Lauren Allen is a Saskatoon born theatre artist who specializes in Musical Theatre. She graduated from Grant MacEwan University in 2013 with a diploma in Theatre Arts. She then returned to Saskatoon to work as a performer, producer, artistic director, assistant director, stage manager, production assistant, and social media manager in both English and French. Her parents are Kent Allen, popular Saskatoon-based Canadian actor, and Kathy Allen, former employee of the Saskatchewan Arts Board who currently works at the City of Saskatoon. Currently Lauren is the Social Media Manager for The Saskatchewan Association of Theatre Professionals, On The Boards Staging Company, and Staple Productions. Lauren has also taken over the website management of the SATP and has just launched the Community Events Calendar for all theatre events in the province of Saskatchewan.
Lauren began her enthusiasm for performance at a very young age, participating in every school play she could and starting singing lessons at age seven. When she began high school at Aden Bowman Collegiate, she begged her drama teacher to let her work on the senior production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. She landed the gig of costume mistress and spent hours and hours sorting costumes in the moldy basement, grinning from ear to ear. Later that year she appeared in her first real musical, Kander and Ebb's Cabaret. Such began her days of performing full-length musicals when previously she had only appeared in musical revues through the Saskatoon Youth Musical Theatre summer camps and elementary school plays that were sung to a backing track that came with the scripts.
Lauren's first paying gig was through the now closed Off-Broadway Dinner Theatre when she was eleven years old. She played Louisa in Nuncrackers, the Christmas themed Nunsense spin-off.
At the age of fifteen, Lauren appeared in Unity 1918by Kevin Kerr. The play was presented in French with English surtitles by La Troupe Du Jour, the only professional French theatre in Saskatchewan, as part of their community theatre series. She would end up participating in two more productions with LTDJ's community series, Départs and Berthe et Lolo, before her graduation from high school.
In her grade twelve year, Lauren participated in the very first year of the Kinsmen Young Company program through Persephone Theatre. The program ended with a performance of Waking by Daniel MacDonald. The program has been happening annually since that first year in 2011.
As high school was drawing to a close, Lauren applied to many different universities across the globe and was thrilled to be accepted into Grant MacEwan University's Theatre Arts program in Edmonton. She packed her bags and moved into residence in the heart of downtown Edmonton to begin her education as a professional musical theatre performer.
At Grant MacEwan University, Lauren took classes in singing, dancing and acting over a two year period to earn her diploma. During her time at school she appeared as Varya in The Cherry Orchard, Cinderella’s Mother in Into the Woods, Ensemble member in Attempts on Her Life, Petra in A Little Night Music (preview only), Ensemble member in Musical of Musicals the Musical and Ensemble member in Assassins. In her final semester, Lauren was hit by a car while crossing the street to her apartment and had to back out of performing the role of Petra in A Little Night Music as a result of her injuries. She appeared in the preview performance and in all of the archival photos. She was able to complete the dance component of her diploma through written study of dance and teaching choreography without demonstrating it.
Lauren was awarded two scholarships in her second year for most improved in singing and most improved in dance.
After graduating from Grant MacEwan, Lauren was offered several jobs in her hometown of Saskatoon. La Troupe du Jour engaged her for a series of modelling contracts and her first professional acting role post university (L’amoureuse en Prendre Racine). She also worked as the production assistant/social media coordinator for Sum Theatre SK’s first ever Theatre in The Park, which won the Saskatoon and Area Theatre Award for Innovation. She continued to work as an actor and production assistant for Sum Theatre into 2014, and her start of social media work with that company led her to earn her Certificate in Social Media Management from Hootsuite Podium in September of 2015.
In 2014, Lauren founded her own company, Staple Productions, which has produced multiple small-scale cabarets in the hopes of building an audience for full musical productions in the future. Lauren also co-founded the Cabaret Association of Saskatoon with two of her friends.
In the two years following her graduation, Lauren has been fortunate enough to work with a number of different companies on a variety of shows in several different capacities. She was an artistic associate at Embrace Theatre for just over a year, and has been a Production Assistant with Sum Theatre SK and The Saskatchewan Arts Alliance. She has been a producer with Staple Productions and The Cabaret Association of Saskatoon, as well as producing and maintaining Saskatoon's Theatre Blog for just over a year. She has appeared as a performer with Wide Open Children's Theatre, La Troupe du Jour, Sum Theatre SK, The Tightrope Collective, Staple Productions, The Cabaret Association of Saskatoon, The Saskatchewan Playwright's Centre, The Indigenous Performing Arts Alliance, Souris Valley Theatre Inc, and RuBarb Productions. Lauren is also a proud member of the Saskatchewan Association of Theatre Professionals, where she sits on both the Communications and Recruitment committees, manages their Social Media, maintains their website, and manages the Community Events Calendar. Lauren has also produced a web series, Musical Theatre Mondays, that ran for five weeks beginning on December 28th, 2015.
Lauren was fortunate enough to attend the Magnetic North Theatre Festival in Ottawa in 2015 as part of the Compass Points program, where she met many fascinating people from around the world and reconnected with her creative energies.
Lauren has recently begun designing posters and writing in addition to being a performer, producer, artistic director, assistant director, stage manager, social media manager, and production assistant. You can see more of her work here.