Deepening Relationships in Playback Theatre. November 9-12 2018

At the heart of the Playback method lies the radical encounter of a personal story told in a public space. It takes great skill to hold the matrix of this meeting with depth and integrity. Our purpose will be to explore and develop the relationships required to navigate this complex web.

Over 3 days we will investigate the core roles of Conductor, Actor and Musician as we use the basic forms to tell our own stories.

How, as Conductors, do we develop and deepen our relationship with the audience, individual tellers, the unfolding story? How, as Actors and Musicians, do we deepen the relationships on stage? How do all of us develop our ability to hold stories deeply, while being able to lightly hold the mechanics of producing an enactment?

We will pay attention to listening, stagecraft, the role of the musician; to the importance of story in group life; to the ability to bring forth, and hold, what might be unspoken.


This will be a wonderful opportunity to meet and work with practitioners from around our region in a three day immersive training. In a small, intimate group of 16, we will raise the bar on our practice, and work to our edges, led by trainers who have over 60 years of Playback experience between them.

Come and be part of this chance to delight in our network, and inspire each other with passionate and playful openness. Step outside the regular rhythm of company rehearsals and get feedback and input from different perspectives. Three days just to focus on your playback craft – building and exploring.

If you have been ‘out of the loop’ for a time this will be a wonderful chance to reconnect with playback and the playback community. And … you will be part of this first event.

Our 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 first program is being hosted and coordinated by Sydney Playback (Michael Pooley, Johanna De Ruyter, Thanassis Boulis) with assistance from Peter Hall (Leura, NSW - not currently in a company) Claire Hewitt (Wellington, New Zealand - not currently in a company) and Arlene Quinn (Perth Playback)