If you have even cursory knowledge of Houston’s buzzing art scene, then you know Kenn McLaughlin. The Ohio native moved to Houston in 2001 for the job of managing director at Stages, formerly Stages Repertory Theatre, and has spent the last 14 years as the award-winning institution’s artistic director. During his Texas tenure, the charismatic, self-proclaimed theater kid has produced more than 100 productions, and there’s no slowing in sight. 2020 marks the opening of Stages’ and McLaughlin’s new home, The Gordy. For McLaughlin, it’s about time: “Building, designing, preparing, moving, talking about, fundraising for, touring through, imagining—24/7, seven days a week,” he says. “The Gordy!” Here, McLaughlin comments on his colorful past, personal style and lasting love life.
I spend most of my time thinking about what comes next.
My earliest style memory is in fourth grade: bell bottoms with platform shoes—yes, fourth grade. I was mocked endlessly. I was so damn happy with it.
My style hero is George Clooney or George Lancaster—I can never decide.
The worst fashion faux pas is to be afraid.
My fashion splurge is always Tom Ford cologne.
Silk or suede? Yes, please.
Acting changed my life.
My greatest achievement is 31 years of sharing my life with an amazing man.
If I could turn back time, I would tell myself to chill. History really won’t care.
Photography by: Julie Soefer