The Theatre Lab Turns 30 - The Theatre Lab

The Theatre Lab is turning 30! Please help us celebrate by sharing your Theatre Lab story.

Here’s ours, in a nutshell:

In 1992 Buzz Mauro and Deb Gottesman got their MFAs in acting from Catholic University, taught a brief acting class to five students in a borrowed office space in Alexandria, brought their friend Michael Rodgers on to help them incorporate as a nonprofit that would offer rigorous training in a fun and nurturing environment, and suddenly – 30 years later – The Theatre Lab is the area’s largest theatre school, and one of the largest in the country.

In those three decades, Washington has changed just a bit. Creative industries have more than doubled their contribution to the area economy, and the Washington theatre community has grown from about 20 professional theatres to about 80 – hopefully putting to rest that old rumor that this town is all about politics. The Theatre Lab’s annual enrollment has ballooned to more than 2,600. Many of those students take our acting classes to have fun, develop confidence, and/or pursue careers in the theatre. Many come to us through our Life Stories program, which elevates the voices of vulnerable people through our partnerships with more than 20 area nonprofits, and some come to learn how to do that kind of training in their own communities. And many participate on scholarships that our generous community makes possible  – $120,000+ each year for our youth programs alone. We’ve come a long way!

What’s your Theatre Lab story? We are asking our incredible family of students, teachers, supporters, and partners to tell us how The Theatre Lab has touched your life. Whether you took a class that helped you land your dream role, or you learned to overcome shyness while doing improv, we want to hear from you! Have a story you’d like to share? Tell it to us here.

Throughout 2022, we’ll feature some of your submissions on our website and on social media.

Even more to come!

Over the next month or so, we’ll share more details about our 30th anniversary – including our monumental April production of King Lear – which brings together faculty, Honors alumni, and current students into one fantastic ensemble to tell this dramatic tale outdoors, lit by flashlights. We’ll go behind the scenes on the making of Blood Brothers, our first full-length show to be performed in our 900 Massachusetts Avenue NW location. We’ll feature exciting alumni events and some intimate conversations with the faculty and staff. Plus a few more surprises that we look forward to sharing with you in the weeks ahead.

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