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Cool Parent Jobs: Talking to Kate Arrington

Kate Arrington in a recent publicity photo.

Kate Arrington in a recent publicity photo.

By Claudia Rothberg (4-507) and Della Stern (4-509)

Kate Arrington is a P. S. 29 parent who is an theater actress. Recently, she has been in “The Iceman Cometh” at BAM, and “The Wolves” on Broadway. Kate was born in Plainfield, New Jersey and she has an 8-year old in 3rd grade and 3-year old. We interviewed her to learn a little bit more about her work. Fun Fact: The well-known actor, Michael Shannon, is her partner.  

Q: How old were you when you started acting?

A: I started acting as a child some but I didn’t start my professional career until I graduated college at 22.

Q: Why did you decide to start acting?

A: I always loved going to plays as a child.  That was definitely my initial attraction.  At college, I began to be interested in other aspects of theater such as adaptation, playwriting, theater history, and ensemble devised theater.

Q: When you walk down the street, do people notice you as a celebrity?

A: I am definitely not a celebrity so I avoid that part of my profession.  For me, I don’t think it would be appealing.  I am in a theater company in Chicago though and theater is such a big part of life for many people there, I actually do get recognized in that city.  It’s strange but I never mind in because so few people go to the theater, you have to appreciate the ones who do.

Q: If so, what is their reaction?

A: They usually want to tell me about a play they saw that particularly affected them.

Q: How does it feel to be on Broadway?

A: Broadway is fun because there’s so much history and it holds such mystique for many people including myself.  After about a month of going to Times Square six days a week though, I’m ready for it to be over.

Q: Do you remember what life was like before you were an actress and a celebrity?

A: I actually can’t remember a time I didn’t want to be in the theater.  I can remember many times I’ve racked my brain trying to think of something else I’d like to do.  No luck.

Q: What is your favorite part of  being an actress?

A: My favorite part is the first day of rehearsal.  It’s so exciting every time.  All of these people come together who’ve been thinking about the same project for months and share their different idea and viewpoints.  You get to meet all of your fellow actors and as many as a hundred other people who will all be working to make that project great.

Q: How often are you in plays?

A: Ideally, I like to do two plays a year.  A run is usually 3-4 months including rehearsal so that gives me plenty of in between time to spend with my kids since performing in a play means being away from home 5-6 nights a week.

Q: Do you usually get big parts, or small parts? Or both?

A: New plays tend to have fairly small casts (partly because they are cheaper to produce.)  So the parts I do are usually fairly big since there will often be only 4-6 people in the play.

Everyone should try to see Kate in her next role the next chance they get.


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