Who's Who of Professional Women


Renowned for her commitment to theater education, Kathryn Gately parlays more than three decades of experience into her role as the artistic director and master teacher of the Gately/Poole Conservatory. Along with her husband, Richard Poole, she founded the school to train young actors who prefer conservatory training to conventional long-term projects. Her instruction offers total immersion; she has a unique ability to pick apart scenes moment by moment to offer new ideas and approaches to her students. As Lloyd Williamson, the creator of the Williamson Technique, says, “Kathryn Gately’s instinctual intelligence about the art of acting is sure, well-grounded and inspired.”

Ms. Gately began her illustrious career by obtaining a certification in acting from the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York in 1970. She proceeded to earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts in drama from the Boston Conservatory of Music in 1978 and a Master of Fine Arts in acting from the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey in 1980, after which she immediately jumped into the field. She taught at her graduate alma mater for a number of years before leaving to become the artistic director, master teacher and co-founder of the Gately Poole Acting Studios, which later became the conservatory it is today. During the years before the transformation, the Gately Poole Acting Studios worked with approximately 200 students each year on a curriculum that included acting, movement, voice and speech. It was the only private studio in the country to offer a comprehensive integrated approach to actor training. In 1994, Ms. Gately accepted an additional role with Northern Illinois University, where she has held a variety of positions. To this day, she remains a professor in their School of Theatre and Dance and as the head of the MFA professional actor training program. She also continues to serve as the co-creator and instructor of the acting intensive training program at the Innovative Literary and Talent Agency, and as the co-director and co-developer of the professional internship program at the Gaiety School of Acting in Dublin.

Other notable moments in Ms. Gately’s career was co-creating and instructing at the Meisner Technical School of Film and TV in San Diego and consulting with organizations like NBC, Fox, CBS, ABC, the William Morris Agency, and the American Institute of Architects of School Film and TV. She was also very active in her community, holding posts like workshop presenter at the Illinois Theatre Association and the Association of Theatre in Higher Education, and as a member of the board of directors of Theatre America in California. Further, she was a member of Theatre Row in New York and the Chicago Actors Project.

In appreciation of her prestigious accomplishments, Ms. Gately has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who as an industry leader in theater education. She also received the Excellence in Teaching Award from the Mason Gross School of Arts at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey and appears in multiple editions of Who’s Who in America.


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