Company Members

Ohio Playback Theatre Company Members include:


Amy Bennett works to empower people in non-traditional populations to live as creatively and independently as possible.  She is married to Justin Simons and graduated with him from the School  of Playback Theatre.  Ground Hog Day is her favorite holiday, hands down.



Justin Simons practices creativity and spontaneity and teaches it to others in his counseling office, at the Unitarian Church and wherever he can.  He is a graduate of the School of Playback Theatre. A lover of Life, Justin delights in reading obits in the Cleveland Plain Dealer.


Nancy Larson studied Psychodrama at St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Wash. DC. and was introduced to Playback by it's originator, Jonathan Fox in 1975. Many years later, she co-created a Playback Troupe in Toledo that focused on grief and loss issues. She is a semi-retired Social Worker now in private practice in Sylvania, Ohio. Her former husband, grown daughter and son provide most of the psychodrama in her life now.


Carol Brand, a wife, mother, teacher, actress, director, and Stephen Minister in Columbus, Ohio, who loves the challenge of Playback. One must listen well as someone shares their story.  Then one must "playback" that story so the person feels heard.  The story is honored when we use our "hearts" to hear.


Bob Campbell is the newest member of Ohio Playback Theatre and lives in Medina.  He wants everyone to know he is trying really hard.


NICK NISSLEY serves as Executive Director (a sort of Chief Storytelling Officer role) of Cincinnati's School for Creative and Performing Arts, the first K-12 public performing arts school in the country.  He has spent his lifetime exploring the intersection of story and work life – as an academic/writer, an organizational leader, and as an applied theater practitioner – seeking to understand how stories impart meaningfulness to our work lives. Nick previously performed with Playback Columbus, in the late 1990’s.



Chris Vartorella and has been involved with Playback Theatre for about two years.  She loves how it has helped her deal with her disability, while keeping her creative chops alive.

Michael Brennan has acted in various theatre companies in Columbus, OH. He is a founding member of Columbus' popular Actor’s Summer Theatre which performs free Shakespeare in Schiller Park in German Village. Audiences may remember him from shows at Gallery Players, Playback Columbus, CATCO, Player’s Theater, and others. For over a decade he has described live theater and dance for audience members who are blind and sight impaired working with Columbus Children’s Theatre, Ballet Met, Opera Columbus, Cincinnati Ballet, CATCO, Phoenix Theater Circle, CAPA, Broadway Series, and many more.



Lisa Vana is a social worker in Akron, Ohio. She has been involved with Playback Theatre since 1997 and currently uses elements of Playback to help adults with developmental differences learn and practice mindfulness and positive communication skills. 


Pam Spence is a musician in Deleware, Ohio. Visit her blog at


Hope Miller is a corporate trainer in Cincinnati, Ohio.



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