Romona's Kids: Shaker Heights teen looks beyond college to Broadway

Lauryn teaches Romona Robinson some moves! (Source: WOIO)
Lauryn teaches Romona Robinson some moves! (Source: WOIO)

SHAKER HEIGHTS, OH (WOIO) - Local high school seniors will be gearing up to apply to colleges soon, but one teen is looking even further ahead to Broadway! Tonight's Romona's Kid is from Shaker Heights.

At age 16, Lauryn Alexandria Hobbs just starred as Dorothy in The Wiz at Cleveland's historic Karamu House.

"I just knew I had to get over to Karamu. I had to be able to do a show there before I left for college. So it was a great experience," said Lauryn.

She's known as a "triple threat," able to act, sing and dance.

"I will be in a choir at school and I can't just sing, I have to act the song," Lauryn explained.

Mom, Gina, knew Lauryn would be a singer even before she was 1 year old.

"She was in her crib and I just started singing a couple notes and she started matching my notes," recalled Gina.

Lauryn is a third generation opera singer, including her mother and her great-great aunt, who performed at Carnegie Hall.

Lauryn has won many awards, including "Best Performer" and "Best Soloist" for a classical piece called My Joe at regional show choir competitions. She also won the 2015 June Marie Harney Award for "Outstanding Achievement in the Performing Arts" from the Shaker Schools Foundation. Plus, Lauryn won an Honorable Mention in Spoken and Musical Theatre from the National Young Arts Foundation.

"There have been times when she has rehearsed seven days a week, or not gotten home from training, rehearsals or performances until 1 a.m., yet she still manages to maintain a 3.5 GPA," said Gina.

"She's a spark when she's on stage," said Bebe Weinberg Katz, choreographer at Hathaway Brown Theatre Institute, where Lauryn has played many coveted roles, including Diana in A Chorus Line. "I think at her age, and with the amount of skills and talent she has, and the drive that she has, there's pretty much no limit."

"There's very little doubt in my mind that in a few years, we'll be seeing Lauryn on the Broadway stage and probably paying $140 to $150 a ticket to see her," said Fred Sternfeld, HBTI director.

Lauryn will travel to Philadelphia in August to participate in the Broadway Dreams summer intensive, where she will train with Broadway actors.

A scholarship fund has been set up to assist Lauryn with her trip and help her go to college, where she plans to major in drama and musical theatre.

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