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Reader Spotlight 

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Every month we'll highlight a reader in the Great Lakes Bay region and learn more about them, their work, and their reading life. We'll also discuss books and share a conversation about their journey.

Read on to learn more about actress, director, uplifter, Laura Brigham.

Where are you from? 

I’m originally from Portland, Oregon but I have lived in a lot of places, including Rhode Island, New York, and Illinois before I moved to a Michigan.

 

Tell us about your family.

I have two children. Cullen is 14. He is a huge history buff, especially WWI, he plays the violin, and he volunteers with lights and sound at Central Auditorium, Creative 360, and MCFTA. Cullen has a sharp sense of humor, he’s kind, and he pays attention to what’s going on in the world. I’m really proud of who he is. Jack is 11. Jack is a percussionist with the Resonators and has played drum kit for almost 4 years. It is awesome. Jack is one of those people who is just a Light. In fact, he just won an award at school for being open-minded. My husband runs a professional dinner theater called Cornwell’s Dinner Theatre, and he founded the Midland Chess Club.

 

Where did your interest in acting come from?

I started as a singer in school choirs, like my sister, and then I thought how fascinating it was stepping into other people’s shoes and telling their stories. What made me stick with it?… not being cast. Every time I wasn’t cast in a project, it fueled me to work harder, learn more, and show them what they were missing.

What has been your favorite show to perform in? show to direct? Why?

That’s a hard question for artists. i have lots of favorites but I would say for performing, some of my top favorites are: Titanic the Musical at Maine State Music Theatre, Shrek at the Midland Center for the Arts, and A Doll’s House and Proof at Festival 56… all very different, but very wonderful stories.

 

Directing? Again, hard but I have directed a few recently at Creative 360 (The Shape of Things, The Philadelphia Story and As You Like It.) that are probably my current favorites because I got to choose the stories I really wanted to tell AND I had incredibly talented and kind casts and creative teams.

 

What is your favorite musical and/or play? Why?

It changes but currently Tuck Everlasting is one of my favorite musicals and I have always loved the play The Heiress (based on the Henry James novel Washington Square). 

 

You produce Broadway Flight and MOMsemble showcase events at Creative 360 in Midland. What do you enjoy most about pulling talent together for these themed theatrical events? 

My personal mission is to raise up other people’s artistic voices and both these projects do that. I love when I get to be excited about other people’s gifts. Also, because I was a professional, casting Director for 20 years finding the perfect project for a performer is totally my wheelhouse.

Dream roles you've played? 

Lady Percy in Henry IV pt 1 & 2, Fiona in Shrek, Baker's Wife in Into the Woods, Nora in A Doll's House, Laura in The Glass Menagerie, Reno Sweeny in Anything Goes, and Claire in Proof...off the top of my head, but i know there are more. I have been very fortunate to have been able to play so many wonderful characters.

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Laura and her family the night we went to a fancy restaurant for dessert and pretended to be British ALL NIGHT.

Tell us about your upcoming Broadway Flight?

Well, I can’t tell you what four shows will be featured because they are always a secret.

But I will tell you there is a classic that everyone will recognize and love, a much newer and beloved piece, a show not many will have heard of, and a show based on a piece of great literature. We will also have guest stars and a four-piece band for this one!

 

 

 

Friday & Saturday, April 12 & 13 | 7 p.m.

Creative 360 | Midland | Learn more

 

What is something people might not know about the Great Lakes Bay acting community?

There are so many great places to do theatre in this area now, there is truly a home for anyone who wants to participate.

 

What other Creative 360 events and activities would you like to tell readers about?

We have so many fun things happening from concerts to kids’ camps, to Alternative Prom options. We have a new series called First Wednesdays where you can learn a new skill in one night and have all kinds of variety of classes to do with arts or wellness. 

 

And, now on to books. What genres do you like to read? 

I like all sorts of books. I used to mostly read fiction, especially mysteries, but I have been won over to biographies recently.

 

Do/did you have a favorite story that you read to your kids? If yes, what was it? 

I love children’s books!…I have a bunch of favorites: Stand Tall Molly Lou Mellon, The Day the Crayons Quit, Someone is Eating the Sun, The Dot, Elephant and Piggie books…but more recently, with my kids getting older, we read City Spies which is a super fun read but also a fun challenge to my actor brain with multiple accents in each scene.

 

What was the last book you read that you couldn't put down? 

Born a Crime by Trevor Noah!!! So good.

 

What's your dream role? What book character would want to be? Why?

Dream role in theatre? I have been lucky enough to play several of my dream roles, but I would still love to play Rita La Porta in Lucky Stiff or Constance in King John (which i played in a virtual version but not live.) There are definitely less dream roles the older I get.

 

Book character…This took me a while to think on because so many cool characters have terrible things happen to them or live in time periods that are awful for women…but I would want to be the main character in Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk. Lillian has LIVED. She has opinions but still listens to others, she is kind but tough, and she is independent and smart and gives people the benefit of the doubt. I would want to be her first sure.

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