Posted September 22, 2015 by Editorial Staff in 2015

[PROFILE] Spotlight: Karen Travis (African American Shakespeare)

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Karen Alise Travis
“KT Masala”

KT MASALA is proud to be in her second production with African­-American Shakespeare Company. She can be seen in this season’s production of ROMEO AND JULIET as Nurse. Her first production with AASC was last season’s THE TEMPEST as Gonzalo.

How did you get started in theater? How does your family feel about your choice of careers? Is anyone else in your family also in the performing arts? How did your family, if at all, influence your career choice?
Martin Luther King Jr Project through music circus. Family is now supportive. Parents made sure I experienced the arts at a very young age. I took ballet, tap, piano, and drill team lessons.

Do you have a day job? If so, what do you do?
Yes, customer service at Christian Bookstore

Where do you currently live? Did you grow up somewhere in the Bay Area that is not where you currently live?
Sacramento, CA. Went to college at Hayward State

In what way(s) do you relate to your character? Is there any special research you will be doing to connect with your character?
I relate to my character of “Nurse” for Romeo and Juliet because as mentor to several young women, I can relate to being supportive, confident, and a counselor as “Mama Karen, or Theater Mom” that I have been affectionately named. I understand that my life journey can have insight and experience that can be impressionable and useful to their lives. I will research how governess and nannies supported families in the past and future.

Are you related to/best friendswith/had a close encounter with anyone famous? If so, please elaborate.
Childhood friend with LeVar Burton, our mothers were good friends and worked together.

Tell me something interesting about yourself.
I used to belong to an African dance troop. I love music. I collect African paintings and art. I am a retired correctional officer. I am an entrepreneur at heart. I have a master’s degree in educational counseling.