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Stages of Life


photo: New York Theatre Workshop

In this nine-week workshop, teens and elders got to know each other, learned to write short plays about each other’s lives, and saw those plays read by professional actors.


  • Spring Writes: Stages of Life
    Spring Writes: Stages of Life
    Sun, May 14
    Via Zoom
    May 14, 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM
    Via Zoom
    May 14, 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM
    Via Zoom
    Join the participants in Story House Ithaca’s first intergenerational playwriting class as they talk about the process of getting to know one another through theater.
  • Stages of Life play reading
    Stages of Life play reading
    Sun, Apr 02
    The Kitchen Theatre
    Apr 02, 5:00 PM – 6:30 PM
    The Kitchen Theatre, 417 W State St, Ithaca, NY 14850, USA
    Apr 02, 5:00 PM – 6:30 PM
    The Kitchen Theatre, 417 W State St, Ithaca, NY 14850, USA
    See professional actors read short plays written by participants in our intergenerational playwriting workshop

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:


At New York Theatre Workshop's Mind the Gap, 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 is 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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Meet the Team

Sara 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 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.” 

Lesley 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 9 musicals for young audiences with playwright/lyricist Rachel Lampert. Her play The Turnaway Play will receive a workshop this winter at Hartbeat Ensemble in Hartford, CT. Lesley is also co-founder of Porchfest, a community music festival that started in Ithaca in 2007 and now has spread to more than 150 cities throughout North America.

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