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From an Instagram Message to a Collaboration on Broadway: Meet Lauren Stoyles

Huron University
Feb 15 2024

Every so often, a person will have an ‘aha’ moment – an unexpected point in time where an idea just seems to click for it to come to fruition. Lauren Stoyles, a fourth year History student at Huron University, experienced just that.

Since her second year of undergrad, Lauren has been actively involved in Huron’s Letterpress Studio – from learning about this antique printing space to creating prints of her own to teaching others about the press itself. For Lauren, the Letterpress Studio became a bridge between her academic pursuits and personal interests.

One night while scrolling on Instagram, she saw the launch of an account for a new Broadway show called Gutenberg! The Musical!. Right then and there, Lauren says she had her “eureka moment”. Stemming from Johannes Gutenberg’s introduction of the printing press, this new musical was about print history. Being a print historian, Lauren naturally wanted to see how she could get involved.

In true Gen Z fashion, Lauren decided to send the musical’s Instagram page a message about her involvement in Huron’s print studio and to express her interest in collaborating with the musical’s production team. The stars aligned and they agreed to collaborate to create a custom piece for the show.

Together they did an analysis of the production and materials in order for Lauren to develop a series of custom prints created in the Huron Letterpress Studio. These prints were proudly used for promotional material, a giveaway using signed prints, and were hung in the theatre’s dressing room.

“We have been working to build the Huron Letterpress Studio as a space for exploring the intersections of art and history and I could not imagine a more fun way to get to play with those concepts than producing a custom print for a Broadway show that describes itself as a work of ‘historical fiction.’ Lauren says.

After months of patiently waiting, Lauren finally had the opportunity to travel to New York City to see the show herself. As a cherry on top, she also got to meet a couple of the actors by the stage door after the show.

“From setting type in the studio to cheering in the audience at the James Earl Jones theatre and seeing an original Gutenberg Bible in New York, it is safe to say that I got my print history fix this semester!” Lauren adds.

It’s not every day that opportunities like this one arise – but Lauren’s experience shows that following your passions, taking chances, and putting yourself out there can unlock a world of possibilities just waiting to happen.


To learn more about Huron’s History Department, click here. You can also click here to see what’s happening in Huron’s Letterpress Studio.

Gutenberg! The Musical! completed its Broadway run on January 28, 2024. For more information about the musical, click here.