What you'll learn
- Techniques for teaching people to share their real-life experiences through original works of dramatic art.
- No prerequisite - just a desire to help people tell their stories through drama. Absolutely no acting or social service experience required.
The Life Stories® Online Course consists of videos, quizzes, readings, and experiential exercises designed to teach participants all the necessary skills to help people share their stories through original works of dramatic art. The course can be completed in about three hours, but includes a wealth of resources to explore at your leisure.
The course is based on The Life Stories® Institute, a four-day, intensive learning experience for anyone interested in harnessing the power of the dramatic arts to encourage wellness, inspire empathy, and drive positive self-expression in their community and/or workplace.
The Life Stories Institute and Life Stories Online Course are based on The Theatre Lab’s award-winning Life Stories methodology. The training enables participants to help others create original films or plays using their life experiences as inspiration.
The Life Stories Program has a profound impact on participants of all ages, backgrounds and skill sets. Individuals build self-esteem, strengthen communication and collaboration skills, stretch their creativity, and gain many other benefits and skills.
The Life Stories program has been nationally recognized and is the subject of two award-winning documentary films, How I Got Over, a full-length feature by director Nicole Boxer, and The Life Stories Project, a short film by Michael O. Snyder. The Life Stories program was also the subject of Theatre Lab Director Deb Gottesman's TEDx talk.
Who this course is for:
- Anyone interested in helping their community through drama, including but not limited to social service providers, theatre artists, educators, and team leaders.
Buzz Mauro co-founded The Theatre Lab School of the Dramatic Arts in Washington, DC in 1992 and continues to serve as Co-Executive Director. He teaches a variety of beginning and advanced acting courses at The Theatre Lab, and is the principal instructor for "Life Stories with Wounded Veterans." He received his B.A. from Yale University and has an M.F.A. in Acting from Catholic University. He is a Helen Hayes Award nominee who has performed with Signature Theatre, Ford's, Studio, The Shakespeare Theatre, Woolly Mammoth, and many other companies. Along with Deb Gottesman he is the founder of Center Stage Communications, a unique consulting firm specializing in the application of acting techniques to the business world. Together they are the authors of three books on applied acting: The Interview Rehearsal Book, Taking Center Stage, and The Best Answer, all published by Berkley Books, a division of Penguin Putnam. They are recipients of the Linowes Leadership Award for their educational contributions to underserved communities.
Deb Gottesman is a founder and Co-Director of The Theatre Lab School of the Dramatic Arts in Washington, DC. She is the director of The Theatre Lab's Life Stories Program, recipient of the Mayor's Arts Award for Innovation in the Arts and the Caron Community Leadership Award for a "record of leadership in the area of chemical dependency.”
She is also a professional actress who has performed frequently at Woolly Mammoth Theatre as well as at Arena Stage, Signature Theatre, Keegan Theatre, and the Washington Shakespeare Company, among many others. She has directed more than thirty productions at The Theatre Lab, including Ragtime, Les Misérables, West Side Story, The Laramie Project, and My Soul Look Back and Wonder (which premiered at Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater and is now the subject of a feature length documentary by Academy Award-nominated Producer and Director Nicole Boxer), as well as productions for Catholic University’s Musical Theatre Department and National Geographic.
Deb received her M.F.A. from Catholic University and has taught drama at the Round House Theatre, Woolly Mammoth and American University. She is a 2003 recipient of the prestigious Linowes Leadership Award for her contributions to arts education for underserved populations. Along with Buzz Mauro, she has co-authored three books on applied acting, all published by Penguin Putnam.