Nashville children’s theater founder surprised on Good Morning America


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Founder of The Theater Bug, Cori Anne Laemmel, will not be forgetting Thursday morning anytime soon.

She was surprised live on Good Morning America during the Tell TJ series for her dedication to her students.

“I feel incredibly overwhelmed,” she said, recalling the moment her students came running into the room with signs and smiles. “All of these kids who just bring me so much joy.”

The kids say she’s brought joy to their lives too when they joined The Theater Bug.

Laemmel started the Nashville non-proft in 2011 and it now serves more than 350 students and their families every year.

She creates and writes original plays and musicals for the kids based on important social issues.

“The stories that they come together to make are a mirror image of the students that are on the stage,” said choreographer Bakari King.

His daughters are in the program, too.

“I just feel so welcomed and we’re just a big happy family,” said student Kari Belle King.

The Theater Bug family needs it’s own home. It currently operates at a church.

Laemmel was surprised live on air with a bunch of her students and a $20,000 donation from U.S. Bank to help with that effort.

Nashville woman gets surprise of a lifetime for devoting her time to kids

Country star Dierks Bently was there, too, and his kids are also part of the program.

It was a big show of support so Laemmel can make sure the show will go on for her students.

“I always tell my kids that if they can promise me to be kind and be safe and be happy, that’s all I want,” Laemmel said.

Adventures by Disney is also giving Laemmel a trip to New York City where she’ll get a VIP tour of Broadway.

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