As part of our ongoing Meet the Cast of Calendar Girls Blog Series, let us introduce you to Laurel Armstrong:
ROLE: Cora, around 40
AS DESCRIBED IN PLAYWRIGHT TIM FIRTH’S SCRIPT:
Cora’s past is the most eclectic, her horizons broadened by having gone to college. This caused a tectonic shift with her more parochial parents. She came back to them pregnant and tail-between-legs, but Cora has too much native resilience to be downtrodden. She is the joker in the pack, but never plays the fool. Her wit is deadpan. It raises laughter in others, but rarely in herself.
DIRECTOR MARY FINNERTY’S COMMENT:
Laura Armstrong is an actor who feels her character deeply. She had an affection for Cora in the audition that moved me. Laurel is a mother so when she talks about her child in the play, she is so believable. She also has a gorgeous voice, which you’ll hear when she sings “Jerusalem” at the play’s opening.
QUESTION FOR LAUREL:
Cora is a very complex character. What did you learn from playing her?
I found that Cora reminded me a great deal of a friend of mine from college. My friend was a brilliant musician, a good judge of character, and had a sense of humor that was deadpan but bitingly honest. Playing Cora reminds me of my friend’s ability to see both the best and worst in people and how she tried to balance disappointment with humor and sincerity.
Park Square: Debut
Representative Theatre: Flying Foot Forum: Alice in Wonderland, Heaven; Girl Friday Productions: Camino Real, Street Scene; Workhaus Collective: A Short Play About 9/11; Nautilus Music Theater: Reach, Rough Cuts; Sesame Street Live: 1-2-3 Imagine!; Bloomington Civic Theatre: City of Angels, Into the Woods, Les Miserables; Theatre Latte Da: NEXT: New Musicals in the Making
Training: Studied Music Theater at Brigham Young University