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All About Karen . . .

Karen’s credits are extensive beginning with her training at the legendary New Orleans Center for Creative Arts. For the past 45 years, she’s appeared on stage and in films. Recently nominated for Best Actress at the Tribeca Film Festival US Narrative Competition for the lead role in the upcoming Netflix film –  BURNING CANE.

 

Her feature film credits include, Queen & Slim, Triple Nine, Don’t Kill It, Hurricane Season, & Sonny to name a few. She has appeared in several TV series CLAWS, One Mississippi, NCIS New Orleans, & Vampire Diaries. With recurring roles on The Originals as Agnes the most powerful elder witch, the Gumbo Party Lady, Latonya, on K-Ville and Mrs. Robinette, the wife of a Mardi Gras Indian Trail Chief in the HBO series Treme. While on the series she was also hired to work behind the scenes in productions as Treme’s Specialty Casting Director & Musician’s Coordinator for all four seasons.

 

Her casting credits include “Old Boy” & “Miracle at St. Anna” directed by Spike Lee. She is also a consultant and specialty casting director for Freeform channel’s Cloak & Dagger; WGNO series “Underground”; “American Horror Story – The Coven”; 12 Years A Slave, plus many other independent films, music videos & documentaries.

 

On stage, critics have recognized her talent with great reviews. Her last theatrical tour included a finale performance at the Apollo Theater in “Swimming Up Stream,” a collaborative writing by New Orleans Women about their experiences surviving Hurricane Katrina. Under the direction of Tony Award winners Eve Ensler and Kenny Leon.

Film & Casting Credits

Feature & Independent Films

  • Queen & Slim (Bar owner)
  • Burning Cane (Helen)
  • Triple Nine (Shanice)
  • Don’t Kill It (Susie McCullum)
  • Speech & Debate (Nurse)
  • 1 Mile to You (Principle Brill)
  • Last Fair Deal (Midwife)
  • Homefront (Waitress)
  • Hurricane Season (Mable)
  • Sonny(Mattie)
  • Spirit (Tarot Card Reader)
  • Skeleton Keys (Preacher)

TV Series

  • CLAWS (Nurse)
  • One Mississippi (Tessa)
  • The Originals (Agnes)
  • Vampire Diaries (Fortune Teller)
  • NCIS: New Orleans (Nurse Gina Garland)
  • Your Worst Nightmare (Det. Reba Lambert)
  • Treme (Mrs. Robinette)
  • K Ville (LaTonya)
  • Going to California (Voodoo Woman)
  • Faubourg Treme: The Untold Story of Black New Orleans (Living History Characters)

Theater - Productions - Commercials

  • UNDERGROUND (Etiquette Coach/Consultant)
  • American Horor Story: The Coven (Spiritual Consultant)
  • 12 Years A Slave (Period Dance Choergrapher)
  • Swimming UpStream (Kaia)
  • PA Past Players Living History Company (Living History Actor)
  • LaLiving History Company (Living History Actor)
  • Audubon Aquarium of the Americas (Mageni Laveau)
  • Diet Coke (Waitress)
  • Popeyes 1990’s (Singer)

Karen has received several awards for her work including; HBO Treme Series, ‘MVP Player’; , ACT I’s Best Actress & Best Director, CAC Sweet Arts Award, Mayor’s Arts Award, with many more to add to the list.

  • Alliance
  • Amistad
  • LAArts
  • Ashe
  • Junebug
  • Treme

German Coast Uprising of 1811

Slave Rebellion Reenactment is a community-engaged artist performance and film production that, on November 8-9, 2019, will reimagine the German Coast Uprising of 1811, which took place in the river parishes just outside of New Orleans. Envisioned and organized by artist Dread Scott and documented by filmmaker John Akomfrah, Slave Rebellion Reenactment (SRR) will animate a suppressed history of people with an audacious plan to organize and seize Orleans Territory, to fight not just for their own emancipation, but to end slavery. It is a project about freedom. (slave-revolt.com)

Burning Cane

Now streaming on Netflix

Burning Cane is about a worried mother (Karen Kaia Livers) caring for her mange-ridden family dog; her unemployed, alcoholic son (Dominique McClellan) and the wife (Emyri Crutchfield) who supports him; and a preacher (Wendell Pierce) whose wife’s recent death has pushed him toward the bottle are a few of the characters who make up the beautifully rich world of Southeastern Louisiana in Phillip Youmans’ extraordinary debut feature, Burning Cane. The poetic lyricism of the film’s handheld camerawork calls to mind a Terrence Malick-like interest in the influence of place on the people who inhabit it, and how deeply the beauty of the natural world can contrast with the brutality of human acts. As one of the principal embodiments of this contradiction, Pierce gives a powerful performance as the preacher who is struggling to both help his flock as well as himself. Director/Writer: Phillip Youmans

Queen & Slim

Release date: November 27, 2019 (USA)

Check out Karen in the upcoming film Queen & Slim. Slim and Queen’s first date takes an unexpected turn when a policeman pulls them over for a minor traffic violation. When the situation escalates, Slim takes the officer’s gun and shoots him in self-defense. Now labelled cop killers in the media, Slim and Queen feel that they have no choice but to go on the run and evade the law. When a video of the incident goes viral, the unwitting outlaws soon become a symbol of trauma, terror, grief and pain for people all across the country.

Director: Melina Matsoukas

Screenplay: Lena Waithe

Production company: E1 Entertainment

Producers: Melina Matsoukas, Lena Waithe, James Frey, Michelle Knudsen, Andrew Coles