Actress, Improviser, Writer

Laura Irish 08.JPG

Boldness be my friend…”
- William shakespeare

Laura Irish is an award-winning actress (stage, screen, commercial), improviser and writer originally from Illinois. She holds a BA in Theatre and a Masters in Arts Management. Laura studied at The Stella Adler Studio of Acting in NYC in 2013 and she also studied Anne Bogart’s Viewpoints and the Suzuki Method of Actor’s Training for 6 years through Body in Space Theatre Company in New Zealand. She has been an improviser since 2005 and has studied over the past decade with industry greats such as David Razowsky, Patti Stiles, Joe Bill, Jason Geary and Daniel Allan. Laura is the current Artistic Director of The People’s Republic of Improv and has taught improv and acting for the past several years. Laura typically works between the USA and New Zealand but has also worked in Australia and South Korea.

She is trained in a variety of other acting methods as well: Stanislavski, Meisner and Screen Performance . Stage credits include Lady Macbeth (Macbeth), Kathleen Scott (Terra Nova), Myrrha and various characters (Metamorphoses), Cecily (The Importance of Being Ernest), Milady de Winter (The Three Musketeers), numerous improv shows locally, nationally and abroad, Bonnie Parker (Hot Chocolate & The Trail’s End), Puck (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), Viola (Twelfth Night) and the award-nominated part of Medea (Medea, solo show written/adapted by Laura Irish). 

 She has also been nominated for Best Actress of the HP48 Hour Film Festival National competition for three consecutive years and again in 2019 (4x total), having won the regional awards in Christchurch two of those years. With her production/writing team also winning Best Film three consecutive years and winning First Runner Up in 2019 for their 1980s Action Spoof film, DOC FORCE: Death Island. 

Laura has commercial credits for New Zealand Post, Wither Hills Winery and Gather & Hunt. 

She has been in one feature film (Bowie, directed by Amanda Phillips) as a supporting role and has been the Lead in 8 short films, one web series and was a Guest Star (Marina Colpan) on NZ’s longest running soap opera, Shortland Street in 2016. 

Her favourite was when she won Best Actress for playing the Demon in the short film, The Ex. She is also a major lover of Shakespeare having professionally played Lady Macbeth, Viola, Emilia and Puck. Laura most recently just created a podcast, Pop Culture Parental Guidance, with fellow improviser, Jonathan Moffatt. 

When she isn’t on screen or stage, she writes! And is currently working on writing an episodic based on her childhood growing up in 90s evangelical Christian America with her colleague, author Gina Foley.

Laura also was a founding member and the Artistic Director of the Nelson Fringe Festival and Ghost Light Theatre. In 2019, Laura was the finalist for the Eelco Boswijk Civic Award for being a “Changemaker” in her community of Nelson, New Zealand for enhancing the city centre by creating an intimate fringe theatre on Bridge Street.

Laura is a relationship builder, a collaborator and has a passion and love for the craft of storytelling. She also teaches vulnerability, empathy and storytelling to help improve creativity and relationships in corporate cultures Commenting on how petite she is at 5’1, her 4 year old daughter stated, “I think you didn’t grow your body big enough because you were too busy growing your heart big.”

Laura’s Actor’s Access

Visit Laura’s YouTube channel to see her weekly monologue challenge AND her showreel…
Or email her at