Thursday, 28 May 2015 10:41

Rosebud Theatre actress nominated for Calgary-based award

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Lauren de Graaf, the gifted young actress was mowing her parents' lawn at their home near Calgary when she got word of an award nomination.

She looked at it and someone asked her, "well?" de Graaf told her she was nominated in the "Best Performance by a Supporting Actress in a Musical" category for the 2015 Calgary Theatre Critics' Awards for her performance of a Rosebud summer production in 2014: The esteemed panel is made up of Louis Hobson of the Calgary Sun; Stephen Hunt of the Calgary Herald and Jenna Shummoogum of the Downtown Calgary Association.
de Graaf added, "I was just nominated for a being a chicken."
Ahh, but not just any chicken, de Graaf who performs with Rosebud Theatre and is currently portraying June Carter Cash in the wildly popular Wildwood Fire, was nominated for playing the role of a chicken in Lucia Francione's Chickens. The musical ran from May 30-August 30, 2014. Ironically enough, and maybe it's a good omen, the aforementioned Critics Awards are affectionately known as "Critters."
Winners of the Calgary awards will be announced June 8 at the Commonwealth Bar in Calgary.
de Graaf who is also a talented singer had a lot of singing in the movie about a farmer who decides to raise exotic chickens to help earn more money.
She plays the role of Butter and notes she spent a lot of time trying to get the movements down of a chicken.
de Graaf also had a lot to work with as the music was done by Royal Sproule, Lewis Frere, Mark Lewandowski and Jason Bertsc.
"I am just blessed; it's certainly not expected," says de Graaf who is humble despite having artistic gifts which would make one envious. "I truly am super grateful, super, super grateful. I'm sometimes not sure if I'm doing what I am supposed to and then it's like God said 'See? I have plans for you.'"
Other nominees in the Best Performance by a Supporting Actress in a Musical. Also nominated in that category were Jessie Cox – Naughty but Nice (Forte Musical Guild); Katherine Fadum – Naughty but Nice (Forte Musical Guild); Vanessa Sabourin – Dads in Bondage (Lunchbox Theatre) and Selina Wong – Avenue Q (Stage West).
de Graaf is busy.
Rosebud Theatre actually brought back Wildwood Fire because the public loved it so much Rosebud had to add an additional six shows to the already full set. It's run will end June 20.
 de Graaf co-wrote the compelling story about Carter Cash with Kelsey Krogman and is currently playing at the Spring Studio Stage. This is the second run of the popular show and she indicates this time around it's different.
"It feels way more June this time around," explains de Graaf who says it's less narrative and more character driven. "I let myself be super transparent. It's (about) June."
She is also one third of the all female musical trio The Dearhearts comprised of fellow Rosebud Theatre performers Alix Cowman and Lauren Hamm.
 While is enjoying success in her early twenties, de Graaf says a mentor told her one time to be caring and look out for the next person and skip the ego trips.
"Choose to choose the other person first," explains de Graaf. "Love humans, have grace; have humanity.
“The first quarter century of my life has been a blessing, but I know there’s so much more that I can do.”
Besides de Graaf, another actress who has strong Rosebud ties is Heather Pattengale who was nominated for a Critter in the Best Performance by an Actress in a Play for We are the Body (Burnt Thicket Theatre).

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Ryan Dahlman

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