Karen grew up performing in and writing for the theater. She has written several stage plays, which include Popping the Cherry, And Baby Makes Two, Commit Me to Memory, More Like Messy, and Mr. President. Her plays have received readings and/or productions in San Francisco (at Actors Theatre, Eureka Theatre, Mason Street Theatre, Teatro de la Esperanza, and the Shelton Theatre), Seattle (Mae West Festival), and Bologna, Italy; they have been published in several anthologies and have been chosen as finalists for the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, the Actors Theatre of Louisville Heideman Award and Humana Festival, the American Theatre Co-op Playwriting Award, the Bay Area Playwrights Festival, and the Shenandoah Playwriting Award. Karen's work has also been seen at Playground in San Francisco, and at Woman's Will's 24-Hour Playfest.
Karen has a Master of Fine Arts in Playwriting from San Francisco State University, and has been fortunate enough to assist direct and serve as a dramaturg with theater professionals like Octavio Solis and Erik Ehn.
See below for more on some of her plays.
Set in New York City in the late '90s, Popping the Cherry is a play about love, sisterhood, and forgiveness. Set at the start of the economic recession on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, it's the story of two estranged sisters forced to reunite upon their mother's illness, and to reckon with a hellish past.
Popping the Cherry received a workshop at Teatro de la Esperanza in San Francisco in 2002 directed by Christine Young, and a world premiere at Actors Theatre of San Francisco in 2004 directed by Christian Phillips. It was a finalist for the Bay Area Playwrights Festival and the American Co-op Theatre Festival.
A non-nuclear family in Tallahassee, Florida is already struggling when a French cat is elected as the new president of the United States. Soon, strange things start to happen as a new war is being nationally broadcast as a major sporting event, dogs become banned in all of the states, and a once routine vacation to Georgia turns into a hellish journey across militarized state lines. But as things continue to get worse, no one seems to notice anything amiss except for the two motherless kids; and while brainy, 10-year-old Alice is trying to save the world, her 13-year-old brother Max is ready to let it go to pieces.
A mix of comic satire and stark poetry, Mr. President starts off as a seemingly absurd comedy, but quickly turns into a dark and perilous journey that examines our social and political world through the eyes of two children who come to represent the conflicting forces of nature.
One hour, 20 minutes
Mr. President received two workshops in San Francisco, the first in 2003 at Teatro de la Esperanza directed by Val Hendrickson, and the second in 2004 at the Off-Market Theatre directed by Meredith Friedman. In 2003, it was a finalist for the Shenandoah Playwriting Award.
Three months after Jessie goes to a healing ashram in India to try and recover from a devastating illness, her boyfriend Adam from back home comes for a visit. But Jessie's not the same person she used to be and although Adam wants to bring her back home to their life as reporters in the big city, Jessie may be ready to move on to another place.
Commit Me To Memory received its first staged reading in Logan, Utah, where it was a finalist for the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival in February 2003. It was also a finalist for the Actors Theatre of Louisville Heideman Award and Humana Festival 2003. It was produced twice in San Francisco in 2004, once at the Eureka Theatre directed by Brian Katz as part of the Bay One-Acts Festival, and once at the Off-Market Theater directed by Karen Macklin as part of Short and Sweet, an evening of one-acts at the San Francisco Fringe Festival. Commit Me To Memory was also produced in Bologna, Italy, as part of BOA Italia in 2005 and 2006, and at the Mae West Festival in Seattle in 2006.
More Like Messy
It's New Year's Eve, and Joelle is sitting home alone in her San Francisco apartment, downing a bottle of unpalatable champagne, and watching depressing foreign films. Just when it seems the night can't get any worse, her ex, Peter, shows up on her doorstep. Though talking seems difficult, their conversation about their recently terminated relationship soon winds itself into some dark territory. Slowly, they both move from anger to acceptance, as they recognize that real love is not always clean, sober, or easy.
More Like Messy was commissioned for and produced by La Vache Enragee Productions' Trimming the Holidays: The Second Annual Shorts Project at San Francisco's Shelton Theatre in December of 2006.
"Filled with poignant moments of loss and genuine human frailty." - San Francisco Bay Times