Category Archives: Women

Missing My Mentors

I miss my mentors. I miss my old friends. As we get older, we will start losing people. Two of my mentors passed away last year — Le Wilhelm, who I loved with all my heart. He was so supportive of my work, and he was just such a heartfelt, real person. He produced my first play in NYC. But even when we weren’t working together, I enjoyed his Face Book political rants. He was very opinionated and Southern to his core. He was gay, but very Right and in the theater in New York….so he was pretty funny. I miss seeing those hilarious comments pop up on my feed. They made me smile. Carolyn French, who was an agent at the Fifi Oscard Agency also past away last year. I sat next to Carolyn when I worked at the agency and we became great friends. She begrudgingly became a fan of my playwriting too, even though she really wanted to me to become an agent. In fact, Carolyn invited someone very important to one of my plays years ago, and this person loved my play and invited me to “submit more material.” This was a TV executive. This was a very big deal. I wasn’t ready for TV at the time, so of course nothing more happened (mostly because of me)– but all these years later, this TV executive is back in contact with me again. Carlolyn was not my agent — and as I said, really didn’t give a hoot about my plays. But she saw my play, liked it and made a call for me. Perhaps it was “the” call of my life. Anyway, she’s been gone now for eight months. I think of her often. I still think that we will go meet up in Bryant Park for lunch, and I just miss her. A compliment from Carolyn or Le meant the world to me for different reasons, but the same reasons. One of the last things Carolyn ever said to me was to tell me that she thought I was a wonderful mother. I brought baby Maya to see her one day, now four summers ago and she couldn’t get over the change in me: “Oh Laura, you’ve found yourself. Just look at you.” Of course, this was both pleasing and frustrating to me as you can imagine. “No, no, no…I’m more than a mom. Ugh. This mom-thing isn’t finding myself, ” I thought to myself. But maybe, what Carolyn and others were seeing in me was a Zen that rises up within us as mothers. We are bigger than anything else, even our own ambitions in that moment. We are mothers.

Hip Hop Abs…or update…1.5 years into having 2 kids!

It’s almost my birthday. I’m totally old! Ugh.  I’m going out with friends tonight — to a bar in NYC. It’s hard to plan these things last minute…drinks for 15 friends in NYC. A few people will cancel with really good excuses at the last minute…and I will be annoyed. I mean, why bother with all the planning? But whatever. Just because I’m old and sore, I should still get a drink with friends on my b-day, right? I’ll have to update you on how this goes….

You know you are feeling old when you are more excited about the massage that you’ve booked for the next day, then your night of revelry.

Anyway, so both my kids’ celebrated their half birthdays this month. Lilly, my little one who is as cute as they come, is 18 months old; and Maya, my oldest is 3.5. Whoa! So I am 3.5 years into this mommy thing….and 1.5 years into being a mamma of two. What have I learned?

1. The first year of having a new baby is the hardest! Whenever I think of having another kid — and believe me — everyone ask “will you have another?” What do they think I am a baby machine…? No, I am giving away all of our baby stuff as fast as possible….I am ready to move on from the baby making phase, but I will remember it fondly, I will….

But what I remember the most, and what I will impart to anyone who asks is this:

The first year of having a new baby is HARD. The real reason women are not supposed to have babies after a certain age is because it’s too hard. Someone is trying to tell us something important. As you get older, you need your sleep!!

2. It’s harder to lose the baby weight after the second baby. For me this has been true. 18 months later and I am down to 3lbs of my pre-second baby weight, which means 13lbs more than before I had babies. I guess that’s not so bad. Things would go a lot faster if I didn’t go to Shake Shack once a week, I know this…yet, I still find myself at Shake Shack every Friday.

3. Laugh more, relax more, Cuddle more and forgive more often. The other day I was about to give my older daughter a time out for not going to brush her teeth right when I told her to. She said, “In a minute mommy.” Then she and the little one started riding on their horse and cow naked. I just started laughing.

