Lauren Yarger has written, directed and produced numerous shows and special events for both secular and Christian audiences.
For Gracewell Productions, She produced on online reading of The Keys, a new play by Dorothy Lyman, and a fundraiser presentation of the play The Pearl Diver, to stop Asian hate, both in partnership with Tony-Award-winning producer Pat Flicker Addiss.
In 2021 and 2022, Lauren presented "Table Readings at the Palace Theater" in Waterbury, CT. Sold-out audiences returned to the theater after the pandemic for two full-length plays and a presentation of four one acts. The series was so popular, a second series was presented. Look for series #3 beginning in fall 2023. Sponsorships are welcome.
Another series of four readings geared toward the Boomer generation launched at Ivoryton Playhouse in June 2023. The June presentation of Dorothy Lyman's In the Bleak Midwinter, was sold out. Additional resdings will be presented through the summer, all Fridays at 2 pm under the tent:**
One Touch of Ava written by Pulitzer Prize nominee Julie Gilbert. Directed by Chapter Member Carol Ziske.
One Acts including Hollywood and Thine, a new play by former TV writer Kimberly Hill ("Cheers," "Family Ties" and "Facts of Life"). Rage in Tenure by Dorothy Lyman, Freak Out by Charlene A. Donaghy and The Back-Porch Gang by Ben Scranton also will be presented. Kim and Lauren will direct the one acts.
The Spitting Image by Actors Studio Moderator Ron Beverly, who directs Debra Khan-Bey and Chazz Palminteri.**
**Plays and performers are subject to change. In the event the weather doesn't cooperate, we will move the reading indoors.
Contact us if you would like to be placed on the invite list.
Lauren is Co-Founder of the CT Chapter of the League of Professional Theatre Women serving more than 280 throughout Connecticut and is Executive Producer of the Outer Critics Circle Awards in New York (as well as a voting member of the organization).
More about Lauren:
A member of the Dramatists Guild, Lauren co-wrote a Christian musical version of “A Christmas Carol” with composer Dan Jessie, which played to sold-out audiences of over 3,000 in Vermont and was awarded the Vermont Bessie (theater and film awards) for “People’s Choice for Theatre.” She also has written dinner theaters, sketches and revues and co-wrote the musical Getaway to Chipaway with composer Bill Cooper and Jerry Starks.
Her play concept, From Reel to Real: The Jennifer O'Neill Story was presented as part of the League of professional Theatre Women's Julia's reading Room Series in New York and is in development for production by Ms. O'Neill. She also produced a one-woman musical about Mary Magdalene written by a Broadway musical director that toured nationally for three years and closed with an off-Broadway showcase.
Lauren trained for three years in the Broadway League’s Producer Development Program, completed the Commercial Theater Institute's Producing Intensive and other training and is a member of Theater Resources Unlimited, the Off-Broadway Alliance and the American Association of Community Theater.
She worked in arts management for the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts, the Hartford Symphony Orchestra and served for nine years as the Executive Director of Masterwork Productions, Inc. which produced new works, represented artists for bookings and conducted training in the performing arts.
She was a Fellow at the National Critics Institute at the O'Neill Theater Center in Waterford, CT. Her Broadway and off-Broadway theater reviews can be found at http://reflectionsinthelight.blogspot.com. Connecticut reviews are at The Connecticut Arts Connection (http://ctarts.blogspot.com), her award-winning website. She also has served as contributing editor for BroadwayWorld.com, a theater reviewer for the Manchester Journal-Inquirer, Connecticut theater editor for CurtainUp.com and as Connecticut and New York reviewer for American Theater Web.
She is a former vice president and voting member of The Drama Desk, a voting member of the The Outer Critics Circle (producer for the annual awards ceremony) and a former member of the American Theater Critics Association.
In other journalism, Lauren also has served as a judge for the SDX Awards presented by the Society of Professional Journalists, as a book reviewer for Publishers Weekly and as a freelance writer.
A former newspaper editor and graduate of the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism, she lives in West Granby, CT. She has two adult children.
