SUPERHERO Behind the Scenes

SUPERHERO – Behind the Scenes

Stage and Lights

SUPERHERO The Story of a Man Called Jesus, is one of GHDT’s most well-known shows. One of the most
memorable parts of the show, is the numerous scrolls hanging at the back of the stage, providing a backdrop. Eleven years ago, when SUPERHERO first premiered, Artistic Director Gregory Hancock spent several weeks writing text from The Gospels in Latin, Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic onto the scrolls. 

Along with the backdrop, what sets the scene so well is the lighting design. GHDT has worked with lighting designer Ryan Koharchik for 20 years. For SUPERHERO, Ryan uses lights create moods such as excitement, calmness, anger, and grief. Even more elaborate, he uses lights to create garden scenes, to portray the swirling mind of regret, and to cast a large shadow of Jesus on the cross.



The costumes in SUPERHERO were all made by Gregory Hancock. Many costumes have character specific detail that are easy to miss if you aren’t paying attention. Mother Mary’s costume includes a shirt with artwork depicting Mother Mary’s face on it. Pilate’s Wife, Claudia, wears a beautiful set of jewelry that Mr. Hancock bought in India. The Cross, has red circles on her palms to represent where Jesus was nailed to the cross. 

During The Last Supper and Hallelujah scenes, dancers are representing the 12 apostles. This costume includes white head shrouds with writing on them. These head shrouds were also, just like the backdrop, all hand written by Mr. Hancock eleven years ago for the premiere. Although during these scenes, characters like Mother Mary and Mary Magdalene are not included, the dancers portraying them are. These dancers get specific head shrouds with writings on them from Gospels including their character. Pictured is the head shroud for Mary Magdalene.



The cast of SUPERHERO this year has dancers from many places. Joining the GHDT company dancers, Liang Fu is coming back again this year as a Guest Artist to perform the role of Judas Iscariot. Liang Fu, originally from Qingdao, Shandong, China, is currently dancing with Kansas City Ballet. GHDT’s pre-professional company, G2, is also in this production. This year, GHDT reached out to Phoenix Rising Dance Studio and Broad Ripple High School to offer their students the opportunity to perform in a professional production. We’re glad to have students from both joining the cast this year as townspeople. 


Tech Week

Tech week, is the week leading up to opening night of a performance. The usual tech week has the company rehearsing in studio Monday and Tuesday. Tuesday afternoons, the company takes every costume, prop, and accessory over to the theatre so its ready for rehearsal in theatre the next day. Wednesday and Thursday are long days. Tech runs are done during the early afternoon, meaning a light run through of the show for the dancers, but a heavy fun through of the show for lightning and tech crew backstage. Both Wednesday and Thursday evenings are full dress rehearsals.  

This year for SUPERHERO, dancers spent part of their Monday getting henna on their hands for the show. Be sure to look for the beautiful detail on stage! Tuesday was spent welcoming guest artist Liang Fu to rehearsals as well as moving into the theatre. We hope to see you on Friday for the show! 

For tickets, please click here!

Featured Dancer – Brittney Richards

SUPERHERO Dancer of the Day

Brittney Richards – Veronica

How many times have you been in a production of SUPERHERO?

This will be my 5th time performing in SUPERHERO. I was a student in the original cast, and I love looking back on those rehearsal memories.

What is your favorite scene in SUPERHERO?

Hallelujah is my favorite scene. I still remember the first time I saw the company rehearsing it, and I loved the way they moved through the choreography. I love that the dancing is balanced with fluidity and stillness. Hallelujah was one of my Grandma’s favorite scenes, and I always think of her while I’m dancing it.

Do you have a favorite role in the show, whether it’s one you’ve performed or not?

My favorite role in this show Mother Mary. She displays grace, courage, and strength. Her role is a powerful portrayal of how deep a mother’s love is for her children.

Favorite costume or part of a costume in the show?

All of the costumes in this show are beautiful, but I love wearing the costume for Veronica. The veil of Veronica is an inspiring symbol of compassion and love, and it’s powerful to wear it. I also love the costume for Claudia—especially the jewelry.

What is your favorite piece of music in SUPERHERO?

Now Comes the Night, the Crucifixion scene, is my favorite song in the show. The lyrics are poignant and moving, and they remind us that we are not alone. This song means a lot to me, and it’s helped me to heal from my own experiences of loss and grief.

What does SUPERHERO mean to you?

