TSL Launch Party featuring Nicole
Here is another TSL launch party featuring Nicole Abbink! Nicole co-directed "Destiny Is The Journey" which featured actors from The Los Angeles Mission and was part of the Break It To Make It program. Hope you enjoy!September
The Getting to Know You Game!
Throughout the month of September 2021 we created and played "The Getting To Know You Game." A game all about creating community and asking people who participated which was more important community or being a VIP. Coming to a location near you!
Hope for Justice!
Here is a collective artwork that was created for the No Labels No Walls Digital Festival-Creating Action Together on August 25th and 26th. One of the festival events is hope for "Justice And Art" where we will be collecting art, poetry and however you want to express yourself and creating from those materials into a singular digital art work that we can share around the world. Here is our contribution!July
TSL Launch Party featuring Tiara
Here is the video that was shown on July 14th for The Strindberg Laboratory launch party featuring company member Tiara Gildon. This video features interviews and artistic work from Tiara during her participation with The Strindberg Laboratory stage production 'Free Yo Mind'.July
Strindberg’s Launch Party
Here is a video from The Strindberg Laboratory's launch party that took place on June 23rd featuring company member Marshall May. This video is all about Marshall and tells his amazing journey featuring interviews and artistic work that Marshall has created during the seven-year history that he has been associated with TSL.June
Los Angeles Mission
Here is a video documentation of our theater classes that we conducted online with students from The Los Angeles Mission. We conducted a series of 15, two hour sessions, at the LA Mission between August 25th and November 19th 2020. The class was then halted due to the pandemic. Thanks so much for everyone who participated and helped to make these workshops possible!
All Things Tue Huynh!
Here is the video that was shown for "The Strindberg Laboratory's Watch Party" featuring company member Tue Huynh! Besides performing in our theater shows, Tue is the creator of his show Fear For Breakfast. Fear For Breakfast is a show that interviews people from all over the world about their mental fears that arise from their daily experiences and how they overcome them. Fear For Breakfast also combines humor and the love of food to comfort people.June
An Evening with Dominique Beltran
Here is the video from “The Strindberg Laboratory’s” launch party with company member Dominique Beltran w/ guest appearances by Batman, Darth Vader, Arnold Schwarzenegger, George W Bush, Al Gore and many other surprises!!May
On April 2021 we created this video all about company member Christopher Simpson-The Singer, The Star, The Mayor of TSL. The screening featured interviews and footage from Chris's work with TSL! The interviews and footage are all part of our upcoming documentary “We Are The Strindberg Laboratory!"
Mystery Theatre Horror Show
The Strindberg Laboratory is pleased to present with our Young Actors’ Ensemble: Mystery Horror Theatre Show!
A short film inspired by The Rocky Horror Picture Show. If you thought Rocky Horror Picture Show was crazy you haven’t seen anything yet. Be ready to be blown away!!! This short film premiered at the No Labels No Walls festival on September 19th 2020.
We Are The Strindberg Laboratory
"We Are The Strindberg Laboratory" is a feature documentary that chronicles our theater groups productions, events and the fantastic people we got to create with along the way. This documentary will tell the story of a theater company making it happen!September
Art. Culture. Action.
From September 14th–19th, 2020 the second No Labels No Walls festival will take place in conjunction with Citizenfest and the We Are One Network. This festival will take place virtually and involve people and organizations from Finland, USA, Scotland and other European countries. This festival will connect through art and culture diverse people throughout the world so we can start creating a future that is brighter for everyone! We have more in common than what separates us! So please email, call or write to us on how you want to contribute to this important event. We can't do it alone and we need all of you to create a stronger future together!