4. Realize that I may not have hip hop abs, but maybe I can get to a dance class once in awhile. Before I had babies I used to live in the West Village and on Wednesday nights I took a very professional level dance class at my local gym. It was a hard class and one that you really couldn’t do unless you were once a dancer. I was a dancer when I was younger and used to take classes several times a week up until my twenties. I  even had a dance scholarship when I was 19.

The last time I took this class (at my gym) was before I was even pregnant, probably in 2008. I remembered the class and the teacher fondly. Her name is Abbey and she seems to have a following — she does great choreography. It’s a combo of lyrical jazz and hip hop. In short, a real work out.

Since my daughter now takes ballet and loves it, I had often thought that I should go take a dance class — but I don’t have the time. I mean, that’s now how I would want to spend my time….but maybe that’s what I should do. Dancing is healthy and something that I used to love to do. So the other day, I woke up early with Maya and I went to turn on a cartoon for her, and a crazy infomercial came on for “Hip Hop Abs”…I let it play and after a minute, Maya turned to me and said, “Let’s do hip box ats.” We jumped up and started dancing and I decided right then and there, I was not going to have this flabby muffin top anymore. I was going to go get myself some hip hop abs! I ordered the supplies. I know that I won’t do it, though. I don’t think I even have a dvd player. But I did get inspired to go find a dance class, and you won’t believe it — Abbey’s “Dance Project” was happening that very evening at my old gym in my old hood. I had a sitter that evening, so I decided to go to the class. I slithered in to class in the back. Abbey yelled something to me. I’m sure that she didn’t recognize me. She never knew my name, but back in the day, she used to refer to me as  “Hot Pants.” Anyway, I was sure that I wouldn’t last 10 minutes…but there I was 30 minutes later — hooked…dancing, turning, jumping — sweating. I left though, early, because I didn’t have the right shoes and my toe was bothering me. But I was happy! In fact, I couldn’t stop smiling the rest of the evening. Dancing is good. I’ll be back!!

5. Super moms need a break. We are all super moms…I know this.

Remember that you need a break too. This can be anything….a rest, a massage, a moment to write a blog post….a hair cut. Moms (and dads too) need a time out from work and kids. These moments of time out are refreshing and well deserved. I’m a frigging super mom, who also writes plays, TV scripts and has marketing clients.  I take both my kids swimming by myself (they are babies) all the time. You should see what chasing them around the changing room is like, and you’ll understand why I think I’m a super mom. I also do a Russian play group on Tuesday afternoons. Yeah, I speak Russian enough to do a Russian play group. I read French books to my daughter every night and she loves it. No, I’m not perfect, and I never seem to have my double stroller stocked with exactly what I should have (there’s always a lot of weird shit in there), but I’m a very good mommy and I deserve every little break that I can get….you do too.

Friends, Lovers, Celebs and other things that make us remember and love Les Miserables

