August 4, 2014 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

One of the Old Market’s most familiar faces is now about to become…well, less familiar.
Kirstin Kluver, who played the bouncily vivacious, “roll in ze hay” Inga in the just-closed Omaha Community Playhouse production of Young Frankenstein, is packing her bags for the brighter lights of Los Angeles.

“I’m learning that I can’t stay in one place if I want to survive as an actress,” says the talent who currently has an agent in both Omaha and Kansas City and has worked extensively throughout the Midwest. “You have to hustle in this business—and I really like that part of my life.”

Kluver is more than just a familiar face of the footlights where she has been, for much of the past decade, something of the reigning, vamp-a-liscious “it girl” of the local stage. She’s also a regular on the cobblestones of Howard Street, where she has operated a massage practice out of the Om Center. The striking beauty known by her trademark, red-redder-reddest hair and crystalline blue eyes, has also worked in short films, television and print.

Still can’t place her? Think back to that memorable Nebraska Lottery TV spot set in a convenience store where Kluver’s razor-sharp bangs where so prominently featured.

“I want to take my career to the next level,” says the longtime crowd favorite who hit the trifecta by sweeping the local acting awards—Theatre Arts Guild Awards, Omaha Entertainment and Arts Awards, Omaha Community Playhouse Awards—for her work as the ditzy Adelaide in the 2011 Omaha Community Playhouse production of Guys and Dolls. Kluver’s other notable roles have included Roxie in Chicago (2012 Omaha Community Playhouse Mary Peckham Award), Louise in Gypsy (2009 Omaha Community Playhouse Barbara Ford Award), and Angel in Angels in America; Part II (2008 Theatre Arts Guild Award).

“It’s so very flattering when someone stops me on the street and says ‘I saw you in this or that role years ago and your performance still resonates with me,’” she says in describing her favorite type of compliment.

“The idea that I can be a professional actress and make it in Omaha, Nebraska is great,but now it’s time to take the opportunities and experiences that the city has given me and see how that translates in the bigger market of L.A. again.”

Again?

Kluver tested the waters in Hollywood after graduating from Creighton University with a degree in acting, but returned in 2007.

“Omaha has a wonderful creative community and the collaborations I’ve done here are amazing. This city is a great incubator for talent. I’m not sure I’ll ever let go of my massage career because that is also very important to me,” she continues, “but now it’s time to reverse roles a little bit. It’s time to be an actor who also happens to be a massage therapist, instead of the other way around.”

Follow the actress at kirstinkluver.wordpress.com.

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