The Chicago Playback Theatre Ensemble is seeking new ensemble members for our 2022 season! In Playback Theatre, actors guide audience members in sharing their own memories and experiences which are then brought to life on stage by the actors using improv, movement, and music. The result may be joyous, sad, funny, or powerful, but it will always stem from a place of honesty in honoring the teller’s story. Learn more about Playback Theatre here:

In our 2022 season, we will develop educational youth programming with the Woodlawn Restorative Justice Hub, perform at least 4 shows, including with partners No Shame On U and Wise Up, and continue our bi-monthly educational open rehearsals. Learn more about Chicago Playback Theatre Ensemble here:

We hope to keep building an ensemble that is a reflection of Chicago and are seeking civic-minded Chicago-based performers above 21 of all ethnicities, sexual orientations, gender identities, abilities, and silhouettes that have great collaborative skills, strong listening skills, and improvisational abilities. We especially welcome performers of color, men (trans or cis), gender non-conforming people, people over the age of 35, and people with disabilities. Musical improvisers, physical and devised theatre artists, folks with experience working with youth, parents, therapists/counselors/healers, and people with non-theatre backgrounds are also highly encouraged to attend.

We rehearse on Tuesdays from 7 pm-9 pm starting March 1st. All rehearsals and programming is currently virtual but will transition to in-person in the spring at the Second Unitarian Church at 656 W Barry Ave. The transition to in-person rehearsal and programming will be collaboratively determined and the ensemble is expected to be fully vaccinated by that transition. Partner programming will primarily take place on Tuesday nights but may also be scheduled on other weekday evenings or weekends with advanced notice. The season will run until August 2022 with Spring and Summer breaks. Ensemble members are expected to attend a majority of rehearsals and shows.

The ensemble will make every effort to compensate for participation, but our commitment to accessibly-priced shows has kept our budget small. Therefore compensation will be determined by the success of the ensemble’s pursuit of paying gigs, grant proposals, and fundraisers. Our plan is to divide 80% of season profits to the ensemble, which we estimate will be a $100 stipend.

Auditions will be held virtually on Zoom on Tuesday, February 15th from 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm and Sunday, February 19th from 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm. The audition will be casual and focused on team building where we’ll work with some playback short forms, so come ready to move and play! If you cannot make our audition time but this work sounds exciting to you, please contact us anyway! To be considered for an audition, fill out this audition form by midnight on Thursday, January 27th:

We strongly encourage you to attend our free Open Rehearsal on January 25th for an introduction to Playback Theatre and to our ensemble! Register here:

Accessibility Info: Live captioning will be enabled on zoom. Our eventual in-person rehearsal place is not currently wheelchair accessible, but should we have ensemble members needing a wheelchair accessible space we will find a new rehearsal location. Also, to be transparent, we currently have minimal experience adapting our Playback practice for participants with sight and hearing impairments, but we have many resources and mentors to draw upon and are committed to developing a Playback practice that works for the abilities of our ensemble. Please let us know via the google doc if you have access needs and we will work to meet them! Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions at!