Aloha Friends of TAG! I hope you are well and happy on this lovely #LuckyToLiveInHawaii day! Today, I am talking with Laurie Tanoura who is not only #TAG’s production manager but also an actor, playing Mrs. Barker in The American Dream. Laurie was one of my first friends coming to Hawaii, and she certainly works hard for the theater we all adore. Here’s a little information about Laurie that you might not know!
Laurie has been TAG’s Production Manager since 2007 and oversees the millions of details that go into staging a show. She considers herself extremely fortunate to have a strong team behind her to carry out many of those millions of details. Those team members include Thomas Tochiki, light designer; Brian Gibson, photographer, videographer and light & sound operator; Chris Valles, costume goddess; Rebecca McCarthy, social media genius and of course the rest of the Board of Directors who stand firmly behind her. She was last seen on stage as Nanny in TAG’s production of Hollywood Arms. Other local stage appearances include Delicate Balance & Endgame at TAG; Fanny and Belle & Kamau at KKT, Gunfighter & M. Butterfly at MVT and Twentieth Century at DHT. Laurie directed The Miracle Worker and A Lesson Before Dying at TAG.
My first appearance on stage was in my senior high school play The Curious Savage. I have been active in theatre ever since except for the years I was married and raising children. Before and after that I appeared in shows in Hawaii and Minnesota including Arsenic and Old Lace, The Girl in the Freudian Slip, We Have Always Lived in a Castle, The Odd Couple, Man of La Mancha & The Dining Room.
Wow, you have done some really wonderful work throughout your career. Is there anybody that you admire especially? Anyone that gives you inspiration in this field of entertainment?
Love Liz Taylor. Wish I were as talented and beautiful as she was.
Well, I know I am speaking for a lot of people when I say you are just as talented and beautiful. We love you Laurie! But yes, Taylor brought so much to the table skill wise. And talking about theatre skill, when you think about acting, what do you think is the most important thing you personally do on stage?
Right? That’s always the biggest challenge, especially with a play like this one, The American Dream or with The Zoo Story. These shows live in a heighten reality, which makes it a special challenge regarding believability. A special challenge and a necessity. For example you do most of the show in a slip! Didn’t you do something like that before?
The breakaway dress in Girl in the Freudian Slip. Guess I have come full circle.
HAHA, right? What we do for theater. Let’s talk a bit about The American Dream. You are playing a character by the name of Mrs. Barker, is there anything about this character that speaks to you personally?
I guess I consider myself to be a smarty pants high muckity-muck but only in my own mind – if that makes any sense at all.
LOL, well I guess it does and I’m thinking that folks are going to have to see the play so they can understand what you are talking about. But yes, Mrs. Barker is certainly a bit of a smarty-pants. What do you think about the language in this play, how the playwright words things? It really is quite an interesting task playing the characters that Albee has created.
Some of the lines are just so kooky you can’t help but do a double take and think, ‘What did he/she say?”
True that! Since this play is so heightened and stylized, what do you think the audience will walk away with?
That Albee is a genius or insane.
Well, I’m going to go for the genius myself, but I know that he’s not everybody’s cup of tea. Thank you so much for stopping by Laurie, it’s been so much fun working with you on this play, and I can’t wait until our run.
Don’t miss Laurie Tanoura as Mrs. Barker in Albee’s The American Dream!