SUPERHERO has a special place in my heart. To me, it’s a symbol of rebirth and transformation. This show is spiritually significant to me in many ways, and when I perform it I feel like I’m dancing with angels.

Why should everyone come see SUPERHERO A Story of a Man Called Jesus?

SUPERHERO is an inspiring show that can impact anybody, regardless of their religious or spiritual beliefs. The dancing, music, costuming, and staging all come together to tell Jesus’ story in a tangible way. SUPERHERO is a great reminder of the power of love.

Come see Brittney perform the role of Veronica! Tickets can be purchased for SUPERHERO here.

To learn more about Company Dancer Brittney Richards, visit her Artist’s Page!

Featured Dancer – Erica Steward

SUPERHERO Dancer of the Day

Erica Steward – Woman at Bethany

How many times have you been in a production of SUPERHERO?

I’ve had the honor to perform in 4 SUPERHEROs, this year will be my 5th.

What is your favorite scene in SUPERHERO?

My favorite scene in the show changes everyday. However, one scene that will always give me the “good feels”, is when Jesus has been resurrected and Mary Magdalene comes to tell everyone else that He has returned. It’s a very uplifting moment following the emotional crucifixion, and everyone is filling the stage with beautiful colors, thanks to our costumes. 

Do you have a favorite role in the show, whether it’s one you’ve performed or not?

Judas, definitely. There’s unique layers to his character, but his choreography in the show is some of the most fun in the whole show. I’ve gotten to understudy Judas before, which was a lot of fun. 

Favorite costume or part of a costume in the show?

My favorite costume in the show is Demons. The majority of the costume is fairly basic and black, but we get to wear the coolest masks. They’re covered in tall red and black feathers and each mask has one peacock feather. The masks really help us transform from ourselves, into Judas’ demons. 

What is your favorite piece of music in SUPERHERO?

My favorite song in the show is called I Am. It’s Jesus’ big solo at the end of Act I. I love the message of the song, “Who’s going to do it, if I don’t step to it? I am.” It’s also a very good song to belt out when you’re by yourself in your car. 

What does SUPERHERO mean to you?

Superhero means a lot to me. It’s a show I’ve gotten to perform many times, and each time I’ve performed the piece has been during a different stage of my life. Each time we perform show brings back memories, and creates new ones. It reminds me of old friends I used to dance with when I was in G2 and all the dancers I’ve met because of this show. It reminds me of hilarious rehearsal moments like earrings getting stuck to other people’s earrings or the smallest dancer in the cast volunteering to do some heavy lifting. It reminds me of my journey as a dancer, starting as a townsperson and now being Woman at Bethany. I always looks forward to what new memories I’ll get during Superhero. 

Why should everyone come see SUPERHERO A Story of a Man Called Jesus?

Everyone should come see Superhero, because there is something for everyone in this show. Gorgeous costumes, fantastic music, captivating dancing. This show isn’t forcing anything on anyone, it’s just telling a beautiful story, in a beautiful way. 

Come see Erica perform the role of Woman at Bethany! Tickets can be purchased for SUPERHERO here.

To learn more about Company Dancer Erica Steward, visit her Artist’s Page!

Featured Dancer – Abbie Lessaris

SUPERHERO Dancer of the Day

Abigail Lessaris – The Cross and Pilate’s Wife, Claudia 

How many times have you been in a production of SUPERHERO?

2017 will be my 6th time performing in Superhero.

What is your favorite scene in SUPERHERO?

I love the representation of Palm Sunday at the beginning of the show. The students run on with palm leaves in the air and there is a burst of color as Jesus makes his first entrance. It’s an explosion of excitement.

Do you have a favorite role in the show, whether it’s one you’ve performed or not?

Judas. I’ve been obsessed with the role of Judas since I sat in the audience at the world premiere of the show in 2006.

Favorite costume or part of a costume in the show?

Pilate’s wife, Claudia, wears an incredible floor length dress with a beautiful set of Indian jewelry.

What is your favorite piece of music in SUPERHERO?

My favorite is probably You’re the One I Love by Jane Olivor, but every single song is so great. If you asked me tomorrow my answer might change.

What does SUPERHERO mean to you?

Springtime! We are always rehearsing Superhero as the weather is getting warm, and we can open up the back doors in our studio. The wind blows the fabric of our headpieces and the sun warms up the marley floor that we dance on. It’s a little bit of heaven after the gray, cold winter.

Why should everyone come see SUPERHERO A Story of a Man Called Jesus?

It’s an emotional story with amazing music, athletic dancing, and colorful costumes. There is something for everyone.

