Mind the Gap

Mind the Gap, our intergenerational theatre program, connects young people and elders through the power of storytelling.

This free workshop matches New Yorkers age 60 and up with teens ages 14 to 19. Participants interview each other over the course of 12 sessions, learning about their partners’ lives and dreams. They write or devise short plays based on the material they gather and in a culminating celebration, hear their scripts read aloud by professional actors or perform their own work

The process is a profound exercise in empathy and listening. It fosters understanding between generations, and prompts participants to ask big questions of both themselves and others: What makes us who we are? How do larger circumstances shape our lives? And what are the common experiences that unite us all?

Mind the Gap workshops are held twice a year at NYTW and at community partner locations across New York City. We have also facilitated the program with several partners around the country and abroad. No playwriting experience is required to participate.

Elders and youth can participate in one of two versions of Mind the Gap:

  • The Playwriting Workshop – Over the course of twelve sessions, participants work in intergenerational pairs to interview each other and write plays inspired by their partner’s personal stories. Each playwriting workshop culminates with an invited work-in-process presentation in which professional actors read participants’ work aloud. We hold sessions of Mind the Gap – Playwriting during the summer and fall.
  • The Performance Workshop – Over the course of a weeklong intensive or the equivalent of ten weekly sessions, participants work in intergenerational pairs and as a group to create a performance piece inspired by their personal stories. Each performance workshop culminates with an invited work-in-process presentation in which participants perform their piece. We hold sessions of Mind the Gap – Performance during the spring or summer and have facilitated Mind the Gap – Performance workshops in North Carolina, New Jersey, London, UK and Santiago, Chile.


Tuesdays and Thursdays – In Person
July 9 – August 13, 2024, 4:00-6:00pm

All sessions will take place at The Sheen Center, located at 18 Bleecker Street, New York, NY on the corner of Elizabeth and Bleecker.

The goals of the program are both to teach writing and theatre skills and foster better communication and understanding between these two age groups. No playwriting or theatre experience is necessary to participate in Mind the Gap.


Through the workshop participants are able to:

  • INVESTIGATE, LISTEN and EMPATHIZE with someone of another generation, while using playwriting as a tool to understand and represent their unique experience
  • BROADEN THEIR PERSPECTIVE, see the other generation in a new light, and take on the task of telling someone else’s story with respect and understanding
  • SHARE THEIR STORIES and ultimately see them interpreted through another’s eyes making meaning out of their personal narratives and gaining insights into their own lives

Want to bring Mind the Gap to your community? If you work with elders or teens and are interested in learning more about recruitment or becoming a Mind the Gap community-based partner, please contact Alexander Santiago-Jirau, Director of Education and Community Engagement, at AlexanderS@nytw.org.