Kristen is co-founder and artistic director of WAM Theatre, a theatre company based in the Berkshires of Massachusetts. WAM Theatre’s philanthropic mission is two-fold. First, to create professional theatrical events for everyone, focusing on women theatre artists and/or stories of women and girls. Second, to donate a portion of proceeds from those events to organizations that lift up the lives of women and girls worldwide. Kristen was inspired to take action and found WAM Theatre after reading the book Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn.
Since launching in 2010, WAM Theatre has donated more than $15,000 to seven nonprofit organizations that help women and girls, and provided paid work to more than 100 theatre artists. www.wamtheatre.com
About WAM Theatre:
Kristen’s WAM Theatre credits include directing the New England Premiere of “In Darfur” by Winter Miller (beneficiary: 13 Housemothers at the Mother of Peace Orphanage in Illovo, South Africa); Northeast Regional Premiere of “Emilie: La Marquise Du Chatelet Defends Her Life Tonight’ by Lauren Gunderson (beneficiary: The Rites of Passage and Empowerment for Girls Program); World Premiere of “The Old Mezzo’ by Susan Dworkin (beneficiary: Shout Out Loud Productions); ‘The Attic, The Pearls and Three Fine Girls’ by Martha Ross, Ann-Marie MacDonald, Jennifer Brewin, Alisa Palmer and Leah Cherniak (beneficiary: Berkshire United Way Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative); ‘Melancholy Play’ by Sarah Ruhl (beneficiary: Women’s Fund of Western MA) and ‘The Last Standing Protestor’ by Lydia Styk for ‘A WAM Welcome’ (beneficiary: Women for Women International).
She is a participant of the Michael Langham Workshop for Classical Direction at the Stratford Festival of Canada, where she will assistant direct the 2015 production of “The Physicists”. Additional directing credits include “The Whale” (Adirondack Theatre Festival), “10×10 Festival” (Barrington Stage Company, 2013/2014), “The Cabbage Patch” (Majestic Theatre), “Petticoats of Steel”(Capital Repertory Theatre). Kristen has also directed at Sienna College, Emerson College andCohoes Music Hall. Selected assistant directing: 42nd Street (Stratford Festival of Canada) Two Men of Florence (Huntington Theatre) Sleuth, Absurd Person Singular (Barrington Stage Company).
As an theatre educator, Kristen has been both an Artist in Residence and Teaching Excellence Fellow at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. She is a freelance artist for ISTA (International Schools Theatre Association), an association devoted to international youth theatre education who hold events and festivals worldwide where young people, teachers and artists come together to explore theatre through intense collaboration. For ISTA, she has travelled to places such as China, Thailand, India, Berlin, London, Portugal and Paris. Kristen worked at the International School of Brussels in Brussels, Belgium, where she taught middle and high school theatre arts, including IB Theatre (and is a current IB examiner), coached Speech and Debate and directed productions such as Tom Stoppard’s ‘The Real Inspector Hound’ and Anton Chekhov’s ‘The Sneeze’. She has also worked at Emerson College in Boston, MA as adjunct faculty.
As an actor she has worked with Shakespeare-by-the-Sea and Repercussion Theatre, playing such roles as ‘Helena’ in ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ and ‘Rosalind’ in ‘As You Like It’ by William Shakespeare. She also worked in various regional Canadian theatres, such as the Neptune Theatre, the Sudbury Theatre Centre and the Tarragon Theatre in Toronto, where she was part of the world premiere of Jason Sherman’s ‘An Acre of Time’. She has also performed for Belgian audiences as ‘Claire’ in ‘Proof’ by David Auburn and as ‘Beatrice’ in ‘A View From the Bridge’ by Arthur Miller (American Theatre Company). For American audiences, she has played ‘Molly’ in ‘Molly Sweeney by Brian Friel for Theatre Voices in Albany, NY, and ‘Dotty Otley’ in ‘Noises Off’ by Michael Frayn at the Cohoes Music Hall in Cohoes, NY.
Kristen has a Masters in Theatre Education from Emerson College, where she received the Presidential Fellowship, a Bachelor of Arts (Theatre Performance) from Dalhousie University, and a Bachelor of Education (Artist in the Community) from Queen’s University.
She lives in Lee, MA with her husband.