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Come Share Your Stories

May 18 @ 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm MDT

Connect with your community and witness stories performed on the spot by the CU Boulder’s Playback Theater Ensemble. This free community event will be held at Grand Mesa Arts & Events Center on Thursday, May 18 from 12pm to 2pm.

CU Boulder’s Playback Theatre Ensemble returns to Western Colorado with their Critical Conversations Project, a series of interactive theatrical programs which seek to build community by bringing community members’ stories to life.

The Critical Conversations Project (CCP) employs well-developed, empirically tested Playback Theatre to facilitate conversations in areas of rural Colorado that are experiencing rapid and destabilizing change (social, economic or environmental).

Playback is a non-scripted, interactive theatre form in which audience members share true stories or experiences from their lives and see them “played back” by an ensemble of actors in ways that encourage insight across difference. Like a cross between a town hall meeting and an improvisational performance, one actor from the ensemble (“the conductor”) engages the audience in a collective conversation, asking questions that address the specific concerns of those gathered. The audience’s responses are played back on the spot in non-confrontational ways that build bridges, strengthen social bonds, and lift civic spirit.

Practiced in more than 30 countries, Playback is used in projects from facilitating transitional justice in Afghanistan to repairing trust between community and police in Memphis. Empirical evidence has demonstrated its ability to improve relationships and facilitate reconciliation.

In January 2020, members of CU Boulder’s Playback Ensemble piloted the Critical Conversations Project in a four-day Playback residency in Paonia, Colorado. The pilot, designed in close collaboration with the North Folk Valley Creative Coalition (NFVCC), included two public performances, additional performances for targeted community groups, two listening sessions with community members, and one workshop for local actors. The ensemble returns this May 13 through 15 for a larger implementation, which will include four performances for targeted community partners as well as a public workshop.

Contact the Cedaredge Library for more information at 970.399.7674.


May 18
12:00 pm - 2:00 pm MDT
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Grand Mesa Arts & Events Center
195 W Main Street
Cedaredge, CO 81413 United States
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