Founder and Creator of RRS Programing
Director of Performing Arts
Laurie Walton is the founder of the Riverdale Rising Stars, the Y’s renowned teen theater group, which is in its 12th season and boasting more than 35 productions. In 2007 she created the Riverdale Repertory Company, the Y’s adult theatre program, after the renowned Harlequin Players were retired.Under Laurie’s guidance the Riverdale Rising Stars and Rising Stars Junior program have been the recipients of numerous national youth theatre awards. As a result of these quality productions, the Y has been honored to host the last three east coast National Youth Theatre Awards ceremonies. She also received a 2009 NY State Assembly Award.
In addition to her work with the resident theatre companies, Laurie has developed a thriving theatre program for the Hastings school district – where those productions have garnered several Metropolitan Awards for excellence in High School theatre.
Prior to becoming the Director of Performing Arts, Laurie had a successful acting career on Broadway, National Tours and in numerous Regional Theater productions. She was seen on television guest starring on shows such as the popular sitcom Frasier.
Somehow during the early years of RRS, Laurie also began the east coast branch of the talent agency Schiowitz/Clay/Rose (now SCAW), where she was a talent agent for more than two years. She is most proud of her talented children, Emily and Alex. Emily is now a working actor who has already been seen on Broadway, Off-Broadway, as well as regional theatres. Alex is entering his Junior year at Point Park University on an Acting Scholarship where he is a BFA Musical Theater Major. Both children were integral members of the Rising Stars. Her husband, Bob, is an actor/writer/director with numerous Broadway and Television credits, who has been an important contributor to the Rising Stars program with his musical gifts, since the beginning.