Today we’d like to introduce you to Laura Coover, Laura Campbell and Whitney Anderson.
Dynamo Studio was founded on the belief in the power of story to heal, to connect, and to drive positive social change. Co-founders Whitney Anderson, Laura Campbell, and Laura Coover bonded over a common desire for personal artistic freedoms, along with a shared response to recent socio-political events that have brought into focus fundamental faults that are deeply woven into the fabric of our culture.
Dynamo is a means of applying ourselves as artists towards creating a better world by practicing and promoting empathy within ourselves and our community.
Their first project, Extremities by William Mastrosimone, takes a bold and unflinching look at the realities of sexual violence. The play, published in 1978, poses timely questions about the social forces that enable gender-based violence and perpetuate a culture of misogyny.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Our greatest challenge has been managing self-care. The three of us co-founders are so personally invested in our mission, and in delivering a powerful experience for our audiences, that we have difficulty finding time to do what we need to do to sustain ourselves. Simple things like sleeping and eating and breathing.
Pivoting from producer to actress has been the most challenging aspect. The subject matter of our first project is incredibly dark and emotionally taxing, so learning to let go of the practical, logistical challenges of production so we can be fully present and invested as artists, and then letting go of the art, and getting back to business is something we’re still trying to figure out.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Dynamo Studio story. Tell us more about the business.
What sets us apart is our commitment to driving positive social change.
We tackle head-on the provocative, often polarizing issues that are front and center in the public consciousness right now. Our intention is to challenge our audiences, and ourselves, to discover and acknowledge assumptions and biases by experiencing reality through a new lens.
Each project is partnered with a local non-profit for whom we raise awareness and provide financial support. (Our current production, Extremities, is dedicating a portion of its box office proceeds to A Window Between Worlds, an organization that supports survivors of trauma through art programs.)
Performances are followed by meaningful conversation with thought leaders in our community to promote deeper engagement with the subject matter.
Our Post-Show Discussion Series for Extremities includes:
Chantal Cousineau – Canadian actress and activist who used her platform to catalyze the #MeToo movement around the actions of James Toback. Chantal testified on behalf of her union at a hearing of the state Senate Judiciary Committee in support of California Senate Bill 224 and continues to fight for better treatment for survivors of workplace sexual assault.
Hope Hall – Documentary filmmaker, cinematographer, and photographer. Her cinematography work can be seen in dozens of independent feature documentaries, including three years of work on Beyond Conviction, a feature documentary on mediation between victim and perpetrator in Pennsylvania prisons. From May 2011 onward, she was President Obama’s Principal Videographer at the White House in the Office of Digital Strategy, with both the position and the office being a creation of this President.
Camilla Borel-Rinkes – Co-founder of BeFrank, a company that creates thought-provoking videos that ask men to answer taboo questions. Their first video “Porn or #MeToo” asked men to read different storylines and then guess whether the situation was from a pornography script or a #MeToo story. It went viral appearing in the Huffington Post, The Daily Mail and Cosmopolitan.
Katharine Bainbridge – Certified Jungian Analyst, licensed psychotherapist, Somatic Experiencing and certified Energy Balancing Therapist. She has taught Jungian Psychology at The New Center for Psychoanalysis and is on the teaching faculty of the C.G. Jung Institute in Los Angeles. Katharine teaches, and leads retreats and workshops all over the country, speaking on the topics of women’s psychological health, creativity, and Buddhism/meditation.
Tina Alexis Allen – Writer/director/actress/playwright/GLAAD Award Nominee who has put her difficult story of surviving abuse and living with secrets out into the world through her one-woman show “Secrets of a Holy Father” and her new book “Hiding Out: A Memoir of Drugs, Deception and Double Lives”. Tina is also the fearless director of the play ‘Extremities’.
We hope you’ll join the conversation.
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
We experienced luck in the synchronicity of us three co-founders finding each other at this crucial time in history. Our belief systems, our aspirations, both artistically & philanthropically, aligned perfectly behind a vital mission in response to the #metoo #timesup movements.
One of our luckiest catches has been our powerhouse director Tina Alexis Allen, (Author, HIDING OUT: A Memoir of Drugs, Deception, and Double Lives; Actress, OUTSIDERS, GLAAD Award Nominee; co-founder Gina Raphaela Jewelry’s NO MORE VIOLENCE collection).
She chose to join our team because:
“Transformational stories are what I’m most interested in. Stories where we as artists have the opportunity to take something ugly, dark, uncomfortable and shameful and turn it upside down, examine it from many angles and then share with an audience. Extremities is all that – challenging, timely and containing the potential to transform anyone who experiences it.”
We continue to grow a community of powerful, inspiring women, and look forward to what we can create together to drive positive social change.
And to be frank, we are incredibly lucky to be white women born into comfortable environments which enabled us to reach for our creative dreams and try to do some good in the process.
- General Admission – $25
- 25% DISCOUNT for VoyageLA readers with code: voyagela
Jay Lee, Jill Awbrey