Lauren Goldman Marshall
playwright, director, teaching artist


Theater of

Theater of Possibility - Rehearsal for Living
Finding Yourself through Acting and Improv

What's New?

Theater of Possibility student Kenassa Sarka shares his story on living and learning with autism, his love of theater, and his desire to go to college in this lovely short video, produced by Rooted in Rights.

Video Samples:

TOP parodies behavioral therapy: Check out this video excerpt from Autism Therapy for Neuro-typicals, by Jackie Moffitt, performed at The Intersections Festival, Seattle, March, 2018. Length: 5:51 min.

TOP uses forum theater to educate teachers on how to create a more inclusive classroom: Here is a video excerpt of TOP youth performing You Don't Have to Freak Out, by Lauren Marshall & the ensemble, at Seattle Pacific University, March, 2014. Length: 7:27 min.

Theater of Possibility was highlighted in the October 2017 issue of Seattle's Child in Valuing Difference, about innovative programs for kids on the autism spectrum.

Now registering for 2019-20 Classes in Seattle and Bellevue!

Contact Lauren Marshall for more information and registration. Click here for a downloable flyer.

After school classes at Seattle's University Heights Center:
Fall 2019 Seattle classes are offered at University Heights Center, 5031 University Way NE, Seattle, 98105. Program culminates with a potluck and evening performance.

Teens/Adults (ages 15 and older): Tuesdays, 4:15–5:45 PM, Sept 24 –Dec 17 (no class 11/26).   Last class goes 4–8 PM for potluck & family showcase.  Cost $450 (12 class days).

Kids/Tweens (ages  8-14): Thursdays, 4:15–5:45 PM, Sept 26 –Dec 19 (no class 11/28). Last class goes 4–8 PM for potluck & family showcase. Cost: $450 (12 class days). 

Partial scholarships and pay-what-you-can available. TOP is a DSHS respite care provider.

Saturday classes for kids, teens and adults at Bellevue Youth Theatre:
For the fourth year, Lauren will also be offering classes at Bellevue Youth Theatre-Crossroads, 16051 NE 10th St., Bellevue, WA 98008, on Saturday mornings. This year, we are offering two linked sessions, Sept 28-Jan 25 and Feb 22-May 30  (+ May 31 for older class) (skipping holidays and school breaks).  Cost: free for Bellevue residents; $150 per session ($300 for academic year) for non-residents.  Students are stongly encouraged to sign up for both sessions. We will create our plays in the fall and rehearse and perform them in the spring.  New students will be added to spring session only on space-available basis.

Kids/Tweens (ages 8-14): Saturdays, 9:10–10:20 AM.  Open class on 1/25 for friends & family; plus performance on 5/30.  On May 30, we will meet 9–Noon for rehearsal, potluck & performance. 

Teen/Adults (ages 15 and older): Saturdays, 10:30–Noon. Open class on 1/25 for friends & family, plus performance on Sunday, 5/31.  Note: on Saturday, May 30 we will meet 12:30–2 to accommodate younger kids performance. On Sunday, May 31, we will meet 12:30–4:30 for rehearsal, potluck & performance.  

Thanks to support from the city of Bellevue and the Bellevue Youth Theatre Foundation, Nikki Fox Fund, the Bellevue classes are offered free to Bellevue residents and at a reduced tuition for non-Bellevue residents.

For both the Seattle and Belleuve classes, students who qualify for DSHS community services respite care may be able to get their tuition covered.

Contact Sheila Framke at Belleuve Youth Theater to register, and Lauren Marshall for more information about program content.

TOP news:

Theater of Possibility presents at the World Affairs Council
Four advanced students and teaching assistants from the Seattle and Bellevue teen/adult classes joined Lauren on August 1, 2019, in presenting a workshop on Theater of Possibilty for a delegation of theater artists from Egypt, participating in the State Department's International Visitor Leadership Program, focusing on the role of independent theater in promoting social change. We had a blast doing theater games and demonstrating techniques from Augusto Boal's Theater of the Oppressed with the highly talented Egyptian theater artists.

Presentation for Dads!
In November, 2018, Lauren gave a presentation on TOP at the 2018 Washingtion State Fathers Network Conference in Bellevue.

Washington State Arts Alliance Cultural Congress, 2018
In Ocotber, 2018, Lauren and verteran TOP troupe members Jackie Moffitt and Kenassa Sarka presented on a panel entitled, The Full Meaning of Inclusion, at the Washinton State Arts Alliance Cultural Congress in Ellensburg, WA. Joining them on the panel were Patty Kiang, of Deaf Spotlight, and King Khazm, of 206 Zulu, to talk about how organizations can make the arts more inclusive of communities with (dis) abilities.

Kenessa Sarka, Xanne Sarka, Lauren Marshall & Jackie Moffitt

TOP perfoms at Intersection Festival!
The Theater of Possibility ("TOP") advanced youth troupe performed two short pieces, Autism Therapy for Neurotypicals, by Jackie Moffitt, and Kaleidoscope, by Lauren Marshall and Pam Shane Johnson, at the Intersections Festival, Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, 4408 Delridge Way, SW Seattle, 98106, Sunday March 25, 2018.

TOP's advanced troupe of teen and young adult performers is made up of highly talented individuals with autism and peer allies.

Intersections is a comedy festival focusing on equity, inclusion and representation.

Come Explore the Possibilities! Theater of Possibility ("TOP") helps young people give voice to their ideas and dreams! Through fun and zany theater games, improv exercises and role-playing, we explore the dynamics of friendship, family and school. Along the way, we shape powerful emotions and ideas into moving, profound and funny works of theater.

