Leading Lady Number 5

In participation of National Women’s Month and the National Women’s History Project’s Weaving the Stories of Women’s Lives, C4 Atlanta would like to share the next story from our Leading Ladies series.

Everyone meet Laurel Crowe!


Where/who do you work for and what is your role?
I am the Education Director for Georgia Ensemble Theatre and Conservatory. I am the primary administrator for the education department, teach classes, hire professional teaching artists, and direct both professional TYA (Theatre for Young Audiences) productions, as well as youth productions.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be an actor, a nurse, and a waitress. Two out of three…not so bad!
Who was your favorite artist/writer/performer growing up?
Shel Silverstein and Roald Dahl. They both still influence me and the work that I do. I also really loved Madonna and Cyndi Lauper (I am a child of the 80’s). I know that doesn’t come across as very deep, but they both represented something daring for women and girls. They were changing something in the cultural landscape. I also thought that they both had a wicked sense of style.
Who has been/had the the biggest influence on your life? What lessons did the person teach you?
My parents have always been incredible pillars of support for my sister and I. It never crossed our minds that we wouldn’t be able to accomplish what we put our minds and hearts to. I have the incredibly unique opportunity and experience of working with and for my parents, as well. They have taught me integrity in this industry, how to treat fellow artists kindly, and that you can balance a healthy family and your career as an artist.
When and how did you first become interested in the arts? How long have you been in your line of work?
I grew up as a theater kid (there are a handful of us in Atlanta. I like to call us Second Generation), and I think that I knew from a very young age that I wanted to be an actor. If you had told me that I would direct plays one day, or run an education department, I would have laughed at you! I really love what I get to do, knowing that I am exacting change in the lives of young people. I have been a teaching artist for 10 years and in my current position for four. I began directing in 2008.
How is art a passion for you?
I love creating something that didn’t exist before. Even if the script is main stream, I know that if we are approaching it with honest storytelling, then it will be different and unique. It is especially amazing when you see children and teens experience a real and true moment on stage.
What are your thoughts on equality and representation of women in the arts?
I would say, at least in my field, that there is a very powerful representation of women in Atlanta theatre arts, and new and exciting companies and opportunities continue to develop.
What in your profession has given you the greatest satisfaction or fulfillment? Looking back, what would you have done differently? What would you do again?
I took the road less traveled to get to my position. It has always been important to both myself and my parents (Robert J. Farley and Anita Allen-Farley) that I stand on my own two feet as an artist and arts administrator. I really had to prove myself as a teaching artist and director, and then later as an entry level administrator, before they would take a chance on me. I think that we all are happy that they did! What would I do differently? Gosh, I really believe that the struggles that I encountered as a younger person have helped me become the mother and educator that I am now, so even though there were some very difficult times for me, I would probably experience them again. Perhaps more motivation in my early 20’s would have made me more successful at a faster pace? It’s hard to say.
I get incredible fulfillment from directing our performance camp in the summer. What these kids accomplish in two weeks is intense. I am always swelling with pride. That my own children can participate in the work that I do is also incredibly rewarding.Hot-Chocolate
What most excites you about the arts in Atlanta?
I really do believe, that at the end of the day, we are all on the same team. I think that overall there is a great respect for one another and a collective conscious in the Atlanta theatre community that bands together to make great, challenging work happen.
What do you hope to contribute to the Atlanta arts community?
I hope to continue growing as a TYA director and I hope to continue sharing this art form with the next generation of theater goers for years to come.
Where can we go to learn more?
On FACEBOOK: Georgia Ensemble Theatre & Conservatory

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