Thank you to all of the members of our creative team for bringing My First Nutcracker to life on stage:

Directed and Choreographed by Melissa Riker
Adapted for Young Audiences by Barbara Zinn Krieger
Production Stage Manager Holly M. Wright
Technical Director Eric Hedlund
Set Designer Sheryl Liu

Costume Designer Heather McDevitt Barton
Lighting Designer Carolyn Wong*
Sound Designer Megan Culley
Props Designer Andrew Murdock

MELISSA RIKER (Director & Choreographer) is Artistic Director and Choreographer of Kinesis Project dance theatre, a large-scale, out-door dance company. Kinesis Project invents large scale, space-changing, breath-taking experiences, and is at the forefront of the international discussion of placemaking, art engagement and the cultural imperative of art in public space. Riker is a New York City dancer and choreographer who emerged as a strong performance and creative voice as the NYC dance and circus worlds combined during the 90s. Riker’s dances and aesthetic layer her training as a classical dancer, martial artist, theatre choreographer and aerial performer. She has worked regularly in theatre, collaborating to create big, beautiful surreal worlds for Sheila Callaghan, Sarah Cameron-Sunde, Andrew Frank and many other NYC theatre makers. Riker is the Executive Producer of the Estro Genius Festival, a 20 year long festival celebrating the voices of female identifying artists, and the founding director of Women in Motion, a collective dedicated to commissioning, developing and supporting dance works by female choreographers. 

BARBARA ZINN KRIEGER (New York City Children’s Theater Founding Artistic  Director) founded New York City Children’s Theater during her 22-year tenure as Executive Director and Founder of New York’s Tony Award-winning Vineyard Theatre. Barbara has been writing children’s operas and musicals for more than 20 years. With composer James Kurtz, she wrote The Merry Muldoons (Kupferberg Center at Queens College) and Appelemando’s Dreams (Tribeca  Performing Arts Center, Kupferberg Center at Queens College). She’s collaborated with composer Charles Greenberg on Little Kit (Eugene O’Neill Theater Center), Young Charles Dickens, The ButterflyJose Limon: The Making of an Artist, and Sky Boys: The Building of the Empire State Building  (New York City Children’s Theater). Also for New York City Children’s Theater she wrote the book and lyrics for Beautiful Warrior (Jin Xiang, composer), the book and additional lyrics for The Upside Down Boy (lyrics by Juan Felipe Herrera, music by Christian Amigo), and the books for The Orphan Singer (music by Antonio Vivaldi), Wanda’s Monster, The Amazing Adventures of Harvey and the Princess, and Interstellar Cinderella(music and lyrics by Laurie Berkner), The Emperor’s New Clothes and More Magical Stories by Hans Christian AndersenPillowland and dance/dramas Ballerina Swan, Ballerina Swan and the Nutcracker, (choreography by Michael McGowan) and This is Sadie (choreography by Stephanie Klemons). Barbara is currently librettist for Clara: The Life and Loves of Clara Schumann, music composed by Victoria Bond, which premiered in April 2019 in Baden-Baden Germany; and Dickens and Nelly, an adult two-act musical with composer Charles Greenberg. Barbara’s latest project for NYCCT  Fish in a Tree, which will be produced for NYCCT’s 2020-2021 season. Barbara is a recipient of the Opera America Distinguished Service Award. She holds a BFA in Theatre from Columbia University School of the Arts, and an MA in Speech and Theater from Columbia University Teachers College.   

HOLLY M. WRIGHT (Production Stage Manager) is a New York based theatre creator/director/stage manager, who works on dramaturgically detailed pieces, incorporating Lecoq-inspired movement techniques, and ensemble-driven theatre that explores dark worlds with comedic undertones, delighting in the magic present in our everyday lives. Recent credits: NYC: That Which Thou Canst UndoSomething TrueTiny FiresPretendingShe Loves Me…She Loves Me NotThe Mystery of the Blue Jar[reality correction]; INTERNATIONAL: The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) (FITS, Romania), Bangkok/NYC (Insight, Thailand); REGIONAL: The Rose Tattoo (Ptown TW Festival), The Vagina Monologues (Independent Production, CA) |

ERIC HEDLUND (Technical Director) An old theater rat, since the wee age of 8, he most recently served as Master Electrician for Wheelhouse Theater at The Wild Space,  Production Electrician at Sleep No More and designed lights for The Wave at the Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor. He was Technical Director of Carefully Taught for Astoria Performing Arts Center, To Kill A Mockingbird for Queens Theater and Fashions for Men at Mint Theater. Outside of New York he has worked professionally at Pioneer Playhouse in Kentucky, Black Hills Playhouse in South Dakota, Old Creamery Theatre in Iowa, Pinkerton Academy in New Hampshire, Shakespeare Santa Barbara, Dakota Players, and Black Hills Community Theatre, where he served as Director of Education and Outreach.

