Show-Score & Tell: Kim Gerstman

By Gamal ElSawah | Dec 2, 2022

Kim Gerstman works in nonprofit organizing and, in her spare time, loves to go to the theatre to see challenging work.

Show-Score & Tell passes the mic to members of our diverse theatre-loving community - people from all walks of life, highlighting why theatre is so special to them, and why they keep coming back time and time again, in their own words.

"I'm a fundraising consultant for nonprofit organizations.That's what I've always done. And I really enjoy helping these organizations exist and do the important work they do.

I guess my favorite part of the job is that you really get to see the good side of people in terms of, you know, the giving side of them. And you get to really connect with donors on what they value the most. And what's important to them. So I feel like, you know, there's kind of a spiritual sense to it, being able to connect with people who are really trying to do something that is more meaningful in their lives through giving.

​​I've always been very much interested in the arts. My graduate degree was in Arts Management. My first fundraising job was at the School of American Ballet at Lincoln Center. But, I love attending theatre. I actually became more of, I guess, a theatre fanatic through my daughter, because I just loved taking her to shows, and she ended up really loving theatre. And so, I would take her more and more. 

When she went off to college, I actually ended up becoming even more of a theatre fanatic in some ways, because I kind of filled my empty nest syndrome with going to plays.

I don't like fluffy shows. I guess there's a dark side to me.

I like shows that are challenging and that are pushing the envelope a bit. Sometimes I feel uncomfortable in the theatre and I like to feel uncomfortable. Because it means that they're definitely expanding my horizons, and that the playwright is actually doing something that's really, you know, true art in a lot of ways. I think artists are supposed to challenge people and make them expand how they think. So, that uncomfortableness is part of that.

I especially like dark musicals, too. There are more dark plays than there are musicals, because I think people have sort of a traditional expectation of musicals to be kind of a place to, sort of, escape to and have a good time.

I do think dark musicals and plays are more honest and realistic.

I know people who just get it, and I know people who've walked out of shows that are dark because it's just too much for them. But really, maybe the fact that they walked out means it was actually a good show, because it was pushing their buttons."

Kim’s Recommendations: 

" I adored Death of a Salesman (84). It is fascinating seeing this masterpiece play through a Black lens. The cast is great and the lighting, set and production are innovative. I even enjoyed looking around at the audience, which was multi-generational and diverse -- this version opens up a classic to a much wider audience.

And Straight Line Crazy (82) is a favorite of the season. While this play centers on a despicable historical figure (Robert Moses), Ralph Fiennes and the entire cast add multi-dimensional views of all of the characters. I'm fascinated by the history and politics of New York City, and this play demonstrates the struggle between power and community in a very effective way."

To read more of Kim's thoughts on theatre, be sure to follow her here on Show-Score!