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Stages of Life

New season runs March 30–May 25

Stages of Life, our intergenerational playwriting workshop for teens (14–19) and elders (60+), is back! The nine-week workshop runs on Saturdays from 11 AM to 1 PM from March 30 to May 25. Participants will learn about playwriting, get to know each other, write short plays about each other’s lives, and see those plays read by professional actors. 

Stages of Life was inspired by New York Theatre Workshop's Mind the Gap program, and they have been very helpful in planning ours. Here's what Alexander Santiago-Jirau, New York Theatre Workshop's Director of Education has to say:


We believe that theater is the most humanistic of art forms, that storytelling is a human quality that needs to be nurtured and that talking to each other is the way we get to solve problems together. Bringing teens and elders into conversation and art-making can help us to bridge generational divides while building empathy, developing creativity, and debunking stereotypes across different age groups. I am thrilled that Story House Ithaca has found inspiration in our approach and philosophy and it's starting this intergenerational/co-generational program in Ithaca.


Stages of Life 2024 is made possible with generous support from the J.M. McDonald Foundation.


Meet the Team

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Lesley Greene (2023 & 2024) is co-director and co-founder of Story House Ithaca. She is also an event producer, web and video designer, and theater artist. Her theater background includes work as a playwright, composer, and sound designer. She has composed music for nine musicals for young audiences with playwright/lyricist Rachel Lampert. Her play THE TURNAWAY PLAY will receive a full production this May at the Kitchen Theatre Company in Ithaca. Lesley is also co-founder of Porchfest, a community music festival that started in Ithaca in 2007 and has now spread to more than 180 cities throughout North America.

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AJ Sage (2024) has been a multidisciplinary theatre artist in the Ithaca area for over a decade as a writer, director, actor, producer and stage manager.  Since 2019 AJ has served as artistic director for House of Ithaqua (HOI), which produces theatre in the horror and science fiction genres.  His writing for the stage has been produced locally by HOI, the Actor's Workshop of Ithaca, the Ithaca Fringe Festival and Lilypad Puppet Theatre.  In 2021 AJ co-taught a short play development workshop called Shadows of 2020 and is so excited to now be collaborating with Story House Ithaca on Stages of Life!

Sara Stamatiades (2023) is a PhD candidate in the Literatures in English Department at Cornell University. Sara’s teaching experience includes developing and teaching freshman writing seminars at Cornell, working with teens in the university’s Pre-Freshman Summer Program, and teaching at a middle school in Spain. Recently, her focus has shifted to community-engaged work. With the support of a fellowship from Humanities New York, Sara co-created a one-act workshop with the House of Ithaqua theater company in 2021. This workshop taught participants the basics of playwriting, provided an outlet for reflecting on the (sur)realities of the pandemic, and helped build community during an isolating time.

Carley Robinson (2023) is the Education Coordinator at the Community Folk Art Center at Syracuse University, a cultural and artistic hub committed to the artists of the African diaspora. She was formerly the Learning and Engagement Associate at the Hangar Theatre; she has also worked locally with Civic Ensemble and Clockmaker Arts. A 2020 graduate of Cornell and winner of the Robinson-Appel Humanitarian Award, Carley is a theater practitioner who has worked with youth, formerly incarcerated individuals, and other members of the community. She recently played the title role in Civic Ensemble’s original production “Delia Divided.” 

Stages of Life 2023 was made possible by support from the Legacy Foundation and with funding from The Community Arts Partnership of Tompkins County and the Community Foundation of Tompkins County. 

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