Entertainment

Artist profile: Laura Engels active at iDiOM Theater

Laura Engels is one of the directors participating in iDiOM Theater’s 48-Hour Theatre Festival at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 2-3.
Laura Engels is one of the directors participating in iDiOM Theater’s 48-Hour Theatre Festival at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 2-3. Courtesy to The Bellingham Herald

Laura Engels, 26, is a graduate of Sehome High School and of Western Washington University, with a bachelor’s of arts in theater, in 2012.

She is one of five directors in iDiOM Theater’s 44th “48-Hour Theater Festival,” which runs 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 2-3.

Theater marketing director Wes Davis describes the festival as “randomly drawn teams frenetically writing, memorizing, rehearsing and performing, resulting in two unique nights of theatrical magic, with six brand-new short plays presented each night.”

Here’s more about Engels.

Question: What did you do after graduating from Western?

Answer: I auditioned for an acting apprenticeship at a theater conference and was chosen as an apprentice along with 21 other actors at Actors Theatre of Louisville, Ky., for a year. It was a great opportunity to learn how a professional theater operates and to learn about the business side of theater.

Question: Then what?

Answer: After Kentucky I moved to New York City for a year and had a lot of fun. I met some awesome people — and some not-so-awesome people — got involved in some smaller theatrical productions, but ultimately decided that New York wasn’t for me, so I moved back to Bellingham.

Question: What have you done since you returned home?

Answer: I was in “Talley’s Folly” in Mount Baker Theatre’s Summer Repertory Series in 2014, “Leaving Iowa,” as part of WWU’s Summerstock, and several shows at iDiOM.

A career in theater has to be flexible, so I am going where it takes me.

Laura Engels, actor and director

Question: What’s been great about performing in Bellingham?

Answer: The most fun I’ve had was getting a chance to perform at Western again. It was such a familiar place for so long that it really became my home. It was so wonderful to be in that space again with a bunch of new people in a show that celebrated family.

I have had so much fun at the iDiOM! My first experience was last October when I was invited to be in a show in “Serial Killers.” It was a crazy experience to produce a 10- to 20-minute show each week with only five days to rehearse. Since then, I’ve been able to be involved in many other shows, including the last “48-Hour Theater Festival.”

For this upcoming “48-Hour,” I have no idea what will happen. None of us know what any of the shows will be about or who will be in them until the night before the performance. It’s a great way to have some fun without any expectations, and it should be a laugh!

Question: What’s on your horizon?

Answer: Next up for me is a show called “Felix and the Diligence,” opening on Jan. 7 at the iDiOM.

A career in theater has to be flexible, so I am going where it takes me. Right now I’m happy to be in Bellingham for a while, but I’m looking toward Seattle next!

Margaret Bikman: 360-715-2273, @bhamentertainme

Theater Festival

When: The “48-Hour Theater Festival” is 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 2-3

“Felix and the Diligence”

When: 9 p.m. Jan. 7-9, 14-16 and 21-22

Where: iDiOM Theater, 1418 Cornwall Ave.

Cost: $10 online, $12 at the door

Details: idiomtheater.com, 360-305-3524

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