Q: Where did you grow up? Were there any activities you did as a child that led to your passion for the arts?
I grew up in a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio. As a kid, I would play Barbies with my sisters, and I would do their hair, make up their “houses,” and give each of the dolls a background story…and then I would quit. I found that setting up the story was far more interesting than living in the story itself. I drew pictures a lot as a child, wrote a play, and designed the scenery on sheets in my grandparents’ backyard, etc. When I got to high school, I participated in activities like Odyssey of the Mind – again, designing scenery and costumes for our performance/problem solving session. I also got into theatre in my sophomore year, where I helped with set construction. In fact, until I took a set design class in college, I thought that the set designer was just the high school art teacher – not an actual profession where people paid you money to draw pictures!
Q: Where did you receive training? How did this prepare you for your work in the theatre world?
A tiny liberal arts school in Ohio named Ashland University, where I received my B.A. My M.F.A. was earned at Kent State University, also in Ohio. I have also worked under and with amazing designers, prop artisans, and scenic artists at some pretty incredible theatres. These people believed in and invested in me, and I try to pass that on to younger artists and designers where I can. For what it’s worth, I still feel as if I am in training. There is always more to learn and ways to grow, and every person I work with helps me develop as an artist and a human just a little bit more. I am grateful for everything I have been taught in school, on the job, and in life.
Q: What productions did you previously set design for Charleston Stage?
I was the guest scenic designer for Mamma Mia! and, most recently, Elf The Musical.
Q: What are you most excited about that audiences will experience with your designs for Bright Star?
I think, if our plans work, the scenery, costumes, and lighting (along with the music, of course) will coalesce to allow the audience to just really immerse themselves in the story and enjoy an evening of beautiful theatre.
Q: Tell us a little more about yourself.
I live in Fayetteville, AR, with my husband and (almost) 6 year old son. I was designing 12-14 shows a year before Covid. The pandemic pushed me toward doing more fine art, volunteering in my community and, like many parents, becoming a home school teacher. I have a few design jobs right now and am keeping my fingers crossed that they are still going to be able to happen. I hope that the industry I love can bounce back quickly with everyone’s help – by getting vaccinated! My work can be viewed on my website at www.kvpowersdesign.com.
Bright Star performance run September 11th – 26th at the Historic Dock Street Theatre. For tickets, click here.