Karen Ziemba

Actor, Singer, Dancer
Like many professional dancers, vivacious redhead Karen Ziemba began taking tap, jazz and ballet lessons at a young age. Firmly committed to her art, she nonetheless began to branch out as a high school student, singing ... Read more »
Born: 11/12/1957 in St Joseph, Michigan, USA

Filmography

Actor (15)

Madam Secretary 2015 (Tv Show)

Actor

The Good Wife 2015 (Tv Show)

Actor

Law & Order: Criminal Intent 2009 (Tv Show)

Actor

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit 2007 (Tv Show)

Actor

The Producers 2005 (Movie)

First Nighter (Actor)

Evening at Pops 1969 - 2002 (TV Show)

Actor

The End of the Bar 2002 (Movie)

Biscuit Lady (Actor)

My Favorite Broadway: The Leading Ladies 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Actor

Stomp, Slide and Swing With Savion Glover 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

Law & Order 1998 (Tv Show)

Actor

The 51st Annual Tony Awards 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Performer

Biography

Like many professional dancers, vivacious redhead Karen Ziemba began taking tap, jazz and ballet lessons at a young age. Firmly committed to her art, she nonetheless began to branch out as a high school student, singing in the chorale and playing piano. In her junior year, Ziemba faced the dilemma of choosing between ballet classes or playing the lead of Maria in the school's production of "West Side Story," eventually opting for the latter. She did not abandon dance, though, enrolling at the University of Akron in part because of the school's affiliation with the Ohio Ballet. In 1977, she was given a solo spot in the Ohio Ballet's performance of "Reflections" followed quickly by three other works. Whether it was too much pressure on the youngster or a combination of other things, the company director asked her not to return. Hurt and unsure of whether to complete her education, Ziemba continued and completed her degree.

Relationships

Marie Ziemba

Mother

Winifred Heidt

Grandmother
was mezzo-soprano with New York City Opera

Bill Tatum

Husband
married in 1984

Oscar Ziemba

Father

EDUCATION

University of Akron

Akron, Ohio 1978
danced with the Ohio Ballet for one year; asked to leave the company in sophomore year

studied voice with Nancy Evers and later Joan Lader

as a child studied ballet with Evelyn Kreason

studied acting with Wynn Handman and Fred Kareman

Actors Institute

New York, New York

Milestones

2007

Cast in the Broadway musical "Curtains"; earned a Tony nomination

2003

Cast in the broadway musical "Never Gonna Dance," an adaptation of the 1936 Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers film "Swing Time"; received a Tony nomination

2002

Played lead in the Encores! staging of "Pajama Game"

2000

Played Nellie Forbush opposite George Hearn's Emile in a one-night benefit performance of "Sout Pacific" at Lincoln Center

1999

Had featured role in the dance play "Contact", cast as the long-suffering wife of an abusive husband; production co-conceived, directed and choreographed by Stroman; won Tony Award

1997

First starring role on Broadway in "Steel Pier"; score by Kander & Ebb; directed by Ellis and choreographed by Stroman

1997

Toured as Roxie and later assumed that role on Broadway in the hit revival of "Chicago"

1996

Starred in the Off-Broadway revival of "I Do! I Do!", opposite David Garrison

1993

Was featured in "A Grand Night for Singing! The Rodgers and Hammerstein Revue" performed at Rainbow and Stars

1993

Hired to replace Jodi Benson in the leading role of Polly in the Tony-winning musical "Crazy for You", choreographed by Stroman; show played the Shubert Theatre; remained with the show for approximately three years

1992

Starred in the New York City Opera production of "110 in the Shade"

1991

once again teamed with Scott Ellis to play the featured role in the New York City Opera staging of "The Most Happy Fella"

1991

Breakthrough stage role in the Off-Broadway production of "And the World Goes 'Round", with music by John Kander & Fred Ebb, directed by Scott Ellis and choreographed by Susan Stroman

1990

Was featured in the national tour of "Jerome Robbins' Broadway" in Los Angeles

1987

Had featured role in the short-lived musical "Teddy and Alice"

1983

Assumed lead role of Peggy Sawyer in the Broadway musical "42nd Street"; later toured in the part

1982

Cast in "Encores", an anniversary show performed at Radio City Music Hall

1977

Was solo dancer in Ohio Ballet production "Reflections"

1964

Began taking dance classes at age six (date approximate)

Raised in St Joseph and Detroit, Michigan

Played Maggie in a touring production of "A Chorus Line"; later joined the Broadway cast at the Shubert Theater; as a swing, understudied and played various roles including Diana Morales and Cassie

Appeared in Equity Library Theatre productions

Began appearing in locally-produced stage musicals

Obtained Equity card after being cast in a summer stock production of "My Fair Lady"

After college, moved to NYC; waited tables and worked as a theater usher

While in college, spent one year as member of the Ohio Ballet; asked to leave company in sophomore year

Played Maria in a high school production of "West Side Story"

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