2013 Life Stories Paso Nuevo
“The Life Stories program puts The Theatre Lab a step ahead of other theatre organizations in terms of social responsibility toward the community.”
Gregg Henry, Artistic Director, The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival

Life Stories

Donate to our Life Stories programs.

Learn to use Life Stories techniques in your community through our Life Stories Institute. The 2018 Life Stories Institute application is now available. Apply by July 8, 2018 for early-bird savings.

Through training in acting, storytelling, screenwriting and directing, The Theatre Lab's Life Stories program teaches people from marginalized populations to create original dramatic works using their own life experiences. Since launching the program in 2000, we have brought life-transforming opportunities for creative self-expression to more than 1,000 youth and adults from age 3 to 100+. 

The Life Stories program has been nationally recognized and is the subject of two award-winning documentary films, How I Got Over, a full-length feature by director Nicole Boxer, and The Life Stories Project, a short film by Michael O. Snyder.

Under the careful guidance of Theatre Lab instructors, people young and old transform their personal narratives into film or theatre. The benefits of this process are often life-changing: increased self-esteem and awareness of creative potential, reduced sense of isolation as a result of being part of an artistic ensemble, improved verbal communication skills, and the emotional satisfaction gained from sorting through past experiences.