In addition, Karen wrote a personal narrative about a young girl's relationship with her Russian grandmother in Baba andMe. The play illustrates the importance of appreciating our grandparents, our family traditions and leaving a legacy. 

Susie Macaroni, Camp Runnamuca and Ghost Light were three other short plays she created for youth as well, 

Karen directed Fiddler on the Roof, Jr., Anne of Green Gables, The Little Princess, Once Upon A Mattress, Heidi, Meet Me in St. Louis, Wizard of OZ, A Midsummer Night's Dream as well as several other productions during her 14 years at Ralston Middle School. 

Most recently, she wrote six short plays inspired by San Francisco legends, SF Ghost Plays and Watch Yourself. Both were performed at the Magic Theatre in San Francisco. 

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karen byrnes



Karen Byrnes has directed over 100 productions during her career. She's worked with youth at a variety of schools as well as various community theatres on the Peninsula. She earned a BA in Theatre Arts from Notre Dame de Namur University.

For ten years, she taught drama, musical theatre and improvisation classes for Hillbarn Theatre's Conservatory in addition to writing and directing A Foolish FairyTale, Dream Quest, and More Broadway Legends.

For Hillbarn's MainStage Theatre, she directed Deathtrap, Holes, The Secret Garden  and Defying Gravity which won the Subscriber's Choice Award for Favorite Presentation of a Play in 2009. 

For NDNU's Labor Day Theatre Festival, she directed: Breast Men, Lone Star, Talking With, HOFFA: The Musical, Lenten Pudding, Graceland, Ghost Stories, If You Were My Wife, I'd Shoot Myself, Jackie Kennedy, Amelia Lives!, New York Minute, among others. 

In 2013, she created NDNU's Labor Day Children's Theatre Festival as a way to showcase original works that address environmental, justice, race and social issues. 

The Festival provided opportunities for nearly two dozen youth to be involved in live theatre with experienced adult performers acting as mentors. 

Karen wrote The Girl Who Believed in Unicorns that tells the story of a young girl who stands up for her beliefs and conveys a charming message about being steadfast.

She also wrote The Legend of the Secret Knight, a play with music,  that portrays a young girl aspiring to be a knight like her father who ultimately discovers a power far greater in herself than knighthood. A powerful message to conserve our resources, end violence and promote critical thinking underscores the play's theme.