Our Story


Golden Rope of Hope

As part of The Strindberg Laboratory's transforming spaces through art and theater we have conducted The Golden Rope Of Hope forum theater game at multiple spaces throughout Los Angeles including Echo Park Lake, Los Angeles Mission and Pico Union Project. During that time we have met so many amazing community members and formed a lot of solidarity and connections. We hope to continue to create creativity in ourselves and build more collective actions through these games.

Puppets Anonymous!

Welcome to the first episode of Puppets Anonymous created by The Strindberg Laboratory's Vaudeville Valley Troupe!! Each episode will delve into the magical creatures love problems, alien abductions and much much more. Enjoy!!


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!


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!


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'.


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.

Online Workshops with

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!

Meet Tue Huynh!

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.


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!!

Meet Company Member

Christopher Simpson

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. Created by the Vaudeville Valley Troupe, composed of actors on the autism spectrum.


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!

Here we go again!

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!

NLNW Festival

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

Another SMA Workshop

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!


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.


Holiday Miracles

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.



Created for the No Labels, No Walls Festival

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!

With Kukunori we established

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!


Through our theater workshops with the Los Angeles Mission we have created

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

For LA Mission Workshop

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 event

From our theater workshops with F.A.C.T. Family we created

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.

Strindberg Laboratory and F.A.C.T. Family presents

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

With actors from the Los Angeles Mission and LACC through the Break It to Make It Program we created

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!

A workshop for F.A.C.T. culminated in a production called

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.



Certificates of Recognition

Working with actors from the Los Angeles Mission we created

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.

Los Angeles City and Break It to Make It, with support from the State of California led by Assemblyman Mike Gipson, put on

Freedom Festival

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.

With California Arts Council and Los Angeles City College we produced

California Dreaming

“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.

We created with student from the prisons

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 performances



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

with support from the California Arts Council’s Prison Project, we created

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.

We partnered with Los Angeles City College (LACC) and Los Angeles Mission (LAM) and we helped create

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.

The FACT students created

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.


Jesus 911

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.


We received a

Certificate of Recognition from Governor Jerry Brown

From this workshop, we created

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?"

We were

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.

We created and performed

The Birds

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!

We were featured in

People Magazine

We created the program

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.


Inmates from the K6G unit Created and Performed

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.

From the Councilmember Jose Huizar and Mayor Eric Garcetti we received

Certificates of Recognition

Hustin was featured in

The LA Times

Working with our students at the Volunteers of America, we created


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.

We began

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.


We Began

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

Miss Julie

The Beginning

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!!