What a great time we had making a commercial for the upcoming NLNW Festival on 6/28/2020 at Griffith Park Observatory. We saw so many friends and colleagues that we hadn't seen in a long time and got a chance to dress up and show we are all one! Photos by Eric Ragan
Latino Equity Alliance
On April 10th we conducted an online shared art workshop with Latino Equity Alliance. We had so much fun singing, drawing and coming together in these unique times. We can't wait to continue sharing with others and building a better and brighter future for all!April
Senior Fairfax Center
What a great experience we had at the Fairfax Senior Center creating stronger communities through art and culture. During the workshop we had Dark Vader and Macbeth make an appearance and had a great discussion about equality for everyone. This workshop is part of our ongoing series of Shared Multi Art Workshops (SMA) that will result in a final event/performance that will bring together diverse communities throughout Los Angeles. Please contact us for more information and how to participate in this important project.February
Through The Strindberg Laboratory’s theater workshops with the Los Angeles Mission we have created scenes that are all about celebrating the togetherness of the holiday season. The scenes show how with the right spirit unlikely persons can connect despite all odds to make their lives and the world a better place.December
Macbeth: A Tale of the Conqueror and the Conquered
From our work in Los Angeles’s prisons and skid row we have developed Macbeth: A tale of the conqueror and the conquered! This original take on the classic tale of Macbeth hopes to build bridges between people from diverse backgrounds. The production uses visual theater techniques such as shadow, theater, animation and puppetry to tell this tale and make its message accessible for any audience despite language barriers.
This production was a part of the No Labels, No Walls Festival!
No Labels No Walls Movement
In 2018 we formed Strindberg Laboratory in Finland and with Kukunori, a Finnish association dedicated to mental wellness, formed the No Labels No Walls movement and festival.
Art. Culture. Action. Happens when there are no labels, no walls! We know that separation is never equal and integration, especially among marginalized community members, is difficult. That is why we have brought together diverse organizations and individuals to form the No Labels, No Walls movement and festival. Join us!
Miracle in Skid Row
Through The Strindberg Laboratory's theater workshops with the Los Angeles Mission we have created scenes that are all about Christmas. The scenes show the holiday spirit between sons, fathers, grandfather's and friends. These stories are touching and funny and come from the imaginations of the actors from the program. Watch video about this workshop that shows the importance of the program for both the actors and those who came to see it
Miracle in Skid Row
Through The Strindberg Laboratory's theater workshops with the Los Angeles Mission we have created scenes that are all about Christmas. The scenes will show the holiday spirit between sons, fathers, grandfather's and friends. These stories are touching and funny and come from the imaginations of the actors from the program. Please join us for this original holiday celebration.
When: Monday December 10th, 6:30pm
Where: The Los Angeles Mission Spanish Chapel 303 E 5th St, Los Angeles, CA 90013
This is a free eventDecember
Toons Gone Rogue
Toons Gone Rogue was a variety show for the holidays, created from Strindberg Laboratory’s theater workshops with F.A.C.T. Family. Our amazing cast celebrated all things Disney in this wild variety show that comes from the imaginations of our actors.
Toons Gone Rogue
Through The Strindberg Laboratory's theater workshops with F.A.C.T. Family we have created Toons Gone Rogue, a variety show for the holidays. Come see our amazing cast celebrate all things Disney in this wild variety show that comes from the imaginations of our actors.
Saturday December 8th 2:00pm
Blue Door Theater 9617 Venice Blvd, Culver City CA 90232
The Destiny is The Journey
"The Destiny Is The Journey" was an original play created by actors from the Los Angeles Mission and Los Angeles City College through the Break it To Make it Program. The play takes you on a voyage through the eyes of a troubled soldier who journeys through the desert and jungle after a fierce battle in order to meet the man in the mountains who can set him free. Thanks to all those that came out to the show and participated in the production!
Murder Mystery Mayhem & Most Talented
The most recent TSL workshop for F.A.C.T. culminated in a production in February 2018, called “Murder Mystery Mayhem & Most Talented.” In a series of short pieces created by the participants that spanned a love murder mystery to making it in Hollywood, the common theme was breaking down stereotypical stigmas, which has great resonance in the lives of our participants.February
Free Yo’ Mind
Free Yo' Mind was part of The Break it to Make It program's "Freedom Festival" at Los Angeles City College. The actors were participants of workshops with The Los Angeles Mission. All of the actors who participated in the production received two transferable college credits. The play was about people who are striving to overcome their trials and tribulations by using the advice and wisdom of Martin Luther King's "What Is In Your Life's Blueprint" speech to help them find their way to a brighter and more just future.
The Freedom Festival celebrated freedom for everyone, including those coming home from correctional facilities. The event showcased a wide variety of art, performances and speeches as well as booths with information on housing and educational and employment opportunities.
