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Laura Annawyn Shamas

Laura Annawyn Shamas, member of the League of Professor Theatre WomenPlaywright, Educator
Los Angeles, California USA

“My First Big Role: Playing A Boy”
The first play that changed my life was Six Who Pass While The Lentils Boil by Stuart Walker, published by Samuel French. In the 1960’s, I was eight years old and lived in Ponca City, Oklahoma, with my parents and brother.

My mother’s close friend decided to direct Six Who Pass While the Lentils Boil for the community theater there. One of the biggest roles in it calls for a dutiful young boy who does not betray the Queen, even though many tempt him to do so. A casting notice went around town, and all the boys interested in acting tried out for the role. My mother’s friend, the director, suggested that I audition, even though I was a girl. As an eight-year-old, I did not find this to be a strange idea. Sure, I could play a boy, I thought. Why not? I have a brother, so I know how boys act.

I auditioned; the competition was fierce in Ponca. But I was given the role. To look more convincing, I got a “pageboy” haircut and became “Sir Davey Little Boy.” My parents helped me to memorize my lines—well, “helped” is a euphemism. (Ask them about it sometime. They still remember it as an unpleasant ordeal.) What I remember most about being in the show is that I got to wear green tights and was dressed sort of like Robin Hood. My brother was envious!

Although my young parents were struggling financially at the time, my father gave me a huge bouquet of roses for the opening; I still have the card that came with them, addressed to “Sir Davey Little Boy.” In performance, we had no need of a prompter because I’d memorized the entire script by rote; the adult actors came to depend on me to help them with their lines if they “went up.”

To this day, I enjoy stirring lentils. And with this early experience, portraying a boy when I was a young girl, my love of theatre began.

Laura Annawyn Shamas is a writer, mythologist and educator. Her plays include: Up To Date, Lady-Like, Portrait of a Nude, and an adaptation of Picnic At Hanging Rock. Details about her new book Pop Mythology: Collected Essays are available at her website: Member: Chickasaw Nation.


Week in Review, April 2 – 8, 2012

LPTW’s Blog30 was created to highlight the diversity, passion and brilliance of the individual members of the League of Professional Theatre Women in celebration of the organization’s 30th Anniversary. Every Sunday, the women featured in the previous six days, as well as three others from our first two months, receive a little more attention, a second chance for readers to learn about them. Sunday is often a day for reflection, offering the opportunity to catch up on the previous week’s activities. Now, the Week in Review gives our readers the opportunity to experience a week’s entries in one easy sitting. We hope you enjoy the latest addition to Blog30.

How could anyone actually sit down and write South Pacific?? – Sheilah Rae, April 2

I also like my heroine Eleanor Roosevelt’s motto:  “It is better to light a candle than to curse at the darkness.” – Sondra Gorney, April 3

If there is one thing I’d still like to do, it’s become Miss America. – Elizabeth Ireland McCann, April 4

Favorite cocktail: ginger martini. It’s a very, very rare treat. – Andrea Caban, April 5

I dream of going to Patagonia to meet whales and penguins, or the Great Barrier Reef to snorkel among the corals. – Marcy Arlin, April 6

Theater, for me, is travel. A great play will take you to places where you never believed you could go. – Penny Jackson, April 7

From the Archives:
I once asked Judith Malina what she does when she’s not working, and she answered, “I work”. – Anne Hamilton, January 6

Although my young parents were struggling financially at the time, my father gave me a huge bouquet of roses for the opening; I still have the card that came with them, addressed to “Sir Davey Little Boy.” – Laura Annawyn Shamas, January 13

Of the many things I’m blessed with that give me inspiration, the lessons my mother taught me for the stage and for life continue to inspire my drive to not give up. – Angelica Page, January 20

Find Her

Blog30 Launches!
Introducing Team Blog30
Taking Memorial Day Weekend off
Summer Hiatus
Blog30 is Back!

