Broadway actress teaches and inspires students at St. Paul's High School in Bristol

Published on Thursday, 11 July 2019 20:18
Written by Kayla Murphy


BRISTOL - “Plow your own path and follow your heart,” Broadway and film actress Laura Osnes told young students at a theatre workshop at St. Paul’s Catholic High School.

On Thursday afternoon, Osnes talked with students from elementary to high school about theatre techniques and methods to help them prepare for their upcoming production of “Pippin” on July 19 and 20. Mark Mazzarella, director of performing arts at St. Paul and recent founder of the new nonprofit youth community theatre group, Revolutionary Youth Theatre, was ecstatic to have Osnes teach a master class for his students.

“I met Laura through mutual friends that we have in the New York area and she said she was interested in coming to teach a class. Her being here today is so important because the kids are absolutely inspired by her. She’s real, humble and genuine and it’s nice that the kids got to meet her and ask her questions and get ideas,” Mazzarella said.

Osnes, best known by her Broadway debut as the starring role as Sandy in “Grease,” also performed on Broadway’s “South Pacific” as Nellie Forbush, “Anything Goes” as Hope Harcourt, “Bonnie and Clyde” as Bonnie Parker and starred in the title role of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “Cinderella.” She recently completed filming for her first Hallmark movie “In the Key of Love,” which premieres in August.

Osnes said her beginnings were unconventional and there is no “cookie-cutter for success.”

“I went to a state college in Wisconsin for a year and decided it wasn’t for me. I interned for a year and then later auditioned for a reality TV show where the audience voted me to become Sandy in Broadway’s production of ‘Grease’ in 2007,” explained Osnes.

Osnes encouraged the students to be themselves and to be patient.

“I know sometimes with acting we feel the need to portray other characters, but it’s ok to be yourself. Own the gifts that you have. Relax, there is no step-by-step plan to make it to Broadway. Just be patient and humble,” she smiled to the students.

The students had the opportunity to perform in front of Osnes and received critiques to better their upcoming performance of “Pippin.” Junior St. Paul High School student Olivia Lanteri, who is playing the role of Catherine, was excited that Osnes came to the workshop.

“As an actress, we all want to learn and grow. She had so many tips and techniques to offer us and the critiques she gave we can apply moving forward in our show,” said Lanteri.

One of the main techniques Osnes hoped kids took away from the class was to practice the art of storytelling, especially with vocals.

“I don’t really have specific methods, but I think acting while you sing is so important because it really helps deliver the story of the show that you’re in,” Osnes said.

As the students continued their workshop with Osnes, Mazzarella continued to work on their upcoming production. Working on Pippin for the past five weeks, Mazzarella said that this is the “perfect summer show.”

“This is our first show with the Revolutionary Youth Theatre. There’s so much magic in this show. So it’s great the students got to learn some magic. It’s going to be a very fun and great show. Everyone has been so helpful and involved with the production, especially the interns,” said Mazzarella.

The Revolutionary Youth Theatre’s performance of Pippin will take place on Friday, July 19 and Saturday, July 20 at 7:30 p.m. at the St. Paul Catholic High School Auditorium in Bristol. Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for seniors and students. For more information and tickets, visit .

Posted in The Bristol Press, Bristol on Thursday, 11 July 2019 20:18. Updated: Thursday, 11 July 2019 20:20.