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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

20 questions with Lauren Taylor

Taylor next directs a production of Caryl Churchill's Love and Information at UBC

Meet theatre professional, Lauren Taylor.

Lauren next directs a production of Caryl Churchill’s Love and Information (Jan 19-Feb 4) as part of her MFA Directing studies at the University of British Columbia. Told in a series of vignettes, over 100 characters search for meaning in their lives in Love and Information as they reflect on everything from sex, death, feeling, thinking, taxidermy and karaoke.

Meet Lauren Taylor

While born in Melbourne, Australia, until she was ten Lauren also lived in various places in South East Asia, including Delhi, Bali, Hong Kong, and Kabul. Once settled back in Melbourne, she began attending the National Theatre Saturday Morning Workshop Drama classes, where every Saturday until the age of 18 she would get lost in playing tag, pretending to be a squid or inventing imaginary worlds.

One day a casting agent sat in on one of those classes and pulled her out to audition and, after a few film and television credits, she decided to be on the other side of the creative process, by directing.  Bossy and creative, Lauren loved working with a group to make things, and still does. It is her favourite part of the job. Lauren believes that theatre teaches you to be collaborative, and that is why theatre skills are 21st century skills.

Attending LaTrobe University for a degree in drama and English, it is here where Lauren started directing full length plays. She moved onto study at the Victorian College of the Arts under Lindy Davies, Robert Draffin, Richard Murphet and Lorna Marshall, whose approaches to performance blew her mind.

Lauren trained, interned, and has worked in professional theatre in Melbourne, Sydney, Singapore, London and New York. She lived and worked in Toronto, before moving to Vancouver to begin her MFA at UBC.

20 Questions with Lauren Taylor

1 Your first job.

A television commercial for the RACV (Melbourne equivalent of BCAA), followed by Friday nights and Saturdays at a gift shop that sold ceramic teapots with The Phantom on them. I was 15.

2 The job you always wanted as a child.

Queen. Or teacher. I remember at the age of five teaching my sister to spell ‘excellent’, and thinking, how wonderful it is to impart knowledge … I think as an adult I would have been terrified of my five year old self.

3 Your pet peeve.

Internet abuse. More than a peeve, it induces so many emotions in me …

4 Your hero.

Honestly anyone who has managed to overcome anything significant and still remain a decent human being – the daily task of living can be challenging for lots of people. You have to show up. And not just show up, do it with grace and tolerance.

5 Your biggest indulgence.

Recently, a lot of eggnog. It’s really thick. Feels like your arteries are screaming with every sip.

6 One thing no one knows about you.

That would be telling.

7 Three things you would want with you on a deserted island.

Lemons, my partner, and a thing that would grant me 100 wishes.

8 The one word your best friend would use to describe you.


9 If you were not a theatre professional, what would you be doing?

Wondering how I could become a theatre professional.

10 Hero or villain?

Hero. Villains are always someone’s hero anyway.

11 Your life’s motto/mantra.

Try really hard not to be late. I hate being late, and I do everything I can to avoid it. It was a big part of my younger self.

12 The song that gets the most play on your iTunes playlist.

Currently a 45-minute meditation track.

13 Your favourite play.

Far Away, Caryl Churchill, Woyzcek, Buchner, and The Bald Soprano, Ionesco. Like potato chips, you can’t just have one.

14 If you were a cartoon character what cartoon character would you be and why?

Snoopy. Nap time and dinner time are the best.

15 What will it say on your grave marker?

Hopefully my name.

16 Who would you most like to have dinner with?

My mum. She lives a long way away and makes me laugh more than anyone. If it had to be someone famous, Michelle Obama.

17 Your idea of happiness.

Knowing you’re loved, having people that love you, enough food in the fridge, enough money to get by, work with purpose and meaning. That and a good cup of tea.

18 The one thing in your life that makes you most proud.

One thing? Yikes.

19 If you could go back in time, what would you tell your 20-year old self?

It’s going to be ok.

20 To be or not to be?

Always to be, always.

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