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Born in West New York, NJ, Kathleen Coudle-King completed high school in Miami, Florida and graduated from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts with a degree in Dramatic Writing, later earning a M.A. in English from the Univ. of ND.

Kathleen has one foot in education and the other deeply submerged in theatre. She holds a B.F.A. in Dramatic Writing from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts and an M.A. in English from the Univ. of North Dakota. She has been an indie theatre producer, an executive director for a community theatre, and is currently the managing artistic director for the Empire Theatre Co., as well as the founder of Theatre without Walls.

Kathleen has written more than 50 plays, enjoying productions around the U.S.  Her main focus is on social justice issues and women's role in history. Her plays have highlighted the early labor movement in NYC in the 1900s when women led work strikes and rent strikes. In St. Bette's, Kathleen wrote about a home for unwed mothers in the 1960s when young, pregnant women had few choices (history repeats itself). She has received multiple commissions to create pieces for college campuses about dating violence and domestic abuse, as well as conferences for plays about access to mental health care in rural communities, breast feeding, and children with siblings with disabilities.

Her play, Companeras, was the Larry Corse Int'l New Play winner, produced at Columbus State (GA) and the Hotchkiss School (CT) and focuses on women political prisoners in Uruguay during the 1970's "Dirty War."

For the last three years, Kathleen has been dedicated to telling the stories of homelessness and mental illness in her state of North Dakota. Through interviews, she created "In Search of Persephone," about a mother looking for her runaway trans-daughter who is found living on the streets. Her most recent play, "Retail Therapy," received grant support from the ND Council on the Arts and an American Recovery Grant for Artists. Research began with interviews with individuals who had been patients or

were the relatives of patients who spent time in psychiatric institutions.

Currently, Kathleen holds a writing fellowship from the ND Council on the Arts and is working on a play about the first patients at the ND State Hospital for the mentally ill in 1896. She is also a writing professor at the University of North Dakota, where she lives on the prairie with her family. Kathleen is a member of the Dramatist Guild.


Artist Statement

Story is my religion. I have faith in story. Stories well told can build bridges, transport us to the past and the future, explore the here and now, record today for tomorrow, heal the storyteller and the audience, awaken the sleeping, inspire the despondent, ignite revolution.

 I have worshipped story from the time my mother sat me on her knee and read to me over and over until I’d memorized the words. I have devoured stories from the time my deaf brother shared his love of the Hollywood musical with me. I’ve sought refuge in story amid family chaos. I came to playwriting through acting out the stories of others. And when I did not see my stories on the page or the stage, I began to write them. I discovered I could also use my ability to craft story to serve as a vehicle for other’s who might not have had the same privilege to learn the craft, or the opportunities to share their stories with an audiences.

I am actor, writer, director, producer, and educator – and I am a thousand stories. Amen. 


Awards & Honors

Resume/C.V. - 2023

Special Projects Award                                         ND Council on the Arts                                   2023

 Winner - "Clothespins"                                         Association of Theatre in Higher Education 2021
                                                                                 10-Minute Play Award

Professional Development Award                      ND Council on the Arts                                   2011, ’16, ‘17
Winner – New Play Award for Companeras     Larry Corse – Columbus State, GA               2011     

Diamond Award, Hip Hop Daddy                     Filmmakers                                                        2010

Artist of the Year                                                    North Valley Arts Council Award                 2009

Winner - Ghost Town/Off the Map                     Bush Foundation Dakota Creative                2009
Winner - Companeras                                           ATHE                                                                  2008

Finalist, St. Bette’s                                                  Panowski Award – U. of Michigan                2008

Finalist, St. Bette’s                                                  Sienna New Play Award                                 2007 

Finalist, Trees                                                         Dayton FutureFest                                            2007

Winner, Trees                                                         Fullerton College                                              2007

1st place, Shrimp Po’boy                                      Marco Island Film Festival                              2002

Semi-finalist, Shrimp Po’boy                               Nicholl’s Fellowship                                        2002

Semi-finalist, Shrimp Po’boy                               Chesterfield Fellowship                                  2002

News and Events
Awards & Honors


For any media inquiries, please contact Kathy Coudle-King

 | katking33 "At"

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