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Tonight's Vertical Voices Playback Theatre performance has been postponed due to inclement weather.

Tonight's Vertical Voices Playback Theatre performance has been postponed due to inclement weather.

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Vertical Voices Playback Theatre performs Friday, January 25 at 7:30 PM at the 37th Street Middle School Drama Studio. Playback Theatre honors the human experience by bringing personal stories to life on the stage in performance. Vertical Voices is a troupe of committed student actors who replay stories on-the-spot in front of the audience. Playback is an exciting way to learn about any community. Reservations are recommended. Call 202/537-8150. There is no admission fee, but donations are accepted for a Playback Theatre service learning project at the Milton Hershey School in May. Vertical Voices will also perform at the Metro DC Middle School Student Diversity Leadership Conference at Sandy Spring Friends School on January 29, 2013.

Playback Theatre gives voice to people in a community and honors the human experience by bringing personal stories to life on the stage. Playback Theatre invites the audience to share personal stories and honors the storytellers through enacting their experiences. These enactments have promoted compassion and understanding in challenging arenas around the world. Groups in conflict and people divided by race, class or caste have found new attitudes of acceptance through sharing experiences in playback performances.

A playback performance is centered on the personal feelings and experiences shared by audience members. A typical performance begins with a simple question to warm-up the audience: What was your week like? Who has traveled a distance to be here tonight? A group of actors dramatizes what they hear in brief “fluid sculptures,” accompanied by live music. Then the “conductor” of the evening invites someone to tell a longer story. An audience member comes up to the stage and is interviewed. The only rule is that the story told must be the personal experience of the storyteller. The actors and musicians listen carefully, the conductor shapes the story, and the enactment follows without planning or discussion. At its best, the “playback” reaches into the story behind the story, serving the storyteller by adding insight and art to what has been shared.

For more information, contact Tim Reagan at reagant@sidwell.edu, or 202/537-2454.