Women’s college. university of queensland

Women’s college. university of queensland

Program 2. Intention and Purpose on the Playback Stage

Women’s College. University of Queensland. Brisbane July 5-8 2019

What are we doing when we do Playback? 

What’s our purpose? What’s our intention?

These questions interrogate the form itself, and our work within it as Conductors, Actors and Musicians.  

Over three days we will reflect on the wider purpose of Playback - its place in the world; its function as a vehicle for community building; its capacity for exploring social issues; its ability to reflect meaning and the deeper currents of our lives. 

Within this framework we will explore how to hold and deepen our own intention and purpose on the Playback stage.

Each role - Conductor, Actor, Musician - has a unique part to play. Each holds something different throughout a Playback event. Has their own work to do. Then, within that overall purpose, each person must respond to the unfolding moments on stage. In this highly fluid dynamic we are challenged to keep drawing on our spontaneity and creativity, act with integrity, hold a thoughtful awareness of story and the emerging life of the group, play freely.

This will be an opportunity to develop your skills in a collegial atmosphere, build on and deepen your network of learning, explore and reflect on your practice.

The Trainers

You will be working with two of Australasia's most experienced playback practitioners. Between them Peter Hall and Johanna De Ruyter have well over 50 years of playback experience, conducting, acting, training and leading companies.



Peter Hall

Peter has been involved with Playback Theatre for over 35 years.

In 1980 he studied at the Drama Action Centre with Francis Batten and Bridget Brandon, and in Playback Theatre with Jonathan Fox, Jo Salas and members of the original company. He was a founding member of Playback Theatre Sydney (1980-2000) performing as both a conductor and actor. He served two periods as Director of the company during the 1990’s.

In 1996 and 1997 he was Guest Faculty at the School of Playback Theatre in New York. From 1997 - 2000 he was a Board member of the IPTN. He has published a number of articles in the IPTN Journal.

He was a tutor at the Drama Action Centre for many years, and Director for eight years (1993-2000) leading classes in mask, clown, improvisation, storytelling, spontaneity, presentation and leadership skills, as well as Playback Theatre.

Between 1990 - 1994 he completed four years training in Psychodrama. From 2014 - 2018 he has been running training groups with Rollo Browne focusing on developing spontaneity in leaders by combining psychodrama with mask and improvisation.

He is a storyteller and in 2015 toured his most recent one man show: Father and Son.

He has performed and taught extensively throughout Australia, as well as in New Zealand, Europe and the US.


Johanna De Ruyter

Johanna is passionate about the complementary relationship of communication and the performing arts. For Johanna the central core of theatre has always been about authentic expression, communication and connection. She has been working for over two decades as an actor and collaborator on various improv based and award-winning theater projects both nationally and internationally. She is a long term (25years) member of Playback Theatre Sydney where she has held leadership roles, is a performer, trainer and conductor and a trainer with the School of Playback Theatre in Sydney.

She has also completed formal studies in:

  • Diploma of Remedial Massage

  • Certificate IV Workplace Training & Assessment

  • Bachelor of Arts & Communications Studies

  • Communications Media major – Health Media Major

  • Diploma in Movement at the Drama Action Centre

  • Accredited Results Coaching

In addition, she facilitates Leadership Presence training programs throughout the Asia Pacific region, with The Ariel Group, a leading US Executive Training Company. She draws on her rich theatre experience and leadership coaching skills to design and deliver her own Training, Coaching and Presentation for a range of clients in the Community and Corporate sector.

Co-ordinating Committee

This second program is being hosted and coordinated by Brisbane Playback (Neil Simmons and Sandra Collins) with assistance from Peter Hall (Leura, NSW - not currently in a company) Sara Scrutton (Darwin Playback) Rachael Dyson-McGregor (Melbourne Playback) and Michael Pooley (Sydney Playback)