About

10495385_10203737454331371_8345967602811670147_oLaurie Lathem

Laurie is a writer, producer, teacher, theater artist and arts educator with a passion for working with adults and youth of all ages and abilities, helping them find their unique voices through creative writing, playwriting and theater arts. Laurie has worked extensively in creating and developing new work in community settings and using oral history and real events as source material.

Laurie grew up in Brooklyn, New York, and found her life in the theater at a young age. By the time she was eleven years old she was a regular performer with the Judith Scott Dance Company and the Shelter West Theater Company. After graduating from Saint Ann’s School, she went to Northwestern and then lived in Brazil where she sang and wrote songs in a rock band.

Laurie’s acting career brought her to Los Angeles where she worked in films (The Doctor with William Hurt, Volcano with Tommy Lee Jones and Reservoir Dogs, among others), TV (thirtysomething, Tracy Takes On, and Jake Spanner, P.I. with Robert Mitchum, among others) and stage. She wrote and starred in a highly acclaimed solo show, Is This America, Or What? which toured New York, LA and London, and wrote the play, Slide, which was produced in LA at the Wilton Project. Laurie participated in the Padua Hills Playwriting Festival where she studied with the singular Maria Irene Fornes.

At the suggestion of friend and colleague Luis Alfaro, Laurie began teaching what would become a popular solo performance workshop, Go Solo, at Highways Performance Space. It was in this workshop that she met student Fred Rochlin whose solo show, Old Man in a Baseball Cap, she developed and directed at the Actors’ Theatre of Louisville at the Flying Solo Festival and at the La Jolla Playhouse, among other venues.

Laurie’s love of teaching took her to Los Angeles Central Juvenile Hall where she taught creative writing to incarcerated girls and to boys in the Special Housing Unit.

After moving to the Bay Area, she was hired by Tony Taccone at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre as the founding Creative Director of the Berkeley Rep School of Theater. There, Laurie generated the vision for the brand new school, designed the curriculum, hired the staff and ran the school and the education programs associated with the Berkeley Rep productions.

Laurie was the Artistic Director of the Virginia Avenue Project, an arts mentoring organization for underserved and struggling youth in Santa Monica. At VAP she produced 3-4 original theater productions per year with kids and  adult theater professionals in varying combinations, ran playwriting residencies in local middle and high schools, and a full slate of after school arts programs including acting, playwriting, stage combat, music and dance.  She was also responsible for the artistic vision behind several collaborative productions with groups such as Contra Tiempo Urban Latin Dance Company, Santa Monica Youth Orchestra and the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust, and envisioned the brand new Arts Center for Youth which opened in the 18th Street Arts Center.

After many happy and fruitful years in Los Angeles, Laurie and her family moved back home to Brooklyn where Laurie became the Director of the Moment Work Institute at Tectonic Theater Project. There, she innovated and oversaw programs in which new theatrical works were created in colleges and high schools across the country and the globe, including in Hanoi, Vietnam and Beirut, Lebanon.

Laurie has taught creative writing, screenwriting, playwriting and led residencies at Stanford University Continuing Studies Program, Pixar Animation Studios, Berkeley Rep, Highways Performance Space, Santa Monica High School, Community School for Social Justice in the Bronx, Alameda County Juvenile Hall among others.

Laurie is now teaching privately and conducting an oral history project: Teens in the Time of Covid. For more information about this project or to set up an interview, please email teen2020project@gmail.com.

One thought on “About

  1. Still always and even more one of the world’s fabuloso. I don’t think you’ve changed so much since age 11, all energetic search and find and rescue and build and grow. Love you much,
    moi

    Like

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