#2 Playback reaches across divides
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. These have been some of our most satisfying experiences.
We are always hungry to hear whether and how our work makes a difference. Recently, we were thrilled by this testimonial:
“As a Palestinian in the US, I often feel alone and afraid of prejudice at social events. So I keep my identity hidden. After True Story Theater played back my experience at a conference, I felt so encouraged that I reached out to an Israeli conference participant and we made a genuine, positive connection. It was a breakthrough for me! Without that Playback experience, I would have avoided him and certainly wouldn’t have revealed my ethnicity.”
– R. Khouri
Like many people, we are heartsick about the violence between Israel and Palestine. Every tiny drop of positive connection between people in the Middle East feels valuable. We believe Playback has huge potential as a potent vehicle for helping people hear each other and heal.
Three years ago, my husband (and True Story founder) Christopher and I offered a Playback training that led to one of the first Arab Playback companies in Israel. This summer, our beloved friend Uri Alon (who lives in Israel but was part of True Story for two years) conducted several shows for Jewish people who had to leave their kibbutz because of the bombings. For several years, Ben Rivers and The Freedom Bus project has worked with Palestinian communities, spreading Playback and other theater and organizing methods. We hope it keeps spreading. There is so much to be done, both here and abroad.