John Stapleton

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John’s first exposure to theatre was at the age of seven, in a community production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Gondoliers. Although it was a small part, suited for a seven-year-old, it had him hooked. He began taking tap lessons with a local school a few years later. Within a year, that had blossomed into Jazz, Modern, and Ballet. A passion for the grace and rigor of ballet set in quickly and John soon began more serious training with the Northern Ballet Theatre School (at the time known as the Granite State Ballet). John continued to pursue diverse experiences in dance with the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet summer program, and the Bolshoi Ballet’s summer intensive at Vail, Colorado.

After graduating High School, John accepted an apprentice position with Northern Ballet Theatre, and the following year joined the company as a full-fledged member. Here he performed in such pieces as The Nutcracker, Coppelia, and Agnes DeMille’s Rodeo. The following few years, John spent multiple seasons with both the Commonwealth Ballet Company and with the Augusta Ballet. Along with unique opportunities to perform original choreography, such as Under a Cajun Moon, Blue on Black, Lunch Break, and Askew, but in classics as well, like Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and The Three Musketeers.

The years have also given John a chance to make forays into the world of choreography. With Commonwealth Ballet Company, John was able to collaborate with the Director to set a piece called Blue on Black on himself and another dancer. In Augusta, John choreographed a pas de deux, Slow Like Honey, for a showcase. And, most recently, three of John’s original works, Jivatma, Vie, and Hey Baby, appeared in the Project C Dance Collective annual showcase. John also has experience in other non-dance theatre realms. He is well-versed in technical components of theatre production due to extensive training and experience under his mother, a registered Stage Manager.

John also assisted Jaime Burcham to found Behind the Masque, a street performing group based in Augusta, Georgia. BtM specialized in Guerilla Artfare, training and recruiting actors, dancers, and singers and placing them alongside more rare performers such as mimes, jugglers, fire-breathers, belly dancers, eastern-style drummers, and living statues. BtM brought unexpected delight and charming insanity to the furthest reaches of otherwise boring events. Alongside Jaime and other associates of BtM, John also worked summers to bring arts education to underprivileged children in the greater Augusta area.

The incredible diversity of John’s experiences in the performing arts have exposed him to almost every form of dance, from ballet to hip-hop, tango to African, and from swing to disco. He has been a mime, a fortune-teller, a living statue, not to mention working with set construction, make-up, lighting, rigging, and production. John has a passion for education and creation and strives to share his art with everyone and anyone he can.

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