SHERYL LIU (Set Designer) Off-Broadway: The Brother’s Paranormal(Theatre Row), Daybreak(Theatre Row), Romantic Trapezoid(Theatre Row), Incident at the Hidden Temple(Theatre Row), Phoenix Rising(Theatre Row), Deep are the Roots(Westend Theatre), A Dream of Red Pavilions(Theatre Row), The Hummingbird’s Tour(Theatre at St. Clements), Sayonara(Theatre Row), Film Chinois(Theatre Row), Fishing for Wives(Theatre Row), Bite the Apple(New Ohio Theatre) International: The Sound of Music(touring), Man of La Mancha(touring), Next to Normal(touring), Les Choristes(touring), Silent Wednesday(Beijing, China), Mini Lover(Shanghai, China). Other credits: selected U.S. scenic design exhibitor for 2011 and 2019 Prague Quadrennial. Affiliations: Adjunct Faculty at Pace University. Education: University of California, Irvine.

HEATHER MCDEVITT BARTON (Costume Designer) is a New York based costume designer, textile maker, and seamstress. Her work has been seen with Atlantic Theatre Company, Clubbed Thumb, Signature Theatre, Joe’s Pub, The Bushwick Starr, Pipeline Theatre Company, Playwrights Horizons, Ars Nova, Spring Street Social Society, New York University, Columbia University, Fresh Ground Pepper, Clarence Brown Theatre, and Cape Rep Theatre, among others. Heather currently works as resident designer for Salty Brine’s Living Record Collection (TimeOut NY Critics’s Pick, Joe’s Pub Residency 2019). She holds two Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Theatre from the University of Tennessee. So much love to Jesse and his endless support.

CAROLYN WONG* (Lighting Designer) is a lighting designer whose recent work includes Come Through (a collaboration between TU Dance and Bon Iver), The Heresy Machine (Section 8 Theater Company), The Hollower (New Light Theater Company), One Thousand Nights and One Day (Prospect Theater Company), Bullets Over Broadway (US Tour), Rockin’ Road to Dublin (US Tour), Une Autre Passion (Le Ballet du Grande Théâtre de Genève), Summer’s Winter Shadow (Ballet of Monte Carlo).  She currently serves as the Associate Lighting Designer for Disney’s Lion King worldwide. She is an alumna of Oberlin College, a native of San Francisco, California and a member of USA Local 829.

MEGAN “DEETS” CULLEY (Sound Designer) is an NYC-based Sound Designer and Composer. Credits: Cullud Wattah and The Loophole (The Public Theater,) Terminus (NYTW Next Door,) Pony Up and Plain Brown Box (The New School,) Grounded (Dobama Theatre,) Gypsy (NYU Steinhardt,) Roan @ the Gates (Luna Stage,) Inanimate and Good Friday (the Flea Theater.)

ANDREW MURDOCK (Props Designer) is a designer, director and performer. His works often integrates puppetry, video and physical theatre. He received an MFA in Theatre at Sarah Lawrence College and a BFA from RISD. He has worked with Dan Hurlin, David Neumann, Phantom Limb, Basil Twist and Bread and Puppet Theater. Recent credits include: Sound and Video Design Assistant for Lulu XX by The Waxfactory (Connelly Theater, NYC), Video and Sound Design for fools in plein air: fermented rain by Patti Bradshaw (Dixon Place, NYC) and Director and Conceiver of Shoot, Don’t Talk (Puppet Lab 2019, St Ann’s Warehouse NYC).

SARAH GALLEGOS (Wardrobe Supervisor) Sarah has worked wardrobe for theater companies such as WP Theater, The Play Company, and Clubbed Thumb. Most recently, she was the Wardrobe Supervisor for Novenas for a Lost Hospital at The Rattlestick Playwrights Theater. When she is not Wardrobe Supervising, she is writing plays, making films, and enjoying the artistic mélange that is New York City.

BARRY HAMILTON (New York City Children’s Theater General Manager) After first serving as NYCCT’s Technical Coordinator for the award winning A Band of Angels in the spring of 2015, Barry became the full time General Manager for the company later that year. He has a wealth of experience in theater production, having served several seasons as Production Manager for American Stage Theater in St. Petersburg, FL.  He has had a long affiliation with theater for young audiences through his work with the Eckerd Theater Company and has served in a variety of other posts in several theaters over the past 25 years.

*Member, United Scenic Artists

See their work come to life on stage!

My First Nutcracker is playing at Theatre Row through December 22nd!