I believe that everyone can create music and that everyone can learn to expand the scope of the music they make. I believe in teaching a combination of structure, skill and creative risk-taking. I believe in meeting students where there are, and supporting them as they grow.
Songwriter, performer, music director and composer Diana Lawrence makes a habit of the unexpected, working across genres and disciplines to create unique musical points of view. As a music director, pianist and improviser, Diana has worked with The Second City, the Goodman Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, and the Uptown Poetry Slam, one of the premiere spoken-word events in the country. Diana was commissioned to write original music for Steppenwolf Theatre’s 2016 premiere of Tracy Lett’s Mary Page Marlowe, and this season, commissions come from Chicago Tap Theatre and North Shore Choral Society. Her musical, Mill Girls, was granted a 2018/19 Incubator workshop at the O’Neill Theatre Center. DIana & the DIshes, her original music project, has shared the stage with artists such as Nellie McKay and Becca Stevens, and the band’s recent releases were produced by Rob Kleiner (Sia, Andra Day).
Diana’s work is grounded in her belief that music should empower under-represented voices, especially those of young people. From 2014-2019, she was a teaching artist with Storycatchers Theatre, an organization that partners with incarcerated youth to tell their stories through original musical theatre. As a member of the cross-genre vocal trio, Artemisia, Diana creates and performs concerts and workshops that empower the voices of girls and women.