Contact her at GracewellProductions@gmail.com
Lauren is a member of :
The Outer Critics Circle
The Dramatists Guild of America
The League of Professional Theatre Women
Theatre Resources Unlimited
The American Association of Community Theatre
The Lambs Club, NYC
Co-Founder Connecticut Chapter LPTW
Voting member of OCC/ Executive Producer of annual awards
Advisory Board Starr Theatre
Certified Covid Safety Officer
Lauren Yarger. Photo: Alexander Cy
"If you are looking for someone who adheres to the old standard
of theatrical producing, Lauren Yarger is not who you want.
However, if you are looking for a person whose basics are built
on what was, and understands the now, but has a prescient view
of the future, Lauren Yarger is the one we must harken to. Her
insights into where we lovers of theatre have to go is what is
needed now more than ever. She truly has a hegemonic control of the theatrical events of the day. For Lauren Yarger I’d come to hang the lights."
-- Dan Lauria
Broadway Actor/ TV's "The Wonder Years"
Open Passage Productions
"She is fiscally prudent and handles other people's funds with total integrity. I have and continue to respect her abilities to handle all aspects of such a role. Lauren can and has successfully integrated all aspects of production from beginning to end. She has the rare ability to see the forest and the trees and I consider myself fortunate to be her friend and colleague. Any production would be enhanced to have her on board."
-- Stanley Cohen
Retired Business Owner
Executive Committee, Outer Critics Circle
"Lauren has planned and implemented several extraordinary book launches for me. These included recruiting volunteers and professionals, setting up outstanding location, writing two moving mini plays based on my books, connecting with fantastic actors and musicians, reaching out to local media, and creating effective marketing strategies for each event. Lauren is trustworthy and responsible. You can absolutely rely on her. She is gracious, creative, and organized. She is committed to excellence. A woman of vision, she can see possibilities that most of us don’t dream about."
-- Tessa Afshar
Award-winning book author
"Lauren has an excellent eye for talent and what is good for a particular venue. I relish working with her."
-- Pat Addiss
Tony-Award-Winning Broadway Producer
"Working with producer Lauren Yarger’s Gracewell Productions to present a three- title Table Reading series at the Palace Theater in Waterbury, CT during the 21-22 season has been a delight, in spite of the post -Covid shut down challenges. Not only is Lauren on top of all details in getting these events produced, (including union rules and regs and covid compliance) but she has a keen eye for choosing works to present that will stimulate the audience to think and assembling a stellar team - the director and actors, to bring it to fruition. I highly recommend!"
-- Sheree Marcucci
Director of Special Projects & Curated Events
Palace Theater Waterbury, CT
"Smart, creative, and logical, she takes the lead on the project and runs with it, but also works as a team player at the exact same time."
-- David Gordon
Managing Editor, TheaterMania
President, Outer Critics Circle
"Working with producer Lauren Yarger was a joy. She recognized creative details in my work, facilitated finding the perfect director and cast, skillfully managed diverse creative personalities and helped me bring my play to the next level. She is what playwrights dream of finding."
-- Kate Katcher
"Whether a critic, a producer, or a director, Lauren knows, loves, and supports the arts, even envisioning ways to share theatre during the pandemic. Lauren has earned tons of accolades, and she deserves them all."
-- Mark Charney
Director, School of Theatre and Dance
Texas Tech University
"Lauren produced a classy performance of a reading of my play at the Palace Theater in Waterbury, CT. It was a quality production with an excellent director and actors. The play was very well received by the enthusiastic audience. And Lauren went the extra mile by taking all the precautions to make sure the audience felt safe and comfortable even during a time when Covid was still an issue. You’re blessed if you can get her."
-- Kimberly Hill
Writer for TV’s “Cheers”
"She was highly professional and brutally honest. And I took her critique to heart. I sure wish we knew Lauren as we developed our first synopsis. She may have helped keep the ship righted."
-- Joseph T. Donnelly
playwright, script coverage client
author "Musings of a Happy Irish Man"
"I have been interviewed by Lauren, some of my work has been reviewed by Lauren, and I have had lunch with Lauren. I know her to be insightful, knowledgeable and quite passionate about both her craft and arts in general. Her dedication is laudable and her abilities are among the best of those who write about the theater.
Writer Saturday Night Live
"Lauren produced a wonderfully received staged reading at the Waterbury Palace Theater. She spoiled us!"
-- Kimberly Squires