theTEN with Krissy Vanderwarker

theTEN with Krissy Vanderwarker

Pictured: Krissy Vanderwarker. Photo by Joe Mazza/Brave Lux. 

Jump inside the brains of Chicago theater artists as we ask them 10 questions that were in no way inspired by “Inside the Actor’s Studio.”


What’s the one role/show you’ve always wanted to work on that you haven’t yet?

Anything written by Sigrid Gilmer or J. Nicole Brooks. Or a Chicago storefront production of “Cats.”

What current production, besides one of your own, are you most excited about?

I’m excited about the upcoming “Rest” with artist Tricia Hersey and Free Street Theatre. I’m also looking forward to seeing “Tilikum” by Kristiana Rae Colón at Sideshow Theatre and “The Displaced” by Isaac Gomez at Haven Theatre.

If you couldn’t be in theater, what career would you have chosen?

I’ve made many parallel careers — all to do with storytelling and its application — as a personal branding consultant, professor, art director, grant writer, and sailing instructor. I’d really like to be an art buyer — so if anyone wants help starting or continuing their personal collection, hit me up.

What quote or saying do people spout but is really complete BS?

It’s a marathon, not a sprint.

What would you name your boat if you had one?

Lady Pony

Lady Pony is the name of a beloved dog and she deserves a beautiful, teak-decked, 30′ sailboat named after her. With Klein blue canvas sail covers.

What will finally break the internet?

Nothing. I do think we’ll get to a point where we crave more live experiences and connection, and therefore, will turn to the internet less compulsively. Maybe that’s my hope for myself.

What well-known fictional character would be the most boring to meet in real life?

The experience of actually meeting a character would be super overwhelming and awesome. That reality bend would far outweigh any judgment I might have of that particular individual!

Come see “Empty Threats” at The Neo-Futurists and you’ll see Lily Mooney confront her own fictional creation.

The fictional character I’d most like to meet is Cheryl Glickman from Miranda July’s “The First Bad Man.”

What is a play or musical that you cannot stand (CATS is not an acceptable answer)?

“Oleanna” by David Mamet

What is a play or musical that you love (CATS is not an acceptable answer)?

“A Chorus Line.” I did an amazing rendition of “Dance Ten, Looks Three” for my 3rd-grade talent show.

(Fun fact: “Cats” is the reason I work in theatre and one of the main reasons Devon de Mayo and I connected to start Dog & Pony Theatre Company. Mr. Mistoffelees 4 ever.)

What are you reading, watching or listening to right now?

Currently reading: “Salt Fat Acid Heat” by Samin Nosrat, “How to Change Your Mind” by Michael Pollan, “The Secret History” by Donna Tart, “Presence” by Amy Cuddy, “The Secret Lives of Color” by Kassia St. Clair, “Prairie Fires” by Caroline Fraser. Is that too many books at once?


Krissy Vanderwarker is a director/maker. Vanderwarker’s directing credits include: “Home Invasion,” “Midsommer Night’s Eve” (Actors Theatre of Louisville), “Thaddeus and Slocum: A Vaudeville Adventure” (Lookingglass Theatre), “Skin of Our Teeth” (Remy Bumppo), “Harry & The Thief”(Pavement Group), “The Grown-Up” (Shattered Globe), “Psychonaut Librarians” (The New Colony) and with Dog & Pony Theatre Co.: “Breach,” “Counterfeiters,” “God’s Ear, “As Told by the Vivian Girls,” “Mr. Marmalade,” “Ape,” “Osama the Hero,” “As Much As You Can” and “Crumble (Lay Me Down, Justin Timberlake).” Vanderwarker is currently making “Ghost Army,” a city-wide interactive experience, and “Peace Works Chicago,” a collaborative, immersive warehouse installation designed to envision and embody what a peaceful and just community looks and feels like. www.krissyvanderwarker.com

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