DDU Playback Theatre Presented Its First Public Performance

July 12, 2010 The Dharma Drum University Playback Theatre presented the first public performance at the Degui Academy. This Playback Theatre team was organized by the University with an intention to give care to the people affected by disasters such as the typhoon Morakot. The team consisted of a conductor, five performers, a musician, and a manager/photographer. Since January, they met on a weekly basis for practice. Despite the fact that most of them had no experience in performance art, they considered the involvement in the Playback Theatre to be a great way to cultivate their potential and to lead a fuller life.

Playback Theatre is an original form of interactive, improvisational theatre in which the audiences tell stories from their lives and watch them enacted on the spot. Thus, Playback creates shared stories and experiences. It facilitates mutual understanding and transforms people into a community of empathy. There are hundreds of Playback Theatre teams around the world and sixteen in Taiwan.



“Childhood” was the main theme of the performance. The audience shared many personal real stories that made the evening full of memories, feelings, and gratitude. The DDU Playback team used various formats — fluid sculptures, brief snapshots, three sentences, and V-shape narratives - to perform the stories they heard. A grandmother shared her feelings that it’s like her second childhood babysitting her granddaughter. Another story was about how the behavioral patterns between her childhood and adulthood were so strikingly similar, especially when she was under pressure. Using the format of “fluid sculptures,” the performers expressed the complex feelings behind the story and a voice that we all have pure and simple innocence within us even if we don’t feel it.

The DDU Playback Theatre is now preparing for the next performance and workshops to serve its purpose. Also, it is recruiting new members. You are most welcome to be part of the Theatre.  (Leemen Lee/Taipei)