President and Artistic Director, SALT Performing Arts
Lauren McComas always loved Broadway and acting as a kid, discovering that theater “had a really awesome ability” to create a sense of community and instill confidence. “When people feel confident, they feel emboldened to use their strength and abilities for others,” she says.
But McComas also wanted to make a bigger impact as an adult. So she took up psychology and went on to work in social services and for nonprofits. Then came an idea to combine her passions, and SALT Performing Arts was born in 2013. “I wanted to create a theater company that was focused on being positive, wholesome and uplifting,” says McComas.
For her first year, McComas hoped to fill 20 spots in her summer camps. She wound up tripling that number—and parents were clamoring for more. Today, the Chester Springs-based theater company offers year-round programming, including full-day summer camps and main-stage productions for children and adults. It’s had over 6,000 participants over the past five years.
Now, McComas is working toward launching two special-needs productions a year. And down the road, she hopes to have a preschool for performing arts and an anti-bullying program in elementary schools. “I want people to be proud of who they were made to be,” she says.