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BWW Interview: Kristin Towers Rowles Reflects on Acting and Directing in 2019

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BWW Interview: Kristin Towers Rowles Reflects on Acting and Directing in 2019

Actress Kristin Towers Rowles is also an amazing director. She is nominated this year for two BWW Awards. In the conversation that follows she talks about acting, directing and the meaningful choices she has made in her career so far.

Congratulations on your BWW Award nominations! Tell our readers in what categories you received them.

KTR: Thank you. I'm nominated for Best Actress in a Play (Local) for playing Hattie in Laundry and Bourbon at Group Rep and as Director of a Play (Local) for Directing the World Premiere of The Lost Virginity Tour at The McCadden Place Theatre.

If you had to choose winning one, which would that be? Why this choice?

KTR: That's a really difficult question. I am an actress, first and foremost. Even though I've done mostly Musical Theatre, my first love and what I feel I am best at is acting. I come from a family of performers so it's not so much a choice, it's who I am and what I know.

But I am also a Director...I became a director by just doing it...I've been in over 200 shows as a performer so I've learned by watching, gleening from the great people I've been blessed to work with. It was on-the-job training...so I feel the Directing Award nomination is even that much more prestigious. I took a show that had never been done and created an entire world. It was the World Premiere and it launched the show into orbit (more on that later). Actors who work with me as a Director say that they love my style...I approach everything from the ground up, I encourage "play", I am on their team.

Tell us about your next major stage project.

KTR: This is a really great time to answer that question!! As an actress, I was just offered a role in the long running show, The Manor produced thru Theatre 40 at The Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills, Directed by the Brilliant Martin Thompson. I recently became a company member at Theatre 40 and this will be my first show with them. For more info, please go to www.theatre40.org

I am directing Andrew Lippa's The Wild Party at The Morgan-Wison in Santa Monica. This show is an incredible, sizzling 20s musical, perfect to usher in the new Roaring 20s. The show runs March 14-April 11, 2020 at the Morgan-Wixson. www.morgan-wixson.org.

I am so elated to announce that after directing the World Premiere of The Lost Virginity Tour in Los Angeles, I am being hired to direct the Franchise and National Tour. The writer, Cricket Daniel, was given the opportunity to take her show nationally by Jeanie Linders, who created Menopause the Musical. She chose me to be her Director. We had a blast developing the show in LA with our original cast and team. I'm very excited that this show has legs and will be seen on such a National scale. And that it's about older women...women in the age range of these characters have such rich stories to tell..this show celebrates them.

Talk about caroling this Christmas. You look amazing in your beautiful pre 20th century caroler costume (photo above...Kristen is second from left) . How many gigs do you do?

KTR: This is my 20th year working for the company I carol with, The Voices of Christmas. Many people assume that it is something that we do just for fun, but no it is actually a job and a very lucrative one. I spend most of my evenings in December at The Tam O'Shanter in Atwater Village or Lawry's in Beverly Hills. People come from all over California to dine and hear the carols... it's amazing! We also do Private events/Holiday Parties, office parties, wrap parties for TV shows...I've sung at Disney and been drawn by a Disney Animator. I've Christmas Caroled on the arm of a famous Rapper...it's a fun job and it brings joy to people...and I get to sing great music in a quartet with some of LA'S finest vocalists. Check us out at www.voicesofchristmas.com

If you had to choose, would you be a director or an actor? Why?

KTR: I have been asked this question so many times...I love both of my jobs so much!! I do know that if I absolutely HAD to give up one of the things I love, it would be directing because I can't imagine a life without performing. It's just a part of me. Luckily, I don't have to choose. I get to do both and I truly feel that one art form informs the other...my acting is given so much perspective because of my directing and my directing benefits from my knowledge as an actress. People want us all to do one thing only...why?? I'm good at both so I'm going to keep going. This is my unique path.

What project do you really want to do in the not too distant future?

KTR: I am in talks with a wonderful director in town to do The Bridges of Madison County and play Francesca. It is my dream role and it's perfect for where I am at right now...I'm a mom of teens, I'm not a 20 year old ingenue and I'm not "older"...and I'm a soprano...most modern musicals ignore true sopranos so it's something that is right for my sound. It's got one of the most gorgeous scores, written by Jason Robert Brown. I'm really hoping it happens.

Talk about the support of your family and their involvement in the industry. Cite your amazing daughters and their accomplishments.

KTR: I am very lucky to have an incredible support system..my husband, Ryan, is a musician and a music teacher. He plays 17 instruments proficiently! We have 3 beautiful daughters Ryanna (15), Makayla (14) and Amelya (12) all of our kids are artists in their own way. My older daughter is a visual artist/animator and a stage manager! She loves all things tech. My youngest daughter is a singer with a beautiful Soprano sound and a Kung Fu master...my middle daughter Makayla is my mini me. She is a Musical Theatre girl and she's currently studying Improv and Theatre in an Arts School in Downtown LA. All different, all talented in their own way.

Part of what keeps me going is knowing that my daughters are watching me. They have an example of a mom who continued to live her dreams, even after having children. This business is not kind to women as we age and I feel so fortunate for each and every opportunity to continue creating. Thanks to my friends and family who support my unconventional and on-the-go life. And thanks for your questions!

https://www.kristintowers-rowles.com/


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