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LARA MORTON, Founder and Director of Handful Productions, has been working professionally in Applied and Educational Theatre for over twenty years. Passionate about the power of theatre to transform lives, she has a keen ability to identify and enhance students’ natural gifts while also strengthening their self-image, problem-solving abilities, communication skills, and relationship to the world around them. Previous engagements include Artistic Director/Playwright-in-Residence for the Yale-based Open End Theatre, Program Director for Young Audiences of CT (Arts for Learning), and Assistant Director of the Mental Health Association Players (Binghamton, NY), where her lifelong relationship with Improvisational Theatre began. She has directed numerous educational theatre projects through Lyme-Old Lyme High School, Madison Arts Barn, WiSP, Alliance Children’s Theatre, Milford Public Schools, New Haven Public Schools, the West Haven Council on the Arts and the West Haven Child Development Center. As a playwright, she has been honored with several professional staged readings in Manhattan (Epic Theatre Ensemble’s Sunshine Series of New Works, 2011) and New Jersey (Speranza Theatre’s Fall Festival, 2013), and her one-woman touring educational piece about CT State Heroine Prudence Crandall, The Prudence Crandall Story, has been gracing Connecticut school stages since 1998. Lara holds a Bachelor of Science in Theatre from the State University of New York at Oneonta.