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Creative Pagosa: Laura Moore

Photo courtesy PSCA Laura Moore is seen here in the Thingamajig Theatre company production of “Sylvia.” Moore’s creative contributions to the community include teaching children’s theater, acting, directing, grant writing, choosing actors, artists and musicians to work in the Thingamajig Theatre, decorating, event managing, and building most of sets for Thingamajig productions.  Moore and her husband, Tim, have brought professional theatre to Pagosa Country and have created one of the premiere theatre programs in the region.

Photo courtesy PSCA
Laura Moore is seen here in the Thingamajig Theatre company production of “Sylvia.” Moore’s creative contributions to the community include teaching children’s theater, acting, directing, grant writing, choosing actors, artists and musicians to work in the Thingamajig Theatre, decorating, event managing, and building most of sets for Thingamajig productions.  Moore and her husband, Tim, have brought professional theatre to Pagosa Country and have created one of the premiere theatre programs in the region.

The Pagosa Arts & Culture Project is building a web-based directory of all the creative people and businesses in the community. By creating this website, it will make these MAKERS easier to find in online search engines and help share the wealth of innovative and talented individuals that call our small town home.

This sort of database is called “cultural mapping” and is being done by communities around the country in order to realize and recognize the value of their creative assets.

The Pagosa Arts & Culture Project is establishing the groundwork for continued collaboration and cooperation and promotional efforts of the combined community. The goal of the project is to establish a solid foundation of cultural and creative individuals and businesses, to create a viable plan for promoting these assets and to promote the Pagosa area as a worthy place of residence for creative people, a productive place for creative business ventures and a desirable destination for arts tourism.

At present, the PACP is also planning an event for fall 2013. The event, the MAKERS Expo and Tour, is set for Oct. 12-13.

To register and be listed in the database, go to http://pagosaacp.org/Register.html.

In order to highlight the MAKERS in Pagosa, the PACP will profile its members, giving readers of The PREVIEW a sense of the depth and breadth of the creative community.

This week’s MAKER is Laura Moore.

Q: Tell us a little about who you are, where you were born, educated, your family, growing up and how you came to be doing your creative work?

I grew up on a cattle ranch in a little farming community in Washington state.  Our high school had a tiny drama department with one very passionate teacher who would organize one production every year that would take place in the middle school band room.  She would also organize bus trips two hours away to Portland, Oregon, to see professional productions.  I have three brothers and this teacher managed to inspire two of them as well.  My youngest brother was working as a business manager and actor at Lake Dillon Theatre Company when he met his wife — a costume designer for the Arvada Center.  My eldest brother currently sits on the board of the biggest theater company in Delaware.  My grandparents lived in Seattle and had season tickets to just about everything. Whenever we visited them, they would take us to the ballet, symphony or theater.  My parents, despite having grown up in cities, became farmers and were creative in their own right. Dad invented a game called “The Farming Game,” which we sold from our basement the year I was born and for the last 35 years from a barn that they converted to a warehouse.  Though not theatre specific, they set a strong example of having the courage to pursue creative dreams.  And now, in retirement,  they are enjoying learning about theatre and sharing our dream with us by volunteering at the Center for the Arts.

I went to Colgate University in upstate New York to play volleyball and basketball.  When I was there I discovered that the only thing that I wanted to study was theatre and graduated with a B.A. in theatre.  Then, after some years spent traveling the world with volleyball and adventure jobs, I decided that I needed to settle in one spot long enough to pursue theatre.  I spent several years in Summit County, Colorado, getting my professional education with two theater companies there as well as commuting to some in Denver — acting, building, teaching, directing and managing.  I was studying with the National Theatre Conservatory in Denver, deciding whether or not I want to pursue a post-graduate degree, when I met my husband, Tim, who was acting in a show that I was stage managing.  We were married in a year and opened the Center for the Arts shortly after that.

Q: Describe the objects you make or the creative work you do.

My husband and I run the Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts and the nonprofit Thingamajig Theatre Company.  My creative work runs the gambit between teaching children’s theater, acting, directing, grant writing, choosing actors, artists and musicians to work in the space, decorating and event managing. I also build most of sets for the Thingamajig productions.

Q: What is your favorite tool or material used in making your work?  Why?

My face.  Or my portable table saw.  Hard choice.  My face because it is a challenge and a joy to communicate with it.  And my table saw because, honestly, cutting a straight line is really difficult and time consuming with a snap line and a hand saw.

Q: Do you have a regular routine or schedule?

Every day.  10-16 hours a day. All year round.  Except when we stopped to give birth.

Q: What is the best advice anyone has ever given you?

Jacque Levy, the director of theatre at my university, who had a successful career himself writing the lyrics to the “Hurricane” album with Bob Dylan as well as the lyrics to “Fame,” told our advanced acting class, “Whatever you do, don’t go into theatre.”  I promptly ignored that advice, despite the moments of clarity throughout this process.

Q: When you’re not making art, what is your favorite thing to do in Pagosa country?

Sleep.

Q: What are your goals for the coming year?

To help our town and county governments, tourism committees, Realtors, Lodgers Association,  restaurants and shops understand how to use our artistic presence to their advantage; to help them understand the usefulness of the nonprofit service  — beyond just entertainment — that we are providing the community.

Q: What is your dream project?

The Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts and the Thingamajig Theatre Company. Living it!

“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths” — Walt Disney.

This story was posted on September 12, 2013.