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A Conversation with ArtReach Founder Kathryn Schultz Miller - Part III


This is part three of my interview with Kathy, the founder of the American Repertory Theatre Company’s ArtReach Program.  It was my first real job as an actor. (Part one has Kathy’s bio and how we first met and last week she spoke of how ArtReach was created, her husband Barry’s part in it and how it still is going strong today.)

Kathryn: What are you doing differently today?

Kathy:  I now run an Internet publishing company called ArtReach Children’s Theatre Plays which is quite successful.  On my website I sell scripts and licensing for all the plays I wrote for ArtReach Touring Theatre.  I have also written many, many more plays.  So many I don’t know the exact count, but it’s around 60 plays.  We have thousands of producers around the world.  Barry and I work together. We have no other jobs and no other employees.  Its wonderful, rewarding work and we couldn’t hope for more success or happiness!

Kathryn: Have you any amusing anecdotes like your reminder how we used to introduce ourselves (which was included in Part I)?

Well, don’t you remember my friend Fran’s niece?  This was during the very early years, in 1983, we went to a national conference in Minneapolis to perform Blue Horses (which got a standing ovation, by the way).  A friend of mine said her niece would be happy to have us stay at her house.  Let’s just say they really didn’t want us to stay there.  They led us past bedrooms and couches to a very hot windowless room with nothing in it but a hard floor.  I guess they thought we’d sleep on the floor.  Anyway we took one look at the room (suitcases in our hands) and tried to hem-haw our way out of it.  We had to thank them very kindly but maneuver ourselves out of there.  You, dear Kathryn, kept saying “I’ll pay for a hotel!!  I’ll pay, I’ll pay!!!”     We did find a hotel room that seemed like heaven after the prospect of a night in Hades.  We all went out to eat that night and sat around a table laughing until there were tears in our eyes!  It’s one of my most fun memories.

Kathryn: And did I actually pay for the hotel? I know I’ve been famous for offering to pay these days and not following through!

Kathy: I don’t think you did pay. However, you always seemed to have more money than anyone else those days.

Kathryn: (That’s because Mom and Dad couldn’t bear to think of me as a starving artist. They always came to my rescue and were my biggest supporters and fans.)

About Kathryn Spira

Kathryn Spira, a native of Cleveland, OH who pursued an acting career in NYC and Los Angeles, now pursues freelance writing from Caroga Lake in Fulton County, New York. Previous columns may be accessed at her web site

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