Tuesday, March 17, 2015

League of Professional Theatre Women Awards Celebration

THE LEAGUE OF PROFESSIONAL THEATRE WOMEN, promoting visibility and increasing opportunities for women in the professional theatre presented its second annual AWARDS CELEBRATION, March 16, 2015 at The Pershing Square Signature Center on 480 West 42nd Street in New York City.

The event was emcee'd by Tony-nominee Kristine Nielsen (Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike). Kristine added a sense of humor and a fun element to the award ceremony. Overall, this was the league of extraordinary women with great accomplishments in the theatre world as playwright, director, producer, musical arranger, theatrical set designer, actress, dramaturg, and much more. Additionally, it felt like a community of friends across ages both on and off stage. Think of most Broadway plays and musicals and these women made a difference.

Kathleen Chalfant, an actress who has received numerous awards across TV, Film, and Broadway received THE LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD presented to by her best friend, Sybille Pearson. Kathleen is actively involved in giving back through various nonprofits.

Mary-Mitchell Campbell, a musical director, orchestrator, arranger for musical theatre, and Founder of ASTEP-Artists Striving to End Poverty received THE LEE REYNOLDS AWARD which is given to a woman or women whose theatre work helps social, cultural, or political change.

Donyale Werle, Brooklyn-based theatrical set and urban garden designer received THE RUTH MORLEY DESIGN AWARD which celebrates artists who set design standards for years to come.

Sandra A. Daley-Sharif, producer, director, actress, playwright, dramaturg, and Obie award winner received THE JOSEPHINE ABADY AWARD focused on the work of cultural diversity for more than five years.

Rachel Dickstein, Artistic Director, received THE LPTW LUCILLE LORTEL AWARD given to an aspiring woman who show's creative promise and deserves recognition and promise.

The evening was a celebration of these outstanding women in the theatre world and the award ceremony was followed by cocktails called the Big Mingle to encourage people to network.

There is also a LPTW ONLINE AUCTION with 125+ ITEMS, including Hugh Jackman's personalized voice message. All proceeds help support the League of Professional Theatre Women.  Bidding remains open until March 17th at 11:59PM EST.

By Laura Thompson            http://www.loralia.com

Friday, January 3, 2014


Continuing with the ABC's.  Now, it's DEF.  D is for Daring.  E is for Elegant. F is for Francophile.  Daring, Elegant Francophile!  It's fun to play with words.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

One New Year's Resolution for 2014!

May you all have a joyous, peaceful, successful and healthy New Year!  This year I'm going to keep all my social media posts simple.  One of my resolutions is to post once per day either on Twitter (my favorite), Blogger, Facebook and LinkedIn depending on the information I would like to share with you.  It will be positive, cheerful, insightful, along with some new ideas even if they seem a bit kooky.
So I'd like to start the new year with ABC.  A for Adventurous! B for Brave! C for Courageous!  Watch the watch the movie The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and you'll find out more about the ABC's and also, be entertained.
Best wishes,

Sunday, October 13, 2013

What's in Your Backyard?

What's in Your Backyard?

I've been around to many parts of the world but sometimes have neglected my own backyard.  So many of us take for granted where we live whether it be New York or Los Angeles.  Hence, on a recent trip to LA, I decided to explore with the Hop On Hop Off bus to get to my destination from Hollywood to Marina del Rey versus taking a taxi.  I was delightfully surprised to learn interesting stories about the stars, the musicians and history of this sprawling city, including Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Venice Beach and Marina del Rey.  If you to learn more, take the StarLine  Tours.  It starts in front of the Chinese Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood but also picks up many hotels.

Next, I decide to ride a Beach Cruiser from Marina del Rey to the Santa Monica Pier famed for its amusement park and Ferris wheel and depiction in many films.  One of the most famous, is Forrest Gump and there is a Bubba Gump Shrimp Company Restaurant on the pier, owned by the company that produced the film.  That's marketing and show business combined--brilliant!  By the way, cruiser for short is a simple bike for cruising the bike pathways along the beaches from Manhattan Beach all the way to the Pacific Palisades. 

Now, I was forewarned that Venice Beach would have a lot of oddities and it did--muscle builders, lost souls sleeping on the beach under the palm trees, squatters, painted buildings (see photo), the LAPD handcuffing a young woman camped out in a tent, musicians playing electric guitars, and even one shop with enormous machines looking like Iron Man.  It was a quite colorful scene to be seen during the day or it was suggested to be better seen on the weekends because there is much more activity.

