SPOTLIGHT: LAURIE RAE WAUGH
CURRENT PROJECT: A world premiere of The Bare Truth by H.G. Brown
Laurie’s entrance in the arts was quite auspicious: she served as stage manager for the Broadway Cares July 4, 1987 performance benefiting STAMP OUT AIDS dedicated to Michael Bennett. She has since directed for stage and screen; won multiple awards including several of off-off Broadway’s prestigious Jean Dalrymple honors. She was the repertory director for the late playwright and filmmaker, Steve Silver and is one of the flagship directors of the legendary American Theatre of Actors – one of the last theaters of the original off-off Broadway movement.
Tell us about the play and why you chose to do it.
The play is called THE BARE TRUTH by H. G. Brown. The play is about a retired couple who moves to Florida to be close to their children and grandchildren and they got a little more than they bargained for. The reason I chose the play is that is a comedy and most of the plays that I direct are dramas. So this a change of pace for me.
You’re at the start of rehearsal….what is your process?
The process for each play is different. Usually we spent time reading through the play scene by scene and not always in order. I give the actors the ability to move around the rehearsal space until I feel it’s time to put blocking in place. We spend time discussing the characters and looking for similarities between role and actor. When we find them, it adds another layer to the character as to enrich the relationships between each other.
What’s the message of the piece?
When you move closer to your children and grandchildren, there has to be boundaries. Its okay to look into new adventures whether you partake in them or not.
What sensibilities do YOU bring to the piece?
When working on a play, I always look back into my life and relationships to see it there is a story that I can share with the cast. The story might have them look into their own lives and find something that they can relate to which will enhance their characters. I ask the actors questions as it pertains to their roles and see how we can add layers to their characters that will add value to their role and the play as a whole.
Your career puts you in indie theater AND film…What’s it like being a woman in the 21st century theater scene? How has the scene changed for you?
Well, I like having opportunities to direct and work with some really talented actors. For me, It’s all about finding the right script that touches, moves, and inspires me. It is about have fun and creating great theatre. I have found a niche working at American Theatre of Actors directing original plays. I also have the opportunity to work with other theatre companies as well. What has changed for me is that I am now getting to know more playwrights. Before I would just direct the original pieces without any input from the writers. I have become close to several of the playwrights and have gotten insights from them about why they wrote the play in the first place. The great thing about that is they continue to hand me scripts to direct. I have a deeper appreciation of the many playwrights I work with.
I several full length plays and a couple of one-act in the pipe line and I haven’t nailed down any time as of yet.