girlsWendy is my oldest and dearest girlfriend. We’ve been BFF’s since we were eight years old. She moved to Penngrove School midway through the 3rd grade. She was tall (Wendy is six feet tall), thin and had gorgeous long blond, perfectly straight hair. To my chagrin, all the boys in our class immediately fell for her. She was fun, funny and quite daring. She seemed to have perfect balance and timing for just about any activity – from tap to toe shoes. She could do and excel in just about anything you can think of — skiing, surfing, skate boarding, roller skating. She could ride horses and motorbikes equally well. She was the fasted girl in school — and was a great dancer and singer to boot. So we had a lot in common. Ha! Not! I was a smaller wanna-be compared to Wendy. Moreover, I had never even heard of most of her sporting activities before we met. But somehow I was able to hang out with her and hold my own. Sort of. If you count falling and crying a lot holding your own. Her parents took me water skiing for the first time – and had the patience to teach me how to get up on those skis while I begged to get out of the water. You can imagine my surprise and delight when I actually stood up and managed to fly across the lake on skis! I thought her dad was pretty cool. I had my talents too, I suppose. I was creative, a good artist…and of all her other friends I was the only one who had any talent as a dancer or singer, though I was nowhere near as good as Wendy, who grew up to be a local tap dance teacher. She spent hours teaching me how to tap dance for the 4th grade talent show where we “black berry boogied” our way to elementary school fame, at least in our own minds. As our teachers’ can attest, we were an unforgettable duo. Troublemakers with a capital T. Silly. Crazy. Tacks on teachers’ chairs — swallowed plastic bags — things I can’t even mention here. I think I lived to make her laugh. We were so crazy that we were officially separated and not allowed to even sit next to each other until junior high. I have so many pictures of us laughing  — mouths agape. We just loved each other. After a brief separation for 6th grade and again for 8th grade grade, in high school we were back together again. Even though we would never be assigned a class together in high school (unless we arranged it), our lockers freshman year were right next to each other. We had each others’ combos…of course. She used to eat my lunch sometimes. Or at least my cookies.Wendy, all these years later…is still my best friend — even though we live 3,000 miles a part for most of the year. She was my maid of honor at my wedding, threw my “Hello Kitty” themed bridal shower and tasted my cake for me since I planned my California wedding from the East coast. She sent me the most beautiful baby girl clothes when my first daughter was born; and was on the phone with my mom from my hospital room crying her eyes out the day I gave birth to my first child. She still lives in my home town of Penngrove, though not at her mom and dad’s, but down the street. Best of all, she’s still here for me when I come home for the holidays and for the summer. She knows my daughters and loves them both; and I know her son, Logan, who is now 9 and just the cutest, sweetest boy. Her darling niece Hanna was the flower girl at my wedding. They are like family. On Christmas day, I usually stop by her parents’ house and we do a gift exchange. This year I came with my two daughters in tow. She gave me the CD to the new movie Les Miserables and reminded me that 20 some years ago, I took her to see the musical in San Francisco. I did? Wow, I’d forgotten.

Oh how I loved Les Mis. I guess you could say that I was a Les Mis junkie back then, in the early 90’s. One of my other great friends (Audrey aka Ochie) took me to see it first. Audrey was the original Les Mis junkie. We waited, per her request, outside of the stage for the actors to leave. She was in love with the girl who played Epoinie. I should have known then that Audrey liked girls. She hadn’t really come out yet. I think she was still dating guys back then.  She’s now married to a woman who I introduced her to a few years back.

After Ochie’s introduction to Les Mis, I bought the CD and started singing the songs. I wasn’t a trained singer back then. Even though I don’t show it off, I now have a trained voice and can rock (pretty much on command) all the major songs in the show. But back then, without training, I nearly ruined my voice trying to belt out…”On My Own.”

Which brings me to my Paris/Les Mis connection. At some point in between my first viewing of Les Mis, I moved to Paris, France and spent a semester living in a dorm with about 50 other Americans who were around my same age, 17-22.  This is where I met the girls who were to become my other two BFF’s — Nicolle and Felicia.

Nicolle and Felicia are like my sisters. I don’t know how I could ever function without them. Had it not been for this Paris trip, I don’t know if we would have re-met, because we certainly didn’t hang out in high school. Nicolle and “Flea” as we call her, were two grades above me in school, and because of that distance, our paths crossed rarely if at all. But the few times we interacted, it was memorable. Nicolle and Felicia are two of the most beautiful women in the world, and back when I was a freshman and even a junior, girls like these two were just like royalty in the school. Nicolle was in fact the Homecoming Queen that year. To me, they were the beautiful older girls – popular, beautiful, cool, older. In short, I would never dream of being friends with them.

Felicia looks like a light skinned Italian, and apparently she has Russian royal blood. Nicolle is French in every possible way. Someone once said that I look their daughter if they had one together. In 1990 the three of us, along with forty something other young Americans lived in a dorm outside of Paris. There was a bar in the dorm where we would order cafe au lait during the days and at night wine; and when we’d had too much wine, we would sit in the stair wells, smoke cigarettes, drink even more vino and try to belt out “On My Own.”

Years later, I finally learned to sing “On My Own” and “I Dreamed a Dream.”  My pretty voice was finally trained. No more straining. No more breaks. I didn’t do anything with it after that. No auditions for musicals. I know?!  But whenever I make a peep (I sing a lot in my daughter’s Gymboree classes) people often ask me if I’m a professional singer.

