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Arts Toolkit

Arts Toolkit: Drama

Kentuckians in Theater

Actor Trish Clark
Lexington, KY

Who Trish Clark is from Lexington, where she teaches drama and directs many of the theater productions at Paul Lawrence Dunbar High School. She has been an actress since her sophomore year in high school and continues performing with theater companies, including Actors Guild of Lexington and the Lexington Shakespeare Festival, where she also serves as artistic director. She is the mother of two grown daughters, one of whom is an aspiring actress in New York. Clark has a bachelor’s degree in theater from Eastern Kentucky University.

What “An actor presents life as it is called for in the script. You have to be true to the playwright.”

When/Where “It can be difficult to perform since I’m a teacher, but I’ve lived in Lexington most of my life and know most of the artists in town. They work around my schedule, which is a wonderful thing. When I’m in a show, I’ll be working 16 hours a day. I’ll teach, then rehearse with students after school—sometimes we do five shows a year at Dunbar—then get something to eat, and rush to a rehearsal at 7:00. It was tough when I had two young children. I brought the kids with me, and sometimes we would include them in the musicals.”

How/Why “One of the gifts that I treasure about acting is having the opportunity to create life in an imaginary form. It makes it necessary to understand another individual. You have to get into the skin of another person to understand the role. It helps you a lot as an actor and as a human being to understand why a character is doing a particular thing, why they make the choices they do, why their choices are different from your choices. It has helped me to be a better human being, a better communicator, a better parent and teacher, to understand why people do the things they do—to be more empathetic to the people you’re around daily. I want to make better communicators—make them more comfortable in their own skins, and [help them] to be empathetic to others.”

Getting There “Life gets in the way of ideals most of the time. My students get big stars in their eyes, and I wouldn’t discourage that dream. But you’ve got to come to an understanding that life gets in the way. There’s so much involved in being a full-time professional actor. You have to make a lot of sacrifices. There’s so much more than having an audience enjoy you. You also have to survive. There are so many wonderful things you can do in the field besides working in it full-time, including teaching and working within the community where you live. It’s not just about creating art... It’s about reaching out and having everybody participate in life.”

600 Cooper Drive, Lexington, KY 40502 (859) 258-7000 (800) 432-0951