Our Founder has music in her heart.
Kristin Huffman came out of the womb singing! She was a product of an alto junior-high school music teacher, and a baritone Lutheran minister/professor. Her brother is an educator and a tenor. Her formative years consisted of flute, theatre, voice, and piano lessons, along with performing and traveling throughout Virginia as a family. The Huffman family also performed in Ohio for local non-profit organizations and business.
In high school, Kristin created a singing group called Friends and Neighbors, who performed for corporations and churches in various towns throughout Columbus, Ohio. When she won the title of the Miss Ohio and became a runner-up to Miss America, she began producing and performing in earnest for non-profit fundraisers to attract the crowd and boost tickets sales. After making her Broadway debut in the Tony Award winning musical Company, her pool of “friends and neighbors” grew to include many other Broadway performers who felt strongly about supporting the arts, education and community based organizations.
From then to now, service through the performance arts remains imbedded in Kristin’s personal value and mission.
Kristin Huffman’s professional career has spanned over 20 years of performances with operas, theatres, symphonies throughout the United States and Europe. Kristin appeared as a lead in the Tony award winning Broadway musical by Stephen Sondheim – Company. It also won a Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Drama League Awards for Best Revival of a Musical in which she played the leading role of “Sarah” as well as flute, sax and piccolo. The production was filmed and aired on PBS’ Great Performances.
As a former Miss Ohio/Runner-up Miss America, she continues to host and produce for public charity events. She and her team founded The Powerful Image Events to assist non-profits raise awareness of their own cause, by using the star power of the theatre to attract and build an audience. She remains on the marketing committee for the United Way of Milford.
Kristin is the Producing Artistic director of The New Paradigm Theatre, a professional 501(c)3 not-for-profit theatre company in Connecticut. As a seasoned theatre professional, she envisioned a regional theatre model that succinctly combines theatre art education with professional performances as an “audience-builder”. Spotting industry “markers” such as live music performances using online and cable technology examples include:
- Live streams of opera performances at local movie theatres
- Live TV broadcasts of musicals and concerts
With Millennial’s instant use of technology, she envisioned a professional theatre model that would turn the curve by re-engaging the audience back to the theatre house, filling the seats to nourish the audience’s full sensory experiences once again. But this time, Kristin produced a theatre model that enrolled and involved the theatre-goers with a buy-in, which included audience members and business sponsors participating and rubbing elbows with the Broadway Stars on stage as part of the production. Her theatre-goer “tribe,” built on one-to-one marketing, was participatory and excited to be part of the theatre production process. After several test runs of Kristin’s NPT professional theatre model, New Paradigm Theatre’s collaborative productions created a synergy between the audience, performers, community partners, and sponsors. Kristin calls this by-product synergy a “Sustainable Harmony” that goes beyond breaking the 4th wall.
As community linkages developed, NPT established a community partnership with The Klein Auditorium, where Kristin was invited to assist in the development of the After School at the Klein (ASK) program – a tuition-free, leadership-building program that benefits inner city students in Bridgeport, CT. She continues to work closely with The Klein to support and enhance ASK classes with Film-TV-Commercial-Broadway professional teaching artists.
As an adjunct professor at the University of Hartford, Kristin currently trains singer and actors for a life “on the wicked stage.” She writes for the Sondheim Review and blogs for her own theatre weblog: www.theatreringleader.blogspot.com. She is a member of Actors Equity Association (AEA), Screen Actors Guild (SAG/AFTRA), National Association of Teachers (NATS), and she frequently judges international choir competitions in the US and Canada. Kristin graduated Summa Cum Laude from both Capital University Conservatory of Music BM (Music Ed: flute and voice concentration) and Northwestern University (Masters of Music-Opera).