Where Have All the (Young) Men Gone?

The Challenge of Men doing Playback Theatre in North America: A Workshop Case Study

Written for the 2014 Centre for Playback Theatre Leadership Course, Quote with proper citation.

I didn’t know what exhausted me emotionally until that moment…I realized that the experience of being a soldier, with unlimited license for excess, excessive violence, excessive sex, was a blueprint for self-destruction. Because then I began to wake up to the idea that manhood, as passed on to me by my father, my scoutmaster, my gym instructor, my army sergeant, that vision of manhood was a blueprint for self-destruction and a lie, and that was a burden that I was no longer able to carry.

Utah Phillips, “The Violence Within” (1992)

Where are all the men in Playback Theatre? Even in the arts generally? In June 2014, I invited ten men to help me explore this question through an interactive workshop using Playback Theatre-related modalities that I facilitated in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.  They played. They told stories. They played stories. And while participants proffered insights into this question, the unfolding workshop process revealed its own set of answers…

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