by Erikah Swift

Laurel Crowe wears many hats, but not necessarily for dress rehearsals.

The education director of the Georgia Ensemble Theatre (GET), Crowe acts as a teacher, mentor and administrator.

Laurel CroweThe 2001 University of West Georgia graduate reflected on the many ways UWG prepared her for a career in the arts.

“Upon my first impression, I felt like it was an environment that would become my community,” Crowe said of choosing to attend UWG.

Crowe added that her initial feeling couldn’t have been more true as she recalled her incredible experiences in the UWG theatre department, especially her work in “A Lie of the Mind,” “Top Girls” and “The Most Massive Woman Wins.”

“These were all transformative acting opportunities for me,” Crowe recalled.

Throughout her experience, she realized that theatre majors must learn how to adapt, compromise and work collaboratively.

“I developed my work ethic at UWG,” Crowe said. “I learned about heartbreak – both professionally and personally – and had a soft place to land when those lessons came.”

She explained how the UWG theatre department is a comprehensive training program where students get diverse exposure to a variety of performance genres and are given opportunities to rise up to leadership challenges.

Her undergraduate experiences gave her a leg-up in her career. Now as the education director at GET, Crowe balances several roles on a day-to-day basis.

“I produce and direct our Theatre for Young Audiences program, manage our professional acting apprentice company, and coordinate an international theatre arts exchange,” Crowe said. “My time at UWG prepared me to teach a variety of subjects and be able to manage a department that has very specific and diverse needs.”

Over the next five years, Crowe hopes to remain at GET. One of the theatre’s long-term goals is to have a new facility for more space and opportunities to grow its programs.

“I’ve still got big ideas, big plans and more stories to tell,” Crowe shared.

For current theatre majors, Crowe advised them to build connections, train and learn from everyone.

“Network now,” Crowe said. “The people who book work consistently in this industry don’t wait for their talent to show up for them. This is a city full of talented people – be the best you can be.”

If students happen to encounter hardships along the way, Crowe also shared how they can overcome their adversities.

“You are not the sum of your circumstances, and your mistakes in life don’t have to define you,” Crowe added. “Create a strong support system and then learn to lean on them if you need to.”

Posted on Jan. 14, 2019