A conversation session at the 2017 Playback Conference in Hobart recognised that there was a gap in training opportunities in Australasia for playback practitioners outside what is delivered by individual companies. The group recognised that there is vast experience in our ranks and that there is a need to make this experience more available in ways that allow for deeper engagement than is possible at conference sessions. There was also a strong acknowlegement of the important role that the NZ summer school had on playback development in our region. 

Following a survey of the playback community a broad cross-section of practitioners decided to support this initiative of an Australasian Playback School. 

Background to the early events


At a teleconference in September 2017 a decision was taken to begin offering training that would be hosted by a particular company with input from a couple of representatives from the broader community. Sydney Playback Theatre offered to host the first event and worked with practitioners from Perth, the Blue Mountains and Wellington to organise the first event ‘Deepening Relationships in Playback Theatre’ . 

Those on our initial teleconference recognised that there is work to be done to identify the most practical 'governance' model for an Australasian School but the current model of the event being hosted by a company with input from others appears to be a good initial model for the School. Establishing a board, or committee to run the school was discussed and this may be a conversation that needs to happen again at some point

The first event happened in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney in November 2018. The second event was hosted by the Brisbane company in July 2019. Melbourne Playback has offered to host the third event in 2020. It is important to note that the School is still in its establishment phase. While the initial hosting of events has happened on the east coast the intention is that events will happen across the region.


Put simply the goal of the Australasian School of Playback is to provide an opportunity for all playback practitioners around the region to learn from some of the most experienced practitioners and trainers in the world. In this region we have an abundance of experience and we want to unlock that so that everyone can benefit.

The school, as distinct from a conference, is about the opportunity to work intensively with a small group, guided by facilitators with significant experience. At its heart is the desire for the quality of our individual playback practice, the practice of our companies and the quality of practice across the region to deepen as we challenge and learn from each other.

The intention is to start small but to build a framework that offers a variety of different events each year. It is likely that events will have a particular target group (eg. experienced practitioners, those wanting to develop leadership, conductors, musicians)  and that there will be at least one event every couple of years that would meet the training needs/desires of most practitioners.