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Upcoming Events

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Everyone‘s got a story. What’s yours?

Look above at the themes of upcoming shows. Have something to share? Write us! Your story could be played back in one of our next performances.

About True Story Theater

True Story Theater performs and teaches a style of improvisation theater called Playback in which audience or group members tell stories from their lives and watch them enacted on the spot.

By inviting people to share their stories and transforming them spontaneously into theater, True Story Theater mission promotes social healing.

Our events create a respectful atmosphere where every voice can be heard and any story told — however ordinary or extraordinary, difficult or joyful.

True Story Theater offers audiences fresh perspectives, deeper connections, and a renewed appreciation for our common humanity.

  • A Powerful Cultural Tool for Change

    True Story Theater is a powerful, creative, performing art form that allows different voices to be heard and respected.

  • Partner With Us

    Bring True Story Theater to your organization for a special performance, event, or workshop.

  • Play with Us

    Take a Playback class or workshop and experience for yourself its joyful power.

  • Support Us

    Contribute funds to the development of True Story Theater as a unique cultural tool for promoting peace and understanding.

What people say about us

Your performance was an incredible experience for me. I was particularly impressed with the instant community created in the theatre space. I’ve never felt so comfortable to talk to those around me. I’m not quite sure how you created such an atmosphere, but I cherish having been a part of it.

Aliza YarrowCommunity Theatre Artist

I can’t think of a single thing that would make an event more memorable than to have True Story Theater come in and bring people’s stories to life.

Jason McGarvaCopywriter & Publisher

True Story was most powerful in our conference on extreme poverty. The troupe demonstrated an extraordinary ability to listen deeply to the testimonies of the presenters, and then they courageously and skillfully brought life to their experiences.

Donna Haig FriedmanDirector, Center for Social Policy, University of Massachusetts Boston

The troupe’s experience really showed. The whole effect was to create a sense of trust: that honesty  was welcomed and carefully honored, and that each of us in the room would be well held in your competent hands.

Mimi GraneyDirector of Union Sq. Main Streets

Join as a Friend of True Story Theater.  Find out why!

Meet Our Troupe

Christopher Ellinger, Director

Christopher Ellinger, Director

founded True Story Theater in 2001. He brings to his leadership over 30 years as a nonprofit founder and executive director. Before focusing on his passion for the arts, he was a national presenter and award-winning author on philanthropy promotion and co-founder of BolderGiving.org.

Alysa Escobar

Alysa Escobar

teaches dance and drama to children as well as writing plays for young audiences. She loves to dance, sing, play, and practices Nia. She believes in the power of art and the creative spirit to heal and facilitate change.

Amber Espar

Amber Espar

works on business and partnership building for True Story Theater, teaches creative movement and ecology classes, and coordinates festivals and creative exchanges with Playback North America. She is a certified Dynamic Embodiment somatic movement educator and therapist.

Ani Nguyen

Ani Nguyen

balances her life as a scientist, artist, and humanist. She spent various parts of her life in Vietnam, Hungary, and the United States. She’s currently a doctoral student in the Systems Biology Department at Harvard Medical School. She co-organized an academic conference on How to End a Revolution.

Anne Ellinger

Anne Ellinger

has been part of True Story Theater from the start. She and husband Christopher (True Story’s Director) are cofounders of Bolder Giving, a national initiative that promotes the stories of extraordinary givers. She is part of the team helping to launch Playback North America.

Annie Hoffman

Annie Hoffman

worked for 20 years as a potter and the last 15 years as a yoga teacher and mother. She manages Art and Soul – a space in Cambridge MA for creative/expressive arts.

Ari Daniel Shapiro

Ari Daniel Shapiro

Ari tells stories for a living, reporting on science and the environment for public radio programs. Ari Daniel Shapiro’s grandmother turned him onto the world of theater in middle school, and it has been a passion of his ever since.

Caitlin Green

Caitlin Green

is a graduate of Emerson College in Theatre Education/Acting. she produced and performed “Seed of Spirit GenY,” a one woman interactive piece. Caitlin is also a yoga teacher.

Carol Bass

Carol Bass

has been an Improvisational performer since the 90′s. She has also done traditional theater as well as voice work, commercials and radio theater. She is a former Attorney and Mediator and is currently a practicing life Coach and avid student of Psychodrama. She is very excited to be starting Simmons School of Social Work.

Emily Woods

Emily Woods

is a junior at Emerson College; studying acting, directing and art history. She works as a barista in Jamaica Plain and has recently begun using honey in place of shampoo.

Felix Treitler

Felix Treitler

Licensed Clinical Independent Social Worker and has a private practice in Psychotherapy and Life Coaching. Felix has appeared in print ads, commercials, videos, film, plays, and has his own talk show on Cable TV.

Jason Jedrusiak

Jason Jedrusiak

is a performance and multi-media artist, improvisational actor/director, yoga and meditation instructor, photographer, poet, and clown. Jason also directs Laughing Matter, a non-profit dedicated to spreading laughter to those in need.

Johnny Lapham

Johnny Lapham

is an artist and performer working with issues of male behavior, positive sexuality, and white people working against racism. His art work can be seen at the Big Hand Studio in Cambridge, MA.

Kamau M. Hashim

Kamau M. Hashim

began professional acting at the Huntington Theater and worked with the R.O.S.E. Theater Company (Roxbury Outreach Shakespeare Experience). He played Mac Duff in MacBeth, Petruchio in The Taming of the Shrew, and Glouster in King Lear, and Cyrano as Lebret at the Publick.

Mary Elizabeth Wheeler

Mary Elizabeth Wheeler

is an improvisational songwriter, song leader, singer, and teacher with 22 years in Authentic VoiceWork. Co-creator of the SpiritSong process and the Mystic Soul CD, she directs Indigo River, an organization dedicated to bringing the authentic voice to life.

Michelle Mount

Michelle Mount

has performed in 35+ productions with numerous theatrical organizations around the country. For 7+ years she has taught and directed children’s theatre productions and classes. She holds a Master of Liberal Arts in Extension Studies with a concentration in Dramatic Arts from Harvard University.

Nicole Brucato

Nicole Brucato

has been performing ever since she can remember. She holds a BFA from NYU’s acting program. She is a registered drama therapist and a licensed marriage and family therapist for individuals, children, and families. She is excited to be a new mom!

Paul Merrill

Paul Merrill

has returned to Boston where he is a trainer of Nonviolent Communication at NVC Boston. He is also a painter, and was lead vocalist in The Joan Group for ten years.

Teresa Dinaburg

Teresa Dinaburg

began her career onstage at age 15, with the circus. In 1998, she co-created a trapeze act which toured North and South America and Europe, and performed for six years in Germany’s thriving Cabaret scene. Teresa holds a degree in Expressive Therapies from Lesley University.

Tonia Pinhiero

Tonia Pinhiero

is founder of Wake Up! Works and ISEEU Theater. She uses her love of improv, and her musical, professional, communications and spiritual knowledge and skills in service to individual, social, and planetary healing and conscious living.

Contact us & Send us your story