Stage-and-film documentaries 2018-2024 
Director/Producer & Creator or Co-creator

Developed over the course of six months to a year or longer, these projects are created with groups of people whose life stories are close-ups on the history and culture of their time. With director and creative team, a script is developed from writings and discussions, telling the individual stories of those involved and a bigger story of the collective experience. The result is a live theatre production with the participants, and a stage-and-film documentary of the event. These projects create community, and encourage ideas about the future by exploring how the past became the present. 


Acting Our Age
Voices of the Times
Developed by Lyndall Hare and Steve Umberger with the casts
Directed by Steve Umberger
Director of Photography Jay Thomas
Music Fred Story
Series developed and produced by The Works (Playworks Group)
Project sponsored by Aldersgate, a non profit life plan community

One Century Seven Voices (2019)
Voices of the Pandemic (2021)
Using Our Voices (2022) / Event film 2023
New project 2024 / More information soon

A series with people whose life stories show how history was made 

"The collaboration between director and gerontologist turns decades of memories into a collective whole." Observer

The Acting Our Age series was developed by The Works (sponsored by Aldersgate, a non-profit organization) to celebrate individual lives in historical context. 

There is also a new related series "in The Works" for 2025 called Telling The Times. (More information soon)

Each Acting Our Age edition is 60-120 minutes long.
Below is a 12 minute look inside the five year series,
featuring 30 members of the Aldersgate community.

Call Me By My Name
A StreetsmARTs Project
Project created by Steve Umberger and developed by The Works (Playworks Group)
Directed by Steve Umberger / Director of Photography Jay Thomas
Developed 2018-2022
StreetsmARTs Program created and project sponsored by First United Methodist Church

A project and film about the creativity of the unhoused community

"The experience has been profoundly positive - and one that has cultivated growth socially, creatively and consciously." QC Nerve 

Some of what audiences have said
 "This is an example of how we can save the world - conversations, empathy, engagement."   Patron Rosemary Monaghan

"We were at times filled with laughter, other times brought to tears by the shared life experiences. They were able to weave so much history while telling their own stories."  Patron Annie M. Brooks

From Steve Umberger
"These documentaries on stage and film give people a long time to trust each other, and you feel the depth of that commitment in what they do on stage. The audience recognizes their own lives in these real stories. The 'actors' also learn surprising things about themselves. And it's a very, very interesting thing to create a story arc from the collective experience of a group. We can literally watch our own history unfold through their lives."   
Interview for ASweatLife/Chicago ©  2019 

See press on all projects