Hello, this is Laura Giannarelli. I am a native Washingtonian, a summa cum laude graduate of Catholic University of America's Drama Department, and a longtime actor as well as a theater director in the nation’s capital.
I began narrating books for NLS fresh out of college in 1979. I narrated numerous popular series novels, including the Mrs. Murphy cat mysteries written by Rita Mae Brown with her cat Sneaky Pie, the Callahan Brothers romance series by JoAnn Ross, and Janette Oake’s Love Comes Softly series. I also narrated several children’s series such as Kay Thompson’s Eloise books and Lemony Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events novels. Of the mountains of books I’ve narrated, I’m particularly fond of A.S. Byatt’s The Children’s Book (DB70521) and Michael Holroyd’s A Strange Eventful History (DB69153). I have narrated more than 1,500 titles, including how-to books, biographies, serious nonfiction, classics, romances, bestsellers, poetry, and children’s books.
Among my more recent work, I narrated a gargantuan project, Uwe Johnson’s German masterpiece (in its English translation by Damion Searls) Anniversaries: From a Year in the Life of Gesine Cresspahl (DB 96276). It’s a four-part book that toggles between Germany from the rise of Hitler through the post-WWII era and the seminal year 1968 in New York City, where Gesine lives with her young daughter Marie. All told, the recorded book is 89 hours and 20 minutes long! Probably the longest book I’ve ever recorded.
My favorite authors include Laura Ingalls Wilder, Joyce Carol Oates, and A.S. Byatt. I have recorded for both the NLS studio and Potomac Talking Book Service. I am proud to have narrated the Little House on the Prairie series and also the scholarly Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography (DB80323), the well-researched book about Laura Ingalls Wilder’s life and books, edited by Pamela Hill Smith.
The American Foundation for the Blind awarded me the Alexander Scourby Narrator of the Year Award in 1990 for my narration of children’s literature. In addition to my narration work, I occasionally travel for NLS, conducting narration workshops for volunteer studios around the country. I truly enjoy meeting patrons and volunteers alike at these events.
My work away from the recording studio centers around the theater. I have acted now for decades. I toured with the Kennedy Center in a play for young people about Russian Jewish immigrants, Dreams in the Golden Country, and I have played Sister Aloysius in Doubt for Baltimore’s Everyman Theatre, Amalia in Motti Lerner’s Pangs of the Messiah at Theatre J, Elizabeth in the critically acclaimed Angel Street at Olney Theatre in Maryland, and many other roles with other companies. Currently the president of the Washington Stage Guild’s Board of Directors, I am a founding company member and have appeared in more than 40 plays since 1986. I also began directing about 10 years ago and enjoy being at the helm. Most recently, I directed The Good Doctor by Neil Simon and Anton Chekhov for the Stage Guild in 2022.
I am most happily married to Clay Teunis, my partner in life. We live in suburban Maryland.