Lauren Goldman Marshall has worked in Seattle and nationally as a playwright, theater director and teaching artist since the late 1980s. She has written award-winning plays, musicals and video scripts produced in Seattle, New York, Los Angeles, and other cities.
Lauren's original work focuses on social change and musical theater. That may seem an odd combination, but she is drawn to musical theater for its capacity to move people’s hearts and minds.
Locally, she is known for her musical Abraham's Land (a musical drama set against the Israeli-Palestinian conflict), produced by Theater of Possibility at the Kirkland Performance Center in 2021, and her hit Seattle revue Waiter, There's a Slug in My Latté (created with composer Todd Moeller), which had over 200 performances at Seattle's Cabaret de Paris, between 1990–95. Other notable works include Falling Leaves (a one-act chamber opera, created with composer Michael Wartofsky, presented at Dixon Place, NYC and Seattle Public Theatre), and a contemporary verse adaptation of Moliere's The Misanthrope, which premiered in 1999 at Artists Repertory Theatre, Portland, OR, where it won the Portland Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Production of the Season. It was subsequently produced, among other venues, in 2003, by NYU Tisch School of the Arts, directed by Timothy Douglas, and in 2011 by Arizona State University.
Her musical Fixing Einstein, with composer Ian Williams, was developed and workshopped in Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre’s prestigious new works program, 2013-15.
Although her works vary greatly in style and content, they share in common an affectionate humor, emotional poignancy, and compassion for each character.
Lauren served as Co-Artistic Director and Producing Artistic Director of Seattle Public Theater from 1994–95 and 1997–2001, before stepping down to start a family. There, she ran SPT's educational touring program of social change plays. She oversaw the Theater's move into and first season at the Greenlake Bathhouse, and directed its acclaimed production of Ghetto, by Joshua Sobel, to kick off its first season in the new space. Through SPT’s renowned Theater of Liberation program, she worked with Lummi Nation teens to explore strategies for conflict resolution and empowerment.
Lauren has worked with diverse youth groups, including Israeli and Palestinian teenagers, Native American teens, inner city middle and high school students, and youth with disabilities, to develop and produce original plays and/or video plays. Her video scripts created with Aids Impact on teen risk reduction won Gold Medals at the New York Festivals for Non-Broadcast Media.
From 2001–10, while her own children were young, Lauren turned her creative efforts to smaller scale projects, involving children. This has helped her grow as an artist and person. When working with children, one realizes how important it is that every actor have a meaningful role, whether large or small, and process becomes paramount. During this time, she wrote and co-directed plays for young actors and co-founded Aspire Girls, a social group for girls with Asperger's Syndrome.
Since 2010, Lauren has been the lead teacher on a program she founded, called Theater of Possibility (“TOP”). TOP uses applied theater techniques to explore relationship skills, serving kids, teens and young adults with Asperger's, autism, ADHD and other learning differences, along with their neuro-typical peers, as well as economically-disadvantaged youth living in subsidized housing.
Lauren has written a children's picture book about adoption, My Beautiful Bow, (illustrated by her older daughter), and several plays for young actors, including Finding Pluie (with composer Chris Ballew; produced every few years at Spruce Street School since 2007), The Monkey King (produced by Seattle Public Theater's summer youth program and Bellevue Youth Theatre), Rivercide P.I, with composer Edd Key, produced by Seattle Public Theatre, and published by Baker's Plays), and Whadda 'Bout My Legal Rights? (with composer Suzanne Grant and co-bookwriter Andrew Duxbury; produced by Empty Space Theatre, and published by Samuel French).
As a freelance writer, Lauren has published essays and travel articles. Her article on Jerusalem during the first Intifada won the 1992 Lowell Thomas Ward for Best Newspaper Article on Foreign Travel. She also has directed numerous plays and musicals for small professional, community and school theaters.
Whether teaching or writing, she strives to enter compassionately into another’s experience, and find the universal human threads that bind us.
Lauren has an MFA in musical theater writing from NYU, Tisch School of the Arts, and undergraduate and law degrees from Stanford University.
She is married to Michael Schell and has two daughters.
Original Material and Coding Copyright © 2010–22 by Lauren Goldman Marshall. All Rights Reserved.