Charmingly quirky. Girl next door meets goofball. Passionate and present. “Always has ants in her pants.”
^^ All phrases used to describe Kallen by industry folk and her mom.
Kallen Blair was born and raised in Memphis, TN. She hopes it means something that she shares a birthday with August Wilson (one of her favorite playwrights), but really who knows?
A peculiarly shy child (her parents received notes home from teachers asking “why doesn’t she talk”?), Kallen preferred telling stories to her menagerie of stuffed animals and dancing to an old cassette tape recording of Tchaikovsky’s “Sleeping Beauty” than socializing with other tykes…so obviously Kallen eventually found theatre.
Kallen later earned her BFA in Theatre Performance from Belmont University, a Meisner-based program in Nashville, TN, and received additional training from Tennessee Shakespeare Company, Stella Adler Summer Conservatory in NYC, and the National Theatre Institute at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Institute in Waterford, CT. At the O’Neill, home of the National Playwright’s Conference and Musical Theatre Conference, Kallen discovered her affinity for new play development, ensemble-based theatre, and devised work (in fact those are some of her favorite things).
Kallen is kind of obsessed with playwrights. You should ask her favorite because they’re constantly changing. But she’s always excited about redemption stories, pieces that encourage social change, and intimate portraits of interesting people. She is currently working on two plays of her own; one inspired by her favorite human (her brother Joel, the most amazing non-verbal person with Autism in the world), and another inspired by her favorite literary human, Cyrano de Bergerac.
Since living in NYC, Kallen has also been working in film and television. She recently wrapped a feature by a pretty stellar team from Los Angeles, set for release later this year. Favorite films are also constantly changing...but right now they’re probably Forrest Gump, Junebug, and Richard Linklater’s “Before” Trilogy…but she also really liked Wonder Woman.
When not working you can find Kallen playing her ukulele on her fire escape. Or hiking in upstate NY. Or listening to “dad music.” Or rereading East of Eden for the 50th time.
Kallen recently created and co-produced a series on disability inclusion in media called ABLE. Check out Playbill’s write-up and trailer release here.
“Art is the act of the spirit. It asks you to be a conduit for something larger than yourself” - Anne Bogart