The King & I Actor Spotlight – Kristen Donelle Livengood

KristenQ: Why did you audition for The King & I?

KDL: I auditioned for The King & I because I really wanted to dance in “The Small House of Uncle Thomas” ballet and because I wanted to get to know more people in the Burnsville community who share the same interests and passions as I do.

Q: What shows might people have seen you in before?

KDL: I haven’t been onstage a whole lot at Parkway (I was General Cartwright in Guys & Dolls and Miss Bingley/Mrs. Gardner in Pride & Prejudice during the 2010 season), but this year I’ve directed Willy Wonka Jr. for Parkway Playhouse Junior, as well as Parkway Playhouse’s earlier production of Forever Plaid.

Q: What is a typical day like for you?

KDL: Well, as of recent, my days have consisted of working in Parkway’s office during the day and then either rehearsing for Treasure Island or performing The King & I.

Q: Have you met new friends in the cast?

KDL: Absolutely! This show has a really fun cast and it has been very easy to make lots of new friends.  I have truly enjoyed getting to know my acquaintances a lot better and have built up a diary FULL of inside jokes!

Q: What is your favorite song from the show?

KDL: My favorite song from the show is “I Have Dreamed” which is sung by the two lovers who can never be together.  The song is about how they imagine it could be if they were together, and it gets me every time cause I’m a sucker for romance.

Q: What has been your favorite moment from rehearsals?

KDL: There have been so many that I can’t choose.  I just love the moments when the cast experiences something funny and shares a good giggle.

Q: Are there people in your life who have never seen you on stage?

KDL: I’m sure there are people in my life who haven’t seen me onstage in a long time, but if there is someone who has never seen me in a play/musical, they’ve probably seen me perform improv comedy.

Q: At what age did you first know you wanted to act?

KDL: When I was a sophomore in college, I took a theatre appreciation class for an arts credit and was absolutely blown away by the performances of the students.  At that moment, I instantly allowed myself to become obsessed! – and then I changed my major.

Q: What’s the #1 reason someone should see this show?

KDL: SUPPORT LOCALLY GROWN THEATRE!  All 40+ cast members are from Western North Carolina and we’re all here for the same reason – to entertain!!!

Q: If you could appear onstage with any actor or actress, who would it be and why?

KDL: I know he’s a screen actor, but I have always wanted to work with Leonardo DiCaprio.  I am always amazed by his commitment to his performance, and I think I could learn so much working opposite him.

Q: What is it like to work on a Rodgers and Hammerstein production?

KDL: It’s fun.  I’m no stranger to Rodgers and Hammerstein shows, so getting to sing classic musical theatre is fun – although they are no ANDREW LIPPA!!!

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Parkway Playhouse, located in the Appalachian town of Burnsville, NC, is a haven of theatre talent. While people come to the mountains to get away, Parkway Playhouse is a natural gathering place to connect. Likewise, we are an extension of traditional mountain talents: singing, dancing, and, foremost, storytelling. By giving rise to energetic new voices and through a wide variety of plays and musicals, we invite our audience into experiences that are thought-provoking, adventurous, and entertaining. Together we reimagine the world in every live performance, creating dynamic conversations that last far beyond the curtain call. This blog is will feature stories, helpful information, insight and features about the performances.

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