Mary Poindexter McLaughlin
WRITER. TEACHING ARTIST. THEATRICAL FUN-MEISTER.
Everything I do stems from an abiding belief that art has the power to transform, from heartache to wholeness, isolation to community, loss to understanding. Time and again, I have been grateful to find healing in artistic offerings: a line of a poem, a soliloquy, even a cartoon! Offerings that entertain, or educate, or enlighten me are my touchstones, and those that manage to do all three: magic! Adversity is clearly part of the human package, yet by participating in an artistic exchange -- as audience and "performer," writer and reader -- we human beings create a symbiotic space to transform challenges into something wondrous.
I write from that belief, and I teach from it, too.
Some Biographical Info...
Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, I went to Stanford University where I earned a BA in English, rather than one in Drama -- Mom said it would be "more practical." (HA!) During my time there, I was grateful to receive a Golden Grant Award for playwriting, and to co-found one of Stanford’s first improvisation troupes. My experience performing with that troupe convinced me to move to NYC and pursue a career in the theatre.
My Mission: To Entertain, Educate, & Enlighten
There, I completed a two-year training in Meisner Technique at the Esper Studio, and acted in theatre, industrials, and national and regional television commercials. I interned with Ensemble Studio Theatre, studying with the likes of Lewis Black and Cassandra Medley, and enjoyed a creative and educational relationship with Alice's Fourth Floor Theatre, writing plays, performing, and reading scripts.
I fell in love, married, and raised three (bias alert) phenomenal kids. During that time I was the Administrator of Aurora Waldorf School for three years, and picked up an MA in Theatre & Performance Studies at SUNY University at Buffalo. I also became certified in YogaDance at Kripalu, created improviDance, and most recently became certified as an Ashaya Yoga teacher with Todd Norian.
I've acted and written for a tv web series, edited books, and taught writing, theatre improvisation, movement, and acting. I have led team-and consensus-building improv programs for organizations. Currently I'm writing a musical, and a book of poems that explore our sometimes complicated but fortunately always ongoing relationship with the Divine.
I'm a member of the Dramatists Guild and SAG-AFTRA, and I live with my husband, three children, one dog, two cats, and multiple chickens in East Aurora, NY.