So as someone who knows how to sing and is a Les Mis junkie, I go to see the film with my dear friend Nicolle. My old friend from Paris and high school, who is now a high school French teacher and a mother of two darling girls.  We kept leaning over to whisper how good Anne Hathaway is in the role, and how wonderful Hugh Jackman is. I reminded her that my oldest daughter, who is three, flirted with Hugh in a New York cafe one day; and how I go to his Laughing Man coffee shops all the time.  I cried several times during the movie. 20 years later, the story resonates more to me than it ever did as a young woman who couldn’t yet sing. I was moved as an actress, who has studied “The Method,”and as a parent of two daughters who I adore and would die for. I was moved as a wife and a daughter; and as a friend. Speaking of “friends”, I was so happy to be sitting next to one of my oldest and dearest friends. As wonderful as motherhood and family life is, there are things about your old life that you do miss. Time with good friends. I live in New York, 3,000 miles away. I miss my friends, and I do cherish them for everything that they are….and for who we once were.

Five Things I’ve Learned (about being a mom that is).

So now that I am six months into being a mom of 2 what have I learned? A lot, Here’s five short lessons from my first half a year of having two little ones.

#1.) Time Management 101. I had heard this one before, but 3PM is too late to do anything. Maybe not for the rest of the world, but for us moms 3PM is LATE. Are you kidding by 3PM I am pooped! Note to self: Please get a sitter in the am.

#2.) Poopie Diapers! Everyone’s favorite topic, I know. But when you have kids you talk about it a lot. I don’t know why it took me so long to figure this one out. Don’t throw poopie diapers in the diaper pail. Put them in plastic bags and throw them out — as in out of your house — immediately. For 2 plus years I wondered why my daughter’s room was so stinky.

#3.) In case of Emergency!  Not packing a diaper bag? No worries.  You don’t really need it — or do you? One day I took my 2-year-old out to a birthday party in Brooklyn. It was just the two of us. We were having so much fun. She seemed like such a big girl now, holding my hand and walking beside me.  Ooops. I forgot somehow that she wasn’t potty trained. She talks so well that we just ran out the door and whoops! I was calling my husband: “Hurry up with that diaper, Oh my god.”

So after that day I decided to make a little emergency pack in my regular purse for both girls. Oh, I am so, so organized I thought to myself when putting it together. In a plastic bag I put the following: 2 diapers – one for the big girl, one for the baby, A small bottle of formula — just in case — a nipple for the top that is still the wrapper, something that can be used as a wet wipe in an emergency, hand sanitizer and a small Luna bar for mommy. Again, so frigging organized right?  You don’t know how many times I’ve eaten the Luna bar or pulled out the hand sanitizer. Hmmm…what’s missing from this awesome emergency baby packet? Today I knew. A pacifier. Argh! (This is where I swear).

Okay, so I took both girls out to a mama lunch with mama friends this afternoon with our babes. It was my two-year-old’s nap time, but I thought, she can make it, right? Wrong. She wanted her pacifier and I had been out on an audition earlier and only had my purse with me. Poppy had brought her to school. We weren’t thinking about what we didn’t have.  I looked all over and there was no pacifier to be found. A pacifier could have calmed the savage beast that my daughter turned into. She was out-of-control, like I hadn’t seen her since she was 15-months-old (the good old days I call them). As soon as I got the girls home, I put a pacifier in my emergency pack. What else am I missing? Not sure yet.

