Changing the way we experience journalism.

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StoryWorks’ mission is to empower, challenge and heal communities by creating documentary theater that is bold and truthful.


In 2013, The Center for Investigative Reporting partnered with Tides Theatre in San Francisco to launch StoryWorks, an innovative series of artistically engaging plays inspired by CIR’s investigative journalism.  

Blending high artistic standards and award-winning journalism, StoryWorks presents truthful and beautifully rendered stories that shine a spotlight on the human costs of injustice and structural inequality and help drive social change. StoryWorks also helps CIR fulfill its critical mandate to bring investigative reporting to diverse new audiences through innovative storytelling and public engagement. CIR leads the nation in its robust commitment to this form of artistic and investigative storytelling.

Each year, two to three StoryWorks plays are produced. To date, all have been mounted in the Bay Area; several have premiered or toured in communities nationwide. CIR also has partnered with news organizations nationwide to produce StoryWorks productions inspired by their work and presented in their communities. Each performance concludes with a conversation between the audience and reporters, playwrights and individuals whose stories we share.

To ensure the highest quality, CIR commissions playwrights to express their own creativity and understanding of the issues at hand. The StoryWorks artistic director facilitates ongoing conversations between the artists and CIR’s editors and legal counsel to ensure the facts presented in each play are as accurate as the reports from which they evolved. The collaboration between the journalists and artists is ongoing – from the first read-through to the final curtain call.

 StoryWorks has received critical acclaim from The Washington Post, the Columbia Journalism Review, The Kansas City Star, The Poynter Institute and the San Francisco Chronicle, among others.

 StoryWorks is made possible through generous donations from individuals and foundations.

To learn more about StoryWorks, contact us.