“California Dreaming” was part of Strindberg Laboratory’s “Demonstration project” through California Arts Council’s “Prison Project” with people who are about to be released back into society. The play was formed from the dreams of our students about their family, relationships and their desire for a positive change. The play’s story centers on a lost soul who winds up in a magical train station where he is whisked away by a wise man who shows him how to build a better future through songs, scenes, dance, and poetry.June
Fathers and Sons
Fathers and Sons" performed on the B yard in California State Prison of Los Angeles County in March of 2017. The play consisted of original and scripted material dealing with the relationships between fathers and sons. The families of our students who were incarcerated were allowed to have their family members attend the performancesMarch
One Dream Away
The play is written and performed by persons with one to two year release dates in the B yard in California State Prison of Los Angeles County. The play is about their dreams and fears for the future and consists of eight original scenes with raps, songs, and poems. The scenes ask the question; Can I dream big enough to change my life and am I able to conquer my fears and fulfill my dreams?
Media Piece from USC Annenberg of School of Journalism
Three Original Shows with Students from the Prisons
In 2016 and 2017, with support from the California Arts Council’s Prison Project, we created three original shows with students from the prisons. Our workshop is now a college course and all of our students receive two transferable college credits through Los Angeles City College.
Break It to Make It
In 2016, after seeing students in the jails being released and coming right back to jail, and working in prisons where some of our students never got out, we decided to build a great reentry program. The people that had been successful in our Jails to Jobs program all had three things in common; they were enrolled in college, had stable housing, and they had jobs.
With this in mind we partnered, with Los Angeles City College (LACC) and Los Angeles Mission (LAM) and we created Break It To Make It. This program offers people who have criminal backgrounds a foundation at Los Angeles Mission, and opportunity to achieve their higher educational goals through Los Angeles City College. Led by Assemblyman Mike Gipson (D-Carson), the State of California granted the funding to launch Break it to Make it, and the program began in January 2017. All our students are eligible for this program. We have an ongoing theater workshop at LAM so students can continue their artistic endeavors.
Daroca’s Curious Journey
With support from Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, Meri Pakarinen, our Jails to Jobs program participants, and the FACT students created Daroca’s Curious Journey, which was performed in multiple venues in April, 2016. This was an important event, as people with criminal backgrounds have rarely been able to work within the autistic community due to requirements for background checks.April
Another Jails to Jobs production with our BITMI partners at the Los Angeles Mission about people who have faced adversity in their lives trying to seek help and be saved. The play captured the diversity and hope of people who have faced the impossible and their desire to turn their lives around.
We partnered FACT for our “Jails to Jobs” program
Our first nonprofit partner with our “Jails to Jobs” program was FACT (Family, Adult & Child Therapies) a nonprofit that provides quality care to children, adults, couples and families managing a large range of diagnoses.
Certificate of Recognition from Governor Jerry BrownNovember
Redemption in Our State of Blues
Redemption In Our State of Blues is written and performed by the drama class from the B-yard at the California State Prison in Lancaster. The play is about redemption, love, community, and hope. It consists of eleven original scenes with raps, songs, and poems. The stories ask the question; "Are there second chances?" and "How do you grasp them in time with life’s challenges?"
Awarded a Contract with the California Arts Council’s Prison Project
In 2015 Strindberg Laboratory was awarded a contract with the California Arts Council’s Prison Project and started working in California State Prison of Los Angeles County. The prison is a level 4 institution that had had very little programming, and the students on the yard we worked in had long sentences.
In July 2015, we created and performed an adaptation of Aristophanes’ The Birds with Jails to Jobs program members along with actors from The Union Rescue Mission.
"The Birds" is an adaptation of Aristophanes "The Birds" written 2500 years ago. "The Birds" is an anarchic, musical satire about finding freedom, getting back one’s faith and self-confidence and most of all how absolute power corrupts absolutely. This adaptation through original raps and songs brings a vision of what could happen if people from the fringes of society take over and come into power!
Jails to Jobs
The performers of Hustlin wanted to continue making plays with us but needed income. This led to the creation of our Jails to Jobs program in 2015. Through this program, our students who were leaving correctional facilities were employed teaching theater workshops to Los Angeles community providers, along with creating and performing original shows. Ongoing training and rehearsals for our Jails to Jobs program took place at the Vortex in downtown Los Angeles.
