100 Women We Love: Kimberlea Kressal
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“I don’t think it’s a coincidence that so many queers were members of their high school drama club,” says director and playwright Kimberlea Kressal. “That’s where the party was, that’s where the love was, and that’s where you could be yourself or anyone else you wanted to be.” Today, she’s a theatre professional living in Hudson, New York with her wife and dog. She recently wrote the book and lyrics for Lesbian Love Octagon, “a musical comedy about dyke drama,” she explains, which opened in June at Manhattan’s Kraine Theatre. She’s also the artistic associate for Wreckio Ensemble and founder of women’s theater group Estrotribe, and serves as Magnet Coordinator at the Dreyfoos School of the Arts. Backed by her BFA in Directing from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, Kressal earned her stripes staging a range of shows, including The Ladies Aide Society Invites You to a Poverty Party to Benefit The Foundation for Ethical Art and Culture, for which Wreckio was granted a Chashama Performing Arts Residency in Dublin. Kressal, whose activist outlook also has led her to join groups doing site-specific street theatre, admits, “There is a stigma about lesbian art; it just can’t be good, right? And the artists who make it, well, we must be second-rate…My road has been harder and longer because I’ve been unwilling to bend on my belief that queer stories should be told authentically.” –NHM