Come see Abigail perform the roles of The Cross and Pilate’s Wife, Claudia! Tickets can be purchased for SUPERHERO here.

To learn more about Company Dancer Abigail Lessaris, visit her Artist’s Page!

Featured Dancer – Taylar Green

SUPERHERO Dancer of the Day

Taylar Green – Mother Mary

How many times have you been in a production of SUPERHERO?

This will be my second time performing in SUPERHERO.

What is your favorite scene in SUPERHERO?

My favorite scene is the opening! Its so fun and sets the tone of the first half. It also surprises new audience members from what they might be expecting the show to look like.

Do you have a favorite role in the show, whether it’s one you’ve performed or not?

My favorite role is Mother! The first time I saw it performed, I was mesmerized.

Favorite costume or part of a costume in the show?

My favorite costume detail is the face of Mary on Mother’s shirt! The audience may not be able to see it, but it’s a small detail that makes me connect to the role a little more.

What is your favorite piece of music in SUPERHERO?

My favorite song is The Cross’s song! It’s so beautiful and simple. It moves the audience and draws them into the power and sadness of that moment.


What does SUPERHERO mean to you?

This show means a lot to me because it doesn’t force anything on the audience or dancers. It allows you to just be in the moment, see the stories and, really feel them. It’s an overwhelming and euphoric experience once we’re in the theatre with the lights, music, and costumes.

Why should everyone come see SUPERHERO A Story of a Man Called Jesus?

Because SUPERHERO is a unique show, it tells the story of Jesus in a way that I have never seen. Audiences will find themselves jamming in their seats, crying, and smiling all in 2 hours!

Come see Taylar perform the role of Mother Mary for the first time! Tickets can be purchased for SUPERHERO here.

To learn more about Company Dancer Taylar Green, visit her Artist’s Page!

The Black Dahlia

The Black Dahlia

Los Angeles, 1947, a body was found in a vacant lot. Who was this girl? What’s her story? Who killed her? Her name was Elizabeth Short. She moved to LA after her fiancé went down in the war, hoping to find fame and fortune. She had dreams of becoming an actress, her name known all around the world. She did find fame, however her fame came from her tragic death. She became known as The Black Dahlia, a girl horrifically murdered. Investigators spent years trying to find her killer, yet no one was ever convicted. 

GHDT took the story into our own hands. We narrowed it down to four suspects – The Sister, The Reporter, The Showgirl, and The Doctor. Each suspect has their own unique connection to Elizabeth, and each had their own motive. To find out who is guilty, you’ll have to come see The Black Dahlia for yourself. 


GHDT will have 6 performances of The Black Dahlia. February 4-19, Saturdays at 7pm and Sundays at 3pm. Included with the ticket price are beverages and a plate of snacks for you to munch on throughout the nail-biting mystery. GHDT’s annual February concert is our fundraising concert, so come prepared to participate in auctions and raffles! Performances are at The Academy of Gregory Hancock Dance Theatre (AGHDT), and tickets can be bought here. Shows are beginning to sell out, so buy your tickets quick!


Company Auditions

GHDT Company Auditions

March 11th, 2017

Audition will be held at:
The Academy of Gregory Hancock Dance Theatre
329 Gradle Dr. Carmel, IN 46032
AUDITION: 2:00pm
Audition fee: $20

Additional Audition dates:
April 8th, 2pm

Gregory Hancock Dance Theatre, located in Indianapolis, Indiana is seeking male and female dancers for company positions, guest work, and apprenticeships for its 2017-2018 season. GHDT is a contemporary ballet/modern dance company looking for dancers with strong training in ballet, modern and contemporary styles. All applicants who live outside the US must have a valid work visa. All applicants must be available to audition in person.


Gregory Hancock Dance Theatre provides:

  • Weekly salaries for company members and guest positions
  • Occasional national and international touring opportunities
  • Season performances as the resident dance company of the Tarkington at the Center for the Performing Arts
  • Teaching and choreographic opportunities at The Academy of GHDT
  • Minimum of 30 week work schedule


Gregory Hancock Dance Theatre commitments:

  • Rehearsals Monday-Friday 9:00am to 3:00pm
  • Company Class of ballet, modern, or jazz 9:30am-11:00am
  • Occasional events and performances around the community


For registration or inquires about the audition please email


Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year from GHDT! Cheers to a joyous and safe 2017. We’re looking forward to what this year will bring for the company. 


