Monday, November 17, 2014

Spotlight On...Katrina Cunningham

Name: Katrina Cunningham

Hometown: Portland, Oregon

Education: SUNY Purchase Dance Conservatory BFA

Select Credits: Singer, dancer, and actress with Company XIV.

Why theater?: It is an incredibly grounding experience to perform a show night after night. I am playing a candy in Nutcracker Rouge, (a glass of champagne to be exact,) and yet I am never satisfied with what I have found in my character or my experience portraying her.  It takes me a long run to decide I’m done justifying the story, however seemingly thin the plot. Theater is the medium that provides me with that slow and lustrous coming undone.  

Tell us about Nutcracker Rouge: It’s the perversion of the Nutcracker you know and love, with an emphasis on the perversion of Marie Claire. Most nutcrackers save the sweets for the second act. Nutcracker Rouge uses the sweets to represent a slew of sexual proclivities and fetishes. From the traditional blushing burlesque-y Cherries (which is a flirty duet between Lea Helle and I) to the violent S&M Licorice Boys, we hope that no audience member goes the whole show without a red-faced moment. Not to mention the fact that we shamelessly use your libidos to get you in the door, leaving you with the surprise of an artful experience in the highest form of many different skills. And if you feel that it’s not Nutcracker without ballet, worry not. We find that sexuality and traditional ballet fit very nicely together.

What is it like being a part of Nutcracker Rouge?: A little girl’s dreams… and a grown woman’s fantasies… come true.  

What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: It is important to me to see individuals on stage. I am not interested in theater where people sing and look and speak in a certain manufactured homogeny. I am excited by the messiness of the human on stage.  I am also excited by the utilization of a performers many abilities. There is no reason a contemporary dancer can’t also be your singer and deliver a straight monologue to close the show. I would like to see more roles created with the clever and purposeful combination of these things in mind.

Any roles you’re dying to play?: I like to explore the fragile dynamo of women. It is often strong women who are driven to madness because the world is not made for them. I relate to those characters. Ophelia is one. Helen McCormick. Hedda Gabler.  

What’s your favorite showtune?: The 1940’s hit “Wait ‘Till You See Her.” It’s really killing.

If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: Leonardo DiCaprio. He is my spirit animal.

Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: Riley Keough stars in “Goldilocks.”  It was my first starring role at age 6 after all… Hoping I haven’t peaked.  

What show have you recommended to your friends?: "Masters of Sex"!!!! "Orange is the New Black"!!!

What’s the most played song on your iTunes?: “The Way I Feel” by Asa

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: Truffle macaroni and cheese. I am hoping to have a 3 tier mac-cake when I get married.

What’s up next?: Le Petit Chaperonn√© Rouge, further recordings and a single/cover of “Yayo” on sale during the run!  

For more on Katrina, visit