top of page

Karen Wray

Theatre Artist

Time in Greater OC: 26+ Years

Neighborhood: Costa Mesa

Hometown: Fond du Lac, Wisconsin

What are you currently working on?
Delving into the world of a playwright; starting with short plays and fun characters. Still acting whenever I can, Panndora just wrapped our spring show, IN MY BONES by Doc Andersen-Bloomfield.

Tell us a story from your childhood that illuminates who you are as an artist?

I caught myself narrating my life out loud. One day my mom asked me if I had loaded the dishwasher; I replied, "She asked firmly." I was reading a lot of Judy Blume then; a lot of her books are in the first person. It’s a great way for a young person to tap into subtext, and how important it is.

Who are or were your theatrical heroes?

Julie Andrews, Alan Alda, Edward Albee, Moliere, August Wilson; every playwright we've ever produced at Panndora: Tracy Godfrey, Ben Jolivet, Ken Pisani, Alexandra Petri, Doc Andersen-Bloomfield, to name a few.

What kind of theatre excites you?

I love straight plays with beautiful sets and fabulous lighting, but I also love when mixed media is added, like puppets and projections. Set design is so cool. I also love fast-paced dialogue. I love subject matter that challenges a way of thinking and can influence change and growth within an audience member.

What’s the craziest thing you have ever needed to do for theatre?

stage managed a play where I had to push buttons for various fireworks sound effects and hit the various lights to make it look like fireworks were happening down the street. It went on for 5 minutes under the actor's dialogue, THAT was fun!

Outside of a theatre, what’s your favorite hot spot in Orange County?

Downtown Orange is gorgeous and I also love the art walk in downtown Santa Ana. I'm also partial to Knott's Berry Farm. Whenever my family or out-of-town friends come to visit, I take them to these places.

What advice do you have for theatre artists just starting out in Orange County?

Go see plays. Visit with folk after the show. If you find a good feel for them, send emails, volunteer, audition, get involved. Stay positive and work hard and you will make a bunch of theater friends. (And they really are the best kind).

Karen Wray
bottom of page