Episode 4: A Backstage Pass to Serving Others: Welcome to the Theatre Lab
When Deb Gottesman and her partners opened a small theatre coaching program for striving actors 25 years ago, she couldn't imagine what The Theatre Lab would eventually become: an inclusive theatre training community with services that reach far beyond the stage. With an emphasis on "access" to anyone with an interest in performance, The Theatre Lab is now the home to both a major scholarship program providing theatre training to low-income students, and a Life Stories program which provides an opportunity for marginalized people to finally get a chance to tell their stories.
Working with senior citizens, returning veterans, women experiencing homelessness and addiction, incarcerated youth, and other people who generally don't have a chance to speak openly about their lives, the Theatre Lab's Life Stories program provides both a platform for expression as well as artistic training to those whom "theatre training" can seem beyond reach.
The Theatre Lab relies on funding from various resources, including individual donors, and for this organization every dollar really does make a difference. From producing DVDs for Life Stories' performers to take home, to providing free theatre education for people who otherwise couldn't afford high-quality theatre training, TheTheatre Lab is both a vital part of the D.C. community as well as an example to other arts programs of how to build inclusive programing.
Check out the links below (all stuff we chatted about in the episode!) for more info: