How PNA is structured:  Playback North America is led by a small team of people from different Playback groups. A couple of people work very part time on organizational management.   Others work as volunteers, pulling together programs that engage the membership.   PNA is a program of the MA-based public charity, True Story, Inc. which is governed by a community Board.

We welcome your involvement.   If you are interested to explore how you could help, please let us know.  We acknowledge the many volunteers who have helped support this network over the years–see a partial list below. 

Organizational Team


Caroline Laird (she/her)

Communications & Marketing

Caroline is a third-year student at Miami University studying Arts Management, Digital Marketing, and Creative Writing. Outside of the classroom, she is a dancer, a visual artist, and enjoys actively participating in volunteer work.

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Tonia Pinheiro (she/her)



Tonia is the founder of Wake Up! Works and ISEEU Theater, and a long-time member of True Story Theater.  She is an improvisational singer and actor, and a trainer of diverse groups in improv and cultural skills development, and moderated an international affinity group of BIPOC Playback Theatre practitioners. Tonia has more than 35 years experience in organizational management, human resources, the study of the human condition, and interpersonal communications


Anne Ellinger (she/her)

Volunteer coordinator


Anne Ellinger is co-founder of Playback North America and of the Boston-area Playback company, True Story Theater. She and her husband Christopher have founded and run several nonprofit organizations and co-authored many books together, including four about Playback that are available through PNA.  

Program Team

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Leslie Becknell Marx (she/her)

Hot Topics in Troupes

Leslie Becknell Marx has been involved with Playback for 20 years. She helped found The Collective Mirror in Southern Oregon which continues as a women’s practice group. She is a Unitarian Universalist minister, workshop leader for organizational leaders, facilitator, storyteller and writer.

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Johnny Olesen

Intro to Playback

Johnny Olesen has been involved with Playback Theatre in various roles since 1990. He is a Certified Psychodramatist and Trainer currently living in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  


Ed Lehmann

Performance Festival

Ed Lehmann is a member of Living Mirror Playback Theater of Tampa.  He hosts a weekly radio music program on WMNF fm.  He wrote and directed a filmshort that was shown at the Dunedin Int’l Film Festival.  He loves music, biking, and hiking. 

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Elaine Molinaro (she/her)

Playback Jams

Elaine Molinaro is the founder and director of Circle of Sparks Playback Project in Montclair, NJ, as well as the Artistic Director of Culture Connection, a nonprofit with the mission of connecting people through culture. 

With huge appreciation for:

.Founding group

  • Christopher and Anne Ellinger
  • Zhaleh Almaee
  • Amber Espar
  • Eva Vander Giessen

.Transition team

  • Deb Scott (Asheville, NC)
  • Heidi Winters Vogel (Crawfordsville, IN)
  • Jamie Roach (NY, NY)
  • Laen Avraham Dov,(Vancouver, BC)
  • Leslie Jones (Memphis, TN)
  • Marcela Descalzi (Houston, TX)
  • Maureen Scully (U. of MA, Boston, MA)
  • Peter Abrams (Vancouver, BC)
  • Rick Sanford (NY, NY)
  • Zhaleh Almaee and Marc Weinblatt (Port Townsend, WA) 

Coordinating team 2021

  • Clarissa Worcester (Chicago, IL)
  • Allison Sokolowski (Chicago, IL)

Steering committee 2021 

  • Cat Gilliam (Vashon Island, WA)
  • Darrick Jackson (Chicago, IL)
  • Elaine Molinaro (Montclair, NJ)  
  • Leslie Becknell-Marx (Portland, OR)