In their first collaboration, That Uppity Theatre Company and Alight Theater Guild will co-produce NYC Queer Playback Theater with “Pride in Progress” on Sunday, June 13, at 7 p.m. CDT/8 p.m. EDT in a virtual interactive playback performance to honor Pride. This event is open to all ages and orientations and will run approximately 90 minutes, and is sponsored by St Louis Pride, St Louis Black Pride, #Boom Magazine and the Missouri Arts Council.

During the performance the audience will be invited to tell stories from their lives, then the story will be “played back” with facilitation, improvisational forms, and music by an ensemble, all around the theme of “Pride in Progress.” As we reflect on Pride in the midst of a pandemic and a racial reckoning, “Pride in Progress” hopes to ask what we are proud of individually and collectively, and what
progress is left to be gained?
“I am thrilled to be partnering with NYC Queer Playback to share their stories and that of our communities in a live event. Although we may miss gathering in more traditional physical spaces, virtual events like this provide more access for both artists and
audiences,“ said Joan Lipkin, the producing artistic director of That Uppity Theatre Company and Playback Now! St Louis. “NYC Queer Playback is one of the only LGBTQ+ specific playback companies in the US, and ideally suited to help explore our theme of Pride in Progress.”

NYC Queer Playback Theater aims to forge connection in the LGBTQ+ communities, whether participants identify within the community or as an ally, by creating a safe and diverse space for personal growth through Playback. Co-founder Jamie Roach said he
is excited to collaborate. 

“The LGBTQ+ community is hugely diverse, which is one of its biggest assets,” he said. “Playback allows its participants to reach across differences of sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, race, age, country of origin, language, and ability/disability by providing a rare and rich chance to be vulnerable with each other’s stories while learning the true feelings and experiences of this dynamic community. As the many perspectives and identities are better understood, the ever-evolving Queer community is strengthened.”

For tickets, please register at:, and an event zoom link will be sent out on the day of the performance.

Tickets are priced at $12, with a pay-what-you-like option, including a free ticket choice. We invite all people, those from the LGBTQ+ community and allies, to reflect on our lives within our community, our nation and globally in the space that we are creating to
encourage openness, acceptance, respect, and equality regardless of one’s gender identity, sexual orientation, body size, ability, or status. Personal sharing is encouraged and entirely voluntary. Feel free to tell a story or to enjoy the stories of others.

About Playback
Practiced in over 60 countries, Playback Theatre is an original form of improvisational theater developed by Jonathan Fox and Jo Salas in which audience or group members tell stories from their lives and watch them enacted on the spot. Used in a variety of settings, Playback Theater provides highly enjoyable theater and promotes dialogue between different voices as audience members have the opportunity to speak and see their stories embodied on the stage. We discover who we are by telling our stories and,
as others bear witness and tell their own stories in response, a deep and empathy- building conversation is created through the collective stories brought to the stage.

About Playback Now! St Louis
Founded and directed by Joan Lipkin, Playback Now! St. Louis creates work based on the highly developed improvisational principles established by Jonathan Fox and Jo Salas that are practiced in over 60 countries to assist in individual storytelling for collective well-being.

The ensemble has performed at the Missouri History Museum, Monsanto, Webster University, Grand Center, the Monocle, Boeing, Edward Jones, St Louis Zoo, Missouri Botanical Garden, the Theater Communications Group Conference, the Grand Center Theatre Crawl and more as well as private settings.

About NYC Queer Playback
Founded in 2016, NYC Queer Playback Theater serves the LGBTQ+ community through open, monthly rehearsals, and since 2020, as a performing, Core Ensemble. Founded by Rick Sanford and Jamie Roach, under the mentorship of Mountaine Jonas,
NYC QPT values creating a safe and brave space for belonging and sharing stories about the layers and intersections within the Queer community. They’ve performed in NYC with SAGE (LGBTQ+ Elders) and in collaboration with Village Playback Theater, and have now found a strong connection through virtual programming. They are excited and grateful to collaborate with Playback Now! St. Louis.

Joan Lipkin

About Joan Lipkin

  1. She was commissioned by Luna Stage to write a piece about getting vaccinated. This is available online at
  1.  She is dramaturging and writing the script for “Environmental Injustice”, a dance concert by Ashleyliane Dance Company that will also feature the story of Hazel Johnson, the mother of environmental justice. Joan has written the text about Hazel Johnson. This is a  hybrid performance event with two optional parts:  Program A on Saturday, June 5 is taped and virtual. Program B on Sunday, June 6 is a live event at the Grandel Theatre in Grand Center with different material and also includes the piece about Hazel Johnson.
  1. 3. She is contributing to the script for A Call 2 Conscience’s “Celebration of Survival” featuring the real-life stories of St Louisans around COVID and the pandemic that is scheduled for live presentation Aug. 28-29.