Staff

Photo of Clarissa in a button up shirt and glasses smiling

Clarissa Worcester (they/them)

Coordinator

clarissa@playbacknorthamerica,com

June 2021

Hello lovely PNA members! 

     I am thrilled to be stepping into the PNA Coordinator role within PNA’s leadership transition. I’ve had the opportunity over this past year of virtual programming to get to know many of you and I can’t wait to keep getting to know this community. I am grateful to Christopher and Anne, along with countless others, who have invested so much energy into developing this network. It’s an honor to play a part in carrying this energy forward. 

     For those of you who don’t know me as well, here is a bit about me. I live on the unceded land of the Three Fires Confederacy: the Odawa, Ojibwe, and Potawotami (among other sovereign stewards) that you may know as Chicago. Here, I am the Company Director of the Chicago Playback Theatre Ensemble. The patchwork professional experience I bring includes applied theatre, mutual aid community organizing, food service management, outdoor education, and grassroots non-profit training efforts. 

     As the rest of the leadership team takes shape over the coming months, I am especially eager to keep an eye towards expanding PNA’s leadership, strengthening organizational sustainability, building peer connections, exploring how to creatively organize the next (un)conference, and generally discovering PNA’s new shapes! Please know that my inbox is always open to receive cute animal pictures, to explore Playback’s role in social movements for justice, to discuss this leadership transition… or most other things: clarissa@playbacknorthamerica.com

     I look forward to strengthening Playback across North America with you!

<3 Clarissa

     P.S. My pronouns are they/them/theirs and it would mean the world to have those respected among PNA members. If using these pronouns is new to you, this website is a great place to start. As a community of peer learners, I so appreciate your efforts to learn! If you still have questions, feel free to ask. 

Headshot of Allison smiling warmly with short brown hair

Allison Sokolowski (she/her)

Assistant Coordinator

allison@playbacknorthamerica,com

November 2021

Hello fellow PNA Members!

When our new PNA Coordinator, Clarissa, asked if I wanted to share a bit of the work load of the role, I was excited and eager to begin working alongside them as Assistant Coordinator! Clarissa and the entire PNA leadership transition team have been doing an amazing job paving the way for PNA’s progress and growth as an organization, and I’m honored to be a part of helping this wonderful network flourish. I am a better Playbacker now because through PNA’s programming and resources, I’ve gotten to learn and grow from a diverse array of some of the world’s best Playbackers (YOU!). I am eager to support Clarissa in managing fundraising, membership development, the next conference, and many other PNA initiatives

Many of you met me at last year’s UnConference along with my Playback group, the Chicago Playback Theatre Ensemble which I direct. I have been practicing Playback Theatre with the Ensemble for almost three years. I was also in a college Playback Theatre troupe for two years at my alma mater, Illinois State University, where I got my BS in Acting and English Studies. I have extensive non-profit administrative experience from my “day job” life, and I’m eager to bring those skills to PNA. My non-day job life is as a Chicago-based performing artist where I’ve performed and devised with many local theatre companies. Outside of work, I love to play with my sweet angel of a pup Rey, volunteer with my local Mutual Aid group, and learn new meat-free/dairy-free recipes to make for at-home date nights with my pescatarian, lactose-intolerant husband.

Tonia Pinheiro (she/her)

Bookkeeper

tonia@truestorytheatre.org

Tonia is founder of Wake Up! Works, ISEEU Theater, is an improvisational singer and actor, and a trainer of diverse groups in improv, Playback, and cultural skills development. She moderates 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.

Steering Committee

Photo of Leslie smiling with her hair down and a scarf

Leslie Becknell Marx
(she/her)

Cat Gilliam
(she/her)

Darrick Jackson
(he/him)

Elaine Molinaro
(she/her)

Leslie Becknell Marx was always eager to put on a show as a kid but rarely had material to perform. If only she’d known about Playback then! She discovered Playback as an audience member and teller at a conference near Toronto about 20 years ago. Living near Boston at the time, she became an avid playshop attender at True Story Theater programs. After moving to Oregon, she helped found The Collective Mirror in Southern Oregon which continues as a women’s practice group. Now living in Portland, she is connecting with the Portland OR troupe. She is a Unitarian Universalist minister, workshop leader for organizational leaders, facilitator for important meetings, storyteller and writer, and a conversation coach.  

Cat Gilliam has been involved in a wide range of ways with Playback, in Asheville, Seattle, and Boston, from the early 90’s on, including work in prisons, offering workshops, bringing Nonviolent Communication and PB together, acting and conducting. Connecting through our personal stories has been a long red thread in her life in many ways. Her way of living is “there are no strangers,” and loves being active, playful and creative.

Darrick Jackson was first introduced to playback in Boston with South End Playback in 2001. He is now Business Director and a founding member of the Chicago Playback Theatre Ensemble. Darrick is a minister who is part of the Executive Team of the Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association.

Elaine Molinaro is a theater director and Artistic Director of Culture Connection Theater based in Montclair, New Jersey with the mission to connect people through culture (www.CultureConnectionTheater.org). In 2019, she co-founded Circle of Sparks Playback Project. With 10 members, Circle of Sparks has performed in public shows as well as with numerous constituencies including seniors, sign language interpreters, and the United Nations Women’s forum. In 2021, Elaine joined Playback North America’s Steering Committee and will focus on support to the Program Committee.

Advisory council

  • Christopher and Anne 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)
  • Tina Chapman, Diversity Theatre Project (Rochester, NY)
  • Zhaleh Almaee Weinblatt, Poetic Justice Theatre Ensemble (Port Townsend, WA)