The Life Stories Institute - The Theatre Lab

The Life Stories Institute

Calling all educators, artists, service providers and volunteers: Learn to teach Life Stories in your own community!

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THEN, JOIN US: March 9-12, 2023
Tuition: $395
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The Life Stories Institute is a unique training program where you’ll learn to harness the transformative power of theatre to strengthen individuals and communities. Over four days, the creators of the award-winning Life Stories program will guide you through demonstrations, discussions, interactive panels, and your own model teaching session to prepare you to start a program in your own organization or establish a new partnership from the ground up. For health and safety, the training will take place online.

The Life Stories® Institute returns in a highly interactive virtual format, ensuring that health, safety and geographic accessibility will be features of this powerful “train-the-trainer” program. This course is for artists, educators, social service providers, community volunteers and anyone who wants to learn how to use theatre to help elevate the voices of communities that too often go unheard.

The Life Stories® program teaches people to create original dramatic works using their lived experiences. As a participant in the Life Stories® Institute, you’ll gain access to the full online course to complete on your own time, and then come together with your classmates to receive personalized coaching and collaboration based on the teachings you’ve explored. All students will not only participate in demonstrations of Life Stories exercises, but will also do their own model teaching segment at the end of the program. Please note, space in this training is limited to no more than 16 participants to ensure that all students receive detailed feedback and the opportunity to establish strong personal connections within a creative community.

If you are really serious about changing lives through the arts, the Life Stories Institute is the choice you must and should make.

About The Life Stories Institute

The Life Stories Institute gives you access to The Theatre Lab’s founding directors and renowned faculty with lots of personal attention. Attendees will focus their work on their own areas of interest and/or the special needs of their communities.

Attendees will also gain access to workshops and breakout sessions that focus on the teaching process, improvisation, rehearsal, and live and film performance techniques, as well as a robust e-learning platform that will not only prepare participants for the live training but also serve as a resource for years to come. Please contact Deb Gottesman at or (202) 824-0449 for more details.

More Benefits of the Life Stories Institute

  • You’ll receive a digital copy of the Life Stories Toolkit
  • Visits with past Life Stories program participants
  • Professional networking
  • Ongoing support and mentoring following the Life Stories Institute

Who Should Attend the Life Stories Institute?

The Life Stories Institute is for people of all ages, background, and skill sets. Acting or teaching experience is not required. There are countless ways that the Life Stories Institute training can positively impact your life and the lives of those around you. Past participants have been graduate students, grandparents, volunteers, business owners, members of the clergy, actors, teachers, counselors, life coaches, artists, and more. The Life Stories Institute may be a good fit for you want to:

  • Inspire positive professional breakthroughs in your employees.
  • Make a difference using the arts.
  • Apply the work to guidance counseling.
  • You work with individuals from typically marginalized groups.
  • You’re a life coach or mental health counselor.
  • Incorporate the arts into your lesson plans.
  • Expand your repertoire beyond just acting.
  • Connect with others creating meaningful work.
  • Cultivate growth among your colleagues.
  • Share your passion with others.
  • Gain the skills to lead a program.

Some of the creative forces that have presented at the Life Stories Institute:

  • Deb Gottesman, co-founder and co-executive director of The Theatre Lab
  • Buzz Mauro, co-founder and co-executive director of The Theatre Lab
  • Quique Aviles, professional poet and performer and Life Stories Instructor
  • Nia Graham, professional actor and Life Stories Instructor
  • Ryan Heathcock, founder of Once Upon a Time International – videography
  • Ava Knox, Deputy Supervising Director of Grant Writing, Elevate
  • Ann McCreedy, Director of Programs, N Street Village
  • Jennifer Nelson, professional theatre director
  • Elizabeth Pringle, playwright and teaching artist
  • Amal Saade, arts educator and Life Stories Instructor
  • Terah Herman-Saldaña, teaching artist and Life Stories Instructor

The Life Stories Institute is a robust multi-day training intended for adults. The Online Course may be taken by any individual, regardless of age, that wants to learn about this program and methodology. Students who complete the Online Course also receive a discount on the annual Life Stories Institute.

Learn About the self-directed Online Course

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