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Verona High School Football Team

Our Theatre LILA 

Story Project Workshop

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The Theatre LILA Story Project Workshop is a leadership and community building workshop tailor made for a diverse group of participants ranging from high school students to adult professionals.

The workshop begins by engaging participants in theatre-based games & exercises in order to enhance and deepen leadership skills, learn how to better collaborate and work as a team and ignite creativity in new ways while working outside of ones comfort zone. Activities are very physical and allow participants space to find their innate ‘sense of play’ using their 360 degree self--head, heart and body. 

In the second half of the workshop each participant will be given tools and space to work with their peers to collaborate and create a short theatre piece and perform the piece for the group. They will then be taken through a highly structured story telling exercises that will give them the confidence and framework to share a defining moment story with the group at the culmination of the day.

We have conducted workshops for Verona HS, West HS, Middleton HS, Malcom Shabazz City HS, Capital City HS as well as for members of TEMPO, TASC leadership team, MMSD teaching staff and more.

To learn more about bringing this workshop to your school, organization or company reach out via email at

Capital High LAB 360

Denzel Taylor, UW First Wave graduate and Jessica Lanius teamed up to bring a lab style theatre workshop to high school students at Capital High on the east and west sides of Madison. Through a six week residency they brought unique and inspiring writing exercises into the classroom that generated poetry, scenes, monologues and personal stories. Student's original writings were presented on the Overture Center Rotunda Stage for their entire school to experience.

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Real Stories About Race

Theatre LILA and Bronzeville Arts Ensemble teachers Jessica Lanius and Sheri Williams-Pannell conducted workshops through out the Madison community engaging multi-generational groups in a theatre-based workshop that confronted questions about race and asked participants to share a personal story. A selection of these stories were presented on the Overture Center stage for the community to experience. 

No Story Left Behind

Through Theatre LILA improvisation exercises, educators and students created short theater pieces based on defining moment experiences in school—a revealing collage of schoolyard mishaps, adventures, and heartbreaks.  Titled No Story Left Behind, these funny and poignant stories told by this multi-generational group of first-time storytellers were staged in Promenade Hall at Overture Center in 2014.


Inspirational Women

Andy Arden Reese & Jessica Lanius, LILA’s co-founders, led an intense weeklong residency at the oldest children’s theatre in the country. Harwich Junior Theatre is Cape Cod’s premiere family theater dedicated to bringing the finest quality live theater to children, young people, and their families. In this intensive an ensemble of multi-generational women was built for the purpose of exploring and creating theater pieces based on the women who inspire them.

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