When Kristine Nielsen was a child, her Girl Scout troop had to do something to earn the drama badge. “We did one of those old vaudeville ‘you must pay the rent, but I can’t pay the rent,’ and I was the villain,” Nielsen tells Playbill. “My mother was horrified because she was like, ‘You got so many laughs...uh oh.’”
Sure enough, Nielsen had been bit by the bug and acting ever since. She made her Broadway debut in The Iceman Cometh, which she names as the show that most impacted her. “It really put a gold standard out there for me about what theatre can do, should do, and, hopefully, what I am doing,” she says.
Now in her twelfth Broadway show, Gary: A Sequel Titus Andronicus has earned her second Tony nomination—and she had to work twice as hard to get it. Originally cast as the midwife Carol in Taylor Mac’s black comedy, Kristine took over the role of the maid Janice when her co-star Andrea Martin (originally cast as Janice) had to leave the production due to an injury. She learned the role in six days.
Here, Nielsen shares the person she wants to work with next and the fellow Tony nominee she cannot wait to see.