After Karen earned her BA in History and Drama, she returned home to Philadelphia to earn her MA in Theatre from Villanova University, solidifying her commitment to work in the arts. Karen has worked professionally in theatre since 2000 both onstage and off. Some of the companies she has worked for include The Wilma Theater, Philadelphia Live Arts Festival and Philly Fringe, 1812 Productions, and Theatre Exile to name a few. One of her last acting appearances was as Brooke/Vicki in the hilarious comedy Noises Off at Hedgerow Theatre in Media, PA.
Karen has achieved success as a stage manager, director, and producer. She directed well-received productions for both Flashpoint Theatre Company (Jump/Cut) and the Delaware Shakespeare Festival (Twelfth Night). Karen also sits on Flashpoint’s Board of Directors, having recently completed her two terms on the Executive Committee. She is the Co-Artistic Director of Madhouse Theater Company where she successfully directed and produced 3Sum, Pounding Nails in the Floor with my Forehead, and Funhouse. Under her direction, Madhouse also produced a series of original late night sketch comedies for three years. She serves as a panelist for the Philadelphia Cultural Fund. Karen was the Director of Programs & Services for the Theatre Alliance of Greater Philadelphia for eight years where she saw a renaissance of Philadelphia theatre. The Alliance doubled its theatre members in her time as program director. During her tenure, she produced the Barrymore Awards for Excellence in Theatre many times and directed them he herself twice. Never losing her love for higher learning, she has taught acting at West Chester University and was the stage management consultant at Villanova Theatre for eight years.
As Partners for Sacred Places’ first national Director of Arts in Sacred Places, Karen has created a series of systems for Partners to follow whenever pairing an arts institution with an active congregation. By surveying artists’ needs and congregations’ capacities, she has created a training model and a manual of instruction on long-term leases for arts organizations to thrive within the walls of congregations. Already launched in Philadelphia and Chicago, interest from NJ, TX, and CA for the Making Homes for the Arts in Sacred Places is gaining much momentum. Ideally, this brings income to the congregation and stability to the arts organization while building new relationships benefiting many local communities.
Karen is happily married to Josh Schulman ‘00. Karen and Josh live in South Philadelphia with their son Elijah.