Playback Theater

What is Playback Theater?

Playback Theater is centered around the idea that our personal stories are worthy of being heard and brought to life through theater. The medium of performance is improvisation and the content is taken from the audience. An audience member shares a moment from his or her life and the actors play it back on the spot, allowing the entire audience to experience the story and the storyteller to relive his or her experience from a new perspective.

In February of 2016 Jessica Lewis received formal training in Memphis, Tennessee, through the Centre of Playback Theatre. She then returned to Kazakhstan to teach it to the KELT actors, who were a little reluctant at first. One actor said, “It’s like holding a glass vase, and you are so scared you will drop it and break it.” But after the summer tour cast performed Playback on tour, we truly saw the power, the depth and immediacy that playback theater offers. People were honored that we heard their story and our performance felt as though we were giving a gift to the storyteller.

Email KELT if you're interested in joining Playback Theater as performer or receiving Playback traning.

Playback Theater for you

Want to see a KELT Playback performance? From birthday parties, to company team-building sessions, to orphanages and prisons, Playback performances are enriching, entertaining and embody community concerns. If you or your organization would like KELT to perform Playback for your group, contact Jessica at

We discover who we are by telling our stories. And as others bear witness and tell theirs in response, a deep and empathy-building conversation is created through our collective stories brought to the stage.