PLAYBILL.COM'S CUE & A: Grace Star Kate Arrington

By Matthew Blank
December 11, 2012

Kate Arrington, who stars as Sara in the Broadway production of Craig Wright's Grace, fills out Playbill.com's questionnaire of random facts, backstage trivia and pop-culture tidbits.



Arrington recently played Cora in The Iceman Cometh at the Goodman Theatre (with Nathan Lane and Brian Dennehy).

She is a Steppenwolf Ensemble member, where she has performed in Hot L Baltimore, Detroit, A Parallelogram, Fake, The Pain and the Itch, The Well-Appointed Room and The Violet Hour.

Other theatre credits include The American Plan (Broadway), King Lear (with Stacy Keach), When the Messenger Is Hot, Far and Wide, Everett Beekin, Bluebeard and Other Less Grisly Tales of Love, Sexy Saint James and Boom.

She and castmate/partner Michael Shannon are the parents of Sylvia Grace Arrington Shannon.





Full given name: Katherine Arrington Bauso
Where you were born/where you were raised: Born in Plainfield, NJ. Grew up in Raleigh, NC, from ages 1-18.
Zodiac Sign: Pisces
What your parents did/do for a living: They are both English professors.
Siblings: Two awesome younger sisters, Louise and Anne.
Something you're REALLY bad at: I am a TERRIBLE singer and somehow I end up doing it in almost every play I'm in!
First Broadway show you ever saw: Peter Pan with Sandy Duncan
Did you have any particular mentors or inspirations when first starting out? I was named after Katharine Hepburn and I always thought she was pretty damn cool.
If you could go back in time and catch any show, what would it be? The original Streetcar Named Desire. And it wasn't on Broadway, but I sure would have liked to have seen Steppenwolf's production of Balm and Gilead.
Current show other than your own you have been recommending to friends: Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Favorite showtune(s) of all time: I love all of the music from Once On This Island.
Some favorite musicals: Caroline, or Change
Passing Strange
Light in the Piazza
Broadway or screen stars of the past you would most have loved to perform with: Barbara Stanwyck and Jimmy Stewart
Your personal performance idols, living or dead: Fiona Shaw, Amy Morton, Laurie Metcalf
The one performance – attended - that you will never forget: The Seven Streams of the River Ota by Robert Lepage
Music that makes you cry, any genre: "Glory of Love" still makes me tingly.
MAC or PC? MAC, grudgingly
Most played song on your iPod: Music by The Mountain Goats
Most-visited websites: Playbill, duh!

And sometimes I read the Times.

Last book you read: "Ethan Frome"
Must-see TV show(s): We don't have a TV but I'd love to get ahold of DVDs of "Boardwalk Empire" so I can see Michael naked with other ladies.


Last good movie you saw: "A Cat in Paris" (I haven't seen a grown-up movie in awhile.)
Some films you consider classics: "Bringing Up Baby
"Rear Window"
"Nashville"
Performer you would drop everything to go see: David Bowie
Pop culture guilty pleasure: "Dr. Katz" and "Arrested Development" (and I don't feel guilty!)
Favorite cities: New York, Chicago, Barcelona
Favorite sport/team/player: What? Which? Who?
First CD/Tape/LP you owned: "Free to Be You and Me" (thank you, Marlo)
First stage or screen kiss: It was playing Liat in South Pacific when I was 14. That's right, it was North Carolina and I painted on the eyes.
Moment you knew you wanted to perform for a living: It'll come soon.
Favorite pre-/post- show meal: I'll take french fries from anywhere.
Favorite liquid refreshment: I like the sparkly.
Pre-show rituals or warm-ups: Paul Rudd gets a big fat hug.
Most challenging role you've played: Cora in Iceman Cometh was pretty tough- not for the role necessarily, just the endurance it takes to do a five-hour play.
Craziest audition story: A certain Russian director never looked up and never stopped speaking full-voice in Russian to his assistant throughout my entire audition.
Worst flubbed line/missed cue/onstage mishap: Someone vomited over the edge of the mezzanine last night.
Worst job you ever had: A restaurant on the Upper West Side where we had to fill the ketchup out of huge plastic bags that hung on the wall in the basement.
Do you find there to be any major difference between performing for Broadway audiences and performing for Chicago audiences? I thought there would be, but they're both great. In New York, you tend to get more of the general enthusiasm of first-time theatre goers.
If you could trade roles/tracks with anyone in the show for a week, who would it be? Ed Asner
Leading lady role you've been dying to play: I'm waiting for Richard Greenberg to write it.
Something about you that surprises people: I love dumb, funny movies.
Something you are incredibly proud of: Sylvia Grace Arrington Shannon
Something you're embarrassed to admit: It's someone I dated, but I'm not ready to admit it yet.
Career you would want if not a performer: If I could think of one, I'd be it.
Three things you can't live without: My family, lattes and Fairway (I'm living it...)
"I'll never understand why…" … the MTA can't put time boards in all the train stations.
Words of advice for aspiring performers: Don't be a waiter. And I don't mean the people who serve food. Find things to do for yourself and great people to do them with.