4. Are you a mom who auditions for commercials? Sometimes I still get invited to audition for commercials. I was an actress — yo. And I used to be pretty cute. But that was BEFORE I had 2 kids back-to-back. I don’t even look like a mom now, I look like a creature who came out of a cave who is starved and certainly due for a hair cut. As my husband so sweetly put it: “At those castings they are looking for fake moms.” You know, super hot, skinny moms who have perfectly gorgeous whitened teeth. Yes, of course I realize  that some of those skinny bitches are also moms. They probably put a fire out on there way there too. Whatever. My current size is actually the size of a plus-size model, but model I am not. I look so tired that I hardly recognize myself. I guess my agent hasn’t seen me lately (hope he doesn’t read this – ha!). Truth is, I like going out to these auditions, even if I most-likely won’t be cast, at least not in my current state. It’s a small reminder of my old life, the old me. You know the me that once had a job in an office. The me that dressed up to go out of the house once in awhile and looked put together.  More and more I catch myself going out in clothes once reserved for bedtime, or uh Target shopping in California. To go out in NYC wearing sneakers when your are not on your way to a workout is uh, not cool. It’s a New York City faux-pax. At least for me it is, I mean was. Now I’ve got a baby sleeping right in front of my closet, so I just grab whatever is there that might fit me. Turns out, nothing fits. It’s all either too big or too small. And my hairdo these days – pulled back mom do. But I’ve been rocking this look for years.  The difference? I go days without washing it now, or even brushing it sometimes. The other day I found that I had grown a dread lock. Yes, seriously. My hair also grew long when I wasn’t looking.  I guess when you don’t have time for hair….it’s time to pour perfume oil on your dread locks?

So I’m all set for my “mom” audition today. I got up pretty early, had time to shower and really put my face on. I nearly saw the old me behind those long dreamy eye lashes. I looked pretty good. I combed my hair, but didn’t really have time to blow it dry, so I put it up. Wet. I swear it looked good when I left.

When I got to the audition and saw all these beautiful versions of me with their perfectly coiffed  blown dry. I realized I had made a mistake. Hmm. Maybe I should wear my hair down?  Oh, can’t do that, it’s wet and I forgot to bring a comb. (Note to self: put an emergency comb in that bag).

What was I thinking? You don’t go to an audition with wet hair. I also had the baby in the carrier on my chest. She fell asleep and I had to go on camera with her there. Oy. Well, she at least covered my fat tummy. I’m not exactly waiting for my phone to ring.

5. Do something for yourself every day. Like today, I’m doing this blog. This is fun for me. Ah. Feels good.

A mom of two

I remember one day back when my daughter was maybe eight months old. It was around 10 in the morning and raining out, so I took her to a story hour at the library next door to my apartment in New York City. We were late, so by the time we arrived the story hour was over. There was a mom of three there. Her 4-year-old was sitting calmly next to her, a 2 year-old on her lap and a 3-month-old on a mat on the floor. She was beautiful, full of love and life. She somehow stayed calm, reading a book to all, while touching the young baby. I was awe-struck at her mothering. I sat nearby with my baby and I wanted her to wrap both of us up in her love. As a mother of just one, I didn’t quite feel like a mom. Not compared to that supermom.

Back then I was just getting used to my life as a mother of one. I really had no concept of what it would be like to have 2 of them.

This past October, just 2.5 months ago I had baby number 2. Lilly Emme Paperny was born. I’ve been wildly overwhelmed by — wow, just having a second baby. I’m also so busy. Mon dieu. How did our mothers’ do this? I mean, how did they do it? Motherhood has to be the hardest and the most unappreciated job in the world.

Meanwhile, I am feeling old and tired. My skin looks dry — and it is dry. I’m breastfeeding like crazy and I’m dried out. I feel like I’ve been through a war and I’m on autopilot. I have no “evening” because my baby only sleeps for 4 hours before I need to breastfeed her again. It’s exhausting. I’m on edge. And I don’t feel like anyone understands. Perhaps they do, perhaps it’s just tough. I want 20 massages, I do!  And then I stop and ask how have women done this for centuries? We are amazing. My mom is amazing.

At some point I’ll have more time. At some point my little girls will be grown. And then I’ll be sad. I’ll miss them as babies. My two-year-old is just hilarious. The things she says, the looks she gives me — her songs, her dances. What a great age. And little Lilly, oh my gosh. She’s so sweet, so alert.

So now I’m a real mother because I have 2. I have “children” not a child. I have context because I’ve just raised another infant from 0-2….

I am also more than just a mom. I am. I’m a playwright. I have a new job waiting for me when I’m ready. And when will that be? Right now…is right now.

Another Marker…10 Years ago this week my first play was produced!

