|Birth: ||Aug. 20, 1911|
|Death: ||Jun. 21, 2003|
Laurlene Pratt died at Union Memorial Hospital of complications from pneumonia. She was 91. Mrs. Pratt had a long and distinguished career in the theater and also taught dramatic literature and English on the high school and university level.
Born in Baltimore, Laurlene Straughn earned a bachelor's degree in 1932 from Western Maryland College - now McDaniel College - where she studied music, French and education. Mrs. Pratt earned a master's degree in art and dramatic literature from the University of Pittsburgh in 1943. That year, she married Robert William Pratt. He died in 1946.
Mrs. Pratt moved in 1948 with her parents and young daughter to Washington, where she taught English at American University.The family moved to Baltimore in 1951, and Mrs. Pratt taught English at the former Towson State Teachers College before taking the teaching position at Forest Park High School in Northwest Baltimore from 1954 to 1969. While teaching at Forest Park, Mrs. Pratt started a curriculum in theater. Some of her students went on to become leaders on the Broadway stage and in cinema and music.
Among Mrs. Pratt's students at Forest Park were noted filmmaker Barry Levinson; Maxine Fox and Kenny Wiseman, producers of the Broadway hit Grease; and the late Ellen Cohen better known as Mama Cass of the Mamas and the Papas folk-rock group. Mr. Levinson, years later, invited his former mentor to the set of "Tin Men" when it was filmed in Baltimore in 1987. She was introduced to the cast and crew as a force in his professional life.
In the late 1970s, when Ms. Fox and Mr. Wiseman took Grease on national tour, Ms. Fox met with Mrs. Pratt in Baltimore. "This is exactly the kind of theater you taught us to hate," Ms. Fox playfully told her former teacher. "But we're rich!"
Laurlene also taught at Johns Hopkins and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. At Hopkins she also studied drama with N. Bryllion Fagin at the Hopkins Playshop, which in 1965 became Theatre Hopkins. She became director of Theatre Hopkins in 1969 and held that post for 15 years.
Grave is unmarked.
Plot: X428- CEM REC
Maintained by: Maggie Mac
Originally Created by: Becky
Record added: Jul 13, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 73306384