Tag: Atlanta Theatre

Leading Lady : Laura Cole

Atlanta has a strong and growing creative economy. Everyday, we meet women who are on the ground working to break down barriers, build community, inspire, inform, and entertain the people of Atlanta through the arts.

For National Women’s History Month in March, C4 Atlanta will be curating a Leading Lady blog series celebrating the women in the creative economy of Greater Atlanta. Over the last several weeks, we have asked the public to nominate women in the creative sector who inspire and have positively impacted the Atlanta community through their contributions. 

We are proud to introduce the next Leading Lady for March 2017: Laura Cole

Laura Cole, Director of Education and Training for the Atlanta Shakespeare Company at the Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse.

Where do you work and what do you do?
I am an actor, director and Director of Education and Training for the Atlanta Shakespeare Company at the Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse.

When and how did you first become interested in the arts? How long have you been in your line of work?
I started making up plays when I was 8 or 9, and joined a really strong children’s theatre program when I was in middle school, which was also when I decided to be a professional actor, singer and dancer. I got an acting degree from a strong college program, along with choreography experience and moved to Atlanta to begin my acting career. I have been in Atlanta ever since with a few out of town gigs, most notably an off-Broadway appearance in 2012.

What did you want to be or think you were going to be when you grew up?
Once I realized being a crow, a bronc-buster or a starship science officer were less than realistic career goals I settled on actor. I expanded that definition to include modern dance choreographer and eventually added teacher, director and mentor to the list.

If you could have lunch with any woman from history who would it be and what would you want to talk about?
Adrienne Herndon of Atlanta would be a great place to start, but I would also really like to visit with Hrotsvitha of Gandersheim (early female playwright and nun) and find out what her life was like.

Laura Cole as Mephistopheles in the Atlanta Shakespeare Company’s production of Christopher Marlowe’s “Dr. Faustus”.

Who has been the biggest influence in your life?
Besides my mother, who was one of the strongest feminists I’ve ever met, my teacher-mentors made such a difference in my life and career. Early on Mrs. Betsy Lubs and Mrs. Ruth Longman, both high school teachers, taught me how to be an artist and a scholar. My choreography and modern dance teacher at Northwestern, Lynne Anne Blom, was the most influential and impactful person on the artist/teacher I am today. She saw something in me that no one else did, she encouraged it and nurtured it, she mentored me through four years of college and quietly taught me how to be a teacher. Her example is the single most important influence on my art since then.

How is art a passion for you?
There isn’t anything else I can or want to do.

What are your thoughts on equality and the representation of women in the creative workforce?
In theatre there are still more women in the education side of the business than men, and the artistic and management positions are more often filled by men than women. I personally don’t want to be an artistic or managing director BUT the education director of any professional theater in America should be equally valued, recognized and compensated for their work- I imagine they aren’t because education is undervalued in American society and women are often undervalued……

Laura shows off her Suzi Bass Award for best Sound Design in the New American Shakespeare Company’s production of the Tempest.

What most excites you about the arts in Atlanta?
There is SO much!!!! I started here a long time ago and the growth, even after 9/11 and the Recession in the mid-2000’s, has been amazing. There are so many young artists staying here after school and practicing their craft, which 30 years ago was almost unheard-of. We keep growing even though arts and entertainment and the arts-in-education are not yet fully valued and adequately financially supported by state and local governments the way the movie/TV industry has been encouraged with tax breaks, etc. When THAT happens I will be over the MOON!

What do you hope to contribute to the Atlanta arts community with the work you do?
I didn’t plan it but the growth of full-fledged Education departments at area theaters and the growth of Teaching Artistry as a career option is a contribution I can look at and feel satisfaction.

If I could do one thing (beside professional acting) I would focus on mentoring and teaching others how to be a strong mentor both in the arts industry and in other mainstream industries in Atlanta.

Where can I learn more about your organization/business and work (websites, social media, etc.)?
we’re on FB and Twitter, too.

C4 Atlanta to Manage the Atlanta Unified Auditions

Dear Atlanta Theatre Community,

After several talks with Atlanta Performs (Atlanta Coalition of Performing Arts) both organizations have Atlanta Unified Auditionsdecided it is in the best interest of the community for C4 Atlanta to manage the 2016 Unified Auditions.

The Atlanta Unified Auditions will take place on March 14th and 15th, 2016 and will once again be at the Marcus Jewish Community Center (MJCC).

What led to this decision?

Both Atlanta Performs and C4 Atlanta care deeply about the Atlanta theatre community. I want to begin with that. This is a story of one organization helping another so a community asset will not be lost. Atlanta Performs is down to one full-time staff position. Even with contracting out most of the Unifieds run-of-show, the administration, tech support, and organizational capacity necessary are just too much for one person to manage.

Marc Gowan, Atlanta Performs, is known to many of you as the voice behind AtlanTIX. I respect Marc immensely for graciously allowing C4 Atlanta to step in to manage the Atlanta Unified Auditions. Marc wants to do what he feels is best for Unifieds and best for the Atlanta theatre community.

What will change?

For actors: not much. 

For auditors: There will be a charge to participate as an auditor. C4 Atlanta does not have a formal organizational membership program. The fee will be a flat application fee to cover the cost of Unifieds. Before agreeing to manage Unifieds, our staff with the help of Katie Chambers (past Unifieds Stage Manager), put together a detailed budget. We reviewed the program with our board of directions and received permission from the board to proceed.

Our goal is to have the actor/designer application launched by Monday, December 7, 2015. The auditor application will follow shortly.  We will have a selection committee comprised of Atlanta casting professional to review applications. C4 Atlanta staff will not be selecting the talent to participate in this program.

Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions. We are proud to be working with Atlanta Performs during this transition. Be on the lookout for more information regarding registration and other news. We are committed to open and timely communication: unifieds@c4atlanta.org