Our purpose

is to facilitate an exchange of personal stories in a manner that promotes connection, meaning, and resilience.

Our history

The Listening Hour is the brainchild of Jonathan Fox, who is also a co-founder of Playback Theatre, a story-based approach to community theatre based on acting out on the spot real stories of audience members.

 

Playback Theatre practitioners develop skills in deep listening, spontaneity, and building a positive atmosphere. Initial guides for the

Listening Hour have been drawn from this community.

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Our team

Founder and CEO

Jonathan Fox

Jonathan has focused his career on narrative communication, mainly through his work with playback theatre, which he co-founded.

 

At Harvard University he studied with Albert Lord, one of the pioneers in the discovery of oral story-making.

 

He has an MA in political science, a credential in psychodrama and group work, and a D. Phil. h.c. from the University of Kassel for his artistic and scholarly work in theatre. He is an author and widely traveled workshop leader.

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Technology

Igor Luzhansky

Igor is focused on bringing technology to the Listening Hour community. His primary activity is running a high-tech business. Besides that, he has completed the Playback Leadership course and trains Playbackers in Ukraine. 

He has 2 Engineering Degrees in Computer and Data Science, as well as an MBA with honor from Berlin Stainbais University.

Communications

Beata Somogyi

Bea has dedicated her professional career to informal education, working with groups of students and adults outside of classrooms. She is cofounder of different PT Companies and applied PT projects and a teacher of the Hungarian School of Playback Theatre. She has MAs in Hungarian, French, and in DIE studies. 

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Şeniz Turan

Izmir, Turkey

Turkish, German, English

Şeniz is a freelance Creative Drama instructor and Playback Theatre trainer. I work in schools as well as in social and cultural centers with children, adolescents and adults. I am currently working with children with special needs. My main focus of work is to make researches about different ways and possibilities of self-expression.

"The act of deep listening is an act of love and it is miraculous for both listener and speaker."

Our Trainers

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Aki Komori

Kawasaki, Japan

Japanese

Acting Director of Training

Aki is an accredited Playback Theatre trainer and an occupational therapist. 

She is interested in training health care workers and members of younger generations. She also wants to train guides who can offer LH to mothers.

"You can bring connection and learning between people in your community through their stories. Let's bring LH to people who need it!"

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Warren Nebe

Johannesburg, South Africa
English

Warren is a Drama Therapist, the Founder of Drama for Life (DFL) and Africa Regional Director, of the International Association of Creative Arts Somatic Education (IACASE). He is particularly interested in Listening Hours for teams, organisations, and communities, grief and focus groups, vision quest groups, LGBTIQ and diversity groups.

"Stories are our soul medicine. Stories ignite our imaginations. Stories uncover knowledge of generations."

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Michael Kennedy

East Greenbush, NY, USA

English

Michael is the Artistic Director of Creative Action Unlimited. She has 35 years of experience in facilitating creative group work and working with individuals, organizations and communities to support connection and positive change.

"The Listening Hour offers an opportunity for connection, empathy and group building in a safe setting."

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Michael Cheng

Singapore

English, Mandarin

Michael is an applied drama practitioner with a deep commitment to honour individual voices, and to build community, one story at a time. He is looking to build and support Listening Hour groups in social service organizations and schools. 

"Listening Hour has been meaningful and offered me beautiful insights about this world we live in. I look forward to train and support guides in creating sacred spaces for connection and deep listening."

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Josefine Krumm

Sarmenstorf/Aargau, Switzerland

German

Josefine is an accredited Playback Theatre Trainer, dramatherapist, teacher in health and social sector, nurse and a master of advanced studies in health promotion and prevention. As an LH Guide and playbacker, she witnesses narratives and brings them into a form, which makes issues seen and heard. 

Listening Hour is able to connect people in the social present by enabling to share (not only to tell) and appreciate experiences. Outrageous!

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Para Paranthaman

Olso, Norway

Norwegian, English, and Tamil

 

Apart from my professional work, Para volunteers with the Red Cross and other organizations on activities, using theater, interaction and dialogue to promote the health (physical and mental) of vulnerable people in the society.

"I am a true believer that the best medicine for a human being is another human being."

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Nataliia Vainilovych

Kyiv, Ukraine

Ukrainian, Russian

Natali's bio: accredited trainer of Playback Theatre, conductor, actress. Education: sociology, social work, psycho-social training by Kurt Levin approach, art-therapy. Professional fields: group trainer, a practitioner of Theater of the Oppressed, Documentary Theater, Performance. LH special interest: inclusion (different social groups), business, informal education.

"When we listen to others, we learn more about ourselves."

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Abdullah Jatal

Beirut, Lebanon

Arabic, English

Abdullah - or Abodi - is a psychotherapist, and a drama therapy practitioner. He also works as an artistic consultant for many NGOs. He started training theater performers seven years ago specializing in improvisational theater, Theater of the Oppressed and Playback Theater. He is co-director of Laban' Improv troupe and a co-founder of its psychosocial troupe (Wasl).

"Listen to people the same way you want them to listen to you."

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Edward Dantis

Manila, Phillipines

English and Filipino

Edward is an artist-teacher-learner and hearer of stories, ready to accompany you anytime. Let your heart speak and let this be the hour.

“What makes the desert beautiful," said the little prince, "is that somewhere it hides a well."