MEET A MOM: Kate Simone - New Canaan & Darien Moms

Meet New Canaan native Kate Simone, an actress and mother of two who graduated from NCHS in 2005. She moved to town four years ago with her family, and she loves raising her children in her hometown. Kate was hired by her alma mater to direct their winter musical: NCHS Theatre Department presents Rodgers & Hammerstein’s OKLAHOMA! 

How many kids do you have and what are their ages?
I have 2 kids—Rob is 3 and a half and Claire is 21 months.

What do you like about raising your children in the town where you grew up? So many things! New Canaan is so family friendly. I have met so many amazing women since I’ve moved who are also young mothers with kids the same age as mine. I don’t know what I would have done without them during my first years of motherhood. I also love being close to family- my parents and grandparents still live in town and my brother and future sister-in-law just moved here too. I love that my kids will grow up where I grew up- they’re even starting off at the same pre-school as I attended! This community is welcoming, safe and so much to offer to everyone.

When did you move back to New Canaan?
I moved back to New Canaan over four years ago with my husband to raise our two toddlers. I was hired last year by my alma mater to direct their winter musical, Oklahoma! It has been over 20 years since someone new has directed the winter musical. I am completely thrilled and honored to be back.

Tell us about your background in acting…
I graduated NCHS in 2005 having performed in all of the plays and musicals the school had to offer. I received a BFA in musical theatre from Syracuse University in 2009. I went on to become a professional actress and I did musicals around the country and in NYC and I’ve appeared on TV in Mistresses on ABC and HAPPYish on Showtime. I’m a member of both AEA and SAG-AFTRA. When I moved back to Connecticut I started teaching voice lessons and I’ve been teaching at The Studio on Forest Street for the last year and a half.

What made you decide to do OKLAHOMA! for the winter musical?
I chose to do OKLAHOMA! for a number of reasons. It’s a classic musical that most people know, it has a large cast with various roles, but it also has a lot of scenes with just two to three actors which allows for optimal socially distanced staging. We are also setting the show modern day instead of 1906. This allows for easy costuming on our end, and way more fun and contemporary vocals and dancing on the cast’s end. Our production is heavily inspired by the 2019 Broadway revival. It will be fun, fast-paced and very energetic—not your typical Oklahoma!

How did you adapt the production for Covid protocols?
Because of Covid we’ve kept our on stage cast to a maximum of 20 students to maintain adequate social distancing. The actors will also be wearing clear masks that other schools and universities have used for their productions. It was very important to me that the audience be able to see the beautiful acting that these students are capable of. Another Covid-related change new to our program is that our entire cast understudied. In case someone gets sick or quarantined, we have another actor ready at a moment’s notice to step into that role whether it be a leading character or an ensemble member.

How can people buy tickets and view it online?
The show will be filmed and then streamed on March 18th, 19th and 20th at 7pm. Here’s the link to buy tickets which you will need to stream the show. Though I know I’m not the only one who misses sitting in theatre and watching a live performance, I think all our viewers will enjoy being able to watch our show in the comfort of their own homes. Pick up your favorite take out and cozy up on the couch with the kids for an entertaining evening!

Favorite highlight from the musical?
There are so many to pick from! The song “Oklahoma” has always been one of my all-time favorite musical theatre numbers, and I get goosebumps every time the students perform it!

Any words to live by?
Everything happens for a reason.

We love supporting local businesses. Favorite places in town or nearby to…
Have Dinner:
South End  and Locali 
Grab a Drink with Friends:
Uncorked  and  Pesca 
Have a Date Night:
Elm and The Tavern at Graybarns 
Spend time together as a family:
We love taking walks into town, going to the farmer’s market and visiting all the town parks.
Shop:
She La La—they have the best home decor, gifts, earrings and I love their children’s clothing and toys! @shopshelala
Spa/salon:
Blanc Hair Studio in Springdale @blanc.hair.studio
Grab coffee:
Rosie and Zumbach’s Coffee

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