Lauren Ward (born June 19, 1970) is an American singer and actress. She has appeared in Broadway, Off-Broadway and West End musicals and plays. Ward originated the role of Miss Honey in the original Stratford-Upon-Avon, West End and Broadway productions of the musical Matilda, and has been nominated for the Tony Award, Best Featured Actress in a Musical for her performance.
Ward was born in Lincoln, Nebraska and grew up in Kansas City, Missouri, the daughter of Denis Ward (1941-1986), a professor of geo-sciences at UMKC, and Holly Ward (née Harvick, 1941-2005). She graduated from Hickman Mills High School in 1988 and received her B.F.A from University of North Carolina School of the Arts. She is married to British stage director Matthew Warchus, with whom she has three children.
Ward made her Broadway debut in the 1994 revival of Carousel as Jenny Sanborn and Heavenly Friend. She appeared in the musical 1776 in 1997 as Martha Jefferson. She appeared in the 2001 revival of Follies as Young Sally, where she met her future husband, director Matthew Warchus.
In 2010, Ward originated the role of Miss Honey in the new musical Matilda, based on the book Matilda by Roald Dahl in the Royal Shakespeare Company's production at Stratford-upon-Avon. Ward then played this role in the West End starting in October 2011 and on Broadway in 2013. For this role, Ward was nominated for the 2013 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical.
In 1995 she played the dual roles of Jennie/Daisy in the musical Jack's Holiday. In 1997 Ward originated the role of Violet Karl in the musical Violet, for which she was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Musical. In 1999 she played Arlene Murphy in the musical Exactly Like You. In 2000, Ward played the role of Helen in Stephen Sondheim's Saturday Night at the Second Stage Theatre. In 2001 she appeared in the Manhattan Theatre Club production of the musical Time and Again as Emily.
Ward has performed in several venues in London: in the West End, with the Royal Shakespeare Company and elsewhere. Some of these productions include: The Sound of Music as the Baroness (London Palladium, 2006);The Philadelphia Story at The Old Vic as Elizabeth Imbrie (2005);A Midsummer Night's Dream at Regents Park; and, with the Lost Musicals series, Dubarry Was A Lady (2001) and Johnny Johnson.
Film and Television
- "Questions and Answers" thewriteteachers.com, March 1, 2013
- "Cara Joy David/Lauren Ward 'Matilda' Interview" huffingtonpost.com, April 23, 2013
- " 'Carousel' at Vivian Beaumont Theater" Archived 2013-05-02 at the Wayback Machine. playbillvault.com, accessed May 12, 2013
- Haun, Harry and Lefkowitz, David. "Brent Spiner B'way '1776' Extends to Nov. 9" Playbill, August 21, 1997
- " 'Follies' 2001 Broadway Revival" sondheimguide.com, accessed May 12, 2013
- "Matthew Warchus. Doctor of Letters" bristol.ac.uk, February 16, 2010
- Shenton, Mark. " 'Matilda — The Musical' Opens Officially at West End's Cambridge Theatre Nov. 24" Archived 2011-12-02 at the Wayback Machine. Playbill, November 24, 2011
- "Tony Awards 2013 nominees: Complete list". Los Angeles Times. April 30, 2013. Retrieved 2013-04-30.
- "Drama Desk Picks Performers, Presenters & Venue, May 18" Archived 2014-07-14 at the Wayback Machine. Playbill, May 13, 1997
- Simonson, Robert. "McGrath Ward Head Cast of Cy Colemans 'Exactly Like You' at York March 31" Playbill, March 10, 1999
- "'Saturday Night. 2000 Second Stage Production" sondheimguide.com, accessed May 12, 2013
- Sommer, Elyse. "A CurtainUp Review, 'Time and Again' " curtainup.com, February 11, 2001
- "Lauren Ward" broadwayworld.com
- Loveridge, Lizzie. "A CurtainUp London Review. 'The Sound of Music' " curtainup.com, November 16, 2006
- Billington, Michael. "Theatre. 'The Philadelphia Story'" The Guardian, May 11, 2005
- Paddock, Terri. "Lost Musicals Unearths Cole Porter's 'Dubarry' " whatsonstage.com, October 25, 2001
- "Lauren Ward Biography" Official Site, accessed May 12, 2013