Stories from the Winding Road: Interviews with Classmates

21 March 2023

Our classmates came to Carleton from many different places and backgrounds, and the stories of their life experiences over the years since then are rich and varied. In this interview with Mercy Russell ’74, Laurie McCants ’74 tells us the story of a career that began in community theater and spanned the globe.

Many of you will remember Laurie from her Carleton theater performances. She began her theater career by following a renowned acting coach, Alvina Krause, to her retirement home in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, with classmates from Northwestern’s MFA in Acting program. They stayed and created an ensemble theater from which Laurie recently retired as an emeritus member.

Her story is one of the magical mix of vision and grit shared in the ensemble, local cultural and financial benefactors and fertile soil in a welcoming community. The innate passions and talents of the ensemble opened doors to profound exchanges with dramatic artists in Sub-Saharan Africa and around native cultures around the globe.

Mercy has enjoyed interviewing interesting people for many years through her work as a psychotherapist and leadership consultant, helping others to enhance their personal and professional well-being. See the conversation between Laurie and Mercy below.

If you know of other classmates who might like to share their stories, let us know at

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