Sunde stopped acting to write full-time after performing 60-some roles Off Broadway at CSC Repertory, including Clytemnestra in THE ORESTIA, Portia in MERCHANT OF VENICE, ANTIGONE (both Anouilh’s and Sophocles’), the MADWOMAN OF CHAILLOT, Isabella in MEASURE FOR MEASURE, Viola in TWELFTH NIGHT, HEDDA GABLER (3 seasons), and Ruth in THE HOMECOMING (4 seasons).
REVIEWS: WHAT THEY SAY...
“As Hedda, the company’s leading actress, Karen Sunde, finds her best role yet – willful, spirited, trapped, malicious, and at the end – when the time comes to do the unthinkable – quietly tragic.”
“She is upright and dry, but the dryness burns. This is a Hedda without juice but she is a hot, tormented lady. She cannot give and she can find little to take. Karen Sunde’s Hedda is always a noble and compelling beauty.”
THE MERCHANT OF VENICE
“And Portia, played by Karen Sunde …must seem worldly …quick witted and shrewd … and finally ...she should be coquettish, a winning bride. Miss Sunde is all of these; and when she recites… ‘The quality of mercy is not strained’—a speech, like Hamlet’s ‘To be or not to be,’ so famous that it virtually defies performance – she rises to the occasion.”
“Karen Sunde is a memorable Portia. … Perhaps the word that best captures her rare quality is radiance.”
MEASURE FOR MEASURE
“The special strength of the MEASURE FOR MEASURE is the affecting and insightful portrayal of Isabella by Karen Sunde, a young actress whose work has deepened impressively during her years with the CSC. Sunde’s work puts Isabella at the play’s emotional center.”
“Karen Sunde, whose glassy-eyed, beautiful-ugly Antigone vibrates like an electrified fence. …
She is, I am increasingly convinced, one of the fine dramatic actresses in America.”
owner, SATURDAY REVIEW
“Karen Sunde is brilliant as Rebekka West... She is an actress of extraordinary depth and delicacy.”
“One of the beauties of Karen Sunde’s superb portrayal of Rebecca is her appreciation of the character’s complexities...brilliant and devoted, also ruthless...retains the joy of life which eludes other Ibsen heroines.”
“She is lovely in her evocation of a woman faced with the challenges of the God Eros and is both subtly and blatantly in control of the room during most of her moments on stage.”
“I was particularly impressed by the composed sensuality of Karen Sunde’s Ruth.”