After working as a part of the Shenandoah Summer Music Theatre (SSMT) for a few summers, Kristen M. Martino ’13 decided to attend Shenandoah to continue her education. “Shenandoah packs a huge punch for such a small school,” said Martino. “The quality of education is outstanding and the community is such a rewarding part of the experience of attending a smaller size school.”
Martino’s fondest memories while at Shenandoah were working in the scene shop as a work-study, student employee. This experience was invaluable to her education. Martino was excited to return to the SSMT 2022 season as a guest designer. “It feels almost full circle to be returning a decade later to where I first started the journey of my career,” said Martino.
Martino is an assistant professor of scenic design at University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida. She is also a freelance scenic designer. As a designer, she works internationally with theatre companies as a guest designer for shows. Martino has also worked on projects for tours, museums and circuses. Previously in her career, she was an associate scenic designer to prominent scenic designers in the Chicago, Illinois area. Martino was awarded the United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT) 2022 Rising Star Award and was a part of the team that was selected to design the USITT’s 2019 Emerging Artist Prague Quadrennial exhibit.
One of the most rewarding parts of Martino’s career is teaching. “I have had the opportunity to teach at several institutions already and the students always teach me just as much as I teach them,” said Martino.
Martino’s Shenandoah education prepared her for her career by giving her the foundational blocks and skills to succeed in the real world after graduation.
Martino’s advice to students is: “Be a good person. It does not matter how “good” you are at your job, if you are not a good person first. Be kind, be flexible, be giving.”