Red Ladder Theatre

The Red Ladder company is made up of a troupe of multi-ethnic, multi-lingual, professional actors who are committed to serving the community in positive ways through the art form of theatre. These talented individuals, who possess a wealth of experience and training, are uniquely suited to serve the broadly diverse spectrum of participants within our community, nurturing life-skills critical to the healthy development of youth, and fostering life-long learning by allowing its participants to re-ignite their creativity. By working with the professional actors in the company, participants are encouraged to explore the issues that affect their daily lives. By applying the tools and techniques of improvisational theatre, participants develop the ability to make positive choices, solve problems creatively, focus on tasks, and work collaboratively. Through their workshops, Red Ladder helps participants to understand that by employing their creativity and believing in their own imaginations, they have the power to accomplish anything.
Karen Altree Piemme (Director)
Karen Altree Piemme is an accomplished director, actor, dramaturg, workshop facilitator and acting instructor, specializing in social justice theatre and community access to the arts. Ms. Piemme is the Director of the Red Ladder Theatre Company, a nationally-acclaimed, award-winning company, which empowers marginalized populations in our community by helping them develop positive life-skills through the art form of theatre. Ms. Piemme spent 21 years with San Jose Repertory Theatre, where she was the Director of Outreach and Resident Dramaturg. Prior to that, she spent five years at Arena Stage with the Living Stage Theatre Company, Arena’s groundbreaking community outreach company. As a theatre professional, Ms. Piemme has directed productions for both youth and adults, taught classes and conducted workshops locally, nationally and internationally for nearly thirty years. As a teaching artist, Ms. Piemme has held residencies through Young Audiences of Northern California, and TheatreWorks’ Young Playwrights Project. She has conducted professional development training at the Marion Cilker Conference on Arts and Education, Montalvo Arts Center’s Arts in Your Classroom Conference, CCSESA’s Creativity at the Core Summer Institute, and will be presenting at the One Theatre World Conference in 2017. She also serves as the Associate Director for 2nd Stages at Dragon Productions Theatre Company, and the Artistic Associate for Playwrights Foundation where she produces the annual Bay Area Playwrights Festival. She teaches in the Department of Television, Radio, Film and Theatre at San Jose State University where she started an improv troupe to train the next generation of teaching artists, and serves on the Theatre Services Committee (the advisory council) for Theatre Bay Area. Ms. Piemme is the recipient of the 2011 Champion of Arts Education Award, awarded by the Mayor/City of San Jose and the San Jose Arts Commission, and in 2012 she was named one of the 35 Faces of Theatre Bay Area.

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