Christine O'Grady Beacon-111.jpg

My name is Christine, and I am a theater director, choreographer, and educator. NYC has been my home base for the last 20 years, but soon you will find me at Penn State University where I am joining the Graduate Directing Faculty as well as training the BFA students.

Throughout my career I have had the great fortune of working with amazing mentors and creative partners. Jerry Mitchell, Diane Paulus, Karole Armitage, and Jack Cummings, III have taken me under their wing and had a profound impact on my work. I am continuously grateful for the experiences I have amassed and love sharing what I have learned with the next generation. I spent several years teaching at Marymount Manhattan College, and it was my great honor to serve as Program Director of Musical Theatre at Nazareth College where I re-launched the BFA Musical Theatre curriculum.

I’m particularly fond of developing fresh takes on musical theatre favorites. My goal is for each production to answer the vital questions, "why me?" and "why now?" I love working as a director|choreographer, but still enjoy teaming up with a collaborator so I can focus on one or the other. I am best known for the cinematic way I make bodies--and furniture--dance about the stage, and my "Choose Your Words" approach to text. Along the way, I’ve been nominated for some awards, and have even won a few.

I also love shepherding new work. I was instrumental in the development of RIYT's The Outcast of Sherwood Forest, which won NETC's Moss Hart Award in 2015, and have had a hand in developing The Hello Girls, Don't Call Me John, Chaining Zero, Sing, Bibi, Sing!, and Polkadots: The Cool Kids Musical. I am committed to this development work both on- and off-campus. Later this year, I am launching the premiere tour of Pete the Cat's Big Hollywood Adventure with TheatreWorks USA.

​I have a BS in Communications from Boston University, a MFA in Theatre (Directing Concentration) from Arizona State University, and am a proud member of SDC. I have trained with Theatrical Intimacy Education and IDC Professionals, and am beginning to work as an Intimacy Director as well. I look forward to coming to your neck of the woods soon!

SPECIALTIES

COLLABORATION

I am continuously inspired by  the magic that happens when I have a seed of an idea that a stage manager augments, a designer refines and an actor actualizes.

MUSICAL STAGING

I like to elevate crowd scenes by developing intricate travel patterns  and | or  "musical-izing"  pedestrian gestures to evoke tranquility, panic, heartbreak,  or even just a good-looking hustle bustle. 

GOOD 'OLE "5678"

Everyone loves a good dance break, but I am a fiend for researching how to make my choreography decade and locale specific, while still furthering the story.

BALLROOM WITH A TWIST

Whether you need a tango with two men or the pivotal waltz in  The Glass Menagerie, I will  adapt traditional ballroom styles to tell the right story for any production.

PUPPETRY

I am particularly drawn to puppetry that shows the audience its "strings" and creates an interesting relationship between puppet and puppeteer.