North County Girl Returns to Civic Center Stage Where She Made Debut

barbiea2Laura Barbiea, a St. Louis area native whose first performance was at age 3 at the Florissant Civic Center Theatre, will make her debut performance as a member of Actors’ Equity Association, the labor union that represents nearly 50,000 actors and stage managers, on the same stage when she appears with TheatreworksUSA in a production of The Teacher from the Black Lagoon January 16-23.

Public performances will be held at 7:30 p.m. Friday, January 17 and at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 18 and Sunday, Jan. 19.  Tickets are $7 apiece and may be obtained by calling 314-921-5678 or at the Florissant Civic Center Theatre box office at the Eagan Civic Center at Waterford Drive and Parker Road in Florissant.

Additional performances will be held for school groups from Thursday, Jan. 16 through Thursday, Jan. 23 as part of The St. Louis Family Theatre series at the Florissant Civic Center Theatre.

Barbiea originally is from Overland.  She graduated from Westminster Christian Academy in 2009 and received a bachelor’s degree in fine arts, with an emphasis in acting, from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts in 2012.  In addition to studying acting at NYU’s Atlantic Studio, she also was selected to study at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London.

In addition to acting, Laura has studied the dance forms of ballet, tap, jazz and modern for more than 10 years.

Mary McKinnis, a software engineer at Enterprise Holdings and an amateur actress and professional musician who has performed with Alpha Players and Hawthorne Players in productions at the Florissant Civic Center Theatre, recalls that her daughter’s debut performance on stage was at the Florissant Civic Center Theatre.

“When Laura was three years old she played the child for a dramatization of Miss Saigon in a 20-minute medley performed by the North Winds Orchestra,” says McKinnis.  “Conductor Larry Marsh had contacted me about the part of a small child and asked if my daughter could play the role.”

Barbiea already has an impressive list of credentials to her name, including a part in a new web series titled The Fantastic Adventures of Foolish Gentlemen that is scheduled to premiere in May 2014.  Last September she made her off-Broadway debut as “nerdalicious” Emily and Teddy the puppet in Molly Shannon’s Tilly the Trickster for the Atlantic Theater Company.  Additionally, she appeared in productions of High School Musical in 2008 and Godspell in 2009 at The Muny as a member of The Muny’s youth ensemble.

TheatreworksUSA is a national touring company and one of the most popular touring groups for youth theater.  “We try to schedule performances by TheatreworksUSA every year as part of our Family Theatre series,” says Gary Gaydos, director of theater for the Florissant Civic Center Theatre.

“Shows performed by TheatreworksUSA traditionally are among our best-attended performances,” added Gaydos.  “Schools from throughout the entire St. Louis area attend.”  Gaydos says that five productions of family theater are performed each year.  “We do this in conjunction with the Junior League and the City of Florissant and the Civic Center Theatre.”

For more information on Laura Barbiea, visit her web site, www.thelaurabarbiea.com.



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