Kari Ely became a full-time Equity and SAG-AFTRA actress in 1983 when she was hired by director and future cohort Wayne Salomon. Since then Kari has worked for virtually every professional company in St. Louis: The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, The Imaginary Theatre Company, The Muny, Stages St. Louis, St. Louis Actor’s Studio, St. Louis Shakespeare Festival, Upstream, New Jewish, The New Theatre, Hothouse & HotCity Theatre’s, Theatre Factory, The Black Rep., Muddy Waters, Off the Cuff and Theatre Project Company. Regional theatres include Arrow Rock Lyceum, The Fox in Atlanta, Theatre Under the Stars, The Starlight and the American Heartland. Kari is a multiple Recipient and Nominee of both The Kevin Kline Awards and the Critics Circle Awards, and more. In 2019 she was both a Visionary Award Honoree as Outstanding Working Artist and named Best Director for A LOVELY SUNDAY FOR CREVE COEUR for the Tennessee Williams Festival. Kari was a Co-Founder and Producer of The Make-Believe-Ables performing with the St. Louis Symphony and the Midwest Team-Leader with Laughing Stock, LLC working with Boeing and other corporations. Kari has taught adjunct at Washington University and SIUE, her alma mater.
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