Stages: Intergenerational Theater on the Lower East Side

A moving portrait of aging Puerto Rican women and urban teenagers collaboratively creating a play out of the stories of their lives.
Year Released
Film Length(s)
82 mins
Remote video URL

Featured review

This heartfelt and thoughtful exploration explodes expectations and illustrates the commonality of people despite distinctions of age, gender, and race. A multiaward winner, Stages would be excellent viewing for those studying social and women's issues, immigration, drama, or art.
Charli Osborne
Oxford P.L., MI Library Journal


Stages is a moving and surprisingly funny vérité exploration of the unexpected power of the simple act of storytelling. In New York City's oldest community center, a group of older Puerto Rican women and urban teenagers come together to create an original play out of the stories of their lives. Weaving together themes of immigration, identity, aging and coming of age, Stages offers an intimate portrait of an unlikely ensemble, transformed by the liberating power of their own stories-- first as they are spoken across generations, and later when they are performed for a sold-out show.

A rare feat in non-fiction filmmaking, Stages was collaboratively directed by twelve members of the award winning Meerkat Media Collective.


Recommended by educators as an excellent teaching tool for courses in:

Arts Management
Art Therapy
Ethnic Studies
Hispanic Studies
Immigration Studies
Media Studies
Social Work
Women's Studies
Urban Studies


Stages is a wonderful resource for anyone interested in initiating dialogue about the way we think about older adults and growing older -- which is relevant to us all! It is also a beautiful and truly moving film.
Dr. Mark Bilkey. Adler School of Professional Psychology
Dr. Mark Bilkey. Adler School of Professional Psychology
This film will be a wonderful addition to the social work curriculum. An intergenerational project brings youth and elders together to develop a theater presentation. Community centers provide the venue. Excellent group work is used to facilitate personal and group development. Ethnic diversity among both the elders and the youth adds richness to the film. The final performance is moving and inspiring. This film models the empowerment process." [Stages] is great for many teaching different purposes, community organization, group work, using theater for development, development among elders, intergenerational interaction. The diversity in the film adds to its value as an educational tool. I think this film would be useful for many social work courses and no doubt for many other academic programs. Because gerontology is now an especially important focus in the social work curriculum, this film meets a current need. An excellent film!
Susan A. Murty
Ph.D. School of Social Work, University of Iowa
A powerful, evocative, story of cross-generational connection and meaning-making in life. A must-see and a perfect choice for classes in the social sciences and the humanities.
Carl Barenboim
Ph.D. Sarah Lawrence College
At times humorous and at others heartbreaking, Stages' greatest strength lies in its eclectic and fascinating characters as they struggle with self expression and the emancipating power of art. What ensues is a careful look at the silent division between young and old which can only be illuminated through the perspective of other and makes for mesmerizing film.

Awards and Screenings

BEST DOCUMENTARY - HBO New York International Latino Film Festival
AUDIENCE AWARD - HBO New York International Latino Film Festival
BEST FEATURE - Rincon Film Festival, Puerto Rico
INVITED GUEST - American Association of Homes for the Aging (Leading Age), Annual Meeting, Los Angeles, CA
INVITED GUEST - Training Institute for Artists and Administrators in Creative Aging, The Creative Center, New York, NY
OFFICIAL SELECTION - Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival
OFFICIAL SELECTION - Nashville Film Festival
OFFICIAL SELECTION - New York United Film Festival
OFFICIAL SELECTION - Toronto ReelWorld Film Festival
OFFICIAL SELECTION - Portland Oregon Women's Film Festival
OFFICIAL SELECTION - Orlando Film Festival
OFFICIAL SELECTION - CineFestival San Antonio
OFFICIAL SELECTION - San Diego Latino Film Festival
OFFICIAL SELECTION - Boston Latino International Film Festival
OFFICIAL SELECTION - Cine Las Americas Film Festival, Austin
OFFICIAL SELECTION - Brooklyn Independent Cinema Series

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