Meet the talent agent who opened a performing arts school in Madison

The Tennessee Valley School 4 Performing Arts is shining a light on north Alabama’s stars

MADISON, Ala. (TENNESSEE VALLEY LIVING) - The days of stars having to live in New York or California are long gone. Alabama is home to many stars, musician Brittany Howard, actress Laverne Cox, film producer Daniel Scheinert.

Instead of southern natives fleeing to different cities around the country to make connections and make it big, a new performing arts school is bringing more opportunities to Alabama.

Tennessee Valley School for Performing Arts is now open in Madison and offers classes for kids, teenagers and adults. Owner Lauren Willaims says it’s a space for people to hone their craft in acting, writing, directing, production, voice work and much more.

If anyone knows how to point a star in the right direction, it’s Lauren. She grew up in the theater world and later began a career working with talent agencies representing award-winning performers like Olivia Colman, Aunjanue Ellis, Jane Curtin, Corey Hawkins and many more. She has also worked as a producer developing shows for Apple and 20th Century Fox.

Now, she’s back in north Alabama to bring her skills to those with dreams.

Lauren emphasizes how this performance school isn’t just for those who want to be on stage.

“It’s not just about being on the stage, it’s the stage of life,” she said. “It’s not just about doing it professionally. If you want to public speak, if you have a presentation in class, if you go on a job interview... those are all kinds of things that relate to the performing arts.”

Right now, Lauren offers private coaching and small group classes in her studio.

You can sign up for classes and learn more at

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Anna Mahan

Anna Mahan

Anna Mahan joined the WAFF 48 News team in August 2020. She left WAFF in March 2023.