Laurie began her career in theater as an actress, then began writing and teaching. Teaching the Go Solo workshop at Highways led Laurie to directing several evenings of curated students’ work. One student stood out from the rest because of his brutally honest and achingly funny stories about his experiences in WWII. His name was Fred Rochlin and he was a 72 year old retired architect. Laurie convinced him to work with her developing his show and then spent three years putting his stories together into a full-length solo show, and teaching him performance skills that would enable to him to hold the stage alone for 80 minutes. The result was the highly acclaimed Old Man In a Baseball Cap which Laurie directed at the Actors’ Theatre of Louisville and the La Jolla Playhouse, then under Artistic director Michael Greif, among other venues. Here is the piece Bruce Weber wrote for the NYT about Fred’s show:
This episode of This American Life episode is about Fred’s solo performance work and was written and produced by his amazing daughter, Margy Rochlin:
Laurie directed several productions of original work at the Virginia Avenue Project while she was Artistic Director there.