Laura Mittelstaedt as Kent in the 2017 Interlochen Shakespeare Festival presentation of King Lear.
Mittelstaedt (far right) with the cast of the 2017 Interlochen Arts Academy production of Sarah DeLappe's The Wolves.
Mittelstaedt as Viola in the 2008 Interlochen Shakespeare Festival production of Twelfth Night.
Instructor of Theatre Laura Ames Mittelstaedt joined the Interlochen Arts Academy faculty in 2010. A graduate of Rhode Island College (BA) and Pennsylvania State University (MFA), her professional acting credits include Proof (Catherine) at New Paltz Summer Repertory, A Mid-Summer Night's Dream (Helena), King Lear (Regan) and As you Like It (Phebe) at Illinois Shakespeare Festival and Romeo and Juliet (Juliet) with the Trinity Repertory Summer Shakespeare Project in Providence, Rhode Island. Laura is also an Artistic Associate and founding member of the Interlochen Shakespeare Festival.
We caught up with Laura to ask her about some of her favorite things both on and off stage.
What is your all-time favorite play or musical?
All My Sons by Arthur Miller or Twelfth Night by Shakespeare.
What’s your favorite role?
This is hard, because each role is also tied to the events of your life at that time, and the learning and challenges that the role offered. Some actors say their favorite is whichever they are currently working on, but I think that is more a testament as to how much energy and attention goes into working on a role. I don’t think I can leave behind the experiences and appreciation of past roles so easily.
How did you first get into acting? What was your first role?
My earliest memory is of a primary school skit of “The Three Little Bears” in which I played Baby Bear and impulsively ad-libbed to the delight of my fellow second graders.
Who was your favorite acting instructor? Why?
In retrospect, my favorite teacher was David Burr at Rhode Island College. At the time, he often frustrated and intimidated me, but now I see that he was trying to get me out of my shell; beyond my self-imposed limits, and away from the security of my small home state.
What’s the funniest or most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you during a performance?
There are so many options, but perhaps the winner is a gushing bloody nose while wearing a white satin wedding dress in Act 5 of As You Like It.
What’s your best tip for learning your lines?
Do a little bit everyday—no exceptions—especially in the morning and before bed, up on your feet moving around, without memorizing a line-reading.
What’s one piece of advice you give to all your students?
Be kind to each other.
What is your favorite show you’ve directed?
The Wolves, by Sarah Delappe.
What’s your favorite Melody Freeze treat?
Vanilla soft serve with sprinkles.
Would you rather read a book or watch a movie?
I would rather read a book, and have the luxury of time to finish it!
Come study theatre at Interlochen Arts Academy and meet Laura for yourself! Apply today!