BIO – MARCIA KIMMELL, Theater Artist & Innovator – 2017

Marcia Kimmell has over 40 years of experience as an actor, director and teacher. She currently teaches and directs at OWH Television Studios in Oakland, CA.  She is producing a new topical, magazine style, “good news” show, WAKE UP OAKLAND!!! As an actor she has played such diverse roles as LADY MACBETH, the COWARDLY

LION, as well as the role of WINNIE in Beckettʼs absurdist “HAPPY DAYS,” a tour de

force for her.

Kimmell is a professional story-teller, combining experimental, improvisational theater

training with personal story, couched in metaphors found in fairy tales and myths. She

teaches and performs an entertaining form of improvisational “Story Theater” she has

developed that draws characters and plot from archetypes, as well as actorʼs sub-personalities and personal life, heroic journeys.

Another special area of theater that Ms. Kimmell has developed is the creation of

original theater pieces. With solo actors or with an ensemble of players she helps

develop powerful theater pieces drawn from the personal stories and issues in the lives

of the actors. Most notable of these works is “LEFTOVERS, the Ups & Downs of a

Compulsive Eater,” co-created from psycho-dramatic improvisations with Deah

Schwartz and Anne Wilford. The three improvisational actors played LEFTOVERS to

sold-out houses on the West Coast and had a run off-Broadway, NY. A video of

LEFTOVERS is available (

Kimmell is originally from Chicago where, at 10 years old she started in a professional

acting school for children, doing musical theater. As a teenager she was trained in

improvisational Theater Games at the Second City by the great innovator and creator of

Theater Games, Viola Spolin. considered the “mother of the improvisational theater

movement.” In her twenties she worked with Spolin again in a training

program for professional Theater Games coaches at the Spolin Theater Game Center,

in Los Angeles. She came to San Francisco to study at the American Conservatory

Theatre, where she later became a teacher. Kimmell has been Artist-in-Residence in

several public and private Bay Area schools, including School of the Arts High School,

SFUSD. For five years she was the Drama Specialist for the City of San Franciscoʼs

Recreation & Parks Department. She has been adjunct and guest faculty at various Bay

Area colleges and universities where she has trained actors, film directors, drama

therapists, educators and animators.

In 1979 Kimmell founded The Next Stage Training Programs, her school, where she

continues to work with a wide range of people, from professional actors and film

directors to total beginners. She combines Stanislavskiʼs “System of Psych-physical

Actions” with Spolin Theater Games in her method of teaching, coaching and directing

that enable actors to find playful, inspired, psychologically rich choices. Her training

empowers people of all ages to express themselves with confidence and creativity. The

Next Stage is focused on the development of human potential, using improvisationally

based acting training as a playful medium that enables people to grow to the “next stage”

of their development.Image


About marciakimmell

I act, direct and teach acting & improvisataional theater. My theater and school, The Next Stage is based now in the East Bay, but I will go wherever I am called to share improvisational Theater games or whatever way I can use my gifts as an actor, director or teacher. Until last year I was teaching & directing at Overcomers With Hope (OWH) Television Studios, a community-based, video production facility in Oakland. I was exec. producer for a topical television show, WAKE UP OAKLAND! - Bullying now on YouTube. I am now working on a one-woman, autobiographical theater piece, DON'T GET ME STARTED, as well as on a new musical, See In general, my work is focused on using the Performing Arts to develop human potential.
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