Skip to main content

Karen Vacarro

Guest Artist, Director

Headshot of Karen Vacarro

Contact Information

Salem Campus

900 State Street
Salem  Oregon  97301


Karen Vaccaro has been a mainstay in Chicago theatre working as a director and actress since 1982 and has won 3 Joseph Jefferson Awards for her work. Karen served as Artistic Director of Spirit Expressing Theatre 2000-2002. Training actors since 1985, Karen created professional acting programs for LaBarraca ’90, Spirit Expressing, and Huron Theatres.

  • She performed in the US Premiere of The Rise and Fall of Little Voice at the Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago and On Broadway at the Neil Simon Theatre.
  • She created the role of Helen in Sin at the Goodman Theatre and also performed the role Off Broadway at Second Stage.
  • Ms. Vaccaro directed In The Continuum for the University of Illinois at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts this past fall.
  • She directed the critically acclaimed production of Federico Garcia Lorca’s The Sleep Walker’s Ballad for LaBarraca ’90 Theatre which received a Best of the Fest award at the Bailiwick Director’s Festival

Directing credits

  • The Mother
  • A Man For All Seasons
  • If Children Still Remember
  • You Are Not Alone at Spirit Expressing Performance Company
  • Doloras at Rivendell Theatre
  • Claudia Allen’s Movie Queens for The Writer’s Block at Pegasus Theatre

Chicago acting credits

  • Mistress Overdone in Measure For Measure at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre
  • Margaret in Richard III at The Blue Rider
  • The Nurse in Romeo and Juliet at Steppenwolf Theatre
  • The Duchess of York
  • Gloucester in Richard II at Actor’s Revolution,
  • Serafina in The Rose Tattoo
  • Lucy Brown in Three Penny Opera at Bailiwick Repertory
  • Miss Margarita in Miss Margarita’s Way for KV Productions
  • A History of the American Film at Huron Theatre
  • Lend Me A Tenor at the Royal George Theatre.

Televisions credits

  • Early Edition, Missing Persons
  • Prison Break

Film credits

  • U.S. Marshals
  • Stir Of Echoes
  • Three Days
  • I Do
  • The Opera Lover (Best Film - 1998 - Newport Film festival)
  • Unconditional Love
  • The Lake House.
Willamette University


M. Lee Pelton Theatre
Willamette University
900 State Street
Salem Oregon 97301 U.S.A.