In/break-ing – Karen Kiefer and Mosaic Playback


* We are at capacity for this event and have started a waiting list



In/break-ing: An evening of online Playback Theatre with Mosaic Playback



We are excited to welcome exhibitors, Transept members and friends, and those who have simply been enjoying Transept’s In/break exhibition, to explore together themes of in-break (amid an out-break!), as we have experienced it in our lives and in art.  It is amazing and inspiring to see what we have been able to do, display and enjoy during this time of distance and separation – especially in this In/break exhibition.  We will hear from participants and play their experiences back to them via improvised theatre – thus making live art together!

This event is difficult to capture and keep for an online exhibition due to the ephemeral nature of the artform of improvisation. Ethical and privacy issues prevent us from recording it, but aside from that, we do not believe a true experience of improvisation like Playback Theatre can be had outside of the moment and the people gathered together for it.

Playback Theatre  is an improvisational theatre form which first started in upstate New York in 1975 and has since become a worldwide movement with groups and practitioners across the globe in a wide range of applications… from social services and education, to entertainment at community gatherings and celebrations, to supporting recovery in trauma and crisis contexts, as well as corporate training and events.  Inviting personal stories from the audience, Playback Theatre creates a ritual space where any story – however ordinary or extraordinary – might be told and immediately re-presented in theatrical style.

[See responses to the performance and the experience here.]



Mosaic Playback formed a year ago at the beginning of the pandemic in response to the locked-down distance and separation it caused.  We made our debut at last year’s Transept online exhibition, Time and Again.  Like all In/break exhibiting artists, we have had to adapt and let our art find new ways of expression and of speaking into the void – for us, the void of empty theatres and stages!   

Looking forward to seeing you Tuesday evening!

Karen McClain Kiefer, Transept advisor, co-Curator and Transpositions Editor,

with Davina Holmes, Andrew Gray, Andy Yau and Steve Nash


  • Karen entered the PhD program in the Institute for Theology, Imagination and the Arts after careers in corporate management and consulting, followed by service in pastoral, social and theatre ministry. Under the supervision of Trevor Hart, she is exploring theological and theatrical contexts of ’empty space’ and general human disposition toward it, with emphasis on improvisation and Holy Saturday. Since 2017, Karen has led or advised ITIA’s Transept group, a postgraduate student-led group of multidisciplinary practicing artists. As Editor of Transpositions, she is fostering a closer partnership between Transpositions and Transept.