Leadership Team

Photo of Clarissa in a button up shirt and glasses smiling

Clarissa Worcester (they/them)

Website and Database management


Clarissa has been a  Company Director of the Chicago Playback Theatre Ensemble.  They have worked in applied theatre, mutual aid community organizing, food service management, outdoor education, and grassroots non-profit training efforts.  

 Note: If using they/them  pronouns is new to you, this website is a great place to start. 

Headshot of Allison smiling warmly with short brown hair

Allison Sokolowski (she/her)



Allison  is co-Director of  the Chicago Playback Theatre Ensemble.  She has been practicing Playback Theatre for six years, including two years at the  Illinois State University, where she received her BS in Acting and English Studies.  Allison brings to PNA extensive non-profit administrative experience from her “day job” life,   In her non-day job life, she performs and devises with many Chicago-based theatre companies.

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

Photo of Leslie smiling with her hair down and a scarf

Leslie Becknell Marx

Johnny Olesen (he/his) Coaching coordinator

Anne Ellinger
Volunteer recruitment

Elaine Molinaro

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.

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.  

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.  

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 gratitude for support and advice from:

  • Christopher Ellinger, True Story Theater (Boston, MA)
  • Deb Scott, Asheville Playback (Asheville, NC)
  • Eva Vander Giessen, San Francisco Playback Theatre (SF, CA)
  • Heidi Winters Vogel (Crawfordsville, IN)
  • Jamie Roach, NYC Queer Playback (NY, NY)
  • Laen Avraham Dov, Vancouver Playback Theatre (Vancouver, BC)
  • Leslie Jones, Playback Memphis (Memphis, TN)
  • Lucy Lu, Third Space Edmonton, (Alberta, AB)
  • Marcela Descalzi, Houston Playback Theatre (Houston, TX)
  • Maureen Scully, (Boston, MA)
  • Peter Abrams, Vancouver Playback Theatre (Vancouver, BC)
  • Rick Sanford, NYC Queer Playback (NY, NY)
  • Zhaleh Almaee Weinblatt, Poetic Justice Theatre Ensemble (Port Townsend, WA)