Alexa Kelly
Alexis Greene
Alice Reagan
Alisa Matlovsky
Alix Claps
Amanda Pekoe
Amy Stoller
Andrea Caban
Andrea Kuchlewska
Angelica Page
Angelina Fiordellisi
Anna Nugent
Anne Dunning
Anne Hamilton
Anne Phelan
Anne Stewart FitzRoy, CPA
Antoinette LaVecchia
Asmaa Yehia Eltaher

Barb Kielhofer
Billie Allen

Cara Reichel
Caridad Svich
Carol K. Mack
Carolyn Feleppa Balducci
Catherine Gropper
Catherine Porter
Catherine Schreiber
Cecilia Copeland
chandra thomas
Chelsea Silverman
Cheryl L. Davis
Chiori Miyagawa
Cindy Cooper (Cynthia L. Cooper)

Deborah Asiimwe
DeVida Jenkins
Dorothy Leeds

Edie Cowan
Elaine Smith
Elizabeth Hess
Elizabeth Ireland McCann
Elsa Rael
Enid Futterman

Gabriele Schafer
Gail Kriegel
Georganne Aldrich Heller
Gerda Stevenson
Ginny Louloudes
Glenda Frank
Gwynn MacDonald

Harriet Slaughter
Helen E. Richardson
Helen Stern
Hilary Adams

Jacki Barlia Florin
Jennifer Lane Bustance
Jenny Lyn Bader
Jessica Litwak
Jessi D. Hill
Jill BC Du Boff
Joan D. Firestone
Joanne Pottlitzer
Joyce Liao
Joyce Maio
Judith Binus
Julia Miles
Julia Pascal
Julie Carpenter Sylvester
June Rachelson-Ospa

Karin de la Penha
Katie Pearl
Katrin Hilbe
Kristin Marting
KS Stevens
Kyle Blumenthal

Lanie Zipoy
Laura Annawyn Shamas
Laura Caparrotti
Lauren Yarger
Laurie James
Lenore DeKoven
Linda Chapman
Lisa Rothe
Lorca Peress
Ludovica Villar-Hauser
Lucy Wang
Lynne Rogers

Mahayana (Yana) Landowne
Manda Martin
Marcina Zaccaria
Marcy Arlin
Margaret Fofonoff
Margery Klain
Marie Ann Chenevey
Mari Lyn Henry
Marion Simon
Martha Richards
Maxine Kern
Melanie Sutherland
Melba LaRose
Melody Brooks
Michael angel Johnson
Michele Volansky (PhD)
Michelle Haines
Mira J Spektor
Mũmbi Kaigwa

Nancy Ford
Natasha Lee Martin

Olga de la Fuente
Orietta Crispino

Pamela Golinski
Pat Addiss
Paula D’Alessandris
Paula Ewin
Paula McFetridge
Penny Jackson
Penny Landau
Petronia Paley

Regina Gatti
Richarda Abrams
Roberta Levitow
Robin Rice Lichtig
Robin Rothstein
Romy Nordlinger
Ruth Margraff
Ruth Mayleas

Sandi Durell
Sandra M. Bloom
Sandra Nordgren
Saviana Stanescu
Shaun Bennet Fauntleroy
Sheila Speller
Sheilah Rae
Shellen Lubin
Sherry Eaker
Shirley Lauro
Sondra Gorney
Sophia Romma
Stephanie Klapper
Sue Bartelt
Susan Bernfield
Susan Jonas
Susan Laubach
Susan Wallack

Talia Pura
Theresa Giacopasi
Tisa Chang
Tobie S. Stein, Ph.D.
Tricia McDermott

Valentina Fratti

Wendy Barrie-Wilson

Yvette Heyliger

Zanne Hall
Zoe (Corell) Kaplan

Week in Review, February 27 – March 4, 2012
Week in Review, March 5 – 11, 2012
Week in Review, March 12 – 18, 2012
Week in Review, March 19 – 25, 2012
Week in Review, March 26 – April 1, 2012
Week in Review, April 2 – 8, 2012
Week in Review, April 9 – 15, 2012
Week in Review, April 16 – 22, 2012
Week in Review, April 23 – 29, 2012
Week in Review, April 30 – May 6, 2012
Week in Review, May 7 – 13, 2012
Week in Review, May 14 – 20, 2012
Week in Review, May 21 – 27, 2012
Week in Review, May 28 – June 3, 2012
Week in Review, June 4 – 10, 2012
From the Archives
Week in Review, February 18 – 22, 2013
Week in Review, February 25 – March 2, 2013

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