Kathleen Edwards is a theatre artist who has dedicated herself to the enrichment of young people through the Arts. Over the past twenty years, she has directed, choreographed, and adapted more than seventy productions for the stage. Her training began in her home state, Hawaii, where she honed her musical theatre skills as a teenager performing with various community theater companies throughout the Islands. Later, she pursued the classics at the University of Hawaii, appearing as Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, Henriette in The Learned Ladies at the Kennedy Theater, and Joan in St. Joan at the Manoa Valley Theater. While still a college student, Kathleen was hired as a company member at the nationally acclaimed Honolulu Theatre for Youth and performed three times a day, 12-15 shows a week. Her roles included Elizabeth in Frankenstein, Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird, Meg in A Wrinkle in Time and over 300 performances as the Cat in Pinocchio on a statewide tour of all the major islands. She also worked in local commercials and comedy specials on TV, as well as appearing on Magnum, PI with Tom Selleck and as a semi-regular on the short lived Island Sons with Richard Chamberlain. Before moving to the mainland, Kathleen performed in a Diamond Head Theater production of Biloxi Blues with Rob Morrow, directed by Neil Simon's daughter, Nancy.
In 1989, Kathleen moved to the Seattle area with husband, Tony Curry, and stepson Adam. Within weeks of their arrival in the Northwest, she was hired as an actor by Open Door Theatre, a touring company that uses role playing to educate children on safety rules and sexual abuse prevention. Kathleen's interest in the enrichment of the lives of young people through theatre and issue-oriented projects rapidly became a passion, and over the next few years her focus shifted to directing and creating projects focused on youth. In the process, she served as Artistic Director for Youth Theatre Northwest, The Seattle Peace Theatre and Stroum Jewish Community Center Youth Theatre, where she was also the Director of Holocaust Education. As Director of Holocaust Education, Kathleen wrote, directed and produced Eyewitness, a show based on eyewitness accounts of the Holocaust. The production toured area schools and was accompanied by local Holocaust survivors who shared their personal stories with student audiences after each performance. Kathleen also worked frequently as a director for Seattle Opera's Young Artist Program, Village Theatre's KIDSTAGE, O'Dea High School and as an artist-mentor for public school teachers in South King and Pierce counties through a program called Arts Impact.
Kathleen has been with The Hi-Liners for thirteen years, where she has directed The Wizard of Oz (twice), Annie, Les Misérables (twice!), 42nd Street, Beauty and the Beast, West Side Story, Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella, The Music Man, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Peter Pan (complete with flying,) and Chicago for the MainStage. Kathleen is the Executive Director of The Hi-Liners education program, which provides classes, summer theatre camps and additional performance opportunities for the young people of our community. She is particularly proud of her brainchild, DownStage Center, as it is unique in theatre education. DSC provides a "no tears" workshop style audition experience found only at The Hi-Liners, a nurturing rehearsal process focused on teaching essential skills, and an intimate performance space so that young artists can have a gentle introduction to self expression in the arts. This is a direct reflection of Kathleen's dedication to creating a safe environment for actors and the theatre professionals who provide their training.