UNDERNEATH THE SKIN – A Dance Theatre Work

photo by Bronwen Sharp

UNDERNEATH THE SKIN – A dance theatre work by John Kelly composed entirely from the writings and words of Samuel Steward (1909-1993)

Direction, Choreography, Video Design and Animations, Set Design – John Kelly
Original Texts – Samuel M. Steward
Lighting Design – Nicholas Houfek (2022) / Joe Levasseur (2019)
Costume Design – Ramona Ponce
Directorial Consultant – Kevin Malony
Cinematographer on Gertrude Stein and Older Sam sequences – Josef Astor
Piano arrangement for ‘The Kiss’ – Matt Kanelos
Production Consultant – Craig Hensala
Production Associate – Alyce Dissette

Music – Russ Columbo, Jóhann Jóhannsson, Ludwig van Beethoven, Jean Lenoir (sung by Lucienne Boyer), Judee Sill, Iron Butterfly, Bessie Smith, Lucille Bogan, Ma Rainey, George Hannah, Peg Leg Howell, Kokomo Arnold, Gene Malin, Gladys Bentley, Jimmy Rodgers, Wal-Berg and Camille Francois, Claudio Monteverdi.

John Kelly – Samuel Steward
Hucklefaery (ne’ Ken Mechler) – Student, Buddy, Le Pigeon, Sailor, Phil Andros, Walt Whitman
John William Watkins (2022) / Chris Harder (2019) – Student, Buddy, La Licorne, Sailor, Gay Dude, Oscar Wilde
Estato Flotante – Student, Buddy, Le Cochon, Sailor, Gay Dude, Man in hospital gown
Lola Pashalinski – Gertrude Stein (on video)

UNDERNEATH THE SKIN was made possible by a 2019 commission from the Skirball Center for the Performing Arts. The work then received an extended run at La MaMa in November of 2022. This work has been funded through The New York State Council on the Arts, The Jerome Robbins Foundation, The Gerald J. & Dorothy Friedman Family Foundation, The Good Works Foundation, and the Friends of John Kelly Performance. This work was developed through residencies at the Ucross Foundation Residency Program, Performance Space New York, The Dixon Place Hot! Festival, The Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and Yaddo.