Laural’s current project is a commission from the Mark Taper Forum for one of four California
Plays. Along with playwrights Julie Myatt, Dan O’Brien, and Evangeline Ordaz, she is creating a piece
about the current cultural and political landscape of her home state, focusing specifically on public education. In summer
of '14 the Taper hosted an in-house developmental workshop where Laural was able to collaborate with some of her favorite
actors to devise material, movement and music exploring a wide variety of challenges faced by public schools: testing, the
common core, segregation, poverty, teacher preparation, the legacy of Prop. 13, and the movement to privatize the classroom.
In Fall of 2014, Laural’s original
musical work Harry Thaw Hates Everybody, will open at Berkeley's Shotgun Players under the direction
of M. Graham Smith. The play, a true story centered on the Gilded Age collision between hedonism and
poverty, made its highly acclaimed world premiere at the Los Angeles Theatre Center after a series of developmental readings
in the Mark Taper Forum’s New Work Festival. Directed by Meade, Harry Thaw went on to win
the Los Angeles Drama Critics’ Circle award for Best Writing, along with a variety of LA Weekly, Ovation
and Garland awards and nominations for writing, directing, acting and design. The script was recently published by Samuel
She is also at work on
turning her most recent piece, Dynamite in to a musical with composer Steven Argila. Dynamite
explores the union-backed 1910 bombing of the Los Angeles Times – an act of industrial terror that
took place against a backdrop of class warfare that is eerily reminiscent of our current socioeconomic landscape.
In the fall of 2011 she developed and directed a non-musical production of the piece in collaboration with her students and
colleagues at Occidental College.
In Fall of 2012, Speeltheater Holland and Childsplay collaborated to bring the European version of Rock
Paper Scissors, co-written and directed with collaborator Corey Madden, to the U.S. for a limited
run in Arizona. In 2010, the play enjoyed a three-month tour throughout the Netherlands and Belgium in the under the
auspices of Speeltheater. RPS was originally commissioned and produced by Childsplay in the Tempe, Arizona,
where it was the recipient of a MAP Fund grant from the Rockefeller Foundation. A fully narrative, non‐verbal performance
event, it explores the effect of technology on creativity by utilizing the theatrical and transformative possibilities of
white paper. The piece toured throughout Arizona in 2009, playing to over 20,000 audience members of all ages and was the
recipient of Zoni Awards for Best Production, Acting and Sound.
From 2009-2011, Laural was a Core Member of the Playwrights' Center in Minneapolis. Her original play,
The Suffragist Roadshow was developed there in 2009 and 2011 as part of the Ruth Easton Reading Series.
Originally developed in the Mark Taper Forum writers' lab, the piece is a semi‐fictionalized account of a 1915 coast‐to‐coast
roadtrip/publicity stunt undertaken by a group of radical suffragists.
Other projects with the Mark Taper Forum include
her original play Animal Logic (also conceived with Corey Madden), a vaudevillian trunk show about the emotional
and cognitive abilities of animals which toured extensively throughout 2007‐08, concluding with a run at the Kirk Douglas
Theatre; The Biggest Game of All, another piece for all ages, chronicling the true
stories of young people involved in curbing the manufacture of sporting goods by children; and a variety
of new play development directing and dramaturgy projects.
Meade also has a presence as an actor-singer in the Los Angeles theater community. She
is the L.A. Choir Director for the Obie-award winning Secret City, a salon-happening-tent rival event that brings together
creative people and their supporters under the rubric "we worship art." The Secret City, created and led by long-time
collaborator Chris Wells, will rock The Bootleg Theater in October and December of '14, with Laural conducting a 20-member
choir. In November, she will sing alongside collaborator Ken Roht in the third of his series of Album Nights - re-imaginings
of iconic rock albums presented as ensemble concerts (Fleetwood Mac's Rumors is on the turntable this time). Most
recently she was seen on stage at Largo at the Coronet, singing in the company of Philip Littel's The Wandering
Whore for the Unsung Heros series curated by Inara George. Other performances include the new musicals Touch
the Water with Cornerstone Theater Company, Robbie Weingarter Presents at the Bootleg
and Atelier's Surf Orpheus at the Getty Villa.
In addition to the MAP Fund/Rockefeller award, Laural has
been the recipient of grants from the California Arts Council, the Flintridge Foundation, the Brody Fund, the National/State/County
Partnership and the City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department. In the early part of her career she worked in new play
development at Los Angeles Theater Center (where she collaborated extensively with late directed Reza Abdoh) and A.S.K. Theater
Projects (where she produced over 25 readings of new plays by local, national and international theater artists).
and after this time she was also the Producing Director of two L.A. based-theater companies dedicated to the production of
socially relevant new work. Among a variety of projects for The Butane Group, she wrote and directed Leopold
and Loeb: A Goddamn Laff Riot. Named a critic’s pick by The Los Angeles Times and Back Stage West
and the winner of a Garland Award for Best Writing, the piece made its premiere at Seattle’s On the Boards via a grant
from Dance Theater Workshop. For Indecent Exposure she wrote, among others, The Wide Open Ocean, a musical
vaudeville about Los Angeles charlatan/evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson, as a co-production with The Actors’ Gang,
under the direction of Tracy Young.
Laural holds an MFA in playwriting from UCLA and a BA in theater from Occidental College, where she is currently
a member of the theater faculty. Years after graduating, Laural returned as the Remsen Bird Guest Artist at Occidental, conducting
writing courses, directing main stage productions, and guest lecturing in related departments. The residency became a full-time
appointment and today Meade continues her work with students by teaching courses in playwriting, dramatic literature, theater-going
and musical theater performance. Her research centers on new playwriting and devised work from divergent cultural and aesthetic
backgrounds. Additionally, she mentors thesis projects, directs mainstage productions, and produces an annual festival of
student-written plays directed and performed by guest artists from the Los Angeles theater community. Laural is also an adjunt
member of the graduate playwriting faculty at USC and has worked as a guest lecturer at the California Institute of the Arts,
the Ojai Playwrights Conference, and Cal State Los Angeles.
Laural's 16th year teaching at Occidental, and the second year of the Edgerton Foundation Theater Program at Oxy. Funded by
a gift of $400,000 from the Los Angeles-based Edgerton Foundation, the program partners Oxy with local theater companies
to provide a variety of new play development supports, including professional residencies, student internships, production
underwriting, and tickets to local performances.