10 years ago this week my first play was produced in NYC. The play was aptly titled “The Miracle.” It was about a young man who had lived with a false HIV test for three years. He discovers the test was wrong, but it doesn’t really change his life or his choices.

Because I didn’t know anyone in New York City yet, I was also the play’s director and cast all my friends in the parts. The play happened right after Sept 11th and it was such a scary time.  I was totally afraid to put on a play during such darkness, but there was light in this play and with these people. Plus, I was urged to continue. The play brought levity to a dark situation, so I learned that theater, my theater could heal the heart. I could make people laugh.

My roommate Gabe was our co-director and lighting designer. My other best friends were my actors. Somehow we filled those seats for every single performance. I remember sitting in the full audience feeling the energy and hearing the laughter. There’s nothing quite like it, hearing your own words being interpreted by actors. I felt so inspired…like if I can do this, I can do anything. You can’t go too far without good friends in this life. I love all my friends who helped with that production and I certainly haven’t  forgotten how much fun we all had. In December my 50th production/and or reading/public performance of my work will be produced in New York City since that crazy show back in 2001. Follow this link for updates. My play He Says His Name Is John, a one-act I wrote while commuting to my job in White Plains in 2007 is getting a small production at The Looking Glass Theatre’s Winter Forum. I wrote this play when I was working for Starwood Hotels and I took the train to work everyday. The only free time I had back then was during my train commute. I wrote this play in the first few months of the job. By the end of two years I wasn’t writing so much, I had been corprotized.

Reporter Girl at the Comic Book Theater Festival June 3-12.

I’ve been too busy writing my play to actually promote what we are doing here, but below is the official press release. What is being presented is the first half of a completely new version of my full-length play Reporter Girl. Erica Gould, the director, talked me into re-writing my entire script from scratch, which I have done in just three weeks. This has been an insane creative time…and although the time was short, the results are absolutely amazing.  The performances are “on book” but there is lights, sounds, props, some set elements and costumes

