Emily Butcher’s movement training began with horses and liberty riding, and expanded to dance, musical theatre, and circus in high school and college. She recently graduated with a B.A. in Dance from Wesleyan University, where she learned to spin fire and to transform academic stress into baked goods. In her free time, she can be found rollerblading to Lake Michigan or napping on the beach.
Phillip Christian is an actor and dancer, who moved to Chicago two years ago to pursue circus. Before moving to Chicago, he performed with La Petit Theatre Du Vieux Carre of New Orleans and spent his summers serving as the Dance Captain while performing with Tecumseh! Outdoor Drama in Chillicothe, Ohio. Most recently, he performed as an aerialist for Cedar Point’s Luminosity: Ignite the Night for their 2017 summer season. Around town, he has been performed with Collaboration Theater and Black Ensemble Theater. Phillip studied for his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Music Theater at Southern Illinois University. Since coming to The Actor’s Gymnasium in 2015, he continues to learn and trains constantly to persist as a multidisciplinary artist.
Scott Dare is a physical theatre and circus artist working as a director, deviser, choreographer, and educator. Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, he moved to Chicago for it’s vibrant arts community. In addition to working at the Actors Gym, Scott is a company member with Chicago Danztheatre Ensemble, and serves as curator and host for Heels Over Head, a monthly physical variety show at The iO Theatre. Outside of Chicago his works have been seen in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Phoenix, and London. Locally he has collaborated with The Actors Gymnasium, Theater Unspeakable, Filament Theater, Mudlark Theater, Chicago Danztheatre Ensemble, American Theater Company, The Agency Collective, Semi-Circus and Imaginez Ensemble. He holds a Master’s degree from Royal Holloway, University of London and a Black Belt in traditional martial arts from the ISKA.
Jadan Eberly is young, short and handsome. He is 18 years old
and chasing his dreams. He moved to Evanston from Prattville (A small town in Alabama). Although he moved from Alabama he sure doesn’t look it. Jadan grew up with a father in the military so he has moved from city to city his whole life. He has continued this way of life by moving up north (this time all alone). He specializes in Hand-balancing and Tumbling although he has a background in Parkour. He is a previous Men’s Gymnastics coach, and was a certified gymnastics coach. His interests include dreaming about handstands, talking about handstands, thinking about handstands and partaking in the act of handbalancing. His ultimate goal is to be a performer in Cirque Du Soleil. What he hopes to get out of Actors Gymnasium’s Professional Program is as follows “I want to be torn apart, beaten down, and kicked until I can’t breathe; then I hope to be rebuilt a better circus athlete then ever before, held to robot like standards”. Some of his favorite music artists include Never Shout Never, Dance Gavin Dance, JME, Lil Uzi Vert, and Kyle. His favortie song is “XO Tour Lif3”. His favorite meals are chicken with rice, and Meatloaf. Some things he likes to do in his past time is urban exploring and bouldering.
Kelly Maryanski is a multidisciplinary performer; a dancer, actor, singer, choreographer, musician, and illustrator hailing from Mount Prospect, IL. She graduated from Denison University with a BFA and now calls Chicago home. As a performer, she has worked with a number of Chicago and regional theaters including The Arcade Theatre of Milwaukee, Black Ensemble Theatre, Emerald City Theatre, Music Theater Works, Lees-McRae Summer Theatre, Lyric Opera of Chicago, The Round Barn Theatre, and Williams Street Repertory. She has had the pleasure to dance with Ardent Dance Company in their inaugural season and also has danced in a number of music videos and films . Kelly is also a professional mermaid around the midwest and an advocate of cake for breakfast. Kelly is a proud member of The American Guild of Musical Artists. www.thisiskellymaryanski.com/www.Kelly-Maryanski.com
Jack Olin is an actor and circus artist who made it to Chicago by way of Colorado and North Dakota. He graduated from Northwestern University in 2016, where he studied theatre and economics (both at the home campus and in Qatar). Jack has previously performed with Next Theatre (The Exonerated), Interrobang Theatre Project (Foxfinder), and in workshops with Lookingglass Theatre Company and the American Myth Center. He has also trained with iO Chicago and One Group Mind in long-form improv. He is thrilled to be spending this year with The Actors Gymnasium.
Jessica Pennachio is from Charlotte, North Carolina and graduated last December from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte with a B.A. in Theatre Performance. While in college she did everything from producing to wardrobe crew to performing at the Carolina Renaissance Festival. She enjoys all aspects of theatre and recently fell in love with circus during a summer intensive at UNCC. She is thrilled to be a part of the 2017 Actors Gym class and can’t wait to see where it takes her!
Ayana Strutz is an island girl from Honolulu, Hawaii who was introduced to the world of circus in 2016. Primarily a dancer, she started her dance training at the age of four and was greatly involved with musical theatre growing up. Leaving the island for college, she attended Ohio State University and graduated in 2015 with a BA in Sociology and Dance minor. Moving to Illinois in 2016, she joined Cocodaco Dance Company, and began training in aerial and contortion at Actors Gym. She feels very grateful and excited to start the Pro-Training Program this year. On a typical day you might catch her performing as princess “Moana”, teaching youth dance classes, dancing at Bar Mitzvahs, or working on her handstands. Her biggest inspiration is her strong-spirited Japanese grandmother, who was a gymnast and continues to teach martial arts today at 78 years old. She lives with her newlywed scientist husband and naughty cat in a small but cozy apartment. She would like to thank her sweet and caring husband Jon for agreeing to live a crazy life with his crazy wife.