Fresh off the stage of Carnegie Hall, Lauren Shepherd returned to Burlington, Ontario in the Fall of 2019. Lauren received her Bachelor of Arts (honours) from Brock University's Drama Program, and her Master of Fine Arts in Staging Shakespeare from the University of Exeter, in England. She has studied at Shakespeare's Globe, and researched in the RSC archives. She has studied under the direction of renowned actors/directors/playwrights/voice masters such as Howard Barker (and The Wrestling School), Jane Lapotaire, Emma Thompson, Trevor Rawlins, Philip Bird, Philip Stafford, Glynn MacDonald, & Stewart Pearce.
Lauren continued to research and perform as part of her studies at the University of Toronto. Her research centred on the performed diagnosis of 'madness' on the early modern stage. She investigated potential instances for physical gestures that express a convention of representation on the early modern stage, and received a grant to travel to England and conduct her research through the Royal Bethlem Archives of patient records in an attempt to cross reference any potential similarities between medical practices and diagnostics with the language of diagnosis and representations of 'madness' found within plays of the early modern period.
Lauren continues to work as an actor. She is ACTRA Apprentice, and has appeared in background roles on Maudie, Reign, Degrassi: The Next Generation, and Saving Hope. But her heart lies in the stage. Her recent productions have spanned from reinterpretations of Greek Classics to musical-historicals on the War of 1812. During this past calendar year she was fortunate enough to participate in DCINY Magnificat, with her choir from St. John’s, Newfoundland, Les Ms. Women’s Choir under the direction of Dr. Valerie Long. In New York, the choir sang under the direction of Dr. Nancy Menk, with other all-female choirs, for a performance in honour of International Women’s Day, on stage at Carnegie Hall.
In a directing and administrative capacity, Lauren has worked with Liberty Junction Theatre Inc. since September of 2011. With this Mississauga based theatre company for youth, Lauren has worked as a vocal coach, dialect coach, acting coach, and director on their numerous productions. For the summer of 2014, Lauren joined the fantastic group of artists at Burlington Student Theatre's Artscamp. She directed their summer performances of Tarzan and The Jungle Book. She returned to Artscamp for the summer of 2015 to direct their production of Mary Poppins. Camp takes place at The Burlington Performing Arts Centre, in the downtown core. BPAC is Burlington's professional theatre which hosts such fantastic artists as Joel Plaskett, The Celtic Tenors, Bruce Cockburn, The Trews, The Good Lovelies, Natalie McMaster and many many other amazing performers. What an opportunity for kids aged 6-16 to rehearse, learn, and perform on such a stage!
Lauren has been coaching students privately since 2011. She uses many of the techniques she learned from her studies abroad to help open up her client's energy centres, and teach them how to use their bodies to do the work for them! Lauren's work is based in an understanding of energy centres, acupressure, elements & archetypes, and the combination of these in order to generate sound whether it be for singing or speaking. The body is a resonant instrument just waiting to be played. And it can be used for meditation and healing. Lauren's goal is to equip the youth of today with the tools they need to live a happy and healthy life that is filled with the music of their own bodies.
In 2017 Lauren, and her husband Michael welcomed their first child, Ainsley to the family. Since then, Lauren has taken fewer students to allow for more time with her son at home. This fall, 2019, she’s ready to get back into teaching full time. NEW for 2019 are our Zumbini Parent & Tot Classes. Since having her son in 2017, and taking him to different group classes, and Mother & Baby groups, Lauren has seen the immense value in early music and movement classes. These classes have a profound effect on a child’s development, both enhancing their gross and fine motor skills and broadening their social skills in a safe and fun environment. It is incredibly important to offer these experiences from her own repertoire, and so please stay tuned to this website, and her Facebook page, for further information on our BRAND NEW Zumbini Parent & Tot Classes this Fall. Burlington classes will take place at Burlington Student Theatre, Mississauga classes will take place at Kidz Kove and Liberty Junction Theatre Inc.