Our Team

The Company

Kate Kissingford


For the last 28 years, Kate has gotten on stage as much as time and the Fates would allow. In 2003, Kate earned her Masters of Fine Arts in Acting from Florida Atlantic University. Locals may have seen her last year in The Other Place, by Sharr White and in Taming of the Shrew. Kate has fond memories of playing these favorite roles: Julianna in The Other Place,  Lady Macbeth, in Macbeth, Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing, Father Toulon in Red Noses, various roles in The Laramie Project and TheVagina Monologues, Laura in The Glass Menagerie and Sylvia in Sylvia. Kate is a resident of Ouray, Colorado, where her counseling practice and motherhood keep her otherwise occupied. Kate appreciates your support of her theater habit and hopes you make a habit of seeing UpstART productions! 

John Kissingford


After studying and teaching literature and theater and criticism a lot over these past few decades, John Kissingford finally realized how much he loves playing with his friends onstage and being part of the conversation great plays inspire. He has acted with various regional and touring companies, and explored Original Practice approaches to Shakespeare with New England Shakespeare Festival as well as No Holds Bard, which he and Kate founded in 2005. Favorite roles include Jacques and Richard III (NESF), Don Quixote (Boston Flamenco Ballet), Hamlet and Petruchio (NHB), Siegfried Sassoon in Not About Heroes (Chasm View), Tom, Phyllis, and Leslie in Sylvia, and Ian in The Other Place (Ouray County Players). He was also Dull in a Festival Rep production of Love’s Labor’s Lost. The character. Was named. Dull. He finds it delightful to play here in Ouray County, whether in the high school English classroom, on the fencing strip, out in the mountains, or, of course, onstage with UpstART. 

Steve Gallion


Steve likes to jump around in front of people sometimes so he performed in a whole bunch of plays when he lived in San Diego. Some of his favorites are Amadeus, Beau Jest, Much Ado About Nothing, Cyrano de Bergerac, Midsummer Night’s Dream, Hunchback of Notre Dame, A Christmas Carol, and The Nerd (Lamb’s Players Theatre); Blithe Spirit (North Coast Repertory); Robin Hood, Wait Until Dark, School for Wives, and The Boys Next Door (Mt. Holyoke Summer Theatre); and Twelfth Night (Napa Valley Shakespeare). Then there are other times when Steve likes to be in charge so he directed plays. The ones where folks clapped the most were 1776 and Hay Fever (Napa Valley Repertory), Mother Courage and Her Children (Backbone Theater); Beau Jest and The Deadly Game (North Coast Rep), and Waiting (Riba-99 International Play Festival in Lithuania). And that doesn’t even include all the stuff he did in college where he studied real hard and got an MFA in Theatre Producing and Management from Columbia University, and an MA in Theatre Directing from San Diego State University.  

About Us

Steve, John & Kate met in 2015 and sparks flew, doves flew out of hats, and rainbows spontaneously appeared. 

What else were we to do but start a theater company? 

Right?

(Okay, so John and Kate actually met in 1996 and got married soon after but you know what we mean.) 

The Kissingfords, (including their son Nate) have been acting together for a long time and were thrilled to meet their other theatrical twin, Steve Gallion, after all these years. We all agree that theater should be relevant, perspective altering, heart opening, and exciting. Don't you?