Kathleen Renish

kathleen@etc-englishtheatercologne.com

CO-FOUNDER

From the tender age of five, Kathleen knew she wanted to be in the entertainment field. Leading roles in school musicals earned her awards early on, including Best Actress in a national competition. After graduating from high school, she studied theater at Pennsylvania State University. It was during this time that a highlight of her early performing career occurred: her participation in the United States Bicentennial Wagon Train Show in 1976, a tour that re-enacted the westward trek of the former settlers in their horse-drawn wagons, in reverse, eventually culminating in a spectacular final show at their Pennsylvania destination: Valley Forge National Park. As one among many, Kathleen’s show troup was chosen to sing before an audience of two hundred fifty thousand.

Graduation was followed by numerous engagements in musicals such as ANNIE, THEY’RE PLAYING OUR SONG, GODSPELL, BRIGADOON, WEST SIDE STORY, OKLAHOMA and STARTING HERE STARTING NOW. She was cast in leading roles in plays such as OUT OF GAS ON LOVER’S LEAP, THE OWL & THE PUSSYCAT, PLAY IT AGAIN SAM, FLOWERS FOR ALGERNON as well as in various murder mysteries in the US and Germany.

When the Berlin Wall fell in the fall of 1989, Kathleen happened to be on a six-month Broadway musical tour of Germany, Switzerland and Austria. The show, THE GOLDEN MUSICALS OF BROADWAY, gave her dream performances as Maria from WEST SIDE STORY, Cosette from LES MISERABLES, and Grizabella from CATS. She got so close to the historical action that her tour bus was stuck in traffic for thirteen hours. After the tour ended, she decided to just quickly pick up her things in New York and move to Germany, where she has called home ever since.

In the 90s Kathleen founded a theater group in Cologne and performed in various stage productions for several years. She sang with a pianist, a big band a swing/jazz quartet.

Finally, she wrote and produced her own one-woman show – A LOST AMERICAN IN GERMANY – which she performed for six years on numerous stages in Germany as well as in New York and Philadelphia.

German television audiences know her from series such as TATORT, KÜSTENWACHE, UNTER UNS, IN YOUR DREAMS and ALARM FÜR COBRA 11. A highlight of her film career was working with Hilary Swank in 55 STEPS, directed by Billie August. Nickelodeon fans could see her in the three-part LOST IN THE WEST, and Austrian director Barbara Eder cast her in WEST OF LIBERTY, an internationally produced six-part political thriller. In 2021 American audiences saw Kathleen in a nationally broadcast commercial.

In Europe’s prize winning gay web series, KUNTERGRAU, Kathleen plays the feisty and kind-hearted Grandma Margarethe. The final season of the award-winning series Premiered in 2020, but can still be seen on Amazon Prime and other streaming platforms, as well as on the KUNTERGRAU YouTube channel and website.

In addition to her stage, film and television acting, Kathleen is a sought-after voice actor in the medical, technical, and scientific fields, and provides her melodious voice to commercials, e-learning programs, and corporate films. She recently voiced 17 characters in the Rain Productions, Cologne games project, SWORDS OF LEGENDS.

Kathleen has taught business English for major corporations, coaches actors and business people in English pronunciation and accent reduction.

Last but not least, she has been a prolific director in the U.S. and Germany,  for children’s theater, drama, and comedies.