The primary Stages Off-Broadway Oral history Project

Celebrating the visionaries who created New York's vibrant Off- and Off-Off-Broadway theater.

Linda and David Laundra

Linda and David Laundra

Co-Founders, The Writers Theatre

Interviewed on: Wednesday, October 4, 2017
Location: Tom Fontana's Library
Interviewed by: Casey Childs
Interview #110
"The mission of The Writers Theatre was to enrich the quality of language on the living stage, with a specific emphasis on adaptation…what we wanted to do was create a space and environment for writers to work...that exists now, but there weren’t many places then where you could do that."
Linda and David Laundra Highlights
Video Length: 6 Minutes, 21 Seconds
Linda and David Laundra Interview Part One
Video Length: 1 Hour, 42 Minutes
Linda and David Laundra Interview Part Two
Video Length: 1 Hour, 38 Minutes

Linda and David Laundra are directors and producers who co-founded The Writers Theatre in 1975. The mission of The Writers Theatre was to enrich the quality of language on the living stage through the discovery, development, and performance of new plays and adaptations. The Writers Theatre produced nearly 40 new plays and assisted in the development of hundreds more. Some of their directing and producing credits in New York City include: THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MARK TWAIN (1975), MY OWN STRANGER (1981), THE OVERCOAT (1982), THE OTHER SHORE (1983), ANNA, THE GYPSY SWEDE (1983), HANNAH SENESH (1984), RESISTANCE (1988), WORD SINGER (1990), and THE DAY JACK LONDON GOT PINCHED (2002).

Linda Laundra, born in Monroe, Michigan, and David Laundra, born in Saginaw, Michigan, met while studying at Eastern Michigan University. Outside of New York theatre, the Laundras have had successful careers in film and television. Linda spent 12 years in daytime television and has directed and produced more than 500 hours of television, including “All My Children,” “Another World,” “Guiding Light,” and “Homicide: Life on the Street.” David has acted in commercials, films, and television shows, including “OZ” and “The Jury,” and has done voice-over work for television (including Tina Fey’s “30 Rock”), documentaries, and books on tape. The Laundras currently work with Levinson/Fontana on special projects, as well as producing their own films and documentaries, including JEAN and A Legacy. Together, they have taught on-camera acting at the National Theatre Institute at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center, New York University, Long Island University, Primary Stages ESPA, and the William Esper Studio.

Mentioned in Interview

: Dame Judith Anderson, Marilyn Campbell, Irving Fisher, Tom Fontana, Mary Jane Gibbons, Tammy Grimes, Rodney Kirk, Philip Langner, Viveca Lindfors, Joshua Logan, Donald Moffat, Patricia Neal, Albert Poland, Ellis Rabb, David Schechter, John Whitesell, APA Phoenix, ARS Nova, Astor Place Theatre, Circle Repertory, Manhattan Theatre Club, Theatre 80 St. Marks, Theatre Guild, Theatre at Sea, The Writer’s Theatre, AMERICAN SONG, ANNA, THE GYPSY SWEDE, APPLETREE, THE DAY JACK LONDON GOT PINCHED, THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MARK TWAIN, THE BEATS, BRECHTSPEIL, DANDELION WINE, HANNAH SENESH, MY OWN STRANGER, NIEDECKER, NONSENSE, OLD FASHIONED, THE OVERCOAT, RESISTANCE, TOM FONTANA’S DOROTHY PARKER, THE UNDERLINGS