Laurie Woolery is a director, playwright, educator, facilitator and producer. She has worked at the Public Theater, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Yale Repertory, Trinity Repertory, Goodman Theater, Cornerstone Theater Company, South Coast Repertory, Mark Taper Forum, Denver Center, Los Angeles Philharmonic, East West Players, Los Angeles Theatre Center, Inge Center for the Arts, Plaza de la Raza/RedCAT, Ricardo Montalban Theatre, Deaf-West Theatre, Highways Performance Space and Sundance Playwrights Lab as well as the Sundance Children's Theater. Woolery has directed world premieres of plays by Tanya Saracho, Mary Kathryn Nagle, Marisela Trevino Orta, Aditi Kapil, K.J. Sanchez, Julie Marie Myatt, Cody Henderson, Allison Carey and others.
Currently, Woolery is the Director of Public Works at The Public Theater an initiative that seeks to engage the people of New York by making them creators and not just spectators. Working with partners organizations in all five boroughs, Public Works invites members of diverse communities to join in the creation of ambitious works of participatory theater. Recently, she launched a new program called "ACTivate" (Artist, Citizen, Theater maker) that takes an ensemble of community members and puts them in the “artistic driver’s seat” by partnering with a professional playwright and devised an original play. With collaborators Shaina Taub and Sonya Tayeh, Woolery co-adapted and directed a new musical adaptation of "As You Like It" which debuted at the Delacorte Theater with 200 New Yorkers and was named one of The New York Times best shows of 2017.
Woolery develops and directs new works with diverse communities ranging from incarcerated women to residents of a small Kansas town devastated by a tornado. Laurie has created site-specific work ranging from a working sawmill, parking lots, to the banks of the Los Angeles River. Woolery curated and produced a two-week festival in Los Angeles that explored issues of hunger that brought artists, activists, community and thought leaders together. In keeping with her lifelong commitment to community engagement, Woolery is partnering with Trinity Repertory Theater to deepen their artistic work in collaboration with the Latinx community in the larger Rhode Island area. As a playwright, Woolery’s plays have been produced throughout California. Her solo play "Salvadorian Moon/African Sky" was commissioned by Cornerstone Theater Company and performed in their citywide Festival of Faith.
Ms. Woolery is the former Associate Artistic Director of Cornerstone Theater Company, Conservatory Director at South Coast Repertory and former artist-in-residence at Hollygrove Children’s Home in Los Angeles. Woolery teaches at Princeton, NYU, Brown, USC, Cal Arts, Citrus College, California State University at Northridge, California State University at Los Angeles. Woolery serves on the Board of the Latino Producers Action Network, Latinx Theatre Commons and is the founding member of The Sol Project in New York. Woolery is a proud recipient of the Fuller Road Fellowship for Women Directors of Color.
Ms. Woolery is a graduate from University of California, Los Angeles.