Karen Vickery | Biography

Karen Vickery graduated from NIDA in Acting in 1983.  Since then, she has performed in all media and for major companies including Sydney Theatre Company, Belvoir, commercial theatre, ABC TV and Radio dramas, and commercial television.  Highlights include Nicholas Nickleby and All My Sons with Sydney Theatre Company directed by the late Richard Wherrett & John Gaden, and Gale Edwards, respectively.  The professional acting company attached to NIDA (NIDA Company) provided a series of roles in new Australian works including The Hollow Man by Nicholas Parsons directed by John Clark.  A cameo role in Gillian Armstrong’s Oscar and Lucinda filmed in Elizabeth Bay House was a highlight as was performing with Martin Shaw and Angela Punch McGregor in A Streetcar Named Desire. Karen was invited to work as a lecturer in History of Theatre, Film and Applied Arts at NIDA in 1996.  She worked in this capacity until the end of 2011, after becoming Head of Performance Practices in 2006. 

Karen has translated Russian plays for NIDA, WAAPA, Belvoir, Sydney Theatre Company and others, notably Summer Folk and Vassa Zheleznova by Maxim Gorky, Seagull and A Jubilee by Anton Chekhov.  She has most recently translated Three Sisters for Sport for Jove.  

Since moving to Canberra in 2012, Karen has played M’Lynn in Canberra Rep’s production of Steel Magnolias, and Violet Weston in Free Rain’s August: Osage County.  Karen was nominated for Best Actress in a Leading Role for both performances in the Canberra Area Theatre Awards and won Best Actress in a Leading Role and a Canberra Critics’ Circle Award for her performance as Violet.  In 2015 Karen was fortunate to play Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest and Joanne in Sondheim’s Company with Everyman Theatre at the Q.  In 2016 Karen co-founded Pigeonhole Theatre, dedicated to fostering great roles for women on and off the stage.  Pigeonhole’s inaugural production of April de Angelis’ Playhouse Creatures at the Q was a stunning critical and popular success.

Karen is also a tutor in acting at Canberra Youth Theatre and was nominated for a CAT Award for Best Director, 2014 for her direction of CYT Senior Ensemble in David Ives’ All in the Timing as part of Studio Underground.  

However, Karen moved to Canberra to take up the position of Director of Learning and Visitor Experience at the National Portrait Gallery and this takes up most of her time, energy and commitment.  It is a thrilling cultural organisation in which to work and celebrate Australian achievement in multiple fields of endeavour through art and provides multiple opportunities for cross-platform programming and exploration of identity.

Associated Events: 
Script Translation