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Debe Edden

Debe came to Playback Theatre in 1990 when she was searching for a way to use theatre as a tool for violence prevention with young people. Since that time, Debe and the Heartsparkle Players have incorporated Playback and other interactive theatre techniques in their work. She has had the privilege of hearing the stories of many people, teaching Playback, traveling to numerous communities, serving her own community, working with youth and sharing the gift of Playback with a diverse group of folks. She is extremely honored and blessed to work with the Heartsparkle Players, a company of talented individuals, loving human beings and people who know how to have a good time! Debe has been a professional performer, storyteller and director for over 30 years. She has also been a preschool teacher, a sexuality health educator, a job search skill instructor, house cleaner, trainer and volunteer coordinator for hospice.


Aeryk Bjork

It was through contacts at The Evergreen State College that Aeryk joined the Heartsparkle Players in 1995. What began as another theatre gig soon became a lifestyle after experiencing firsthand the power of witnessing people’s stories and giving voice to an otherwise quiet population. He currently serves as a playback actor and musician, workshop facilitator, and is the narrator for the Personal Safety Plays. His other part-time work includes house manager and stage crew duties at the Washington Center for the Performing Arts in Olympia, and fielding calls in the Seattle area through the Stagehand’s Union Local #15. With his wife Vivian, he recently opened Olympia’s first Ashtanga yoga studio, the Bandha Room. He has also been spotted committing random acts of mime, fire juggling, Butoh, and sometimes all three at once.


Elizabeth Lord

Elizabeth joined the Heartsparkle Players in 1998. In 1992 Elizabeth joined the Olympia Storytelling Guild where she met and befriended Debe Edden. Elizabeth's passion for the art of storytelling, her experience as an actor, as well as her curiosity about the human experience made her a natural match for the theatrical form of Playback Theatre. The Heartsparkle Players provide an opportunity for Elizabeth to satisfy her need to meet new people, hear their stories and learn from their experience. It gives her a chance to honor people's lives in their unique, respectful, and engaging manner. Playback Theatre satisfies her desire to not only perform, but to collaborate with talented people and explore theatrical improvisation.

Lydia Beth Leimbach

Lydia Beth discovered Playback Theatre her first quarter at The Evergreen State College in 1990. The combination of spontaneity and creativity with personal story felt like a natural fit, and she was hooked. Whether playing the role of actor, musician or conductor Lydia Beth believes in the importance and power of Playback Theatre. She has personally witnessed Playback's ability to heal, transform and create community. Lydia Beth has attended international playback theatre conferences in Australia, England, the U.S., and Brazil. She applies the tools she has developed of listening, understanding and creativity to other areas of her life and believes she is a far better person because of it all. Besides theatre, Lydia Beth's other passions include plants and music. During the day she works as the Farm Production Manager at Left Foot Organics. By night she accompanies dance classes at the Olympia Dance Center and directs Kol N'Shama, the choir at Temple Beth Hatfiloh.


Sara Rucker Thiessen b

Sara discovered The Heartsparkle Players and Playback Theatre in 1998. Playback Theatre and ensemble life are an excellent match for her interest in playful and truthful community building through the arts. Sara works for Senior Services for South Sound in Olympia Washington where she makes her home with her husband Kyle.

Bob McKenzie Sullivan Bob

Bob McKenzie Sullivan has been involved in the performing arts most of his life as a singing and instrumentalist musician and actor. His first exposure to playback theatre was the Heartsparkle Players on a regular monthly performance at Traditions Café. He was taken in by the care with which people’s stories were taken and carefully and artistically turned into theatre and offered back to the owner of the story. He began to come to Heartsparkle workshops with an eye to teaching playback theatre to his students at Rochester High School. He is very excited to be involved in theatre that is more than entertainment. It is theatre at the service of the community and each member who shares a story.

Evan Johnson Bob

Evan joined the Heartsparkle Players in early 2014. He’s inspired and grateful to be involved with Playback Theatre because of the creative techniques used in community building, education, and positive social change. He is committed to the empowering and healing process that can result in a forum where peoples’ life stories and moments can be shared, heard, and honored.

Born and raised in Portland, Evan participated in summer acting camps during middle school and high school. While at Pacific University, he performed in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Jesus Christ Superstar, and Sweeney Todd: Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Evan earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in 2003 at Evergreen and a Master of Public Administration degree in 2010. He’s worked as a Washington State Park Ranger, Researcher and Project Assistant for the Sustainable Prisons Project, Director and Manager for GoodTherapy.org, Community Support Specialist for Catholic Community Services Family Preservation, and as an independent consultant for organizations in the social services and mental health fields. He is the founder of Inner Nature Journey, a nonprofit that helps youth with adverse childhood experiences develop self-compassion to lead a healthy and meaningful life. His interests include: nature adventures; meditation and yoga; exercise and fitness; healing arts; psychology and mental health; social justice; entrepreneurship; gardening; cooking delicious meals, and laughing with friends and family.

Guy Taylor Simpson III Bob

Guy grew up physically and spiritually on the stage. He is new to Playback and improvisational theatre, but he knows the value of a story and the uniqueness that can make anyone special. Since the age of five he has been dancing, singing, and acting his heart out for his community. He was recognized for more than just his towering stature and his good looks as he became a member of the Heartsparkle Players in 2013, after his mother encouraged him to do so. For him, truth and love are strength and unifying spirits. The never ending talents of the HSP ensemble will lift him higher than he has ever been. He lives in the small town of Rainier with his amazing and talented family, and he is attending Saint Martin's University for his Bachelors of Science degree.

Riccardo Pieri Bob

Riccardo, an Italian native, moved to Seattle in 2011.He was a social and community worker in his hometown. Now he's temporarily rating advertising online in waiting for a better job working with people. One summer night in 1996, Riccardo jumped on a playback stage. It was "hot" for several reasons besides the weather. When he saw the possibility of performing Playback in the Puget Sound area, he didn't hesitate a minute. With the Heartsparkle Players, he's found another family, and feels less nostalgic for his beautiful Italy. Riccardo can improvise in dialect, Italian, Spanish and English with a thick accent. Owner of a collection of beautiful masks, Riccardo offers very interesting workshops on the use of masks.


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