Created by Katie Rose McLaughlin, Joshua William Gelb, and Ian Axness. From a story by Dan O'Neil. Music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
The Nutcracker Ballet is a holiday staple that annually sets into sharp relief the passing years and the gradual process by which we grow older. In an immersive dance-theatre staging this new adaptation of the classic ballet uses Tchaikovsky's music to depict the life-story of one woman (and dancer) named Clara. Performed in the cavernous Knockdown Center, Clara’s childhood, young adulthood, middle and old age appear simultaneously in a playful yet poignant immersive exploration of coming-of-age-stories bookended by tragic death, of leaving things unsaid, and of loved ones left behind. Traversing synchronously a single lifetime, Clara/Not Clara reinvents a classic narrative for a contemporary audience of all ages, inviting them to wander freely and explore a dreamlike world in which the breadth of life’s experiences harmoniously coexist.
Katie Rose McLaughlin (Choreographer) has created original choreography theatrical productions by directors Joshua William Gleb, Eliza Bent, Katherine Brook, Sarah Krohn, Sam Creely, Frank Boudreaux, Paul Zaloom, Lee Kasper, and Jessie Mills as well as having her own choreography presented by Movement Research at Judson Church, CATCH, the Invisible Dog, Dixon Place and AUNTS to name a few. She was a 2013 artist-in-residence through LMCC's SPARC program and is a founding member of JV Squad and Designated Movement Company.
Joshua William Gelb (Director) is a director, performer and librettist. His physical-theater projects have been performed at Prelude, Incubator Arts Project, Dixon Place, Target Margin Lab, Ice Factory, and NYMF. Gelb holds an MFA in directing from Carnegie Mellon's School of Drama where he graduated as a John Wells Fellow. He has since worked at Soho Rep and the Builders Association and is a member of the 2012 Lincoln Center Directors Lab. Gelb is also a founding member of JV Squad, whose Party in the USA recently traveled to Scotland for the 2014 Edinburgh Fringe.
Ian Axness (Music Arrangements / Accompanist) is a music director and collaborative pianist based in Brooklyn. Ian has worked with organizations including New Dramatists, Yale Rep, Atlantic Theater Company, NY City Opera, CAP 21, Brooklyn College, Oberlin College, NYU Gallatin. Recent: Carousel (NY Philharmonic), Clown Bar (Pipeline Theatre), Lyrics & Lyricists: W.S. Gilbert (92nd Street Y, with Sheldon Harnick), Political Subversities (Ars Nova & The PIT), As You Like It (Delacorte/Public). Faculty: Playwrights Horizons Theater School, NTI/O'Neill. Graduate of Oberlin College.
Dan O'Neil (Story) is a writer for stage and screen whose work has been produced or developed at Albright College, Barter Theater, Bedlam Theater, Brooklyn Winery, Centre Stage (South Carolina), Chashama, Dixon Place, Great Plains Theater Conference, Incubator Arts Project, the International Festival of Art & Ideas, the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival, Links Hall (Chicago), the Minnesota Fringe Festival, the Museum of the Moving Image, Newman University, the Playwright's Center, Red Eye Theater, Tangent Theater and on the main stage at Carnegie Mellon University. Key collaborations include director Marianne Weems (as writer for The Alice Project), and choreographer David Neumann (dramaturge for Restless Eye). Dan is a Playwright's Center Core Apprentice (2011-12), two-time winner of the Alfred P. Sloane Foundation's Screenwriting Award, winder of the Mary Marlin Fisher Playwriting Award, and was a finalist for the Harold & Mimi Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award, the Sloan/Tribeca Grand Jury Prize, the Global Age Project, NNPN's Smith Price and the Woodward/Newman Drama award. He holds a BA in performance from the University of Minnesota and an MFA in dramatic writing from Carnegie Mellon University.
