Hello Playback family members,

Our troupe has had such a productive summer, it boggles the mind. Recently, our own Brynn Baron was featured in Theater Vertigo’s Anonymous Theater production of The Good Doctor by Neil Simon. She also was a finalist in the Willamette Writer’s Script-to-Screen Competition, and then cast and produced Haley Isleib’s winning script “Alis Volat Propriis” into a lovely little short film, also through Willamette Writers. Dan Buchanan performed this summer at 3 music festivals: The Gorge Music Festival, the Abbey Bach Festival, and the Glendi Greek Festival. Dan also is collaborating with Sara McWilliams on classes on offer at Resound NW, including one called Singing Your Story. The first one was a “resounding” success, so we’re offering it again on September 12th. Sara also participated in the 14th annual Theater of the Oppressed training in Port Townsend, WA at the end of June, which was inspiring beyond belief. For more on that, visit the Mandala Center for Change. Jenni Miller will be featured in Lunacy Stagework’supcoming show, The Clean House, opening in September. After performing a well received Butoh inspired piece at the One Festival in Portland, John went to NYC for 2 weeks to get re certified as a Yamuna Body Rolling Instructor and work with his mom, who is in assisted living. A week of massages and body rolling later, mom was looking and feeling better than she had since last year’s visit. He also got to dance the 5 Rhythms at the Joffrey Ballet Studio, and see “As You Like It” at the Shakespeare in the Park Concert Series. John then spent July and August working on his book “No More Heart Attacks”. Kevin Ferguson has several gigs coming up which are not to be missed, (September 1st, ahem…), and you can find all that info on this website, http://debone.com/gigs.html. Dino Paris has been working on a group called Game Changer: Change Your Game Change Your Life. It uses sports and games as a metaphor to drive up issues, and creative arts to shift patterns. That begins soon as well, and more information can be found at www.BreakthroughTransformation.com.

Finally, our artistic director Jackie Paris was recently featured in the most recent issue of the NADTA‘s newsletter, being honored and spotlighted for her work in the field of drama therapy. Read the transcript below!

“Our first member in the spotlight is Jackie Paris, LMFT, RDT-BCT, from our Western Region. Jackie has graciously allowed me to share many facets of her work including pictures of her in action with her Playback Theater troupe and a link to a video of a community theater production.

How do you identify in the role of Drama Therapist?  My profession, as a Drama Therapist has finally taken off and now I am known as a “Drama Therapist” (Ripe old age of 46 – but nevertheless – it’s happening!!!)

 What does your membership in NADTA mean to you?  I am fully committed to furthering our profession, since it’s highly effective and it works.  Drama Therapy is still gaining a foothold in the broader field of mental health, and the NADTA is the most powerful vehicle to keep drama therapists connected, and to help legitimize our field and give it the place it deserves in the filed of mental health.

 How you have been mentored and supported as a Drama Therapist? I have considered Renee Emunah to be my primary mentor, as well as Armand Volkas – who both took me under their wing and taught me how to fly.  I also am being mentored by Sally Bailey, as I now am a BCT and am in process with the Alternative Training Path.

 Can you tell us about your training path?  I grew up in South Africa, and went to the University of Cape Town.  I was trained in traditional Freudian psychoanalysis, but found that people would come in and talk about their problems, but this did not necessarily lead to CHANGE in people’s lives.  So being an actress at the time, and immersed in the theater arts, I naturally staring utilizing the theatre games and techniques within the therapeutic process, and found the results to be far more effective.  I then came to the USA and studied at CIIS, and got my Masters in Clinical Psychology with a specialization in the field of Drama Therapy.

 What are your current work and interests?  I currently work inprivate practice with individuals, families and groups.  My practice is going really well, and have become known here in the local area as someone who  generates results – so it seems like people are now seeking an

action oriented process since they are eager to have change in their lives.  I also do corporate trainings, and am utilizing drama therapy techniques in this context too.  I also started and run the Portland Playback Theater troupe, and we do public shows as well as corporate trainings, trainings for nonprofit organizations, as well as life celebratory events and private parties.  I have also launched the Drama Therapy Institute of Portland, Oregon, and am offering courses through the Alternative Training Path for folks interested in becoming RDT’s in the local area.


Is there a project that you are particularly excited about?  This is a show that I wrote and directed in Hawaii called “Malama I Ke Kai” (Taking Care of our Ocean.)  It was a project that got funded through Hiccup Circus to bridge the cultural gaps in a community in Hawaii where there was a lot of racial divide and tension.  I met with the Kahunas (local Hawaiian healers and elders) and got their input into what they saw was needed in the community, and then worked with the different cultural groups to integrate the spiritual and socio-political messages from the Hawaiian Elders, and weaved their message into a show creating a very unique theater piece – one that involved children, parents, and elders. There were 200 participants/performers in this project and all of the arts were integrated – theater, dance, music, acro, and the circus arts.  I relied heavily on my Drama Therapy skills to involve the different cultural groups, and to foster collaborative efforts into a work product, providing a gift to the larger community in the form of a theater show that they’ll never forget.”

Jackie Paris, LMFT, RDT-BCT


We are back to our weekly rehearsals and are gearing up for a tremendous fall. We hope you will join us on September 15th at our upcoming public show! Click on the Events tab to learn more and buy tickets.