Bay Street Mourns Loss of Laurel Griggs

Laurel Griggs performs at Bay Street in Sag Harbor. Michael Heller photo

Bay Street Theater is expressing condolences to the family and friends of Laurel Griggs, a 13-year old student and Broadway actress who recently passed away from a massive asthma attack.

Laurel was an active student and a professional actor, having been in Broadway productions of “Once.” She made her Broadway debut at age 6 alongside Scarlett Johansson in “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.” She also was active in the kids theater education classes at Bay Street Theater for the past four years.

Her sudden death stunned her Broadway and Bay Street family as castmates remembered her as an “old soul” and “always happy,” while her Bay Street fellow campers were shocked and saddened as word finally got around. Broadway dimmed its light in honor of the promising teen actor, and she was remembered at a service at Chelsea’s Arte Café, which was attended by friends and entertainment figures.

“The news about Laurel was devastating,” says Suzanne Clifton Walsh, the Bay Street instructor who led Laurel’s Shakespeare class this past summer. “What an absolute tragedy. Actually, one of the first things that came to mind when I realized it was truly Laurel Griggs from my class, was that she was so unassuming. In her quiet, mild mannered way she assumed a leadership role by playing Titania, but at the same time she helped me direct her fairies! Those three younger girls looked up to Laurel and in turn Laurel was kind and patient.”

“Bay Street was blessed to have Laurel in our summer theater camps for the past few years,” says Allen O’Reilly Bay Street Theater Director of Education. “She made many friends and shared her talents with us and she will be forever missed by Bay Street Theater and all who knew her.”

Though Tracy Mitchell, Bay Street’s Executive Director, said that it is too soon to be in touch with the family about a remembrance of some kind, she added that “it is our hope to remember Laurel in a special way next summer, since she was a part of so much of what we were doing through our summer educational programs.

“But for now, we simply mourn her loss and the loss for her family.”B