Laurie Birmingham charts her course

By - Dec 1st, 2009 08:17 pm
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This week, as our series on play acting and play actors continues, Mark Metcalf talks to Laurie Birmingham, who tells a seldom-heard tale about the profession — burning out, losing your passion and plotting an uncertain course for the future.

Laurie was one of the final graduates of University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Professional Theater Training Program (PTTP), now based at the University of Delaware, and she has lived in Milwaukee for almost 30 years. She appeared in former Artistic Director Joe Hanreddy’s first show at the Milwaukee Rep and spent four years as a Rep company member but, after 15 years of non-stop work on stage, she left for a year-long sabbatical in Hawaii and came back to the city broke and without insurance.

Mark and Laurie talk about whether or not the recession is to blame for the city’s current theater climate and where we can expect to see her in the next few years. She directs Who Killed Santa? — a puppet show at the Bay View Brew Haus, 12/4 – 12/27 — and appears this spring in Milwaukee Chamber Theatre‘s season closer The Sweetest Swing in Baseball.

Listen now! Backstage with Laurie Birmingham

You can also subscribe to Backstage with Mark Metcalf with iTunes.

Next week: Molly Rhode of First Stage Children’s Theater with a special guest appearance by a 62-member children’s choir.

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