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Kate Kissingford

Co-founder and Artistic Director of UpstART, Kate earned her Master of Fine Arts in Acting from Florida Atlantic University in 2003. Before establishing UpstART, Kate performed with regional and touring companies around the country. She has fond memories of playing these favorite roles: Veronica in God of Carnage, Emma in Stupid F#&%*ing Bird, Prospero in The Tempest, Beth in Jericho, Julianna in The Other Place, Lady Macbeth, in Macbeth, Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing, Viola in Twelfth Night, Father Toulon in Red Noses, various roles in The Laramie Project and The Vagina Monologues,  and Sylvia in Sylvia. She has directed several UpstART productions including Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Fabuloso, and The Amish Project. Kate is a resident of Ouray, Colorado, and feels grateful to be able to create high quality theater in this beautiful place.  She appreciates your support of her theater habit and hopes you make a habit of seeing UpstART productions!


John Kissingford

After studying and teaching literature and theater and criticism a lot over these past few decades, John Kissingford finally realized how much he loves playing with his friends onstage and being part of the conversation great plays inspire. He has acted with various regional and touring companies, and explored Original Practice approaches to Shakespeare with New England Shakespeare Festival as well as No Holds Bard, which he and Kate founded in 2005. Favorite roles include Jacques and Richard III (NESF), Don Quixote (Boston Flamenco Ballet), Hamlet and Petruchio (NHB), Siegfried Sassoon in Not About Heroes (Chasm View), Tom, Phyllis, and Leslie in Sylvia, and Ian in The Other Place (Ouray County Players). He was also Dull in a Festival Rep production of Love’s Labor’s Lost. The character. Was named. Dull. He finds it delightful to play here in Ouray County, whether in the high school English classroom, on the fencing strip, out in the mountains, or, of course, onstage with UpstART.

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Jessica Robblee

UpstART board member and liaison to Denver-based acting talent, Jess has performed with many companies, including Ouray's own No Holds Bard, the Arvada Center, the Colorado Shakespeare Festival, Theatre Aspen, the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, and Buntport Theater. She has directed for the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Real Live Theater, the Denver Art Museum, and Buntport Theater for All Ages—where she directed and co-created (with the marvelous Mitch Slevc) three award-winning comedy series and six touring productions.  Jess is currently the Producing Artistic Director of Butterfly Effect Theater Company (BETC) in Boulder, CO.


UpstART is our labor of love

Our first date was an improv gathering at The Sherbino Theater in 1996. Since that time, theater has been a central part of our lives as a couple and as collaborators. While we each hold many professional and volunteer roles in our community, UpstART is where we get to play: to share our love of telling stories that move us. We appreciate how your continued support keeps the arts alive for all of us!

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About Us

 We believe that theater should be relevant, perspective altering, heart opening, and exciting. Don't you?

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