Playback Theatre is an original form of improvisational theatre in which audience or group members tell stories from their lives and watch them enacted on the spot. The first Playback Theatre Company was founded in 1975 by Jonathan Fox and Jo Salas.
In a playback theatre event, someone in the audience tells a moment or story from their life, the actors play the different roles, and then all those present watch the enactment, as the story "comes to life" with artistic shape and nuance. Actors draw on non-naturalistic styles to convey meaning, such as metaphor or song. A therapeutic form is adapted so that individuals can gain insight, catharsis, connection, and self-expression through telling their stories and participating in enacting stories of others. By closely recreating real-life situations, and acting them out in the present, individuals have the opportunity to evaluate their behavior and more deeply understand a particular situation in their lives. Individuals explore internal conflicts by acting out their emotions and interpersonal interactions on stage. This helps them to derive at appropriate decisions in their real life.