Brand New to St. John's, Newfoundland, Lauren Shepherd is a current PhD Candidate in U of T's Centre for Drama, Theatre, and Performance Studies. Lauren received her Bachelor of Arts (honours) from Brock University's Drama Program, and her Master of Fine Arts in Staging Shakespeare from the University of Exeter, in England. She has studied at Shakespeare's Globe, and researched in the RSC archives. She has studied under the direction of renowned actors/directors/playwrights/voice masters such as Howard Barker (and The Wrestling School), Jane Lapotaire, Emma Thompson, Trevor Rawlins, Philip Bird, Philip Stafford, Glynn MacDonald, & Stewart Pearce.
Lauren continues to research and perform as part of her studies at the Centre. Her current research is in the performed diagnosis of 'madness' on the early modern stage. She is investigating potential instances for physical gestures that express a convention of representation on the early modern stage, and is searching through the Royal Bethlem Archives of patient records in an attempt to cross reference any potential similarities between medical practices and diagnostics with the language of diagnosis and representations of 'madness' found within plays of the early modern period. For more information on Lauren's research please visit the Research section of this site.
Lauren continues to work as an actor. She is ACTRA Apprentice, and has appeared in background roles on Reign, Degrassi: The Next Generation, and Saving Hope. But her heart lies in the stage. Her recent productions have spanned from reinterpretations of Greek Classics to musical-historicals on the War of 1812. For a full list of past and upcoming performances please visit her performance gallery.
She has worked with Liberty Junction Theatre Inc. since September of 2011. With this Mississauga based theatre company for youth, Lauren works as a vocal coach, dialect coach, acting coach, and director on their numerous productions. For the summer of 2014, Lauren joined the fantastic group of artists at Burlington Student Theatre's Artscamp. She directed their summer performances of Tarzan and The Jungle Book. She returned to Artscamp for the summer of 2015 to direct their production of Mary Poppins. For registration information please visit the City of Burlington's website. Camp takes place at The Burlington Performing Arts Centre, in the downtown core. BPAC is Burlington's professional theatre which hosts such fantastic artists as Joel Plaskett, The Celtic Tenors, Bruce Cockburn, The Trews, The Good Lovelies, Natalie McMaster and many many other amazing performers. What an opportunity for kids aged 6-16 to rehearse, learn, and perform on such a stage!
Lauren has been coaching privately since 2012. She uses many of the techniques she learned from her studies abroad to help open up her client's energy centres, and teach them how to use their bodies to do the work for them! Lauren's work is based in an understanding of energy centres, acupressure, elements & archetypes, and the combination of these in order to generate sound whether it be for singing or speaking. The body is a resonant instrument just waiting to be played. And it can be used for meditation and healing. Lauren's goal is to equip the youth of today with the tools they need to live a happy and healthy life that is filled with the music of their own bodies. For more information on private coaching, and how you can get in touch with your own artistic side, please visit the page labelled Private Coaching.
Lauren has recently co-founded a performance troupe that works with early modern and Shakespearean texts, as well as adaptations and modernizations. The Shakespearience Group's work is experimental, and rooted in creating experiences of Shakespeare (and other early modern playwrights) that audience members can share and explore. Their goal is to create engaging performances that tell stories, communicate needs, and facilitate new experiences as well as the remembrance of past experience; the idea of recalling memories and exploring those pathways. For more information on their work together please visit their website by clicking the button below, also use the links below to find them on Facebook and Twitter. Their inaugural performance was grounded in Lauren's PhD research on madness, titled Fortune's Fools, and premiered at the 2014 Flounder Festival at Burlington Student Theatre Centre. For 2015 The Shakespearience Group is performing Twelfth Night at Drury Lane Theatre in Burlington Ontario.