Karen Vickery trained at NIDA and has worked for many professional companies including Sydney Theatre Company and in commercial theatre productions as well as film, TV and radio. Some TV credits include A Country Practice, All Saints, Rafferty’s Rules, Love My Way and others. Film credits include Oscar and Lucinda.
She was a teacher at NIDA for 14 years before coming to Canberra to take up the position of Director of Access and Learning at the National Portrait Gallery. In Canberra Karen has received multiple awards for both acting and directing.
Some Canberra performances include Violet in August Osage County for Free Rain, Joanne in Company for Everyman, multiple roles in The Laramie Project and The Laramie Project: 10 Years Later for Mockingbird, Patricia Highsmith for Pigeonhole Theatre in Switzerland and Mrs Betterton for the company’s production of Playhouse Creatures which toured to Monaco, and to Queensland and Victoria. She was a co-founder of Pigeonhole Theatre, focussing on the repertoire for the company and directed Summer of the Seventeenth Doll.
She’s played numerous roles for Canberra Rep, including M’Lynn in Steel Magnolias, Lady Bracknell, Beatrice in A View from the Bridge, Ma Joad in The Grapes of Wrath and Anna Akhmatova in Woman in the Window. In 2022, Karen appeared as Jacques in Tony Knight’s production of As You Like It marking her Lakespeare debut, as C in Edward Albee’s Three Tall Women for Chaika at ACT Hub, and as Lockstock in Heartstrings’ production of Urinetown at Canberra Theatre Centre and The Hayes. She won the Helen Tsongas Acting Award for these performances. Most recently, Karen played Lear for Echo Theatre.
Further directing credits in Canberra include It’s All in the Timing for Canberra Youth Theatre, The Normal Heart with Everyman, Brighton Beach Memoirs, Our Country’s Good and Crimes of the Heart at Canberra Rep.
Karen is one of the founders of the collective independent theatre space in Canberra, ACT Hub. She is director of Chaika Theatre which presented Collected Stories by Donald Margulies at ACT Hub, winning Ovations awards for best independent production, best design, best leading actor, and best supporting actor. Chaika presented Lucy Kirkwood’s The Children in September 2023. Karen is proud to have served as Chair of Canberra Youth Theatre for six years before retiring to focus on ACT Hub.