Laura Barnett came to OHMA with a background in theatre and performance art, film, photography, and education. She received her AB in English-Creative Writing from Brown University. Since graduating from OHMA in 2014, Laura’s work in oral history includes editing the commemorative book Saint Ann’s School; An Unofficial History – 1965-2015 and conducting training in oral history for choreographer Meredith Monk’s House Foundation and The Actor’s Fund/Performing Arts Legacy Project, to be archived at The New York Public Library.
Laura has directed theatre at 59E59 Street and Judson Church and, for chashama Experimental Theatre, she produced Windows on 42nd Street, a six-month series of installations and performances created for storefront windows in Times Square. Her own durational performance pieces Inside/Out, Secret Confession Box and Spinning were presented in windows in NYC and Berlin. In the 90s, Laura toured with Love Theatre; the company performed at venues including London’s ICA, Budapest’s Katona József Színház and The Wooster Group’s Performing Garage.
As a casting director and producer of commercial photography, Laura’s clients included Swissair, Adidas, Ray Ban, and IBM. She has worked extensively with independent filmmaker, Amir Naderi, casting films presented in competition in festivals including Cannes and Venice.
Since 1996, Laura has directed and taught Acting and Performance Art at Saint Ann’s School in Brooklyn Heights; she created a high school elective that focuses on autobiographic, site-specific performance. Additional teaching: Columbia University’s Summer Program for High School Students; PS 234 & PS 89, and guest lectures and Parson’s School of Design and Queens College. Laura is on the Advisory Board of Equality Now’s Adolescent Girls’ Legal Defence Fund, for whom she has directed documentary theatre pieces that advance the organization’s mission. Laura is a native of Brooklyn, where she currently lives with her husband and son.