The Features, We Love Arts

Theater Spotlight: Q&A with The Theatre Lab’s Deb Gottesman

Dress rehearsal of Theatre Lab’s Musical Institute for Teens Production of Rent / Photo by Paul Oberle

Founded by Deb Gottesman and Buzz Mauro, The Theatre Lab’s mission is to transform lives through theater by making training accessible to everyone, regardless of age, income, or experience level.

The Theatre Lab leads programs and classes ranging from beginner to professional level.  They also develop numerous initiatives for marginalized populations within DC, including giving out more than $78,000 in scholarships to disadvantaged students each year.

Perhaps most notably, The Theatre Lab’s Life Stories program teaches people from typically marginalized populations like incarcerated and at-risk youth, seniors, critically ill children, and homeless women in recovery to create original dramatic works based on their real-life experiences.

On November 12, DC’s Theatre Lab School of the Dramatic Arts celebrated 20 years at its annual Cabaret Benefit. For the organization’s anniversary, founder Deb Gottesman was kind enough to talk with me about The Theatre Lab’s progress over the last two decades.

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Dupont Circle, Real World DC, The Features, Tourism

Laogai Museum – A Dupont Detour

Photo courtesy of
‘Laogai Museum 4′
courtesy of ‘jcm_DC’

The Laogai Museum may be small, but it packs a punch. Tucked away in the old Real World DC house off Dupont Circle, its one-floor exhibit explores the dark underbelly of Chinese labor camps and human rights policies.

“Laogai” means “reform through labor” and refers to oppressive tactics the museum claims China has used to punish political prisoners since 1949. Harry Wu, a survivor of the Laogai camps, founded the museum in 2008 as part of the larger Laogai Research Foundation. The museum moved into its current location last April, where they now offer free admission and guided tours.

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The Daily Feed

Spacey In Town to Study Abramoff

Photo courtesy of
‘kevin spacey’ courtesy of ‘pinguino’

Famed stage and film actor Kevin Spacey just twittered about it being a “lovely day in DC,” and he’s right: today’s going to be mid-80s and sunny, almost summery. But Spacey’s not here to see the sights; via MediaBistro’s FishbowlDC we have Nikki Finke’s report that Spacey visited Cumberland Federal Prison to study imprisoned lobbyist Jack Abramoff, whom he will be playing in “Casino Jack,” a stage production described as “a modern day GoodFellas” about the Bush administration.