Lora Lee Gayer knows how to make an entrance. The former Naples resident recently made her Broadway debut as Young Sally opposite Bernadette Peters in The Kennedy Center’s new staging of James Goldman and Stephen Sondheim’s Tony Award-winning musical Follies.
Gayer knew she was destined for the Great White Way. “I started theater at a very young age,” she says. “I fell in love with it when my dad took me to see my first Broadway show at the age of three.”
The family moved to Naples in 1999 where Gayer trained in both theater and voice. She successfully auditioned for the Naples Philharmonic Youth Chorale and participated for several years. Through the Phil’s chorale director, James Cochran, Gayer was introduced to Opera Naples General and Artistic Director Steffanie Pearce.“I owe my voice to her,” Gayer says.
At 15, Gayer moved to Michigan to attend the Interlochen Arts Academy, where she studied voice and theater. “I then went on to Carnegie Mellon University,” Gayer says. “After graduating in 2010 with a degree in musical theater, I moved to New York City, started auditioning, and here I am.”
Since the close of Follies in January, Gayer has several opportunities in the works. “It has been the most wonderful journey,” Gayer says. “I want to do everything—theater, film and television. I hope to always being doing projects I am passionate about and that challenge my brain and body.”