Kirsten was first seen on stage at A Red Orchid in The Removalists in 1997. She was invited to join the Artistic Ensemble in 2000 and stepped in as Artistic Director in 2008. She has been seen here at home in Pilgrim’s Progress, Strandline, Mud Blue Sky, Butcher of Baraboo, Solstice, The New Electric Ballroom, Abigail’s Party, Pumpgirl, Weapon of Mass Impact, Mr. Bundy, Four Murders, An Evening at the Talkhouse, Traitor, and The Sea Horse (for which she was honored to receive a 2006 Jeff Award).
Kirsten has also been on stage recently at The Goodman Theater in Sweat, Steppenwolf Theatre in the world premieres of Mary Page Marlow by Tracy Letts and The Qualms by Bruce Norris, and at Victory Gardens in the world premiere of Appropriate and the 2018 production of Lettie. In 1999 Kirsten received an After Dark award for her performance in A Moon for the Misbegotten at Circle Theatre and was honored to understudy Cherry Jones in the same role later that year.
She has acted with The Utah Shakespeare Festival, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Steppenwolf, Apple Tree, Next, Goodman, Shattered Globe, Remy Bumppo, Plasticene, Prop, National Pastime, the much missed Defiant Theatre and more. Her Television credits include Sirens, Chicago Fire, Chicago Justice, Chicago Med, The Exorcist, Underemployed and ER.
An MFA graduate of the University of Iowa and a BA graduate of the University of Kansas, Kirsten grew up in Chicago and its north suburbs. Being the oldest of seven prepared her well for her role as Artistic Director of this passionate ensemble. Kirsten also teaches acting at Columbia College and DePaul University.