Broadway actress Kate Marilley visited KO recently, leading a dance workshop with both students and faculty. Ms. Marilley, who has played numerous roles on Broadway in “The Prom” and “My Fair Lady,” taught students who are in the musical, as well as faculty, how to do one of the final dances in “The Prom,” a new Broadway musical.
Theater Director Kyle Reynolds first learned about Ms. Marilley during a workshop he did in New York City over the summer, where a portion of the program included a dance workshop, taught by Ms. Marilley. The dance number they worked on was the same that Ms. Marilley taught at KO.
“She was an amazing teacher and dancer, and we just clicked pretty instantly,” Mr. Reynolds said. Soon after, he knew he wanted to bring her to KO to do a dance workshop, so he approached the school with the idea and it was approved.
“Originally, we planned on her coming in on a Monday and Tuesday, so she could teach the dance on a Monday, and return the second day to lead the number everybody had learned in front of the school for an assembly,” Mr. Reynolds said, “but then Kate was booked for a Broadway show, and on Broadway you have Mondays off but not Tuesdays, so we decided to just have her come in on that Monday.”
Ms. Marilley was interested in theatre at a young age and did a number of regional and professional productions before she graduated high school.
Students and staff alike enjoyed Ms. Marilley’s master class. “It was hard work, but also a lot of fun,” said sophomore Samhita Kashyap. Ms. Marilley had a Q&A session at the end of the master class where she shared stories and advice. She shared the story of when she had to play Dee Dee Allen in one of the first couple weeks that “The Prom” was on Broadway. Without costumes or ever rehearsing as the part, she gave a stunning performance that critics loved.
In addition, she acknowledged being kind, paying attention, asking questions, and being full of energy goes a long way no matter where you are. Her professional career in theater allows her to perform, but also teach workshops like the one that Mr. Reynolds attended. “I love doing both, I love performing, but I also love to teach,” she said.
The KO Theater Department has benefited enormously from Ms. Marriley’s masterclass as she shared insight into her life on Broadway.