Social skills are inherent in what we do, but TOP classes are playful and non-didactic. Relationship topics such as making and keeping friends, responses to bullying or exclusion, peer pressure and social injustice, might be explored through the creative genres of a fantasy, sci-fi or absurdist comedy.

We practice flexibility, non-verbal communication, recognizing social nuances, and perspective taking, collaboration and leadership. But the primary focus is on creativity and collaboration. I want to give students tools to better understand relationship dynamics and empower themselves, but rather than deign to teach students how to conform to societal norms, I aim to give them a voice to teach the world!

Who: TOP serves children, youth and adults who are interested in using theater to explore and express themselves more fully and authentically. We welcome students who are quirky, spirited or shy, or who may have Asperger's, autism, ADHD, or other learning or ability differences. TOP promotes an atmosphere of inclusion and respect for each person's unique gifts.

Note: Students must be able to participate in structured group activities or come with an aide. The first class of each session is an introductory class to make sure it is a good fit for all.

Here is what some parents have said about TOP:

"The real triumph for me was watching Alex. Thought you'd like to know that he has had an INTENSE fear of speaking or even appearing in front of other people. When he was the stage manager in high school he would even refuse to be acknowledged on stage at the end of a performance. I cried through his entire performance. He even improvised - pure magic!"
- Jonibeth Whitney, mother of a 20 year old TOP actor

"[My son's] mental rigidity has given way to flexibility and a new found ability to function within a group. His self-esteem is soaring and the class has become an anchor for life. He marveled aloud that “Lauren could bring together such different kinds of kids and have us get along so well.”
Susan Moffitt, mother of a 17 year old TOP actor.

"My daughter was able to actually see and experience choices for turning a potentially hurtful social interaction into a beneficial one. Theater of Possibility, is, as they say, a rehearsal for living."
- Ann Morrow, mother of a 13 year old TOP actor.

"My daughter…is the NT sibling. Her brother is HFA. It was a great experience for her. Besides just being fun, it gave her the chance to see how other kids with different abilities are (and how they feel about situations in life) instead of only having her little brother as a reference. I think this is a very powerful tool for our kids. It 's a fun way to learn how to deal with some of the social difficulties that our kids face."
- Barbary El Naby, mother of a 12 year old TOP actor

"He loved it. It was the first class/activity that he has done and not worried about going to: he felt very safe and enjoyed it. He especially enjoyed the performances.."
- Holly Tabor, mother of a 7 year old TOP actor

Also, since 2014, Lauren has been teaching a Theater of Possibility program to youth living in Sand Point Housing. This is a joint project of Solid Ground and Seattle Music Theater, and supported by a Youth Arts Award from the Seattle Office of Arts and Culture and a grant from the Windermere Foundation.

Ways to be involved with TOP:

1. Register for a class (see above).

2. Inquire about volunteering. We seek capable and compassionate teens and adults to participate as student interns and teaching assistants. Community service credit may be available through your high school.

3. Custom-design a workshop for your school or group. Lauren can provide a custom-designed workshop of any length, from 90 minutes to 30 hours, or anything in between in your venue, tailored to general or specific themes. Social skills themes, for example, might focus on inclusion, anti-bullying, risk reduction or self-empowerment. Literary themes might include playwriting, adapting fiction for the stage, or creative generative theater through group improv and collaboration. Lauren has been selected for the Creative Advantage Community Arts Partner Roster for teaching artists working in the public schools. Seattle Public Schools in the Central Pathway are eligible for grants for teaching artists on the roster. More info is available here.

4. Book the TOP youth troupe. Bring the teen/young adult TOP troupe to your school or community for a custom-designed interactive theater workshop on the topic of your choice. This powerful video captures TOP youth giving a powerful performance to theater arts educators at SPU on what can go wrong in a class when teachers don't understand autism.

5. Inquire about workshops, trainings and master classes for adults. Lauren offers weekend intensive workshops by invitation and independently for educators, therapists, parents and other adults wanting to learn these techniques. See below for recent partnerships.

Articles about TOP:

Also check out these blogs by Susan Moffitt, TOP parent:

Theater of Possibility - community partnerships:

  • Performance at Intersections Festival, 2018.
  • Weekend master class. California State University Northridge
  • Youth demonstration: Seattle Children's Hospital, Neurodevelopmental team
  • Youth demonstration: American Alliance for Theater in Education Conference, Seattle Pacific University
  • School partnerships: Laurelhurst Elementary, Arbor Heights Elementary, Stevens Elementary
  • Co-Instructor, Hero's Journey video production camps, Redmond Parks & Recreation
  • Classes and/or summer camps: Youth Theatre Northwest and Bellevue Youth Theatre-Crossroads
  • Sand Point Housing, co-sponsored by Solid Ground, Magnuson Community Center and Seattle Musical Theatre, with support from the Windermere Foundation
  • Seattle Gilbert & Sullivan Society
  • Guest artist workshops: Silver Kite, Sammamish Arts Council, Northwest School, Plymouth Congregational Church, Middle East Peace Camp, Learn-to-Succeed & Washington State Fathers Network
  • Training workshops for educators: Antioch University and Western Washington State University
  • Presentations at the North American Drama Therapy Association Conference, Seattle, 2016; Boston, 2017
  • Presentation for visiting delegation of Egyptian theater artists at World Affairs Council, Seattle, 2019

Thank you to the Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs, Youth Arts Awards, 201214 and 201517, Arc of Snohomish County and Windermere Foundation (via Seattle Musical Theatre) for their support of TOP.

Theater of Possibility:

Rehearsing Social Skills through Acting and Improv

Click here for more information

Original Material and Coding Copyright © 2010–19 by Lauren Goldman Marshall. All Rights Reserved.