Adjunct Lecturer of Theatre
Karen Hildebrand received her B.A. in Speech and Theatre from the University of Pittsburgh and her M.F.A. in Playwriting from CUNY Brooklyn College. Along the way she also studied music, fashion/textile design, and performance arts with, among others, Herbert Berghof, Stephen Strimpell, Howard Ross, Robert Marks, and Barry Harris. While pursuing her M.F.A. in playwriting, she studied with Jack Gelber, whose play The Connection won the 1959–1960 Village Voice Obie Award for Best New Play and whose work with the Living Theatre revolutionized theatre as it moved into the 1960s.
In Pittsburgh, Pa., Ms. Hildebrand was one of the first arts programmers for the City of Pittsburgh’s Department of Parks & Recreation, doing everything from babysitting the Living Theatre to meeting Jesse Owens.
In New York, she worked briefly at Children’s Television Workshop as an assistant to Joan Ganz Cooney, a co-creator of Sesame Street. She performed in a variety of stage productions, bringing to life the Fairy Dog Mother in Stray Dog Story (by Robert Chesley) and other memorable characters. She directed off-off-Broadway and performed one of her own short works, Corporate Wear, at the Village Gate. She also narrated books at the Jewish Guild for the Blind.
Since moving to Plattsburgh, Karen has created and facilitated theatre projects for all ages from fairy tales with children to radio theatre with older adults. She has performed one of her original works, Bargainmaster’s Christmas Fest, at the North Country Cultural Center for the Arts. She also has directed at the local SUNY college and taught acting, playwriting, and world drama at SUNY Plattsburgh. As Hildy, she has hosted Music I Like, a radio program of jazz and world music, on WRUV 90.1 fm Burlington. The online show (wruv.org) has an international audience.