Life Stories from the Inside/Out: A Theatrical Process for Redefinition & Reentry

Session 1 | 12:00 PM - 1:30PM

Session 2 | 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM
Room A122 | UCLA School of Law


It all started when…

TheatreWorkers Project’s Director Susie Tanner and Teaching Artist/documentary film producer Marlene McCurtis will share sample techniques that have been highly successful in community-based reentry programs and prison settings where participants have explored and redefined their personal narratives through theatre, movement, and writing.  During this experiential workshop, participants will engage in the process of creating small group collaborative “instant performance pieces” based on participant-generated themes. Video clips showing examples of our work with reentry participants at Dads Back! Academy in Watts, The Francisco Homes in South LA and inmates at California State Prison, LAC will be shown.  Learn more about our work at

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Susie Tanner

Susie Tanner sees the arts as a politically and socially transformative tool. An innovator in the field of documentary theatre, she founded TheatreWorkers Project (TWP) in 1983 and has led the creation of 17 performance pieces including Lady Beth: the steelworkers play which toured 16 US cities co-sponsored by Bruce Springsteen, profiled in the PBS documentary A Steel Life Drama. Susie leads reentry projects at Dads Back! Academy & The Francisco Homes and is the Program Director for TWP’s Prison Program. Producing/directing credits include "The Luckiest Girl” and “A Patch of Earth” by Kitty Felde and “No Word in Guyanese for Me” by Wendy Graf. Grants/awards: 2011 Bravo Award, CTG Chase & NAT Fellowships and LA County Fed Labor Union Label Award. B.A. in Theatre from the UCR, Lifetime Community College Teaching Credential, CTE Credential, Arts/Media/Entertainment. SAG-AFTRA/AEA


Marlene McCurtis

Marlene McCurtis is a creative writer, filmmaker and TWP teaching artist. She has directed TV shows for The Discovery Channel, A &E, Lifetime, NatGEO and PBS. Her short film “Here to Stay” about a coalition of civil rights and Latino activists fighting for immigrant rights in Mississippi has been featured on the web platform, Field of Vision. She is in post-production on “Wednesdays In Mississippi” about a little known interracial alliance between women during the Civil Rights movement. Alum Fellow of the Firelight Media Producers’ Lab; member of the DGA. MFA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State.