The Board of Directors at Oddfellows Playhouse Youth Theater are delighted to announce that Kristen Palmer has been named the theater’s new Artistic Director, joining Executive Director Matthew J. Pugliese in steering the 38 year old youth arts organization.
“We are glad to welcome Kristen to Oddfellows, into this important role. We share a vision for extending the theater arts to young people and underserved audiences, and I’m excited to begin working with Kristen to develop Oddfellows’ presence in our community”, said Executive Director Matt Pugliese.
Kristen Palmer brings with her twenty years of theater making and educational experience to Oddfellows Playhouse.
“I am tremendously excited and honored to begin as Artistic Director of Oddfellows Theatre. This youth theatre has expanded and contributed to so many lives over the years and engaged young people and adults in the art and practice of theatre. I strive to create highly aesthetic, richly engaging experiences and with Oddfellows I am joining an organization with a matching commitment to theatre and to the community”, said Palmer.
While a member of Printer’s Devil Theater in Seattle, Palmer produced, directed and wrote new works. In New York City she took part in the Women’s Project Theatre Lab, the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab and the Dramatists Guild Fellows Program and continues to be an associate artist of New Georges. Kristen received a Jerome Fellowship at the Playwrights’ Center of Minneapolis, a Connecticut State Individual Artist Grant from the Commission of Culture and Tourism and was Playwright-in-Residence at the William Inge Center for the Arts. She has designed and implemented arts programs engaging students in their own creative processes with Dreamyard Drama Project, Brooklyn Free School, the Creative Arts Team, and many other organizations throughout the country. She has developed and led arts education programs and directed productions with early childhood through college students, special needs populations, English language learners, incarcerated youth and underserved communities in the South Bronx, Brooklyn and D.C.
Kristen received her Bachelors from Bretton Hall in Yorkshire, England studying Dramatic Arts with a focus on creating original work and using drama in community and educational contexts. She holds an MA from NYU in the Gallatin School of Individualized Study with concentrations in education and theatre and an MFA from Hunter College in Playwriting where she studied under Tina Howe. Her plays have been produced and developed throughout the country.
“We’re delighted to have Kristen with us. Her combination of skills as an arts educator, playwright, and director are perfect for Oddfellows,” said Board of Directors chair, Elizabeth Bobrick. “we are looking forward to having her take her place in the community.