Love is a Battlefield
Love is a battlefield was performed in 2014 at Men's Central Jail. It was created and performed by inmates from the K6G unit in the jail. The play explored many different types of loves, through songs, poetry, and scenes. The play was a testament to the fact that despite adversity and tribulations love conquers all.November
The LA Times
Developed at Skid Row, the play consists of 8 scenes based on real life experiences of the actors with freestyle raps connecting all of the scenes to produce an entertaining and enlightening audience experience. The audience gets a close-up look at the ups and downs of hustlers, pimps, prostitutes, corrupt ministers and ex-cons trying to survive in a world where the game is stacked against them.
Theater Workshops at the Volunteers of America (VOA) on Skid Row
Due to the success of the Men’s Central Jail workshops, students wanted to continue working with us after being released. To answer that desire, in 2014 we began theater workshops at the Volunteers of America (VOA) on skid row where many of our students went to live after release from jail.
Transformative Theater Workshops at Los Angeles Men’s Central Jail
In the K6G unit that houses gay and transgender men. This workshop has continued at the Jails and now we are also in CRDF Jail through Five Keys Charter School.
2007 – 2011
Meri Pakarinen co founder and artistic director of the Strindberg Laboratory began the theater company in 2011 with the production of Miss Julie that was performed in Helsinki Finland. In the subsequent years original one person shows about famous artists like Helene Schjerfbeck, Elli Tompuri, Jane Avril, Toulouse Lautrec and Vincent Van Gogh were created and performed in the United States and Finland. View some of our videos and pictures from some of our older productions!!
What a great "NLNW Digital Festival'' this year! Here is the video from the "Hope For Justice" event that took place during the festival that features poetry and art. The poem featured in the video was an international group effort led by Marlene McCurtis and Susie Tanner from the TheatreWorkers Project with artwork from artists from the Prison Arts Collective. Thanks to all that contributed and participated. Video edited by Eric Ragan.
Hope for Justice – Poetry!
What a great "NLNW Digital Festival this year! Here is the video from our "Hope For Justice" event that took place during the festival that features poetry and art. The poem featured in the video was an international group effort led by Marlene McCurtis and Susie Tanner from the TheatreWorkers Project. Here are the texts of the two poems about "Hope For Justice" that were created.
Meet me in the warmth of seeing change
A world of possibility
Where we see each other for who we are,
No added labels
For a sea change, we need to be change,
To put down our devices and see what is important
Humanity and Understanding
Recognizing each one of us as worthy
Taking a chance on justice and peace
Expanding love and kindness
The deepest sea is inside of us
This hope for humanity
We do what we do out of love
Our arms stretched long
As the ocean, deep as the sky
We have only just begun.
Seeing all that needs to be
In the warmth of
A world of possibility
It’s all about the fear
There is a diamond in every ounce of lost dreams
All the things I couldn’t handle, burn like candles
I stand on these two feet and the ground is heavy under them,
And in the end, as the flame drowns, I am free
I see further shores as a reflection from clouds
I thought were darker than inside of my mind
I thought it was the end
But it was tomorrow shining through
I see you now, not like a memory or a shadow, but as a feeling, as hope
Thinking about all of us, not just me,
I want to raise these hands to greet, not to make you fear
Making new connection
Joining others to create change
Peace is active.
Contributors to the poem were: Aimee Levesque, (USA) Christopher Simpson (USA),Daisy (Hong Vietnam), Denny (USA), Dominique Beltran USA, Donny Glenn (USA), Duncan Martinez (USA), Elizabeth Beltran (USA), Hilppa Lampi (Finland),John Ma (USA), Jonny (Scotland), Keith Etherington (Scotland), Kevin O’Brien (USA), Leila Ayoub (UK), Nyslie Guerrier (USA), Rubén Funkahuatl Guevara (USA),Tue Huynh (USA), Markus Vahala (Finland), Meri Pakarinen (USA), Michael Bierman (USA),Aimee Levesque, (USA), Michael McCarty (USA) Mary Beth Barber (USA)
Artists from the Prison Arts Collective (USA) whose art was featured in the video are: J Perea (Fluidity), J Tran "I Know Why The Tucan Sings", J Gavney "Keep Watch Over Yourselves And The Whole Flock", M Rodriguez "Marylin", M Nyguen "My Choice of Weapon", J Quintero "Problem Solver", D Stuart "Spectre of Hope", A Groneman "The Experience Of Incarceration", J May "Tools of Freedom", J Tecero "Waning Hope".
Video Edited by Eric Ragan
Thanks to ALL!