Update: MetroStage is hosting a remembrance of Kevin Laughan on Monday March 11, starting at 7:30pm at MetroStage, 1401 N. Royal Street, Alexandria, VA. Everyone is invited to attend. A program is being planned. If you would like to share a song or remembrance, please email Carolyn Griffin.
The Washington theatre community is in shock today as news is spreading that Kevin Laughon, performer and multi-talented theatre technician, left a message on Facebook early this morning expressing deep despair, said goodbye, and killed himself. Laughon was 49. DC Theatre Scene has confirmed his death with the Prince William County (VA) Police Department.
“He was a brilliant artist.” Elliot Lanes, who described himself as a longtime booth partner with Laughon at Theater J, said in a phone call today. “He could do costumes, set construction, painting, graphics, stage management…. Not many people can do all of that. He could, though, and was brilliant at it.”
A few years ago, Lanes has updated the closeup interview he wrote a few years ago: Theatre Life with Kevin Laughon for BroadwayWorld.
Many audience members will remember Kevin Laughon from his 6 years at MetroStage. He was the gracious greeter, the charming front of house manager who, once the show began, could be seen slipping off to run lights or sound or help backstage. “We are all heartbroken,” Carolyn Griffin, Artistic Director of MetroStage said. “I’ve been getting calls today from people all over the country who had connections to Kevin and read his post on Facebook this morning. I wish Kevin could have felt how many people cared for him.”
But, for anyone contemplating suicide, the world is a hellish and isolated place. Amy Austin of theatreWashington reminds members of the community that the Taking Care of Our Own Fund is there to help those suffering from depression.
Our deep condolences to colleagues, friends and family of Kevin Laughon.
If you are in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741.
Thank you for fixing the caption.
Jennifer Jones Paradis says
I am so very sorry this has happened to you and your family. Know that the theater community is grieving too… may his memory be a blessing to us all.
Mike Laughon says
I am Kevin’s Dad and I want to thank all of you for your kind comments about Kevin. I too miss him greatly.
Stephen R. Hayes says
I am so sad. I believe I cast Kevin in his first “professional” production, “Show Boat” at the Lazy Susan Dinner Theatre in 1987. After that he was a whirlwind, singing, dancing, propping, teching. He loved it all….he did it all without a shrug. I am heartbroken that he chose this route, but he was always very private. I think I’m the first guy who ever kissed him…it was fleeting, but heartfelt. So I’ll send one more. Y’know….he REALLY missed his Mom so maybe that’s where Foofie truly needed to be. I know he’s in her arms.
This is very sad, but this is a horribly insensitive headline. It’s one thing to talk about the nature of such a tragic death in the story but to sensationalize it with a headline is extremely disrespectful to his family and all of those who have had a love one succumb to this disease.
Please amend the caption to say,”Died by suicide.” Thank you
Sybil W. Puruczky says
Our sincerest condolences to Kevin’s family. He was a shining star whose talents and goodness knew no bounds. He danced with our daughter, Taylor, in the West End’s production of Crazy for You and we will always remember his goodness and light.
Godspeed, Kevin. You will be sorely missed.