The rest of my bike ride was tranquil gazing at the Pacific Ocean and watching Pelicans flying majestically overhead with their beautiful shadows silhouetted against the stark white high rises in Santa Monica.  It was a good trek and a reminder to be curious about one's own back yard and explore one's environs with a sense of wonder.

To top it off like icing on a cupcake, as I'm waiting to board my plane back home, Virgin America announces, "Boarding Group A, A as in amazing" versus airline lingo, A for Alpha.  Next,  "Boarding Group B, B as in Beautiful" versus Bravo.  Then, "Group C as in Charlize, the actress" versus Charlie, I would have chosen Charming.  Finally, "Group D, D as is in Delightful" and with that last announcement, I thought how creative to put everyone in a good mood before their flight to wherever they might going.

Viewing life with a sense of wonder can actually be quite fun!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Beatles - Let It Be - HD

This is a wonderful song that comforts my soul. Inspired by the words of wisdom. The Beatles - Let It Be


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Laura's Takeaway on Leadership

As part of the Columbia Business School Alumni Club of New York's Distinguished Leadership Committee, our team has created a series of talks and workshops on leadership for 2013 and beyond. Our successful kick-off event was with leadership consultant Michael Feiner and former professor at Columbia Business School. I'd highly recommend his book The Feiner Points of Leadership as the topic of leadership is complicated. 

There is a differentiation between leadership and management yet to be a leader, one needs to know how to manage people and every leader has a different style depending on the type of company he or she is running, or country or even a religion or philosophy like the Dalai Lama. Leaders implement visions like Feiner's law of "Building a Cathedral" - meaning convince your people that they're building a cathedral, not cutting stone. I believe this metaphor has also been used in Buddhism.  Hence, convincing people to build a cathedral also depends on the art of collaboration which leads us to our next speaker.

Sarah Miller Caldicott, the great grandniece of Thomas Edison, will give a keynote address on "Leading Innovative Teams" through collaborative methods. Sarah is an innovative expert, award winning speaker and trainer who has expanded Edison's paradigm of world-changing innovation and collaboration methods into the twenty-first century.  We're very excited about her upcoming talk on April 23rd. For more information, click on the Columbia Business School Alumni Club of New York link above. 

In short, collaboration is a vital part of the innovation process. Leaders need to leverage the diversity of strengths and information their teams bring to the table in addition to teamwork where everyone has a part to play.  We're truly looking forward to learning more about this superskill "collaboration" as a force for innovation in creating new products, services, companies, industries and who knows maybe even new philosophies and paradigms for peaceful co-existence in the world.

In summary, these leadership talks' series provide a real opportunity to learn and grow professionally as well as provide tools to enhance your personal life. 

That's Laura's brief takeaway on leadership development! 

Sunday, December 30, 2012

2012 Revelations

On December 21, 2012, some people were waiting for the planet's end, others for the birth of an era marked by the end of the Mayan calendar.  For those who were curious, they visited the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza in Mexico during 2012 to find the Mexicans of Mayan descent in a celebratory mood. We're still here after all and experiencing changes on a global level that is shifting our thinking patterns, to come up with new solutions to tackle old problems.  With destruction comes resurrection.  Destruction is difficult and hard on many people yet with the right attitude, it can create a path towards a better life.
My own life over the past two years has been marked by both tragedies and joyful occasions--the main reason for my abandoning my Blog for awhile.  Yet life seems to balance itself out. Although, I've lost dear friends and mourned, I've also been blessed with beautiful friends with whom I've shared many wonderful events.  With some, I've travelled to exotic places, such as, the Backwaters of Kerala in India, the UNESCO Heritage sites in Nepal, and even, the volcano and lush tropical paradise on the Big Island of Hawa'ii.  MAHALO!  I have to admit that I learn and grow by visiting other parts of the world outside my native Manhattan residence; especially, being in the company of great people as these precious experiences truly nourish my spirit.
Nepali Prayer Flags in Kathmandu
Going forward into 2013, Lucky 13, I hope that the world learns to solve its problems intelligently and peacefully and I wish peace, progress and happiness to all! 
Let's live our lives with joy, passion and purpose!