Reporter Girl by Laura Rohrman

Reporter Girl by Laura Rohrman

that will help you image what this play would be like fully staged. We would love feedback and are having a talk back after every performance.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Press Contact: Lanie Zipoy | lanie.zipoy@gmail.com | 646.399.8650 Festival Press Contact: Emily Owens PR | emily@emilyowenspr.com | 972.743.3746
WAVERLY WRITERS COLLECTIVE Presents a workshop production of REPORTER GIRL as part of The Comic Book Theater Festival
J une 2 – July 1, 2011 at the Brick Theater (575 Metropolitan Ave.) Performances: Friday, June 3rd at 8:45 pm; Sunday, June 5th at 4:00 pm; and Sunday, June 12 at 8:00 pm
New York, NY (May 31, 2011) – Reporter Girl is Laura Rohrman’s full-length play about cartoonist Dale Messick, who created of the famous cartoon strip Brenda Starr Reporter in 1940. Directed by Erica Gould (world premiere of Neil LaBute’s autobahn), the play weaves together a narrative that spans four decades and includes family history, actual cartoon strip plotlines and characters, and most important of all — fantasy—to create a portrait of an artist as a creator and woman. Reporter Girl is a sexy re-imagining of Messick’s life in the 1940’s as her career was taking off. Messick broke through countless barriers and paved the way for other female cartoonists who came after her. She did this not just for cartoonists, but also for women in all professions around the world. She created a sexy heroine who didn’t need a man at a time when most women stayed home to be housewives and raise kids.
Reporter Girl examines what creativity really means and what Messick may have given up to get what she always dreamed of. The play also explores how this dream of getting what you want affects not just her granddaughter, but women around the world. Reporter Girl has been a Weissberger Award nominee, a Princess Grace and O’Neill Finalist among other awards. Laura Rohrman, the playwright, is the maternal granddaughter of Dale Messick.
The cast of Reporter Girl features Julia Crockett, Amy Dickenson, Meghan Grady, Kate Grimes, Chad Hoeppner, Betty Hudson, and Richard Thieriot. The production team includes Alexis Distler (scenic design), Evan Truesdale (lighting design) and Scott O’Brien (sound design). The assistant director is Blake Bishton.
Reporter Girl will perform Friday, June 3rd at 8:45pm; Sunday, June 5th at 4:00pm; and Sunday, June 12th at 8:00pm as part of The Comic Book Theater Festival at The Brick (575 Metropolitan Avenue between Union Avenue and Lorimer Street, Brooklyn). Tickets ($15) may be purchased online at http://www.bricktheater.com or by calling 866-811-4111.
The Waverly Writers Collective is a young, diverse group of talented, award-winning playwrights, directors, actors and producers whose work attempts to shine a light on the world in which they live. The company was founded in 2003 by Laura Rohrman and Aurin Squire, who both studied playwriting at The New School for Drama in New York City. The Waverly Writers Collective has produced 30 new plays and 12 new playwrights including: Carla Ching, Bekah Brunstetter and David Caudle. Productions include: 9 x 9 (2003), Two Guys and a Girl (2004), Babies Bombs and Love (2005). Co-productions: My Life As You (2006) and Femme Feast (2009). The group’s mission is to create new and exciting opportunities for emerging and established artists.
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LAURA ROHRMAN (Playwright) Playwriting credits include: Reporter Girl, a finalist for multiple awards including: The O’Neill Festival, The Weissberger Award and The Princess Grace Fellowship, and My Life As You a 2006 Playwrights First finalist that had a sold-out production NYC production starring the Emmy nominated Jeff Branson. NYITA Judges called the play “A great evening with smart and funny writing.” In addition to being a two- time finalist for The Samuel French short play festival, her plays have been produced and developed at many theaters around New York City and elsewhere. Her plays have been selected for readings and productions with the following theaters: Second Stage Theater, The Vital Theater, Manhattan Theatre Source, Emerging Artists Theater, Rising Sun Theatre, The Looking Glass Theater and Native Aliens Theater Collective. Outside of New York her work has been developed and produced with The American Conservatory Theater, Diva Fest (San Francisco) and The Lost Theater Festival in London, UK where here play Below 14th was called “Brilliantly funny” by adjudicator Adrian Brown. Her work has been developed with help from The Actors Studio Drama School/The New School For Drama, Vital R&D, RCL Writer’s Group, The Fold and The Emerging Artists Theater. Laura has an MFA in Playwriting and Acting from The New School for Drama in New York City. She is a member of The Dramatist Guild. http://www.laurarohrman.com, http://www.thepopcycle.com
ERICA GOULD’s (Director) directing credits include the world premiere production of Neil LaBute’s autobahn and the premiere of LaBute’s one-acts, Sound Check, and Stand Up with Mos Def (MCC); What Light From Darkness Grows (for NPR with Phylicia Rashad, Harry Lennix – Golden Reel and Gracie Allen Awards); The Minotaur by Anna Ziegler with Mario Cantone, Jill Clayburgh, and Campbell Scott (The Fire Dept/Players Club); As You Like It (Shakespeare Theatre/ACA, DC); Troilus and Cressida (NY Stage and Film); the new musical Max and the Truffle Pig (NYMF); Adopt a Sailor with Sam Waterston and Liev Schreiber (Brave New World, Town Hall); Ms. Gould’s adaptation of Milorad Pavic’s Dictionary of the Khazars (Culture Project, Williamstown, Yale); The Rover (Bank Street Theatre); SpeakEasy, a site-specific theater piece by LaBute, Theresa Rebeck, Rajiv Joseph, others (Joe’s Pub/Public Theater); The Beggar’s Opera (Pace); and a staged reading presentation of Kate Maracle’s Pretty Ugly Things with Kyra Sedgwick and Brian Dennehy. Currently running: US premiere production of Inigo Ramirez de Haro’s Me Cago En Dios (Holy Crap) at La MaMa. She is Co-Artistic Director of The Fire Dept Theatre Co and was the inaugural recipient of the SDC LiveOnScreen Initiative for directing on-camera. She has taught Classical Acting, Voice and Movement, Directing, and stage combat at Yale, NYU, Fordham, Pace, O’Neill/NTI, Bard, others.