Laura Beatty; GSOA Children’s Playhouse Music Director
Laura Beatty started at GSOA playhouse at the age of 11 in its premiere production of Annie. A Music Education graduate of Greensboro College, in 2013, she joined the GSOA playhouse staff as music director. Since then she has served as music director for over 13 productions at GSOA including West Side Story, Fiddler on the Roof, Beauty and the Beast, and most recently Willy Wonka Jr.. She has also music directed Into the Woods and The Addams Family for Cherryville Little Theatre. While most of her work is off-stage, she has been featured onstage in Pirates of Penzance, The Addams Family and Next to Normal. Laura has served as Co-Director for Summer Camps at GSOA in 2014, 2016, 2017, and 2018. During the week, Laura teaches elementary music in Hickory, NC.
Leslie Hodnett; GSOA Drama Instructor
Leslie Hodnett directed her first play forty years ago when she was fifteen. She was the youngest Director of musicals at the Little Theatre of Gastonia in 1978 and served there until 2015 as a past President of the Board of Directors, Member of the Board of Directors, Artistic Director, Costume Designer, Set Designer and Director of the Summer Workshops and LTG Youth Guild. Her favorite regular season shows were Children of Eden, Godspell, The Secret Garden and Narnia. She has directed at First Methodist Church Theatre and the Gaston School of the Arts and costumed for area high schools for the last thirty years. Her proudest achievement at LTG was the formation of the Youth Guild which produced 13 the Musical, You’re and Good Man Charlie Brown and Cats the Musical. Leslie was born in Alexandria, Virginia and has been a Gaston County resident since 1967. Leslie graduated from Gaston Day School and has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from UNC Chapel Hill. She worked as a Business Valuation Specialist at the Investment Banking Departments of Interstate Johnson Lane and Philpott Ball and Company for fifteen years before she retired to focus on her five children. As a long-time advocate of public schools, Leslie served as President of several area PTAs and was awarded the Gaston County Volunteer of the Year, the WSOC Nine Who Care Award and the Governor’s Volunteer Award for her work in the Accelerated Reading Program at Sherwood Elementary. Leslie lives in Gastonia with her husband Michael Hodnett of Hodnett Law, PA, a firm specializing in Family Law. Her youngest children are Kieran, a Senior at UNCCH majoring in Computer Science and German and Aynslee, who is a Sophomore with a Presidential Merit Scholarship at The Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY majoring in Painting.