Laura Ekstrand is co-founder and artistic director of Vivid Stage, formerly Dreamcatcher Rep. She is an actor, director, playwright and teacher who has appeared on stages and screens for over 30 years. As an actor, Laura appeared at Vivid Stage in Water in My Hands, Be Here Now, The Lucky Ones, What Stays; Sister Play; Motherhood Out Loud; and Shakespeare in Vegas, among many others, and is a member of the Flip Side improv comedy team. She has worked at many other New Jersey Theatres including the Bickford Theatre, Centenary Stage, Luna Stage, Passage Theater, Pushcart Players, The Theater Project, 12 Miles West. In New York, Laura has appeared at Naked Angels, Ensemble Studio Theatre, and New Georges.
Her film credits include American Zombieland, Split Ends, High Art, I Shot Andy Warhol. Laura’s television experience includes Hack, Sex And The City, Law & Order, and The Guiding Light. As a director, some projects include Twirl, Dead and Buried, Every Brilliant Thing, The How and the Why, Next Fall, Distracted, The Pursuit Of Happiness, Melancholy Play, Pride’s Crossing, Full Bloom and many others. Laura has directed the dramatic podcasts The Weirdness and Young Ben Franklin for Gen Z Media. As a playwright, full lengths include Life’s Work, What Stays (with Jason Szamreta), Whatever Will Be, The Neighborhood (Book and Lyrics; Music by Joe Zawila), Brink of Life (Book; Lyrics by Steve Harper; Music by Oliver Lake) and Astonishment, How to be Old: A Beginner’s Guide, and At Ninety-Three (Adaptations).
Laura is a private monologue coach and holds a BA from Yale University and an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College. Laura is the Chair of the New Jersey Theatre Alliance Board of Trustees and a member of AEA, SAG-AFTRA and the Dramatists Guild.