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Keen Laura was an actress born in England in 1820. Laura has passion for the stage as a young girl although it was later in London when she actually had “her first appearances” at the Lyceum; a theatre run by Madame Vestris (Bryan 1997). According to William (1906), Laura was successful in comedy and during her performance and it was in October 1851 when she performed as “Pauline in Bulwer's "Lady of Lyons,"” that she achieved tremendous success. Laura’s debut performance in the United States came in 1852, when she first appeared at the New Yorks Wallack's theatre and henceforth performed in countless number of shows. In spite of Laura’s commitments at the stage, she got married in 1844 to Henry Wellington Taylor by whom she gave birth to two children named Clara Stella and Emma Elija before breaking up with him. Nevertheless, Laura got married to the second husband named John Lutz. Laura died in 1873 from tuberculosis.

Laura’s contribution to burlesque shows

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Throughout the mid of 19th century, the American theaters experience immense influence from the theatres in London. Plays done inclined on the English classical custom, with Shakespeare's plays and other Standard English dramas continuing to be popular. During the 20th century, the American burlesque was associated with a variety show in which striptease were it chief attractor. However, Laura and other actors help change the structure as they adapted song and dances done by female actors which were followed with comedy from male comedians. Laura is believed to have brought a more realistic acting into burlesque as with more consistent expression of character. Roles in the plays were to a greater extent often drawn from present-day social life, such as marriage and domestic issues and issues of social class and social problems and thus worn the hearts of many middle class women. Burlesque offered a way of challenging the way issues were looked upon in the society (Bryan 1997).

Laura life as a business woman

Through struggle and hard work, Laura remained optimistic on and off the theatre. In fact, Laura paid Emma Brougham to learn from Brougham due to her lack of skills and preparation. Laura’s return from Australia and California to New York saw her starting a new a playhouse that became a serious rivals to the Wallack’s, a playhouse in New York (Bryan 1997). Laura together with together with Edward A. Sothern as Lord Dundreary and. Joseph Jefferson as Asa Trenchard purchased “Our American Cousin,” which performed for many times. Laura also formed an alliance by with man called John Lutz, where she took the Charles Street Theatre and established history as the first woman to handle a theatre in. On the beginning of the Civil War, Laura faced financial problems and she abandoned her theatre and started a travelling theatre (Creahan 1897).


Laura is believed to one of the successful actress, as well as an admirable manager. Despite her abandoning her theater, Laura continued to head her traveling company. Although Laura, did perform on when Lincoln as assassinated, she will also be remembered more for being a skilled actress as well as a woman theatre manager in the American theatre history.

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