Fine & Performing Arts Faculty
MFA, University of California, Irvine, Acting
BA, University of Central Oklahoma, Theatre & Communications
The descendent of vaudevillians and tent show performers, Laura was born and raised in Oklahoma City. With family active in the local theatre scene (her grandmother was a performer and her father was a director), she grew up surrounded by either big musicals like Gypsy or realistic dramas like Tennessee Williams' Glass Menagerie.
While pursuing her B.A. in Theatre from the University of Central Oklahoma and after witnessing the kinetic energy of rehearsals for the trampoline play Orphans by Lyle Kessler, she became deeply fascinated with theatre and the questions it poses.
In graduate school at the University of California, Irvine Laura was introduced to physical theatre, body-based actor disciplines and the use of dance choreography techniques in preparing theatre performance. Some of her most memorable moments were spent in school exploring Fitzmaurice Voicework, contact improvisation and the techniques of Michael Chekhov. Later, while working as an actress with Paul Mullins (Charles Mee's Paradise Park, True Love) on his production of Moliere's Tartuffe, she was introduced to Anne Bogart's Viewpoints. This life changing experience altered forever the way she approaches the process of creating theatre.
Since graduating from UCI, she co-founded Ground Up Productions where she applied these techniques to contemporary American plays and musicals. Ground Up has gone on to produce the Off Broadway premiere's of The People vs. Mona by Jim & Patricia Wann and The Optimist by Jason Chimonides, both at the Abingdon Theatre. Favorite directing projects include Burn This, Shape of Things, Lobby Hero, Pump Boys and Dinettes, bobrauschenbergamerica, Our Country's Good and Baltimore Waltz.
As an actress, she has performed off-broadway and regionally with the Jean Cocteau Repertory, The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, Long Beach Playhouse, Shakespeare Orange County, and Judith Shakespeare Company among many others. She has worked with noted theatre professionals such as Dana and Christopher Reeve, Richard and Jared Harris, Lili Taylor, Laila Robbins (Heartbreak House, Frozen) and Robert Cuccioli (Jaques Brel, Jekyll and Hyde). Favorite roles include Helena in All's Well That Ends Well, Oolie/Donna in City of Angels, Mary Warren in The Crucible, Electra in Euripides' Electra, Isabella in Measure for Measure and Catherine in Lynn Marie Macy's captivating adaptation of Jane Austin's Northanger Abbey (OOBR Award for Critics Choice in Excellence).
Laura is Assistant Professor of Theatre at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts where she teaches performance courses including acting, directing and play analysis. She has taught at University of North Carolina Charlotte, Stony Brook University, Chapman University and University of California, Irvine. She is fascinated with the intersection of movement, action and the theatre experience. She uses the techniques of old masters such as Michael Chekhov combined with innovative new techniques like Anne Bogart's Viewpoints to bridge movement, text and emotion, as well as foster collaboration and ensemble. She continues to be inspired by this work in meaningful ways and is constantly looking for new forms of making theatre.
Venable Hall Room G08 | Phone 413.662.5486 | Email Laura Standley