subscribe: Posts | Comments

Kayleigh O’Connell


Kayleigh O’Connell has been working in theater for twenty years. Over that span, she had done everything from performing, stage management, set design and playwriting.

Among her acting credits are Vampire Lesbians of Sodom (Renee Vein/Tracy), Andorra (the Village Idiot),  Every Christmas Story Ever Told (multiple roles), the Musical Comedy Murders of the 1940sCrimes of the Heart (condescending cousin Chick Boyle), Sordid Lives, Play On! (feather-dusting Marla Smitty Smith), the campy cult classic Whatever Happened to Baby Jane – a Parody of the Horror (Elvira), Anything Goes (Florida Rep), Thoroughly Modern Millie (Florida Rep) and Hairspray for North Fort Myers High School for the Performing Arts. She also appeared in the SoDis Theater virtual reading of Intellectuals during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In Baby Jane, Kayleigh enjoyed many memorable show-stopping scenes. There was an early sequence, for example, in which Elvira arrives for work and proceeds to square off around the living room divan with Baby Jane Paso-Doble-style to the strains of the theme from The Good, The Bad and the Ugly. Even better, though, was the one in which she reacts rather strongly to some suggestive language Baby Jane writes on a manila envelope. It was not quite as suggestive as Meg Ryan’s When Harry Met Sally fake orgasm scene, or as hysterical as Bernadette’s fake laugh scene in “The Hesitation Ramification” episode of The Big Bang Theory, but it was in the same zip code. Priceless.

On the playwriting side, Kayleigh will be taking part in Lab Theater’s 2019 24-Hour Playwriting Project. “Storytelling is the thread that connects us with our past, ourselves and most vitally with each other,” notes Kayleigh. “It is the first language we shared before mathematics and science. It is so crucial to honor the oral tradition and theater has allowed me to be a part of that legacy. The 24 Hour Playwriting Project presents a fascinating challenge as well as a truly communal experience with my fellow playwrights. Having been on the other side of this process as an actor, I truly value the collaboration and look forward to forging the work with my director and actors.”

If you haven’t yet seen Kayleigh O’Connell perform, you’re in for a treat. She is easy to spot. Look for a small bundle of energy that’s big on attitude. That’s Kayleigh O’Connell.

November 20, 2018; revised May 5, 2020.



Comments are closed.