theatre

Everyday Artist Spotlight: Laura Beeman Nugent

Laura Beeman.jpeg

We are so excited to introduce you to a multi-talented Shreveport-based teacher and artist, Laura Beeman Nugent.  Laura teaches high school theatre and film at Loyola College Prep and is an adjunct instructor at Bossier Parish Community College, where she is committed to equipping the next generation of artists with the skills necessary to pursue their creative ambitions. In addition to her teaching roles, she is heavily involved in community theatre and serves as Shreveport Little Theatre’s Director of the Children’s Theatre Academy, Choreographer and Director as well as Director of Summer Camp for the Robinson Film Center.  She truly has a heart and passion for working with children and youth and we were so excited we had the opportunity to ask her a few questions to learn more about her work in the arts and her incredible commitment to kids and her community.  

 

Why is your art important to you?

After touring the United States and Canada with Missoula Children’s Theatre, I realized that I was called to be a children’s theatre practitioner. I feel the arts implemented in a child’s life at a young age can have an enormous impact on their lives. I have seen so many children truly discover themselves and their own passions by being involved in the arts. Knowing that I could be cultivating the next practitioners in my field gives me hope for the sustainability of the arts! 

 

What do you want your art to say?

I want people to understand that educational theatre is about the experience and what students can learn from the process rather than the end product. 

 

What project are you working on now?

Currently, I am working on choreographing a show within our education theatre academy with high school performers and directing and choreographing a show with our elementary and middle school performers.

 

Who is your favorite artist?

Bob Fosse on the set of  Sweet Charity , 1969

Bob Fosse on the set of Sweet Charity, 1969

Personally, I am a huge Bob Fosse fan! I feel that he is a fantastic study for the director/choreographer. As far as theatre educators, I admire both my college mentors Ray Scott Crawford and Cherrie Sciro. Their devotion to higher educational theatre laid the foundation for me to pursue the educational path of theatre. 

 

How has arts education impacted your life?

What started as an interest in middle and high school has ended being my life’s work.  I have been able to do so many things through theatre education, too many to list individually. I think watching children grow through participation has made the greatest impact on my life. 

 

 

_____________________________________

Biography: 

Laura Beeman Nugent, a local actress/director/choreographer, begin working with Shreveport Little Theatre 20 years ago in Dearly Departed (1997) and has considered SLT as one of her theatre homes since that time. While Laura started out as an actress for SLT, she began using her passion and training in dance, becoming the choreographer for SLT in the early 2000s and eventually making her directorial debut at SLT in 2011 with her Master Thesis project Little Shop of Horrors with her theatre partner, Adam Philley. Laura also helped co-found the Shreveport Little Theater Academy in 2007 and has served as choreographer since its inception. In 2011, Laura began her position as Academy Administrator and director/choreographer for the Academy, more recently being named as Academy Artistic Director. She holds her Associate of the Arts degree with a concentration in Theatre from BPCC, a Bachelor’s Degree in Arts with a concentration in Theatre from Louisiana Tech University. She also holds her Master of Liberal Arts with 18 graduate hours in Theatre from Louisiana State University in Shreveport. Laura has appeared on many stages throughout the North Louisiana area playing some of her favorite characters including, but not limited to: Amy in Company, Honey in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Matron in Hairspray, Eunice in A Street Car Named Desire, and various characters in Parallel Lives. Educationally, she served as a Tour Actor and Director for the Missoula Children’s Theatre Company, a touring company specializing in theatre for children. She has also been the company choreographer for Canterbury Summer Theatre, near Chicago, as well as a choreographer Bossier Parish Community College and the Performing Arts Center at First United Methodist Church of Shreveport. She cannot fail to mention her mother Carol, husband Clay, and daughter Lorelei for their continued love and support of her passion. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everyday Artist Spotlight: Angela Shultz

Angela Shultz JPEG (1) - Angela Shultz.jpg
 

We are beyond pleased to introduce you to an exceptional theatre and cabaret artist, Angela Shultz, who is a triple threat: brilliant singer, stunning actor and accomplished producer! Most recently, she co-founded The Stomping Ground Theatre Company in midtown Manhattan, a non-profit theatre that is committed to diversity and social justice.  Angela has done it all and we were thrilled to have the opportunity to ask her some questions to learn more about what inspires and drives her work, what role arts education has played in her life as well as get the inside scoop on what she’s currently cooking up in the arts world.

 

Why is your art important to you?

Music, especially, is the one thing that has been incredibly consistent in my life. I've moved around and relationships come and go, but I've always had an outlet when I sing. Sometimes I can understand what I'm feeling in a more succinct way because another artist has put words and music to those emotions, and I don't know where I'd be without that! How cheesy is that?

 

What do you want your art to say?

Whether I'm singing/acting or producing (which I do more of these days), I love how the arts can give voice to people who are often voiceless. I love to perform characters who say things that are difficult to express. As a producer, I love that we get to share stories of people you don't always encounter face-to-face in real life. I'm also passionate about presenting new work. There are endless numbers of talented people in New York City (and around the world, of course) and some simply need to find an audience.

 

Cover - Angela Shultz.jpg

What project are you working on now?

Stomping Ground Theatre Co. is producing Cover: A Play About Trafficking on March 23-24. It's a compelling play by Joy Powell which is inspired by the work of The Covering House in St. Louis. The plays tells the story of the sex trafficking survivors and the women who helped them.

 

Who is your favorite artist?

Too many to name! I am, of course, a huge fan of my lifelong friend Brett Kristofferson. His musical theatre work is incredibly rich and powerful and is an absolute thrill to sing or experience as audience.

 

How has arts education impacted your life?

My early teachers taught me so much about loving music and theatre, but also about how important it is to work hard no matter what you're doing. Arts education taught me how to be independent and figure things out for myself, but it also taught me the value all members of an ensemble bring to a project. It gave me confidence and focus, and a way to understand some parts of the world around me.

 

____________________________________________

Biography:

ANGELA SHULTZ National Tour: Titanic (Alice Beane), NYC Theatre: York Theatre reading – Paris Through the Window (Muse), Assassins (Sara Jane Moore – 5th Floor), Falsettos (Cordelia - Wingspan Arts), The Wasp Woman (Phyllis Futch/reading) and Halloween Hullabaloo (Workshop). Regional credits: Titanic (Alice Beane), Nunset Blvd (Reverend Mother), Closer Than Ever, The Secret Garden (Martha), Company (Marta) Bat Boy (Ruthie/Ned), Nunsense (Rev Mo and Hubert), Godspell (Joanne and Sonia). She is the 2010 recipient of the Hanson Award from the Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs, as well as a 2012 Nominee for Best Female Vocalist. Angela also directed Hector Coris’ 2010 MAC Award-winning performance in Life is Wonderful. Education: Master’s in Theatre Education (Fontbonne University), Bachelor of Music (Missouri Baptist University). Angela also directed cabaret shows for Jerry Phelps and the recent Off-Off Broadway production of Steel Magnolias. She taught for Professional Performing Arts School in NYC as well as Fontbonne and Missouri Baptist Universities, and Stages St. Louis. Angela is a co-founder of Stomping Ground Theatre Company in midtown Manhattan. For more info, please visit www.angelashultz.com