Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Spotlight On...Katie Atcheson

Name: Katie Atcheson

Hometown: I grew up moving around a lot, NJ, England, OH, CA back to NJ. People always say, “Dad in the Army?” No. “Were you on the run?” Maybe!

Education: Denison University, BA Theatre

Favorite Credits: As an actor, In Quietness by Anna Moench, Unfiltered Festival at Ensemble Studio Theatre and as a writer The Duck Incident produced by Core Artist Ensemble and made into a short film by Emmy-Award winning director, Barbara Rick.

Why theater?: It’s the sandbox I was drawn to from a young age and I love it. I can’t even explain that. I think when you love an art form it claims you and you’re done for. There’s no explaining the passion. Theater is crazy fun and terrifying all at once. I love the challenge, the thrill and the communal nature of it. I believe there is a sacred, healing dimension to it.

Tell us about Verano Place: Verano Place follows thirteen year old Emily in 1976 on a Southern California college campus. Her academic parents have embraced an open marriage, her best friend digs drugs and sex and her potential boyfriend is way too old. It’s a play about getting lost, finding love and growing up in the Me Decade

What inspired you to write Verano Place?: I’m an actor and I started writing plays to have some control over my creative expression. I wrote the first draft of Verano Place five years ago in a playwriting class with Eddie Sanchez at ESPA. It’s a very personal story about my parent’s open marriage in the 70’s and its effect on our family. I didn’t think anyone would be interested, it was kind of for my own therapy. I was then pretty surprised and thrilled when it was selected for ESPA*Drills, a professional workshop/staged reading at Primary Stages that summer. Since then I’ve continued to work on it and had a very successful Memberfest Reading of it at EST. And now we’re premiering it at FringeNYC!

What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: I love theater that is alive and active and funny and real and surprising. The kind of theater that transports me somewhere new and makes me feel things. I really need to feel something at the theater. And I love comedy. I have to say my husband, playwright, Matt Hoverman inspires me every day. He is the most committed, hardworking and wickedly talented artist I know. And he is a tireless champion of his students and fellow artists and Me! My comrades at Naked Angels Tuesdays@9 and Ensemble Studio Theatre inspire me daily too. I’m proud to belong to both these communities of extraordinary artists who are so talented and such artistic warriors. We support each other and cheer each other on and inspire each other to keep reaching for our dreams and it makes the journey so much more fun and rewarding.

If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: Mike Leigh, Alfre Woodard, Julie Halston.

What show have you recommended to your friends?: Tribes, Hand to God, Finks, August Osage County.

Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: Lisa Kudrow, and it would be called, "It’s Not Over Till it’s Over"!

If you could go back in time and see any play or musical you missed, what would it be?: A Streetcar Named Desire. Or any play by Tennessee Williams.

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: Watching "The Voice" while pounding a bag of kettle corn.

If you weren’t working in theater, you would be _____?: a nurse taking care of baby sloths. Have you seen them on You Tube? Cutest ever!

What’s up next?: Verano Place at FringeNYC this August!!

For more on Verano Place, visit For more on Katie, visit