We are pleased to introduce our newest addition to 20% Theatre, Kristen Stoeckeler. Kristen joined 20% back in April as our first ever arts administrator. She gave us this interview so that you can get to know her!
Tell us a little about yourself. How’d you come to work with 20%?
I grew up in St. Paul. As you might imagine, I was a hardcore theater kid. As an adult I moved to Minneapolis and spent a decade performing in the Twin Cities’ queer cabaret scene, largely with Dykes Do Drag, but also various other shows that have blossomed up here and there over the years.
As a graduate student at the University of Minnesota, my focus was Performance Studies and I cut my teeth there as an arts educator for undergraduates. I have since worked for several local nonprofits managing arts-based educational programming, and in some cases teaching. On the side, I’ve also had a stint as a podcaster for Broadside: a queer feminist conversation about arts & culture, and have played with a couple local queer bands.
When I saw that 20% was hiring I thought, Everything I’ve ever done in my life has prepared me to crush this job! Since I was hired in April, I’ve been so happy to be working on a daily basis to make queer theater and performance happen in the Twin Cities. This work is definitely a dream to me.
What’s your favorite thing about the job so far?
I am so happy to be working in my field! I spent a really long time thinking, writing, talking about and practicing queer performance and for the last few years I haven’t been working a day-job in this field because, well, there are so few! So, I’m very grateful to have found a job in this line of work because my interests and values feel more integrated with my day-to-day work life.
On top of that, I’d say that I’m one of those people who’s really excited by the energy of starting new projects. Being 20%’s first arts administrator ever, my job is just rife with potential ways to give to 20% Theatre. So, one of my favorite things about the job right now is trying to innovate new ways for 20% as an organization to function internally, and new ways for us as a theater company to create platforms and spaces for our community.
Awesome! But who are you really? Like outside of work?
Like what do I like to do when I’m not working for 20%? I love to dance, play music, ride my bike, garden, and hang out with my loved ones. I love to travel. I like fixing things and making things with my hands. I also work in video production as a freelancer so I’m often making videos with my spare time.
Oh neat, what kind of videos?
Oh, I just wrapped up a set of training videos for a local small business and now I’m working on a video for Three Rivers Fibershed, a nonprofit that works on promoting sustainable fiber production and local fiber economies.
Very cool! Well, anything else you want to tell the 20% community?
Just that I’m very excited to be a part of 20%. And please don’t hesitate to reach out to me by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or say ‘hi’ at the next show, or if you happen to see me around the cities!