School engagements


"I learned that a lot of times people were feeling different than how they acted. Playback theatre helps you understand people’s feelings."

Student participant of a KTP program


"Playback Theatre helps students realize the other things they can do to help people in bullying situations."

Student participant of a KTP program


Playback at your school

We offer performances and residencies in schools around issues important and relevant to your students. In the performance model, BAPT offers interactive performances in which students address issues impacting them. In each performance, children will be invited to tell personal stories and feelings, which the performers will enact on the spot.

In the residency model, we train a select group of students in Playback Theatre in weekly workshops and then include them as actors in performances for other students. These student-leaders become  "ambassadors" for the school.

Performances take place for up to two classes/50 students at a time

keep the peace - anti bullying program for k-12

The Big Apple Playback Keep the Peace! program uses interactive theatre to create a forum for compassionate listening and role-playing, and opens a dialogue around issues of bullying and harassment in schools. Based on Norwegian expert Dan Olweus’s Anti-bullying program, the primary goal of Keep the Peace! is to empower the “witness”. In other words, we encourage the young people to say something if they see something.  Olweus pioneered the idea that bullying, and harassment can be stopped if the people who are witnessing the abuse speak up.

The KTP program seeks to teach skills to children who witness bullying to end the behavior.   After identifying the types of bullying and the places in which it occurs in their school, student begin a role play about the topic.  Participants build details into the role-play based on harassment they have witnessed in school. Students come on stage to act out the scene and techniques to empower witnesses are used.  The scene is replayed to test out all four of the constructive tools for community response to bullying. The role-playing segment of the program, functions a “rehearsal for the future” (in the words of Augusto Boal, creator of Theatre of the Oppressed). Once kids practice the steps involved, they are more likely to be able to use them in real life.  

Lastly, the students are asked to share personal stories about being bullied, witnessing bullying or being a bully themselves.  The Big Apple performers and musician then play back the stories and give the ‘tellers’ a transformational experience of being listened to and empathized with deeply.  Big Apple’s performances become a tool for building empathy and tolerance and provide language, awareness, and empowerment so that children are prepared to respond effectively next time bullying or harassment happens in the hallway, classroom, playground or on the bus.