Our name reflects who we are: bold, brave, willing to step outside the status quo in order to instigate social change, promote civic dialogue and produce transformative theatrical art of the highest quality for people of all ages.
Like most groundbreaking endeavors, we don’t fit very well into a neat category of description. Sometimes, we perform in gymnasiums, other times in corporate board rooms. We have even performed in a car wash.
Since we began in 1989, our work has taken many forms in response to the needs of the times. Currently, we focus on creating commissioned work about social issues for corporations, schools from elementary through university-level, and social services agencies. In other ongoing projects, we also pair amateur actors and seasoned professionals to create work about the lives of underrepresented populations.
People with disabilities.
Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgendered Adults and Youth.
People with Alzheimer’s and early onset dementia.
Women with cancer.
Survivors of suicide.
Supporters of Reproductive Choice
At risk youth
The Big, Fat LGBT Everything You Need to Know Show of Shows
This show was created out of a clear need in the community to educate or support various LGBT groups and interests in a variety of settings. The show is ideal for corporations, social service agencies, high schools, and college campuses. It is a more entertaining sequel to our earlier show on this topic “Ten Percent.” Some of the organizations for whom we had previously performed “Ten Percent” have asked us to come back, so we wanted to provide them with newer programming.
The Big, Fat LGBT Everything You Need to Know Show of Shows is a 50-minute fun and fact-filled romp through the realities of LGBT life that uses sketch comedy, song, dance, audience participation and more. Highlights include “Straight as a Second Language,” “Is She/He, Isn’t She/He?” and the game show “Fact or Fiction.”
We have a few options available for our work:
- a fully scripted version of The Big, Fat, LGBT....Show of Shows
- the inclusion of structured improv around personal stories of what it means to come out or to be an ally
- a scripted (or partially scripted) show that can focus on specific themes like, allies, youth, and veterans
“The Big Fat LGBT Show of Shows presents important information about sexual orientation and gender identity with humor, fun, and energy. The best ‘diversity workshop’ you could bring in this year.”
—Steve Houldsworth, St. Louis Effort for AIDS
"Any issues around diversity can put people in a very uncomfortable space. The (theater) company did a good job of sowing seeds. They weren't overexposing. Just giving enough to get (employees) thinking and more aware of what other communities might be facing."
—David Walker, marketing specialist for Brown Shoe
"We wanted to bring the show to Monsanto because it raises awareness...in a way that is fun, hilarious and entertaining for everyone."
—Tyson Pruitt, Monsanto
“The talented Joan Lipkin makes education about LGBT issues hilarious and thought-provoking. It is pain-free!”
—Susan Block, attorney, Paule, Camezine & Blumenthal
“A great way to educate and enlighten companies and their employees to the existence and impact of the LGBT community.”
—Christine Elbert, USA Mortgage
"A campy song-and-dance spectacle from a theater company with a reputation for being instigators in the social justice debate."
—Doug Moore, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
“I continue to be impressed with Joan Lipkin’s ability to produce and direct theater in informative and enjoyable ways to address the pressing social issues of our time. We have worked with That Uppity Theatre Company numerous times, and it has always been a joy - and we get great feedback every time”
—Brian Vohs, HR Pfizer
“The Big Fat LGBT Show of Shows is fabulous. I would love to see this brought to colleges I work with to improve awareness. So important.”
—Dennis Nicely, GLSEN
“A great way to learn more about LGBT people. Painless and entertaining.”
—Nina Balsam, One Saint Louis
BOOKING: firstname.lastname@example.org · (314) 534-1454
Playback NOW! is a St. Louis-based performance troupe that employs the techniques of Playback Theatre to entertain, engage, and educate and promote empathy for audiences of all ages. Playback Theatre is a highly specialized form of improvisation that was created by Jonathan Fox and Jo Salas in the 1970’s, in an effort to encourage individuals from all walks of society to let their stories be heard.
Performances range in length from 20-60 minutes and can be designed to cover any topic or theme. Some of our previous performances have focused on: racial, sexual or ethnic discrimination, gender identity and sexual orientation, coming out, freedom and equality, New Year’s resolutions, and Halloween stories. We can work with you to develop a custom theme for your event!
Space : We are very versatile in where we can perform. Lecture halls, meeting rooms, theaters, and even living rooms have hosted us in the past. Ideally, a performance area (our stage) would offer a minimum area of 12x16 feet. We would also appreciate a private area for our troupe to meet and warm-up privately before the show.
Technical requirements : We work best with one wireless microphone (that can be used to amplify audience members’ comments and stories) and the accompanying PA. In larger venues (such as a theatre) we may need for our troupe to be equipped with lavaliers/body mics.
Other : It would be helpful if your venue could provide one small table and at least four chairs. Depending on cast size, it might be helpful to have more chairs. Other accommodations may be needed, based on the venue and other factors.
Our troupe ranges in size from four to eleven. Sometimes this is limited by the venue and sometimes by player availability (our cast is made up of some very sought-after performers!). Playback is very versatile and easily allows for variations in cast number without changing the quality of the show.
After a brief (and fun) series of ice-breakers, volunteers are invited onstage to tell a story about their life. They are interviewed “talk show style” by our host. Our cast is listening intently as emotional details are mined. The players then portray the story.
COST: We are flexible. Your organization may even qualify for a free performance. Among the criteria: open and accessible to people of all ages and from all walks of life.
Playback NOW! has performed for:
Webster University Conference on Diversity & Inclusion, Missouri History Museum, Diversity Awareness Partnership (Boeing, Edward Jones, St. Louis Zoo, Missouri Botanical Garden), Toyota Bodine Aluminum, Monsanto, the Monocle, Grand Center Theatre Crawl (International Photography Hall of Fame and Museum) , and the Theatre Communications Group National Conference.
"Whether the topic is disability or bullying, we know their performances will use the power of story to awaken emotion and guide preconception to new insight. By incorporating our students as authors, actors, and audience...this company simultaneously delighted us and challenged us to see the drama on the stage and in our everyday human interactions." — Beth Stroble, President of Webster University
"Playback is different from any other theatrical art form...seeing audience members’ own stories unfold onstage takes the power of theatre one step further. Under the direction of Playback Now! St Louis, we watch the audience feel with the stories, be empowered by the stories, and for the audience members whose stories were told...the experience was validating and transformative." — Elizabeth Pickard, Director of Education & Interpretation, Missouri History Museum
"That Uppity Theatre Company captured the heart and passion of my teenage daughter...she attended a performance of their Playback Now! St.
Louis ensemble and had an opportunity to share a story and felt really heard. This is a company that transcends all ages." — Kathleen Wilder, Pastor of Lafayette Park UMC
"IPHF was flowing with people who came in somber and left feeling, laughing and some crying with the Uppity Theatre troupe as they brought back memories of "Summer" through their Playback Now! St Louis performances." — Patricia Wente, CEO/President, International
Photography Hall of Fame and Museum