To say that Lauren Steele is a gifted actress is an understatement. In 2019 she delighted audiences with a tour de force performance playing 19 characters in Queens Girl in the World, by Caleen Sinnette Jennings. Steele showed the grace and ease of a veteran actress decades older than her years as she seamlessly moved from one character to another. This performance won her a Drammy that year. At the time, she was a recent graduate of Southern Methodist University. Now she’s performing multiple roles in the second part of Jennings’ trilogy, in Queens Girl in Africa at Clackamas Repertory Theater, running through April 24.
But that’s one part of Lauren Steele’s talents. Born into a legendary Blues family headed by her mom LaRhonda Steele, who’s the considered the first lady of Blues in Portland, Lauren and her sister and father are all great musicians. (Lauren Steele’s music is available on Apple Music and Spotify. )
In this podcast we’ll hear:
A clip of her mesmerizing single “Nighttime Friends.”
What it’s like to work in front of an audience post-pandemic:
“I think there’s like just a certain warmth and appreciation, that we all have cast crew audience just to be here with one another and to be breathing in the same space. From underneath our masks. A warmth and a joy. We have to be able to experience each other. And I think, you know, as an actor, I’ve had an opportunity to do a lot of, self work and it’s hopefully made me a better performer and a better actor.”
And about being in a musical family with a mom like La Rhonda Steele:
“I know that my first time being recorded on a, on a CD was on Norman Sylvester’s album. I probably had to be like six (on a) song called Redemption Time. So, that was my first experience as a recording artist. And then, in terms of being on stage, there are videos of me on our hip, on stage at the blues festival when I was three years old.”
Hear a previous Stage & Studio episode with mom La Rhonda Steele.
And check out Marty Hughley’s preview of Queens Girl in Africa, and his DramaWatch review of the show.