Sara Walsh (Scenic Design) develops original performance work and scenographic environments for the theater. She has worked at The Ohio Theatre, Dance Theatre Workshop, The Chocolate Factory, HERE Arts Center, PS 122, The New York Theatre Workshop Studio, and The Kitchen, as well as Bard College, The Juilliard School and Columbia University. Her work on The Great God Brown, with Columbia Stages was included in the 2011 Prague Quadrennial. She holds degrees from Loyola University Chicago and New York University, where she currently teaches.
Diego Montoya (Costume Design)
Josh Smith (Lighting Design)
Gavin Price (Sound Design) is a New York based performer, sound designer, composer and multi-instrumentalist. Founding member of St Fortune theater collective and one of three in the band Black Elk Speaks. He has appeared off-Broadway and developed new work with Elevator Repair Service, Sibyl Kempson, Sara Farrington, Frank Boudreaux, Great Plains Theater Conference, Lakes Area Music Festival, 600 Highwaymen, Soho Rep, New Dramatists, New York Theater Workshop, Playwrights Horizons, Clubbed Thumb, Bard College and Rochester Institute of Technology. With his brother Dylan, he recently co-wrote and directed a tragicomic short, les Saltimbanques, which will premiere later this year.
Kaitlyn Gilliland studied with Loyce and Lise Houlton at the Minnesota Dance Theatre before moving to New York at age 16 to train with the School of American Ballet. From 2006 to 2011, Ms. Gilliland danced with the New York City Ballet, performing corps, soloist, and principal roles in works by George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Peter Martins, Eliot Feld, and Christopher Wheeldon, among others. She was the New York City Ballet's 2010 Janice Levin Dancer Honoree. Since leaving the New York City Ballet, Ms. Gilliland has appeared with BalletNext, BalletCollective, Ballet Tech, Emery LeCrone Dance, Intermezzo Dance Company, Minnesota Dance Theatre, New Chamber Ballet, Pontus Lidberg Dance, Trainor Dance, and Twyla Tharp Dance. She is currently on the faculty at the School of American Ballet and a senior at Columbia University.
Pierre Guilbault is a graduate from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts with a BFA in Dance. He has a background in Ballet and Contemporary, and has studied film and theater acting in the past. New to New York he started taking workshops with the Cunningham Trust, working under the direction of Robert Swinston and many former company members. Since then he has worked with Mary Siedman, Natalie Canisarez, Mari Meade, John Zullo, Pam Tanowitz, Helen Simoneau, Pat Catterson, Emery LeCrone, and Lise Houlton of Minnesota Dance Theater. He is currently working with Rebecca Lazier and Ellen Cornfield and will be joining the Liz Gerring Dance Company in the Fall. Pierre strives to give back in any way he can. Looking to leave this world full of creation and less destruction, he is an artist who is working to better himself day by day.
Lisa Lockwood danced with American Ballet Theater for ten years. She danced solo roles in Rodeo, Graduation Ball, Don Quixote, Leaves Are Fading, and many others. She also danced in ballets by, and worked directly in rehearsals with George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Twyla Tharp, Anthony Tudor and Kenneth Macmillan. She subsequently became a principal dancer with Eliot Feld Ballet, and went on to appear frequently as a guest soloist around the USA. She toured with Natalia Makarova, and was an original cast member of Broadway's Phantom of the Opera. Most recently she performed leading roles with Margo Sappington's The Daring Project, and for Anna Myer And Dancers. Ms. Lockwood is one of New York's foremost ballet teachers. In addition to her local presence, she has become internationally recognized, and attracts students from all over the world both to take her class and to study with her privately. Her warm but exacting approach has drawn dancers from Japan, Scandinavia, the UK, Canada, Central and South America and points beyond. Ms. Lockwood has been on the faculty at Steps for fifteen years, and served as the Chair of Ballet for the School at Steps from 2009 to 2014. Ms. Lockwood has also taught at the ABT School, Juilliard, Stamford City Ballet, New Dance Group, the Alvin Ailey School, Ballet Hispanico, State Street Ballet, and is a regular faculty member at the Kaatsbaan Dance Center. In addition, she teaches company class for the Metropolitan Opera Ballet.
