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"...there was a new voice which you recognized as your own, that kept you company as you strode deeper and deeper into the world, determined to do the only thing you could do – determined to save the only life you could save."

~Mary Oliver

True Story Project


True Story Project was an autobiographical storytelling series that shattered sentimentality and challenged stereotypes about disability and other marginalized people by illuminating radical otherness and celebrating our shared humanity.

Conceived and directed by Kala Iversen Smith, Visible Theatre's intersectional ensemble developed True Story Projects from 2000-2011 that were entitled Chimes, Sex, Faith, Earth and Being. Collectively, True Story Project received eleven grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council for the Arts, and New York City's Department of Cultural Affairs.

Each True Story Project featured a diverse ensemble that developed autobiographical stories over two years and performed them for Hunter College, NY City Hall, Common Ground, Barrier Free Living, International Center for the Disabled, Blue Heron Theatre, Here Arts Center, Queens College, New York Life, Chashama, Foundation for the Blind and other non-traditional venues.

True Story Project’s spirit and oral history methodology live on now in a big-hearted form of experiential communal theatre, Wonderstory.

"Not content to simply be on the cutting edge of the artistic expression, True Story Project defies convention and, in doing so, reinvigorates the art form. Totally unexpected; recommended without hesitation, True Story Project is in a league of its own."

~Lawrence Carter-Long, Executive Director, Disabilities Network of NYC, Public Affairs Specialist at National Council on Disability

Next: Mandala

"...there was a new voice which you recognized as your own, that kept you company as you strode deeper and deeper into the world, determined to do the only thing you could do – determined to save the only life you could save."

~Mary Oliver

True Story Project

True Story Project was an autobiographical storytelling series that shattered sentimentality and challenged stereotypes about disability and other marginalized people by illuminating radical otherness and celebrating our shared humanity.

Conceived and directed by Kala Iversen Smith, Visible Theatre's intersectional ensemble developed True Story Projects from 2000-2011 that were entitled Chimes, Sex, Faith, Earth and Being. Collectively, True Story Project received eleven grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council for the Arts, and New York City's Department of Cultural Affairs.

Each True Story Project featured a diverse ensemble that developed autobiographical stories over two years and performed them for Hunter College, NY City Hall, Common Ground, Barrier Free Living, International Center for the Disabled, Blue Heron Theatre, Here Arts Center, Queens College, New York Life, Chashama, Foundation for the Blind and other non-traditional venues.

True Story Project’s spirit and oral history methodology live on now in a big-hearted form of experiential communal theatre, Wonderstory.

"Not content to simply be on the cutting edge of the artistic expression, True Story Project defies convention and, in doing so, reinvigorates the art form. Totally unexpected; recommended without hesitation, True Story Project is in a league of its own."

~Lawrence Carter-Long, Executive Director, Disabilities Network of NYC, Public Affairs Specialist at National Council on Disability

Next: Mandala