FLAG: FliXpress, a new Davenport-based business, is working with customers worldwide to offer Web-based video templates to create low-cost, customized advertising, promotion or other multimedia tools. F1|
Kim Furness is well-accustomed to playing many roles, and she recently has added several to her packed resume.
She is spending about 15 hours a week with the new multimedia company FliXpress in Davenport, serving as casting director and production coordinator.
A busy local actress who can be seen in TV commercials for Denver Mattress Company, Niabi Zoo and Strieter Motor Co., the 1996 St. Ambrose University graduate estimates she works on at least five commercials locally each month.
In addition, she is now an adjunct professor at Ambrose, teaching theater part time.
Ms. Furness also is president of the Davenport-based Curtainbox Theatre Company and teaches acting classes through her company, including a growing one for children with autism.
She also is wearing another director's hat, as she leads the latest children's show at Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse, "Freckleface Strawberry."
A musical based on the best-selling book by actress Julianne Moore, "Freckleface" will be performed at Circa from Nov. 23 to Dec. 29. Ms. Furness' directing credits there include "The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley," and "Diary of a Worm, a Spider and a Fly," and in recent years she's performed in "Southern Crossroads" and "Squabbles."
The Curtainbox, which she co-founded in 2001 in Los Angeles and which has presented 10 plays since her return to Davenport in 2008, has never made enough money to pay Ms. Furness a salary. By the middle of 2011, she wasn't sure she could continue the classes, but her luck changed.
Ms. Furness won $30,000 from an Iowa Lottery scratch-off ticket and a $7,500 gift from Royal Neighbors of America for writing an essay about her company. She earned the chance to make nationally distributed commercials for Denver Mattress by writing an essay about how much she loved her new mattress.
"The cash infusion has been wonderful," she said. "It will help keep the company afloat for another year."
Curtainbox's last production on its own, "Time Stands Still," co-starred Ms. Furness in September 2011, and she appeared in a joint production of "You Can't Take It With You" at St. Ambrose this past September.
She said since her acting career is focusing more on film and TV, she is scaling back Curtainbox stage work. She expects the next Curtainbox play to be presented next summer, and the company may scale back to presenting just one show per year.
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