Kari Litteer was just 3 years old when her parents brought her to see her first live stage production, the musical Bye Bye Birdie. While she has no recollection of the show (she was, after all, a toddler), the now 23-year-old acknowledges that it must have made an impression on her. It has certainly had an impact on the course her life has taken since then.
A Syracuse native, Litteer studied theatre arts on the Heights. She immersed herself in life at the W. Carroll Coyne Center for the Performing Arts and worked on multiple shows for both Boot and Buskin and Major Arcana. Litteer learned about what Karel Blakeley, chair of the department of visual and performing arts, refers to as the “two Cs” of theater “communication and collaboration.” She also held leadership roles in the several student performance groups, including the Jazzuits, Le Moyne College Chamber Singers, and Fermata Nowhere.
Since graduating from Le Moyne in 2013, Litteer has gained a wealth of professional experience and travelled across the country, working at TriArts Sharon Playhouse in Connecticut, Arizona’s Phoenix Theatre and the Theatre at Monmouth in Maine, where she will work this summer. She credits Le Moyne’s theatre arts program with instilling in her “the confidence to embrace these opportunities, take chances, and reach beyond (her) comfort zone.”
“It has definitely been sink or swim,” she said of the experiences. Litteer has immersed herself in life in what is known as the “back of the house” and the “front of the house.” As an assistant stage manager and properties intern at TriArts Sharon Playhouse, she provided support to the director, actors and stage crew throughout productions, while as a patrons services and sales intern in Arizona she worked in the box office managing ticket sales and promotions. The worlds are “polar opposites,” but both were invaluable learning opportunities, she said. During her time in Maine, Litteer is looking forward to blending both of these worlds doing what she calls “a hodgepodge of administrative duties.”
Following her time in Maine this summer, Litteer will return to Arizona where she will resume work at the Phoenix theatre until May 2015. She is also investigating the arts entrepreneurship and management program at Arizona State University. Beyond that, she said that she has always enjoyed the process of matching the right people with the right part, and may pursue a career in casting.
“In the long term,” she said, “I know that theatre is something I am meant to pursue.”