2016 Life Stories participants performing
"It was often a spiritual type of situation when we met. It has helped me clarify my wants and focus on what and where I'd like to go with my life. I have direction."
Life Stories participant at N Street Village

Community Programs

The Theatre Lab School of the Dramatic Arts is dedicated to making the artistic and real-life benefits of quality theatre education accessible to everyone—not just those who can afford it or choose to seek it out. We believe that everyone can perform and that performance enhances everyone.

Life Stories

Through our pioneering, tuition-free Life Stories program, we provide life-changing opportunities for dramatic self-expression to hundreds of youths and adults whom the arts rarely reach. Life Stories currently serves at-risk youth including adolescents who have been expelled from school or are in trouble with the law, homeless women and children, military veterans, people in addiction recovery, critically ill children and their families, and elderly residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities. If you'd like to volunteer, contact us for more information. You can also learn more about teaching Life Stories through the Life Stories Institute.

Scholarship Funds

In addition, every year we provide more than $90,000 in scholarships to enable disadvantaged kids and teens to attend our regular classes and programs. Annually a third of the young people who study at The Theatre Lab receive full scholarships or significant financial aid.

The Theatre Lab’s outstanding service to the community has earned the organization the DC Mayor’s Arts Award for Innovation in the Arts; the prestigious Linowes Leadership Award from the Community Foundation of the National Capital Area for our work with underserved populations; a Caron Community Leadership Award for our “record of leadership in the area of chemical dependency”; selection in The Catalogue for Philanthropy as “one of the area’s best small charities"; and recognition from the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities as one of the 50 “top arts- and humanities-based programs in the country serving youth outside of school hours.”