Valda Setterfield British born dancer, actor and an American citizen, Setterfield has worked with: Joanne Akalaitis, Woody Allen, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Jonah Bokaer, Boris Charmatz, Caryl Churchill, Merce Cunningham, Graciela Daniele, Richard Foreman, Maria Irene Fornes, Carmen de Lavallade, Brian DePalma, Ain Gordon, David Gordon, Ivo van Hove, Don Mischer, Marie Rambert, Yvonne Rainer, Donald Sadler, Michael Sexton, Gus Solomons Jr, Jeanine Tesori, James Waring, Robert Wilson & Mark Wing-Davey at A.C.T., A.R.T., BAM, Danspace, DTW, The Joyce, Joyce Soho, The Kitchen, Mark Taper Forum, MOMA, NYTW, PS 122, The Public, Soho Rep & Tate, UK. Setterfield was a member of Merce Cunningham's Company for 10 years & founding member of Pick Up Performance Co(S.) She is an Obie Recipient. In 1984 she received her 1st NY Dance & Performance award, her 2nd in 2006 & a 3rd BESSIE in 2010 for work w/Paradigm. In 2013 she improvised, related & performed previous solo materials in 20 DANCES FOR THE XX CENTURY & moderated as guest artist in FLIP BOOK by Boris Charmantz at MOMA and performed for Jonah Boaker in OCCUPANT in Washington, DC & Miami. In 2014 she performed in POLITICAL SHENANIGANS, a Brecht/Eisler workshop in Philadelphia and she appeared in the Kilkenny Arts Festival as King Lear in THE LEAR PROJECT in Kilkenny, Ireland directed by John Scott.
Gary Chryst has enjoyed a remarkable career in dance – ballet dancer, contemporary dancer, Broadway performer, ballet master, choreographer, stager of theater and dance works and teacher. Mr. Chryst was a principal dancer with The Joffrey Ballet for ten years touring extensively in the United States and Europe. Between 1993 and 1998, he was a member of Jiri Kylian's Nederlands Dans Theater3. Mr. Chryst has appeared at the Metropolitan Opera in the John Dexter/David Hockney production of Parade. He performed in Hal Prince’s production of the Kurt Weill opera, Silverlake, at the New York City Opera. Martha Clarke cast Mr. Chryst in her production, Vienna Lusthaus. He appeared as a guest in the companies of Twyla Tharp, David Parsons, Jose Limon, Lar Lubovitch, Eliot Feld, Rudolf Nureyev and American Ballet Theatre. He danced on Broadway in Bob Fosse’s Dancin’, an acclaimed revival of Guys and Dolls and A Chorus Line. He toured Europe in A Chorus Line and West Side Story. For the past ten years, Mr. Chryst has re-staged the choreography for the revival of the John Kander and Fred Ebb musical, Chicago, in the United States, London, Austria, Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands, Argentina, Mexico, Brazil, Italy, France, South Africa, Canada, Korea and Australia. Mr. Chryst has taught at the University of Arizona, The North Carolina School of the Arts, The University of California at Irvine, a program organized by Ethan Stiefel, Stiefel and Students and at the Kaatsban Institute.
Louisa Blakely is a very happy 10 year old kid, born with a spring in her step in sunny Palo Alto, CA. She is an accomplished puzzle solver and holds a ‘diploma of everything’, which certifies that she knows everything about everything important but not dumb stuff that nobody cares about. She has traveled to West Africa, Northern Europe, Turkey, Mexico, Russia and Canada, but, sadly, she has yet to visit a ranch in Texas. She lives in New York City with her brother and parents and goes to a great school in the neighborhood. She dances pretty much everyday (even in her sleep).