Theresa, how long have you been involved in the performing arts/theatre?
I did theatre myself as a child. I performed with choirs through college. My own performing ended after college. Although jury trials as a lawyer give me the same feeling that I had as a performer. I have been involved as a theatre volunteer since 2005, I think.
Do you remember how you got started?
Yes, I went to a summer school program with the Wausau School District back in the 80's. My first play was "The Wizard of Oz" and I was the Wicked Witch of the West.
As a volunteer, I got involved naturally as my own children became involved in camps and productions.
Tale as old as time ... So, you start volunteering for CWCT when your kids were small?
I started volunteering for CWCT in roughly 2005 as a parent volunteer when my oldest daughter was in her first production, "Aladdin". I did hair and makeup for that show. Since then, I have been involved with many behind the scenes aspects of a show from set building providing meals. Joelle Murray, the former E.D. asked me to join the board in 2017 and I'm still here.
So, you've been at this for a long time. Do you have a highlight or story from your time volunteering that was especially fun or interesting?
My absolute favorite volunteer experience with CWCT was when my husband somehow got his arm twisted (I wonder by whom) and ended up playing the role of "Captain Smilenot" in "Treasure Island" alongside our daughter. Now, he can't really sing or dance - theatre is not his forte. But he agreed to do it and you know what? He did a great job!
I'm sure that is a great memory for your whole family. So, you are in a great position to answer this question. What makes children's theatre important?
I think of children's theatre is a safe place. Everyone is welcome. It allows children to express themselves and be goofy. Additionally, being involved in a show is such a confidence builder. It takes a lot of courage from the audition through being on the stage in front of a crowd.
Well said. With that in mind, what would you want people to know about CWCT specifically?
CWCT has been around since the 70's. It is a major part of the Wausau arts community. Additionally, even if you or your children do not want to perform, there are still many ways to be involved with CWCT - costumes, hair/makeup, tech crew. There is something for everyone.
Theresa, the Laughlins are definitely a theatre family, but you must have other hobbies too - what would they be?
I certainly do. I love to travel, collect shells, read books, fish, and downhill ski.
And finally, do you have a good theatre joke or meme to share?
Sure. Anyone who doesn't like musicals because "no one starts singing and dancing all of a sudden in real life" has clearly never been to my house.
Hah, hah! I think you speak for many of us Theresa. Thank you for your time and for all your volunteering with CWCT.