Performing Arts

Weekly conversations and insights on the fine line between setback and success in the performing arts. Fellow creatives share their own journey as artists and the lessons learned along the way with host Patrick Oliver Jones, an actor who knows first-hand the ups and downs we all face.

March 11, 2019

Caitlin Kinnunen - Actress and Singer, THE PROM on Broadway

Happy Promposal Day!

Caitlin Kinnunen may go to THE PROM eight times a week on Broadway as Emma, a high schooler who wants to bring her girlfriend to the big dance. But when she was a teenager herself, she never actually attended prom. On today’s episode, Caitlin opens up about being home schooled and how she could only go to the before and after parties with a friend.

Her home schooling was largely due to being diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at a young age, and being at home meant better care of her condition. She stayed active in local theater, though, auditioning and performing in her hometown of Seattle, Washington. But it was when she landed the role of Thea as a replacement in SPRING AWAKENING in 2008 that she finally moved to New York City.

Once that Broadway run ended the following year, it would be another 5 years before her next Broadway show, BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY, and almost another 5 years until THE PROM opened at the Longacre Theater. There were times during those in-between years Caitlin wasn’t sure she would “make it” in this business. She even had to go on Medicaid at one point when her Actors Equity health insurance ran out.


So being a part of THE PROM isn’t just making up for her lack of one in high school, it is also giving her wonderfully supportive cast and stage management team, who also help monitor her blood sugar levels throughout the show and make sure she has plenty of fruit snacks hidden around the stage. 

Lastly, Caitlin shares her thoughts on the upcoming Tony Award nominations and what that could mean to the show. But she had even more fun with some fantasy casting of her fellow actors in Sondheim's classic INTO THE WOODS. One giveaway: Beth Leavel would play the Witch, of course.


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