A Fresh Start for Broadway and Television Star, Laura Osnes
By Amelia Rose Smith
For the first time, Laura Osnes is looking at songwriting as a way of healing. The two-time Tony Award nominee, singer, actor, newly found songwriter, amongst other things, is boldly embarking on this exciting chapter of her career. Laura’s love of storytelling sparked in the second grade when she landed the role of a munchkin in The Wizard of Oz. From there, the shows only got bigger, better, and more competitive.
In 2007, Laura heard the announcement of NBC’s reality talent competition, Grease: You’re the One that I Want! She immediately packed her bags and headed west. After countless audition rounds, Laura made it to the top six finalists with the opportunity to compete on the live television show. Week after week, she performed for America, hoping to win the role of Sandy on Broadway…and alas, she did!
Soon after, Laura joined fellow winner Max Crumm on Broadway, and together they played Sandy and Danny for a one-year term. Laura shares, “Since playing a munchkin, I dreamed of being on Broadway; finally getting to check that off my list was truly amazing.” As the years went on, Laura continued to perform in well-known productions. From stage to television and concert halls worldwide, Laura’s artistry catapulted her into leading roles and Tony Award nominations. She was living out her dream career, and everything, for a moment, was perfect.
In 2020 the pandemic that shook the world brought the entertainment industry to a detrimental halt changing everything for performers worldwide. Laura was no exception to this landslide; however, her year took an even steeper turn when tabloids set off a firestorm of reckless mischaracterizations. In a day, Broadway’s darling was “canceled.” Laura says, “The false narrative challenged every aspect of my career, friendships, and future. For as long as I can remember, I latched onto musical theatre, and a lot of my identity was found in theatre. When I no longer had that, I had to figure out who I was without it.”
Though it was a very trying time for Laura, she admits, “It revealed there is hope on the other side of difficulty.” Laura’s debut EP, On the Other Side, Part One, features five original songs chronicling this past year’s journey of standing up, starting over, building strength, and finding hope on the other side of cancellation. The journey for her has been transformative and cathartic.
Ultimately, this situation led Laura to leave the place she called home for fifteen years (New York) and move to Nashville with her husband, Nathan, for a fresh start.
Since relocating, Laura has found her voice again and is starring in Shiners Nashville at The Woolworth Theatre. Shiners is Nashville’s first-of-its-kind residency production. From the Creative Minds of Chuck Wicks and NappyTabs, Shiners introduces a show full of mind-blowing talent, electrifying music and a drink-till-you-drop moonshine party that is the envy of the South. Laura describes the show as “Cirque du Soleil meets Broadway musical.” She says, “It is a memorable Las Vegas-style show geared towards bachelorette trips, tourists and Nashville locals wanting to have a good time!”
Laura is continuing her songwriting journey, and Part Two of her album is set to release this spring. Follow Laura’s incredible journey on her website at lauraosnes.com, and her Instagram, @lauraosnes.