As a little kid in New Jersey, Kristin Pidcock attended her first stage play with her mom in tow. “We went to see Cinderella at a local high school, and I loved it! After the show, though, I didn’t want to meet Cinderella. I wanted to meet those amazing mice! I thought they were the coolest things!” Kristin recalls with a laugh. That first magical glimpse of thespians, wardrobes, and the back stage support crew piqued Kristin’s theatrical interests.
Her curiosity of the sometimes unmentioned or less glamorous sides of theater grew as she and her mom went to more plays. “At the end of one play,” Kristin says, “I remember the actors threw some fun-shaped confetti onto the crowd. Soon afterward, a girl came out and swept the little confetti into a pile, scooped it up and handed it to the kids. I said to myself, ‘I want her job!” Kristin had seen first-hand the joy and kindness that could be shared through theater.
As she studied and prepared for the career that really interested her, Kristin Pidcock’s fascination for stage productions increased. She gained experience as she performed in several plays throughout high school and college. She also worked as a house manager in the Philadelphia theater scene. Through those experiences, Kristin found herself drawn more and more to the administrative side of theater.
After moving to St. Augustine and completing her college education at Flagler College, Kristin was hired for a front desk position at the Limelight Theatre. “That was my real education,” explains Kristin, “As much as I learned in school, as much as I learned being on stage as an actor and singer, I really had no interest in the technical side of theater. I knew I wanted to be involved in the administrative part of theater. Limelight is where I really learned that part, and I’m still learning.” Fourteen years later, she is still at the Limelight Theatre, but now she’s employed as the Director of Education.
In this position at Limelight, Kristin Pidcock is most passionate about the opportunities to work with students and families that come to Limelight to learn and to participate in different aspects of theater. Kristin shares with clear exhilaration, “There is nothing better than watching them work through their fears on day one to finally reach closing night. I tell them to look back at all of their hard work, all of the rehearsals, and all of those fears, and see how far they have come. I tell them to think about how much they’ve grown since that very first day. It is such a wonderful feeling! The pride that they have in themselves, the pride that their families have for them is huge!”
Kristin Pidcock is also a wife and a mother of two young daughters. Although her career calls for a sometimes hectic schedule with meetings, rehearsals, and performances at all hours, Kristin never lets those things take away her time with her family. Being a mother is something that she is truly grateful for and where she finds immense joy.
“You know that moment in The Wizard of Oz,” says Kristin with delight, “when the movie turns from black and white to Technicolor? Well, that’s what happened to my life when I had my kids. My life changed to technicolor.” Kristin is a mother first and she enjoys sharing her work and love for the arts with her children. Her oldest daughter is following in her footsteps – active in chorus, drama, and interning at Limelight.
Kristin’s motherly nature and her drive for seeing children succeed both on and off the stage make her duties at Limelight very gratifying. The various theater instructional programs at Limelight, such as the KidzfACTory program, give Kristin ample opportunities to educate, empower, and impact the lives of other children as much as her own. “I love seeing the kids in our program grow,” says Kristin, “I want them to know that there is more to theater than being under the spot light and being the star of the show.”
As she tries to show, there is a lot of work behind the scenes. “Finding the strengths and talents of each child and letting them fulfill their purpose is amazing. They all have a role to play, and I love working with them to reveal those skills.” Kristin Pidcock’s position doesn’t afford her much opportunity to perform and sing, as she once did, but she is more than happy with her current role. She has found ways to bring forth that magic she witnessed as a child, watching plays with her mother and sharing it with the smiling faces of new generations. The honor of being a mother coupled with a strong desire to see the best brought out in others gives Kristin her drive to teach the life lessons encouraged by theater.
“No matter if the kids grow up to be doctors, lawyers, or school teachers, they still will carry with them the fundamentals they learned during their time in theater. It stays with them forever,” explains Kristin. “They leave knowing how to persevere through hard times. They grow up believing in themselves and the many things that they can accomplish.”
Just like that actor from years ago, handing out fun-shaped confetti to a very young Kristin and other children, Kristin herself has grown to share her own bits of glimmering magic with children under her watch. “I’m a mother first. The love that I have for my own kids… I want the kids at the theater to feel that love too. They’re not my kids, but in a way they are. I’m super passionate about what we teach them. It may sound crazy, but I truly believe theater can change the world.”