Laurel Butler is an educator, facilitator, organizer, and multidisciplinary performance artist. She is the Associate Director of the Visual and Performing Arts Education Program at UCLA, the lead singer of Lady Stardust (San Francisco) and Cassandra (Los Angeles), a Buran Theatre company member, and a member of the radical performance collective The Royal Frog Ballet. Her work has premiered at REDCAT, the International Home Theater Festival, the Revolutions International Theater Festival, CounterPULSE, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and the Women's Center for Creative Work, and her show September (created with her husband, Ewen Wright) toured nationally throughout the summer of of 2014. Laurel is currently based in Los Angeles, where she has also served as Performing Arts Specialist for the Los Angeles County Office of Education, Dance Teacher at St. James Episcopal School, Social Justice instructor and Service Learning Coordinator at Windward School, and Teaching Artist with The Unusual Suspects Theater Company. She received her M.A. in Theater Education and Community Outreach from the University of New Mexico in 2010.
From 2011 to 2014, Laurel lived and worked in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she was the Youth Arts Manager and Education/Engagement Specialist at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and an Adjunct Professor in the Performing Arts and Social Justice Department at the University of San Francisco. Before moving to California, Laurel served as the Artistic Director of The Actor Inside Program, facilitating theater and dance in jails and detention centers in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She has also been the Executive Director of Theater-in-the-Making, Multi-Arts Theater Director for the Idyllwild Arts Academy, and an educator for Stanford University, Keshet Dance, and the National Hispanic Cultural Center.
Laurel's work has been published in Theater Topics, Museum 2.0, ARC Muses, the Journal of Museum Education and the National Convening for Teens-in-the-Arts Education Report, and featured on The Huffington Post. She has presented about her work as a community arts facilitator at the University of San Francisco Performing Arts and Social Justice Program 10th Anniversary Panel, the Emerging Dance Audiences Learning Exchange at Dance USA Conference, the National Teens-in-the-Arts Convening at the Institute of Contemporary Art Boston, and the Allied Media Conference Transformative Arts Practice Space, and will present at the upcoming Arts in Corrections: Building Bridges to the Future conference in Los Angeles in June. Laurel is an organizer with the UCLA Justice Work Group, a lead member of the Beyond the Bars LA Fellowship Committee, the founder of the UCLA Art as Resistance student group and the Here to Stay LA: Echo Park Chapter, and a recipient of the Next Gen Award from the Creative Capacity Fund.
She lives with her husband, Ewen Wright, and their two dogs, Max and Oliver, in Los Angeles, California.