'Teacher from the Black Lagoon' at Florissant Civic Center Features Local Actress Who First Appeared There at Age Three

By Christopher Reilly
In Culture

Laura Barbiea, a St. Louis area native, made her first stage appearance at the Florissant Civic Center Theatre at the ripe old age of 3 years old. Now she returns to the stage that made her a star—among local parents anyway—when she returns with TheatreworksUSA in a production of “The Teacher from the Black Lagoon,” Jan. 16-23. The show is based on the popular children’s book of the same name, which is part of the “Black Lagoon” series by author Mike Thaler.

Laura Barbiea appears at Florissant Civic Center Courtesy of Actress

Laura Barbiea appears at Florissant Civic Center
Courtesy of Actress

The story is about a boy who, on the first day of school, falls asleep and dreams that he is assigned to the “monstrous” Mrs. Green’s class. In his nightmare, Mrs. Green is a monster with a tail and smoke coming out of her nostrils. You know, like a real teacher. TheatreworksUSA is a popular national touring company that performs youth theater and is being presented as part of the Family Theatre series at the Florissant Civic Center Theatre, which presents five plays each year.

According to Florissant Civic Center Theatre director of theater Gary Gaydos, shows performed by TheatreworksUSA traditionally are among the center’s best-attended performances.

Barbiea, who is originally from Overland, graduated from Westminster Christian Academy in 2009, then received her bachelor’s of fine arts degree, with an emphasis in acting, from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts in 2012. While at NYU Barbiea studied at NYU’s Atlantic Studio, and was selected to attend the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London. In addition, for more than 10 years she has studied ballet, tap, jazz and modern dance.

Barbiea has already garnered some impressive credentials, not to mention her local Muny appearances as a member of The Muny’s youth ensemble in the 2008 production of “High School Musical” and “Godspell” in 2009. Just last September she made her off-Broadway debut as “nerdalicious” Emily and Teddy the puppet in Molly Shannon’s “Tilly the Trickster” for the Atlantic Theater Company. Viewers can also catch her in the upcoming web series, “The Fantastic Adventures of Foolish Gentlemen,” scheduled to premiere in May 2014.

For tickets and information visit the Florissant Civic Center Theatre website, or call (314) 921-5678.

Follow Christopher Reilly on Twitter @ChristoReilly

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