Director's Note with Laura Moreno

facebook twitter Linkedin Email

lauren-moreno-2023.jpgHere in the Department of Theatre & Dance at Lamar University, we believe in the importance of students getting perspectives from professional guest artists outside the department. We recently had a chance to catch up with Laura Moreno, Guest Director for The Revolutionists (Performances April 13-16) and ask her a few questions.    

Hi Laura! We’re so fortunate to have you here directing The Revolutionists.  
Laura Moreno: Thank you!
So, what can people expect when they see the play? 
LM: Well, it’s important to know that this play is based on real women living through a historical event but in a hypothetical situation, which is in the mind and imagination of Olympe De Gouges. This is a dreamlike fugue, so it’s meant to be fuzzy and not quite exact - there are period elements blended with modern ones to create this cool, punk rock feel. It’s Meta-Theatrical, which means it knows it’s a play and it’s not trying to hide it. It has some serious moments and some tragic ones but it’s a comedy so don’t be afraid to laugh - in fact we welcome it. It’s a mirror, or maybe a disco ball, for us to look into and see the parallels of what women and the underrepresented, underserved, and oppressed communities are still fighting for today. It’s fun and fresh and I hope you enjoy it!  
The writer of this play, Lauren Gunderson, is one of the most widely produced playwrights in the USA. Why do you think she is so popular?  
LM: Lauren Gunderson IS a revolutionist! She’s mastered the one person show as well as plays like The Revolutionists that put historical and canonical characters in these hypothetical situations. Her text is modern, fresh, conversational, and human. She’s a collaborator and a listener and she sculpts her scripts and craft out of what she observes and learns. There are parts of herself and her loved ones in everything she writes and it has heart, so much heart. She’s a working theatre mom, paving the way and changing the dynamics for other working theatre moms. I could keep going on and on about her bad-ass-ness but instead I’ll share a memory. During the pandemic Lauren Gunderson was one of the first theatre professionals to jump online and make things happen. She offered webinars, interviews, how to sessions - you name it, she did it! And it was all free. She streamed most of it from her Facebook page and it was marvelous in every way. At a time when we were all isolated and lonely she made a space for us to come together but not just be present - to learn, grow, and come out of this unfortunate event stronger and wiser. I will never forget how much I needed that and how much I appreciated her initiative, innovation, and kindness.  
Can you offer a glimpse into your process as a director? 
LM: I’ve done extensive work and training in Anti-Racist Theatre and Decolonizing theatre spaces. I try to remove the power dynamics in the room and focus on collaboration - celebrating and elevating what each individual brings to the space. It’s not perfect and at times can be messy but allows everyone to individualize their experience and find their way with my guidance but without my influence. I encourage the artists I work with to come as their authentic selves - no code switching, no erasure. I focus on the artist’s mental health and wellness and creating a safe and brave space of belonging. And once all that is established, we make art!  
This play takes place in France during the French Revolution. What can audiences gain from experiencing this production in April 2023?  
LM: Although set during the French Revolution, the story focuses on the oppressive history of women and marginalized peoples through the lens of four historical figures that lived during the revolution. Real women, with real issues and grievances, but in a fictional space Lauren Gunderson created for them to have this extensive conversation about the injustices plaguing them. But that’s just it, these are conversations that women are having today and these are the injustices we are still fighting. I think it’s clever how they’ve been woven into the narrative of the revolution but if you’re listening you’ll be able to identify them and there’s an “oh snap” moment when you realize what they’re saying has little to do with the revolution and everything to do with today.  
The Last Word: The last word is yours. Anything you want to say to interested parties, the cast and crew, the Lamar community, etc...?  
LM: It has been an absolute pleasure working with the students, staff, and faculty at Lamar! I have been in awe of their artistry, dedication, and heart since day one. I find myself pondering on occasion if I’ve chosen the right career, if I’m doing what I’m supposed to be, am I making a difference? - but then I walk into the rehearsal room and collaborate with such lovely humans and artists like the ones on this production and I know I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be. I hope the cast and team of The Revolutionists are able to carry something special away from our time together, but most important that they are special and have great gifts to offer their community, the world even if that’s what they desire. I hope the audiences enjoy the creativity and joy that came from this experience of creating this production. I hope they appreciate the punk rock-ness of these ladies, these designs and this play and the message it holds. And I hope I get to see you all again soon but until we meet again…Viva La Revolutión! 
Thanks again Laura! Looking forward to seeing the show!  
The Revolutionists runs for ONE WEEKEND ONLY April 13-15 at 7:30 and April 16 at 2:00 pm in the Studio Theatre between the Dishman Art Museum and the Jimmy Simmons Music Building on the Lamar University campus. Tickets are available at and in person at the door one hour before curtain. See you there!