Kim Krane is a co-founder of Mastodon Theatre Company, a production company dedicated to fostering the work of emerging artists. With Mastodon, she recently produced Pint Size Plays, an evening that included nine new works with a company of 22 writers, directors and actors. NY credits include: Emily Weldon in Butcher (Harold Clurman Lab Theatre), Simone in Elemeno Pea (Access Theatre), The Lost Girl in The Mirror Show (NY Fringe) and Karin in Die Kleinen (Access Theatre). She works for New York Shakespeare Exchange with ShakesBEER as an actor, director and producer, and has performed such roles as Juliet, Ophelia, Beatrice, Helena and more during her time with them. She has performed with Amios’ Shotz at the Kraine Theatre and Off-Broadway on Theatre Row as part of Athena Writes with Athena Theatre. Favorite regional credits include: Virginia Galilei in The Life of Galileo (Cleveland Play House), Anna in A Bright New Boise (DOBAMA Theatre) and Alice in Closer (Knockabout Theatre). Kim is a graduate of the Case Western Reserve/Cleveland Play House MFA Acting program. www.kimkrane.com
You’ll be performing in the upcoming world-premiere production of Keep, which we are co-producing with Mastodon Theatre Company. How are rehearsals going? Can you tell us a little bit about the character you’ll be playing, and your favorite thing about this role? (No spoilers!)
Naomi is the youngest sister and she's a hoarder, though I don't think she would call herself that. She’s very different from me, so finding a way into understanding how she operates has been incredibly challenging. It's one of those roles that stretches your understanding of humanity. She's unique, smart and feels misunderstood.
Rehearsals have been great! To me, the set is the fifth character of the play and we've been only imagining it so far, so I cannot wait to get on the stage and really discover Naomi's space.
This is a play that deals with – among other things – hoarding belongings. What’s one thing that you really should release from your own personal stash of objects?
Clothes! I have too many. I'm always waiting for them to come back in style. Also, sentimental possessions like old programs, ticket stubs, things that remind me of people I love or a great time. I recently watched one of my best friends originate a role on Broadway and couldn't bring myself to throw away the ticket as I was cleaning my room, just today. And there's more where that comes from. Old scripts, sides...I have so many. Once this show closes, I'm going to do a major purge!
When did you know that you wanted to be an actor? How did you get started?
Kalamazoo has a large community theater scene that really fosters their young artists. I went through a stretch going into my senior year of consistently being in shows and when it came to an end and the next show wasn't on the horizon I was devastated. I realized then that if something fulfilled me that much, it was worth pursuing, against the odds.
Who or what do you consider to have been your biggest creative inﬂuences to date?
So many. Everyone I meet, what I read, what I see, my friends, my family. I have had so many amazing teachers along the way. Mark Liermann was my directing professor at Western Michigan University and his passion for story telling is so effusive. He has an ability to make you feel like what we are doing has the capacity to change the world. It was actually talking about his class that was the first time Jenna, Madison (the co-founders of Mastodon, also performing in Keep) and I talked about producing our own work.
Ross Williams is the artistic director and founder of New York Shakespeare Exchange and he was incredibly helpful when we started Mastodon and continues to be a huge support. Sarah Nedwek started a company called Partly Cloudy People, and early in my time living here I saw a production she had produced and starred in and the work was so high caliber. I couldn't believe what she had put up in New York City. It seemed impossible. These examples of people generating work (and their are many more) helped inspire the creation of Mastodon.
We’d love for our audience to get to know your work a little more. Could you tell us a little bit about your last project?
Recently I went to Bryan, Texas with New York Shakespeare Exchange to perform with ShakesBEER, NYC's original Shakespearean pub crawl. I have been producing and performing with ShakesBEER for the past two years, it's very close to my heart, so it was wonderful to share it with a different part of the country! I also recently filmed Sonnet 110 for The Sonnet Project, another facet of New York Shakespeare Exchange.
I also regularly perform with Amios' Shotz, which is a monthly pressure cooker that presents six new shorts plays the first Monday of every month at The Kraine Theater. Recently they expanded four of the short pieces from Shotz and a different one each Monday of March. I was lucky enough to be in "The Loneliest Number" by Lizzie Vieh under the direction of Maria Dizzia. It was one of those 'pinch me' moments. (I'm a huge, huge Sarah Ruhl fan.)
Are you working on any additional projects at the moment? Is it something you can tell us about?
Besides Shotz and ShakesBEER nothing is currently on the horizon, my focus has been on this role! Once we get Keep up and running, we will have to decide what Mastodon's next move is. We've got a couple ideas we're tossing around, but nothing is finalized. Once we know, we'll share it with you all. Stay tuned!
Keep begins previews at The Barrow Group Theatre on April 7 and runs through April 30. Get your tickets here.