Local woman Kimberly Eaton falls in love with community theater, pens plays

Kimberly Eaton continues to run up impressive credits both on stage as a performer and backstage as a director.

Though born in Alexandria, La., Eaton currently resides near Selinsgrove.

With her sister and five cousins, she has early memories of making up plays and choreographing song and dance numbers which they performed at big family gatherings. Eaton smilingly confides that she had access to a walk-in costume closet by virtue of her grandmother’s work as a seamstress for a local dance school.

In elementary school, she played Buttercup in “H.M.S. Pinafore,” and an orphan boy in “Oliver.”

At Carlisle High School, she worked primarily backstage before attending Bucknell University, where she obtained a Master of Science in Biology. At Nova Southeastern University, Eaton was awarded a Master of Medical Science.

Her first community theater performance dates back to 2015, when she was cast in the Courtyard Theatre’s “You Can’t Take It With You.” Three other Courtyard roles quickly followed in 2016: “Rumors,” “The Odd Couple (Female Version),” and “Charlotte’s Web.”

In the last few years, Eaton also appeared in a trio of Valley Players’ shows, including “Savannah Sipping Society,” “Murder By the Book” and “Always A Bridesmaid.”

She penned a one-act play “Metro Shop” which was produced by Gaspipe Theatre/RiverStage’s Festival in conjunction with the Lewisburg Arts Festival in 2016.

Eaton also authored another one-act play which will be produced by the American Ethical Union, with its first showing at their National Conference this coming Spring.

She is a founding member, Action Team Leader, and current board member of the Valley Ethical Society.

Never at a loss for words, the vivacious Eaton is a progressive activist and freelance writer, an active member of Moms Demand Action, The Sierra Club, and two-time award winner of the A.C.L.U.’s Thomas Paine Citizen Journalist Award.

In the director’s chair for the first time for the Valley Players’ recent dinner-theater show “Cliffhanger,” Eaton had the “greatest time putting together this production” and hopes to have the opportunity to direct again in the future.

“I especially loved incorporating my own music choices into the script, and in unique ways, the script did not limit me from doing,” she said. “Directing this play has been a romp, and personally enriching as well.”

Eaton will be co-directing the RiverStage’s Theatre Academy again this summer with Maggie Able, as well as co-authoring some scripts with her.

“We are very fortunate to have the enthusiastic patronage for a robust performing arts community in the greater Susquehanna Valley. Theater buffs across the spectrum will find their niche — directors, writers, performers, costumers, set designers and technical personnel alike. And if you are simply looking to be entertained, one could feasibly enjoy a live experience every weekend of the year.”

Although her recent immersion into the theatre arts came serendipitously, when she got a call offering her first role for which she had not intentionally auditioned, she hesitated — for exactly two seconds — before accepting the challenge.

“I’ve been in love with every aspect of theater ever since,” she said.

As for personal goals, Eaton has a premise for a feature-length stage play that she plans on writing.

“I would love to see an outlet for original scripts to be produced within our large community theatre guild. And always, I’m looking for that dramatic lead which will enrich my acting repertoire.”

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