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BWW Blog: Bringing Hope Through Theatre - Laura Lee Cole's Mission to Inspire by Teaching

“The best thing that we can do is to keep creating.”

BWW Blog: Bringing Hope Through Theatre - Laura Lee Cole's Mission to Inspire by Teaching

As the world has moved almost entirely online, I have had the pleasure of virtually "meeting" cool people from around the globe, people with whom I otherwise would have never crossed paths.

One of these wonderful souls stood out from the crowd: Laura Lee Cole.

Her passion for theatre began in middle school, where her big Broadway dreams came to light. She studied musical theatre through school and as her college major; moving on after graduating to perform regionally and theme park review-style shows.

What really changed her life, though, was deciding to take a job with Missoula Children's Theatre in Missoula, MT.

"That was a turning point for me," said Ms. Cole during our Zoom interview. "Teaching theatre to me was bigger than myself. There's something in teaching theatre that's special. Working for Missoula changed my whole perspective about theatre and how it can be used to teach life. Because of MCT, I learned how to scout for the underdog, and kids who had a voice, but were too afraid to share it. After working for MCT, I am inspired to keep looking for opportunities to create an environment that is supportive, fun, and inclusive. It is this kind of setting where youth can thrive, explore, and prosper.. whether or not that means as a performer, or in any endeavors they pursue."

Her passion continues to flourish, despite the pandemic. Thanks to Zoom, she continues to teach theatre to students. Her classes are accessible to any and all who want to learn.

"This is affecting everybody, and I don't want anyone to feel left out because of finances." she says. "I don't want my workshop to be the only workshop that people can afford."

Currently, Cole currently offers a once-a-week class every Wednesday at 7PM PT for only $20 a class per participant. Each program is 8 weeks.

Her next course is Theatrical Clowning and Puppetry. The 8-week program focuses on the history of theatrical clowning as well as puppetry. It is a unique and effective method to help students hone both their physical and comedic skills as performers.

"Just recently, I did a playwriting course, and each of the girls wrote a ten-page play," Ms. Cole told me, her voice animated with joy. "On the final day, I brought in volunteers to read their plays on Zoom. The girls were so excited; seeing their eyes light up made me so happy."

For more information about Laura Lee Cole's courses, visit her Instagram page, @lauraleecole_musical. Also check out her YouTube channels at Laura.Cole and Laura Cole.

"The best thing we can do is keep creating." She leaves me with. Because of Laura Lee Cole, the world's creations are a little more inspired.

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