Kelly Trumbull: Acting and Educating Her Way Through Pittsburgh


Actress and educator, Kelly Trumbull, has been living in Pittsburgh for the past 4 and a half years and navigating our city’s diverse theater scene. Trumbull has worked on a variety of different regional projects; everything from local theater to major motion pictures, including a principal role in Insomnia and Concussion starring Will Smith. She currently serves on the faculties for CMU’s School of Music and Point Park’s Conservatory of Performing Arts. Kelly Trumbull’s impressive career has been influenced by her love of visionary contemporary playwrights and an inspiring passion for her craft. Read on to catch a glimpse into the journey of one of Pittsburgh’s most talented actresses.

What initially sparked your interest in theater?

When I was 8 years old, my mom signed me up for a summer musical theater program. I was immediately hooked and the rest is history.

Kelly Trumbull
Kelly Trumbull

How did you get your start in Pittsburgh theater?

When I first moved back to Pittsburgh, I reached out to all of the companies in town. I tried to meet with as many people as possible and attend any audition that came my way. The theater community here is wonderful and I was surprised at how willing people were to take the time to connect. In my experience, the most successful actors are the the go getters, the people who wake up and do something for their career everyday and I still try to put this into practice everyday.

What are some of the productions you’ve been in locally?

I’ve had the opportunity to work with some great companies since I moved back to Pittsburgh. More recently, I was in By the Way Vera Stark at The Rep, In the Raw with Bricolage, Boeing Boeing at CLO Cabaret, and Brewed with No Name Players. I loved working on all of these productions and am lucky because they were all so different. As an actor, it gave me the opportunity to play a variety of different characters and work with really wonderful actors, directors, and production teams.

What are some of your favorite plays/playwrights?

This is such a tough question! I love so many plays and they change often because I read a lot them. Most recently, I really enjoyed The Flick by Annie Baker and Punk Rock by Simon Stephens. Some of my more long term favorites are Doubt by John Patrick Shanley, The Children’s Hour by Lillian Hellman, Zoo Story by Edward Albee, and Buried Child by Sam Shepard. The list is so long. This is just the tip of the iceberg.

Has your time as an educator influenced your acting?

Teaching acting has been revolutionary for me as an actor because it forces me to examine and articulate my process as an artist daily. I always tell my students that they can learn just as much about acting watching each other as they can actually getting up in front of the class and working. This is true for me as well. I learn a great deal from witnessing and guiding them in the discovery of their own acting process.