Schools, Universities and other training providers call on Melbourne Playback as part of staff development, drama and theatre studies programs or to help students reflect on specific themes or transitions.

“The performances opened doors for further discussions and greater empathy and respect for each other.”

Tracey King, Learning and Teaching Leader, Elisabeth Murdoch College

Performances for Melbourne University, Melbourne Theatre Company, Deakin University, Chisholm Institute, MLC, Corpus Christi Primary School, Elizabeth Murdoch College, St Leonard’s College, Dandenong High School, Drama Victoria and more have fulfilled a range of objectives:

Entertainment, Celebration & Team-Building

Melbourne Playback performances are a dynamic way to bring staff and/or students together to celebrate milestones such as the end of the school year and have a laugh together. The interactive nature of our work is sure to capture people’s attention and affirm the sense of team and community within your school. We open up empathy and the active listening and improvisation skills displayed by our professional performing ensemble are an inspiring example of teamwork at its best.

School Community

Through the sharing of participant’s stories, a Melbourne Playback performance creates a bridge which makes one person’s experience accessible to others. All perspectives are valued and often the person who rarely speaks will share a story. The process builds an understanding between students, staff, parents and the broader school community, providing a reflective forum where emerging themes can reveal to the community what lives at its heart.


By encouraging students to identify and express their thoughts and feelings through periods of change (like the transitions from junior to middle-school and to VCE), Melbourne Playback performances are a memorable way to mark milestones in the educational journey.

School Culture & Personal Development Programs

Melbourne Playback performances are a positive way for people to reflect on their thoughts and feelings around issues affecting the school community such as peer group pressure. It is often difficult for those within a group to see their own culture for what it is. Our actors create a mirror which is non-threatening and engaging. Individual stories have wider resonance for the audience and group members are often surprised and delighted that they are not alone in their experiences and perceptions. This can be an important step towards the forging of a shared vision.

Drama & Theatre Studies

Melbourne Playback is one of the world’s leading playback theatre companies and our performances are an inspiring example of improvisation, non-naturalism and ensemble performance for drama and theatre studies students. As a stand-alone performance or in conjunction with a skill-building workshop, it is a great way to launch a unit of study.

Melbourne Playback performed at Burke Hall for the year 7 students as part of our drama unit on Storytelling.  The company of 4 actors, a musician and a facilitator, completely amazed and thoroughly entertained the students and staff with their incredible ability to listen, empathise, interpret and improvise the stories shared by the boys.  It was amazing for our students to experience this unique and professional type of theatre that created such a buzz amongst our boys.

Some comments from our students:

“The actors were able to play back instantly what you said but with more detail.”

“The quick thinking was the main highlight.”

“The actors were totally committed to honouring a story about you.”

“The music instigated everything and made it more detailed and entertaining.”

“The chemistry between the performers and musician was amazing, like they shared one brain.”

Andrea Hamilton, Drama Coordinator, Xavier College – Burke Hall

Drama & Theatre Studies Workshops

Our performers and musicians facilitate a range of skill-building workshops suitable for drama students. These include improvisation, playback theatre, performance-making, ensemble performance, monologue & solo performance, Shakespeare, character, physical theatre, song & voice, clown, mime and more. See our workshop menu for more details.

Linking with VELS

Apart from being an obvious compliment to The Arts and English curriculum areas, Melbourne Playback performances and workshops have significant relevance to the Interpersonal Development, Communication and Civics & Citizenship domains of VELS. Our performances get students to see issues from different perspectives, empathise with others and identify their own place within society. We offer communication workshops in listening, everyday presentation, public speaking, non-verbal communication and storytelling, as well as performance-based workshops that encourage teamwork.

“A very effective debrief tool for our students who attend Marshmead Campus for a term.”

Mark Gray, Director of Education Outdoors, Methodist Ladies College

Get the Latest

Join our newsletter for upcoming events, workshops and exclusive ticket offers.