Originally from Maryland and currently a resident of the Detroit area (but always willing to travel!), Katherine earned a degree in theatre and is a proud graduate of the Purple Rose Theatre Company apprenticeship program.
Recent Off-Broadway design includes Riddle of the Trilobites at the New Victory Theatre. Additional costume design credits include shows with Flint Repertory Theatre, Detroit Public Theatre, Williamston Theatre, Flint Youth Theatre, Tipping Point Theatre, Water Works Theatre Company, Wild Swan Theatre, Mosaic Youth Theatre, and the Wharton Center for the Performing Arts. She has worked with the Michigan Opera Theatre as Wardrobe Mistress, stitcher, and craftsperson. She has also worked as a props designer at the Purple Rose Theatre Company, the Wharton Center, and Detroit Public Theatre.
As a Stage Manager, Katherine is a proud member of the Actor's Equity Association, and is a National Councilor as a Stage Manager in the Central Region. She is the resident Production Stage Manager at Detroit Public Theatre. She also frequently stage manages with the Wharton Center for the Performing Arts MSU Federal Credit Union Institute for Arts and Creativity, and created Take it From the Top: Tech Track in 2019 as lead teaching artist.
Regardless of her role in a particular production, Katherine is most passionate about new theatre and loves to work on contemporary plays and world premieres. Related to this, she has a playwriting background. Her work has been featured in several play festivals, including the Detroit Fringe Festival, BoxFest, the Short and Sweet Playfest in Ohio (where her play "con/tact" won first place), and the Open Theatre Project in Boston (where her play "I Scream, You Scream" was a finalist).
When not working in professional theatre, Katherine loves to cook whole-food, plant-based meals (follow her on Instagram at sing, travel, and read.
News and Reviews
"Katherine Nelson's costumes... are not to be overlooked... It's all spot-on for where they are and what they are doing. Blood and wounds that appear after a zombie bite worked effortlessly. The actors had great stuff to work with here."
-- David Kiley, Encore Michigan
(2AZ, Purple Rose Theatre Company)
"Costume Designer Katherine Nelson does a fine job conveying each man's personality (and anxieties) through their clothes, scoring a particular win by way of Cameron's painfully awful, orange-and-white argyle pants."
-- Jenn McKee, Encore Michigan
(The Foursome, Tipping Point Theatre)
"Katherine Nelson's terrific era-specific props completed the picture."
-- Jenn McKee, Encore Michigan
(Morning's at Seven, Purple Rose Theatre Company)
"Costumes are superb as designed by Katherine Nelson. Pay special attention to Jo's costume and to the huge effect simple additions often make to the others. They are all wonderfully detailed and vintage corrrect."
-- Kathleen Kirby, Flint Stages
(Little Women, Flint Youth Theatre)
"As the would-be king, [Ogden as Richard] is suave and sexy with a bushy beard and short-on-the-sides, long-on-top haircut that is straight out of a modern-day men's fashion magazine.
"Technically, the production is a solid one. The costumes by Katherine Nelson befit the classic look of a Shakespeare play, with rich fabrics and dark colors, and Nelson's incorporation of masks to delineate the dead adds a clever and theatrical touch."
-- Frank Anthony Polito, Encore Michigan
(Richard III, Water Works Theatre Company)