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Laura Wiley

Through exciting, original theater, Laura Wiley and her husband David Feiner devote their lives to teenagers from a Chicago working-class immigrant neighborhood.

When Laura and David started Albany Park Theater Project, or APTP, in 1996, their motto was "Real teenagers, real community, real theater, real stories." By combining their artistic and activist ambitions, the couple created a haven for teens, where real-life stories from Chicago's Albany Park community could become critically acclaimed productions. Along with theatrical training, Laura and David provide intensive individual college counseling to ensemble members during their senior year of high school. More than 95% of teens who spend a year or more with APTP attend college, often as the first college students in their family. In 2003, Laura was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. During chemotherapy, remission and a recurrence of the illness, she continued to lead the company with David. She co-directed God's Work, a play drawn from one ensemble member's abusive family situation, in which religious beliefs rationalize unspeakable violence. As she coaxes powerful performances from her cast with a combination of demanding professionalism and tenderness, Laura's struggle with cancer forms the backdrop to her remarkable commitment to young people. Photography on this page courtesy of Bill Richert.

Learn More About the Other Artists in Beauty Rises: Orbert Davis
Allison Joseph
Dessa Kirk

Address

Albany Park Theater Project, Eugene Field Cultural Center, 5100 N. Ridgeway Ave., Chicago, IL 60625

Click here for directions

Bonus Material

Laura Wiley on: WORKING WITH TEENS

GOD'S WORK

GOD'S WORK CAST

MUSIC IN GOD'S WORK

CHICAGO

LAURA'S ILLNESS

LAURA'S MENTORS

COLLEGE PREP PROGRAM

RELIGION

WORKING WITH DAVID

Related Links

Visit the Albany Park Theater Project's website to find out more about the company.

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Laura Wiley explains the mission of Albany Park Theater Project on the first day of rehearsal.

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Laura Wiley gets good news about her cancer treatments.

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"The Confession," a scene from Albany Park Theater Project's performance of God's Work.

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"Come Forth," a scene from Albany Park Theater Project's performance of God's Work.

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Co-Director Laura Wiley rehearses the birthing scene with Ana, who plays the mother in God's Work.

 

Related Podcasts

Arts Ed. Podcast

Child/Youth Podcast

Theater Podcast

 

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Albany Park Theater Project co-director Laura Wiley.

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Laura and her actors discuss a scene from God's Work.

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Laura conducts a warm-up exercise with her students.

 

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