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Keeping up with Drury's Department of Communication

Alumni Profile: Karissa Kary

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Karissa Kary knows people can be successful without confining themselves to one career in one location. As a well-traveled published author, global consultant and theatrical producer, Karissa showcases it.

Karissa graduated from Drury University with degrees in philosophy and English literature, as well as minors in communication. Upon graduation, Karissa found herself in New Orleans volunteering at the celebrated Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival. Her love of helping others turned into a career when Karissa became the associate director of the festival. She is responsible for coordinating all 100 events that take place over five days in approximately 15 venues. While this task may seem overwhelming, Karissa takes it in stride. She loves getting the opportunity to work with artists, writers and educators.

“In my profession, the creative possibilities are endless. I rarely ever hit the same situation twice.”

While maintaining her position at the Literary Festival, Karissa has been published in multiple anthologies, served on the World Affairs Council of Brazil, co-founded the Halifax Theatre Company and developed her own consulting company, Greenlight Operations. Karissa is thrilled that her career has allowed her to stay committed to her diverse interests. Additionally, it has enabled her to travel the world and live abroad. Her work in nonprofit and startup management has taken her to Europe, Asia, South America and throughout the U.S.

kk2Exploring the world is only one way in which Karissa expanded her career. A majority of Karissa’s professional experiences have come from taking advantage of chance opportunities given to her. One example Karissa credits to her success is when she became the co-founder of the Halifax Theatre Company when a director with whom she had collaborated with wanted her help with starting up the theatre. Although theatre was not her primary focus, she said yes because she thought it would be a once in a lifetime adventure; and it was. With her help, the Halifax Theatre Company turned an empty, unused building into a 100-seat theatre known as The Bayou Playhouse, that seeks to showcase the rich culture and heritage of Louisiana.

Karissa urges others to follow through with exciting opportunities that might not be related to one’s occupation. They could result in a thrilling new passion.

Profile written by Laura Spraggins.


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