Kate Hendrickson

resident director


Kate Hendrickson’s particular focus at Trap Door Theatre is premiering new plays by radical American playwrights. Over the years has Kate developed and sustained long-term collaborative relationships with several playwrights. For Trap Door, Kate directed world premieres of ANGER/FLY by Ruth Margraff and Cookie Play, Chaste and Beholder (Jeff Award for Best New Work, After Dark Award for Best Original Music), by Ken Prestininzi. Chaste received “Best of 2010” nods in the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Stage Review, and the Huffington Post. ANGER/FLY was recognized in the Chicago Reader “Best Of” 2011-12 edition as part of a Trap Door season presenting the “best string of theatrical stunners.”  Kate also directed Midwest premieres of Prestininzi’s AmeriKafka, Howard Zinn’s Emma (After Dark Award for Best Ensemble), and 12 Ophelias by Caridad Svich. Additional work has included adapting the Mo Willems book I Am Invited to a Party!into a children’s production; directing a staged reading of Caridad Svich’s new play, Spark; the Midwest premiere of Ruth Margraff’s Three Graces at Pivot Arts’ Multi-Arts Festival; and Links Hall’s Physical Fest Chicago, where Kate and Margraff showed new work in progress. This new piece, inspired by the TV show Fantasy Island, will have its world premiere at Trap Door in 2016. Other upcoming projects include collaborating with company member Lyndsay Rose Kane on her one woman show CassAndra.


A graduate of Bennington College in Vermont, Kate has worked as an actor and director in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and abroad. She performed internationally at the Komedia Theatre in Brighton, England; the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland; and with the Dutch performance collective Lupus Ludens. While in Los Angeles, Kate did script analysis and casting work for films and television, and played small roles in several films (credits: imdb.com/name/nm0376789/). Kate is also the founder and director of Summerdale Workshop. Located in Andersonville, Summerdale Workshop provides children with high-quality acting instruction in a playful yet focused setting.

“Kate brings such beauty and precision to her direction that I think of what she does as live sculpture moving into oil painting, water color, and then sculpture again – ancient and modern at once.  She instills in the actors a core truth that has many entry points.” Playwright Ruth Margraff  in Splash Magazine


“Hendrickson’s direction is a delightful flurry of constant motion. In her extremely inventive staging, there is always something eye-grabbing to watch.”  Paul Kubicki Stage and Cinema


“Kate Hendrickson’s staging is so striking …that I would’ve been transfixed under any circumstances.” Tony Adler Chicago Reader


“Directed by Kate Hendrickson with great sensitivity and a sense of true emotional wildness, the production is as beautiful and richly haunted as a Modersohn-Becker painting.”  Hedy Weiss Chicago Sun Times

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