Manhattanville Reid Castle In the Spring

Elizabeth Ferrante '08 Joins Playback Theater Company, Synergy in Action

Elizabeth Ferrante '08Elizabeth Ferrante '08 fell in love with the art of playback theater when she was a student at Manhattanville College. Studying under Professor Hannah Fox, Ferrante learned the significance of this art form, its relationship with connection, and how, for many, it can be cathartic. She knew it was something she wanted to be part of her life and art.

But life got in the way. She attended graduate school in Washington, D.C., earning an M.A. in Theater Education, and had to have vocal chord surgery. Now, however, Ferrante has been invited to join Synergy in Action, a professional theater company committed to inviting dialogue and strengthening communities by dramatizing personal stories.

"It feels great to have playback theater back in my life," the musical theater graduate said. "In playback theater we connect with others through our shared stories. It can be used to build community, give a voice to those who are marginalized, or as a cathartic release for the individuals involved. At yet, through all of this, the level and quality of artistry is also of extreme importance. For me, there is not a better feeling than being a part of something that connects all of these things."

Playback theater is an original form of improvisational theater in which audience or group members tell stories from their lives and watch them enacted on the spot.

Ferrante learned of Synergy in Action through the Playback North America Festival in Washington, D.C. She made sure to attend one of their performances before the festival and reconnected with them at Playback North America. She introduced herself to Director Kimberly Rattley. Shortly after the festival, Ferrante was invited to audition for the company.

"I think this was the first time in my life I wasn't nervous for an audition," Ferrante said. "I was just thrilled, excited, and elated to be there doing Playback."

Ferrante will officially start rehearsals with Synergy in Action in late January.