Life Stories Women of N Street Village
"I started opening up and realizing that I had more ideas than I thought I had. When I came in here I could just be free."
Participant, Life Stories for Incarcerated Youth

Life Stories Institute

Look for information on the 2015 Institute in the spring.

This October, join us for the inaugural Life Stories Institute - a four-day intensive learning experience that will train service providers, educators, theatre artists and others from across the country how to teach our award-winning Life Stories Program in their own communities.

The Life Stories program, which will convene Oct is a proven curricular model  that teaches people from typically marginalized populations - including incarcerated youth, seniors in assisted living facilities, and homeless women in substance recovery - how to create original dramatic works for the stage and screen using their real-life experiences as inspiration.

We are now accepting applications for the Life Stories Institute class of 2014. The first insititute class will convene October 16-19. To ensure individual attention, attendance is limited to 16 participants. Attendees may also be eligible for continuing education credits.

Apply for the Life Stories Institute now. Application requirements include a work resume, a theatrical/arts resume (if you have one), statement of purpose, two letters of recommendation, and a $20 application fee. 

Learn more about the Life Stories Institute.

Download and share the Life Stories Institute postcard.

The Life Stories program has been nationally recognized and is the subject of a new documentary film, How I Got Over by director Nicole Boxer. The film about our Life Stories work with the women of N Street Village will be released at AFI DOCS in Washington, D.C. this June. Learn the latest details here.

The Life Stories program was also the subject of The Theatre Lab Director Deb Gottesman's November 2013 talk at TEDxCharlottesville.

Life Stories Institute attendees will: 

  • Learn to help people create original plays or films using their life experiences as inspiration
  • Learn how to use the dramatic arts to benefit individuals in often marginalized populations
  • Become a certified Life Stories instructor, with the ability to start a program in your own community

 Application and admission dates and tuition rates are:

Early Admission Period (June 2-July 16, 2014):

  • Applicants notified of their admission status: By July 31, 2014
  • Deadline to accept admission: August 11, 2014
  • Application fee: waived
  • Tuition: $1,250 (a $75 savings)
  • Deposit: A non-refundable 50% deposit of $625 is due by August 15, 2014
  • Tuition must be paid in full by: October 1, 2014

Regular Admission Period (through October 1):

  • Applicants notified of their admission status: By October 6, 2014
  • Deadline to accept admission: October 10, 2014
  • Application fee: $20 submitted with application by check or money order to The Theatre Lab
  • Tuition: $1,325
  • Tuition must be paid in full by: October 14, 2014

Please contact Deb Gottesman at or (202) 824-0449 for more details.