for the others, for spontaneity and authenticity to shine!”

Lowell B.

“Loved the whole experience from soup to nuts! Impressed by the process of getting people to share and the ability of the actors to portray true feelings.”

Katie H.

“Interactive storytelling is so healing! The intuitive and skilled performers shine a light into the teller’s heart, condensing the story into an intelligible, simple emotion.”

Mickey H.

“Wonderful. Brilliant. Illuminating.”

Marilyn P.

“It was so dynamic. I wish I would have shared my story (too scared), but in a way I felt a part of every story.”

Jill H.

“Amazing – would be great for conferences, schools and healing work. The power of story and seeing yours on stage is wonderful.”

Steph S.

“Excellent interpretation of my experience. I am transformed.”

Brandon P.

Contact Us

Moments of our lives can be touchstones, full of power and significance. Playback Theatre transforms personal stories told by audience members into theatre pieces using movement, ritual, music, and spoken improvisation.”

-Armand Volkas, Artistic Director