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Hi, I’m Kara-Lynn Vaeni!

Thanks for visiting. Here’s some stuff about me and how I work;


“If you’re an artist, you’re in a position to challenge the fucking status quo. That’s where I’m coming from (ME TOO RICHARD!) That’s the job of an artist in society. It’s not to paint pretty pictures. It’s to say something, even if it’s only ‘Fuck You.’”—Richard H. Kirk

This manifests in me by working in and creating anti-racist and anti-oppressive theatrical and educational spaces. I do this through continued engagement with anti-racist theatre education, and continuing education in theatrical intimacy best practices.

Also, my PR deadlift is 245lbs, my PR bench is 165lbs, I have a Chihuahua--Dachshund rescue named Daisy and I got my MFA in Directing from Yale. If we meet, I’ll definitely find a way to bring all that up.


I direct new plays, re-imagined classical texts, musicals and opera. I like casting folks of all ages, races, genders and body types. I like working with writers. I like creating a writing/performance/design team who are in it to win it. I like making shows that are athletic, experimental, funny and gut wrenching. I want the audience to go on the journey that sports fans take when their underdog team fumbles and flails and then triumphs unexpectedly at the last minute.


My first play Shape won an NEA Grant, was named to the 2020 Kilroys List and premiered to fantastic reviews under my direction at The Kitchen Theatre in NY in June, 2021. My second play, In Search of the Sublime, was commissioned by Stage West in Fort Worth, TX, and premiered under my direction there in March, 2021 and was live streamed to an international audience. BADASS right?


  • Assistant Professor, Meadows School of the Arts, Southern Methodist University
  • Associate Program Director & Instructor of Physicality, Yale Summer Directing Intensive
  • Instructor of Acting, Yale Summer Conservatory


  • 85+ hours of online and in person Intimacy Choreography training; TIE and IDC
  • Academics for Black Lives Matter Summer Intensive, 2020 and 2021
  • Academics for Black Lives Matter Action & Accountability group, ongoing weekly since 2020
  • Anti Racist Theatre Training, Nicole Brewer
  • Anti Racist Pedagogy in Theatre and Dance Programs Seminar, Columbia College