Prologue After serving as conductor for a public performance, an audience member, whom I’ll call Sarah, comes up to me as soon as the show ends. “I need to talk […]
About Anne Ellinger
Welcome to this blog, friends and strangers! I’m excited for this chance to reflect on my many experiences with Playback Theatre, and to invite other Playback practitioners and fans to share their reflections, too. In case we haven’t met yet, I'll say a bit about my life (written in 2014) so you’ll know at least a few basic facts about your conductor for this journey.
I’m a 58-year old white US woman, raised upper-middle-class in New Jersey and Honolulu. I’ve lived in a suburb of Boston for nearly 30 years now, and in 2001 helped to start True Story Theatre. Since then have acted in about 300 shows and served as conductor for about two dozen (as I’m newly stepping into that role).
I’m at a miraculous and blessed time of my life: deeply satisfied in my 34 year-old marriage with Christopher (True Story’s director), relieved that our 23 year old son seems in a good stage of life, and delighted with the near-daily companionship of my 93 year old mother who recently moved close by. I’m relishing the astonishing freedom of “retirement” when I'm relatively young and healthy -- which is why I have the slack to not only to perform Playback often and help manage our troupe of 20 players, but also to reflect in writing about the many gifts Playback brings.
And you? I imagine you are someone who also cares about Playback Theatre: a Friend of True Story, a Playback student, a practitioner in another company, or simply an enthralled audience member who wants to understand more. Welcome, all. I hope to get to know you.
I’m excited and scared about taking on this blog! Storyteller Jennifer Justice used to tell her students, “Fear is simply excitement without breath.” So I’m breathing deeply. Are you?
Entries by Anne Ellinger
Which would you prefer: to listen to a panel of experts with Power Point slides? Or to see theater? Recently, True Story was the “opening act” at an educational event, […]
True Story Theater is often invited to perform or teach with the aim of building bridges between participants across differences such as age, race, class, organizational position, or sexual orientation. […]
It’s ridiculously difficult in the great outdoors to create the focus and intimacy people need to share important and often vulnerable stories from their lives. Yet in warmer weather, so […]
One of the most beautiful parts of being in a Playback company is how deeply we get to know and trust each other. Yet one of the saddest parts of […]
WINTER CLASSES Advanced class: conducting skills & scene work Wed. Jan. 8- Feb. 19 6 classes + free extra class
I entered my relationship with Playback in just the same way I entered the now-32-year relationship with my spouse: blithely. “This is fun!” I thought. “I’ll give it a try.” My philosophy in […]
This is one of the first — and best — things I ever wrote about Playback. I think I had been performing only a year or two at that point. […]