Don’t miss an opportunity to attend all three productions in the remaining 2016-2017 season! In February, “The Black Dahlia,” a new work by Artistic Director Gregory Hancock, will premier at The Academy of Gregory Hancock Dance Theatre in Carmel, Indiana. This annual February cabaret-style performance is a fundraising event for the company. GHDT transforms the every day rehearsal space into a black box theatre, which creates an up-close, unique experience for the audience. Light refreshments are served. “The Black Dahlia” is a murder mystery ballet based on the story of the unsolved murder of Elizabeth Short from the 1940’s. Performances will be held the first three weekends of February (4th-19th), Saturdays at 7pm and Sundays at 3pm.

“SUPERHERO -The Story of a Man Called Jesus” will return on Easter weekend, April 14 & 15 to The Tarkington at the Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel, Indiana. This fan favorite production is back by popular demand with performances at 7 p.m. Tickets are now available at the box office.

We close our season with “A Night in India,” June 9 & 10 at The Tarkington. This production will highlight the beautiful history and culture of India as seen through the eyes of choreographer and Artistic Director Gregory Hancock. New works along with popular repertoire pieces will be performed by the talented and versatile company dancers. Buy your tickets today for a unique evening out at The Tarkington Theater!

Academy Student Performances

Along with the GHDT company performances this season, The Academy of GHDT will present “G2 and Academy Showcase” on June 4th at The Tarkington – one performance only. Come see the talented students of G2 and AGHDT perform new choreography and some popular company repertoire pieces.


GHDT is looking forward to a wonderful new year! Please join us at the theatre!

Successful Nutcracker Weekend

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GHDT’s The Nutcracker was a raging success this year! All of the performers worked so hard to put on a beautiful, magical weekend of performances. From the wee little unicorns, to the 14 dancing snowflakes, everyone’s part came together to tell this heartwarming story of the season. 




This was the 24th season that GHDT’s contemporary Nutcracker had been performed. Our lead roles this year, Klara, Sugar Plum Fairy, and Nutcracker Prince, were performed by Audrey Holloway, Nicholle Sanders, and Justin Sears. 

The dancer-favorite performance this year, was once again the school show. Every year, schools around the area come to Pike Performing Arts Center Friday morning of Nutcracker weekend, to see The Nutcracker. Our dancers get excused from school for the day, and get the amazing opportunity to perform in front of an audience of 1,400 children. 15326332_10154994564637638_8120524455131448025_n

If you missed it this year, be sure to join us next December for the 25th anniversary of The Nutcracker!


Nutcracker Tea

img_4135Along with The Nutcracker, we have an annual Nutcracker Tea. This year, our fourth annual Tea was held at Pike Performing Arts Center before the Saturday matinee performance. Tea-goers were treated to tea, lemonade, mini-sandwiches, fruits, veggies, and desserts, and had the chance to win prizes in a raffle. On top of all of that, they also received a photo-opt with Klara, Sugar Plum, and the Prince

The Tea wouldn’t be possible without all of our amazing business sponsors, donors, and volunteers. Special thanks our event sponsor Performance Services, Inc.

Thank you to our donors for their support!
The Fresh Market, Carmel
Market District, Carmel
Party Time Rental, Indianapolis
Hershey Foods
Whole Foods Market
Carmel Orthodontics, Dr. Ron Miller
Norma June’s Photography
Floral by Sharon McKee
Napkins handmade by Dianne Shull
Salon 01, Carmel
Gigi’s Cupcakes of Indianapolis
Kroger Company
Denise Salamie
Haewon Miller
Ivy Heazeltine

fullsizerender-2A special thanks as well to all of the volunteers who worked the event. Mark your calendar for our fifth annual Nutcracker Tea next year!

Barnes & Noble Event

Nutcracker Event at Barnes & Noble

15036191_10211839327802267_2241349810984118985_nKlara, Sugar Plum, and other Nutcracker cast m
embers spent part of their Saturday at Barnes & Noble promoting their upcoming performance. Patrons shopping at the bookstore that day, could mention GHDT while checking out, and GHDT received some profits. The dancers colored with children, told the story of The Nutcracker, greeted shoppers, and even did a little bit of dancing!




It’s still happening!

15037061_10211839307361756_195155472879509878_nThe good news, is that you ca15079055_10211839304961696_8937309289294615061_nn still help out! Through Wednesday, if you’re shopping in store, be sure to mention GHDT! If you’re doing your shopping online, be sure to enter code #12043253 and a portion will benefit the company there as well!

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