What’s your deal? Who are you and what’s your story?

My name is Kedren Spencer, I am a 29-yr old classical actor and singer from Maryland. I recently graduated with my MFA from the FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training (Class of 2018, WHOOP!). Including my recent training, I have been acting for a total of about six years. Before that, I played competitive sports, worked with children with Autism, and for a time, very seriously considered going to both Medical School and Pastry School…I’ve lived many lives.

What most excites you about in taking on this acting opportunity at TAM?

This being my first gig right out of grad school, I am thrilled to be blessed with such rich roles. TAM has been a wonderful, safe space for me to take risks, build myself back up as an actor, and assert myself as a professional. I’ve been given a lot of responsibility—which I take very seriously—but even more, I’m grateful for the trust and faith my incredible directors and brilliant scene partners have put in me. It has made it very easy to trust myself and lean into my
instincts more and more. Because of this, I feel good about the life I’m breathing into each of these amazing women I get to play.

Why Shakespeare (or classic theatre)?

I think I’ve always been of the mindset that if you can do Shakespeare, you can do anything. The skills you learn from doing classical work are so readily transferable to all mediums, I think. Before I was seriously considering a career in acting myself, I noticed that, consistently, all of the actors whose work I admired were all classically trained. While I’ve learned to appreciate other non-classically trained actors’ work as well, to me there is a tangible difference. There is a clarity and specificity and understanding of language and intention, and to me, a more expansive range of depth to their work. There’s also the beauty and freedom of classical language that allows us to live as large as life actually is. It gives us permission to do this; more, it demands a full commitment of our whole emotional self to the work. When we inhabit these characters, our language becomes as big as our circumstance. In this day and age, it appears to me that we seem to be retreating more and more into ourselves and our technology; our language and our range of expressed emotions seems to be getting smaller and smaller. Especially with film, everything is so small and microscopic. While I love film, and definitely intend to have a career in film, I don’t think that is how our lives are actually lived, nor supposed to be. Repressed and Contained. Classical Language, in one phrase, allows you to feel complete extremes of emotion. It allows for us to live bombastically. To be alive. There is true freedom in that. And that is as frightening as it is thrilling.

Who is your role model, and why?

I have many different role models. My mother is definitely at the top of that list, but the consistent thread for me in what makes them all such admirable, brilliant human beings is their strength, perseverance, and generosity. Their selflessness and drive in the face of trauma, loss, failure, success; in the mundane and in the extreme.

You can have dinner with any three powerful women in history. Who would you choose and why?                           

 I would like to meet one of my ancestors. There is often a great disconnect with people of color and our lineage and heritage because of history (erasure, disenfranchisement, oppression, historical negationism, revisionism, to name a few…). I know that I am an perceptive, intelligent, passionate, strong Black woman because of the village of people who’ve raised me, but also because of the many brilliant people who have come before me. I would like to connect and learn a little bit more of [my] history and spend time with one of the humans from whom I’m descended.

I would also like to meet Maya Angelou. Hers were some of the first words I read about the resilience, power, strength, grace, and beauty of the Black Woman. Her words have affected me deeply as I’ve gotten older and give me great perspective and peace. I couldn’t imagine actually looking into her eyes and receiving her words first hand.

Michelle Obama. Because Michelle Obama. Her poise and grace is unfathomable. She radiates Glory.

What is your super power?             

I have a Healing touch.

Describe yourself in three alliterative words.                 

Loving, Loud, and Laughing