Originally from Lexington, SC, Kelly Criss graduated with a degree in Theatre Arts from Furman University in Greenville, SC. She then joined the pre-professional Apprentice program at the Atlanta Shakespeare Company, where she has worked as an Education Artist and performer. She has taught numerous residencies and summer intensives in Shakespeare since 2007. In addition to teaching Shakespeare, Kelly also teaches beginning acting courses for teens at the Alliance Theatre. Prior to that, she taught elementary aged children through adult professionals here at the Aurora Theatre with both the afterschool and summer drama academy programs.
From 2012-2016, she worked at Horizon Theatre in Atlanta in various capacities including artistic support, mentoring the apprentice company, and as the primary coordinator for the Young Playwrights Festival, working with 20-30 high school and college students for a week-long residency filled with workshops, rehearsals, seminars, and readings with professional actors, directors, and dramaturgs.
For the past three years, Kelly supported the Development team as Manager of Special Projects at the High Museum of Art, the Southeast’s leading art museum. She managed the Friends of the Collection donor groups including event planning, soliciting, donor communications and tracking, stewardship, and cultivation; coordinating domestic and international travel programming for upper level members; maintaining all existing foundation and government funding; and working across departments to help shape Major Gifts, Foundations, and Government Relations fundraising strategies.
Additionally, Kelly is a founding member and former producer with the Weird Sisters Theatre Project, where she currently serves on the Board of Directors. The Weird Sisters’ mission is to foster and cultivate opportunities for women in the performing arts.