Meet AFA Intern, Laura Mauro!

June 8th, 2015

lauraAFA: Tell us a little about yourself.

My name is Laura Mauro. I am an artist in many aspects of my life including theater, scrapbooking and teaching. I currently work at a craft store where I am surrounded by arts and sewing all day long. I am also an avid reader and will read anything I can get my hands on. I rarely leave the house without a book and I love young adult literature. When I was growing up, I was one of twenty-five grandchildren and that is where my love of children began. I love interacting with children, watching them and seeing how they explore the world. I have also loved theater and that started in middle school, when I was in my first production of Annie. I also love to travel and go to new places and I hope in the future to get more stamps on my passport.

AFA: What three words best describe you?
Creative, Determined and Learner

 AFA: What is your artistic background? What background do you have in arts education?

I went to a Liberal Arts College called Wells College in upstate New York. I graduated as a Psychology Major but I was heavily involved in theater department as a stage manager. I learned how much I loved organizing and seeing shows progress from table read to opening night. In my senior year, I was involved in two large projects that involved theater. The first project was my senior thesis that explored theater and its impact on various populations including children, teenagers and adults. My second project was that I stage-managed my schools productions of Pygmalion. These two experiences really shaped me and taught me how ingrained theater would always be in my life.

After I left Wells, I started becoming intrigued by theater education. I worked at Props Assistant at Stage Door Manor for two years. This job really opened my eyes up, to the beauty of theater education and how amazing it could be. I then worked at French Woods Summer Camp as props designer and counselor, and I both taught and helped design close to forty shows that summer. I really loved this job. I just wanted more time to teach the kids about prop design and the deadlines made that hard. During this time I had also graduated with MA in Theater from Long Island University: LIU Post. During school I had taken design, stage management and arts management classes and I was so lost about what I wanted to do. I then got hired as an educational intern at Tada Youth Theater and I knew theater education is what I wanted to do. I had never seen theater classes for students as young as 2-8, and I knew that this field really fit all my passions in life children, theater, psychology and learning and teaching. After that I applied and got accepted to CCNY Educational theater program. This program as taught me so much and I am so happy to going to school with some strong arts educators and being taught by an amazing department. I am about to enter my second year and am so excited to see where this path takes me.

AFA: Why did you want to become an intern at AFA?

I learned about this company from my peer Meredith Smart at CCNY. We each had to do a presentation about a company doing educational theater-based work in New York City. I was intrigued by their Literacy Through the Arts program and wanted to learn more. I love reading and using theater to teach reading seemed right up my alley. When I learned more about his company I just really loved their mission statement and what they stood for.

Theater has transformed my life in many ways, and I want all children to be exposed to the various arts, because it has the potential to change their life as well. I have a new little nephew and I want his life and all the other babies being born to have an arts-rich life. That is why I believe so strongly that arts education should start before preschool and stay involved in the education system until college graduation. I think that is why this program really touched me because it exposes children to many things that they have not experienced before. I think being creative is a natural tendency and we should encourage students to always be creative through the arts. 

AFA: What’s your favorite piece of art? Be it theatre, a painting, a song…and why?

This is hard question. I am going to pick a theater piece that has always stuck with me. The first time I saw Wicked was a life changing experience. It was a well -oiled machine and all the pieces worked perfectly. It was the first piece that I saw with a clear director vision that influenced all pieces of the show like acting, set, props and costumes. The show felt to me like a good book that I could get lost in and that really touched me. I have seen this show three different times and that magic is still there.

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