After living around the world, woman finds home at Marion Art Center

Apr 11, 2018

Kate Fishman attributes all the best things in her life to luck.

From spontaneously falling into acting, to meeting her husband Scott, to ending up in Marion and directing plays at the Marion Art Center, Fishman is pretty happy with how everything has played out.

“It’s all about lucking out,” she laughed.

For many years, Fishman worked in architecture and design. However, when she was in her 40s, her life took her on another path.

Her daughter was an actress, and Fishman took her to an audition. While she was waiting, she read the script, and commented to her daughter how funny one of the characters was. Her daughter convinced her to audition.

“I got the part,” Fishman said. “And then I seriously got bitten by the bug.”

Fishman continued to act in plays, until she said she got to an age where “there aren’t a lot of parts.”

So she delved into directing.

“I was in senior management before, so I knew how to manage people,” she said. “I learned the technical aspects, and when I felt I had the knowledge I applied for a theater group.”

Nowadays, Fishman spends most of the year at her “summer” home in Marion. When she’s not there, she’s back home in Pennsylvania. However, upon meeting her, it’s obvious she didn’t grow up in the northeast at all.

She credits her unique accent to her childhood. “People in England think my accent is Irish, people in Ireland think my accent is English,” she laughed. “But really I grew up in 13 different countries. I was born in Iceland, and then I lived all over the world – Australia, Kenya, Israel, Dubai.”

Fishman's father worked for the company that would become British Airways, and he was often stationed in different places around the world. Sometimes it was for a few months, sometimes for a few years.

“When you’re a kid you think everyone lives like that,” she said. “When I was 16 and living in Alaska, I met someone who had never been out of the state. That was a real eye opener. I was really, really lucky.”

Fishman ended up living in Alaska in the 1970s, and from there moved to Pennsylvania. She was looking for a summer home when her husband found a house in Marion a few years ago.

“Just by happenstance we found a home in Marion,” she said. “We bought the house and fell in love.”

Now, Fishman spends most of her time in the area.

“I love Marion,” she said. “I’m here more often than I’m in Pennsylvania.”

One of the things she loves about living in Marion is the sense of community.

“Because I grew up the way I did, my family was my village. I made friends, but I knew it wouldn’t last,” she said. “I never had a hometown, so I was always looking for community. Marion is such a wonderfully intimate community.”

She found what she was looking for when she got involved with the Marion Art Center.

“Theater is such a passion to me, and this community theater is truly a community theater,” she said. “I get such a rise out of seeing everyone in the audience…Marion has been a wonderful surprise but a comfort as well. I’m so glad we moved here.”

Fishman will put on a Community Theater Audition Workshop and a Character Development Workshop for Amateur Actors during the Marion Art Center’s ArtWeek. She also wrote the sketch Tea at Marion's Romantic Art Colony that will be performed, and will lead children in creating sea creature headdresses.

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