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Underbelly is an Austin-based theatre collective that stages immersive journey-plays in forgotten spaces. Underbelly riffs on classic American  stories, slams together genres, and criss-crosses disciplines to make narrative-rich, experiential new plays.

Here are 3 of their works I've been involved in:

Church of the passionate cat

Church of the Passionate Cat is a detective story turned on its ear: a metaphysical mystery that spins us into a dance-fueled ritual at the city’s most secretive nightclub.

Six months ago, Detective Molly Maguire lost her partner in a freak ferry boat accident. Now she’s drunk, broke, and on the verge of losing her trusted secretary, Ivy. When a mysterious man offers her a chance to work again, everything Molly knows about detective work, her missing partner, and the nature of faith itself is up for grabs.

Church of the Passionate Cat blends film noir detective whoduniting with a jazz age church revival like you’ve never experienced before.

Written by Katie Bender & Gabrielle Reisman

Scenic design by Stephanie Busing

Costume design by Mercedes O'Bannion

Choreography by Kelsey Oliver (I also performed in this work)

Slip River

A journey dark and strange.

Inspired by Mark Twain and the music of Beyonce, SLIP RIVER is an electric journey for audiences of all ages, where peril—or possibility—lie just around the river's bend. 

SLIP RIVER was co-created by Katie Bender, Abe Koogler, Gabrielle Reisman, Kristian Piña, Mercedes O'Bannion, James Ogden, Stephanie Busing, Marshall Bessieres, Kelsey Oliver, Ian Reese, Sam Gorena, Karen Rodriguez, Briana Garcia, Merin Rogers, Kristen Jackson, and Stephen Mabry

(I choreographed and performed in this work)


Winner of 2013 Austin Critis Table Award, Best Comedy

#1 Reason to stay in love with theatre in 2013

Alice in Wonderland

A surf-rock and punk rythmn inspired adaptation of Lewis Carroll's classic that travels around, behind, and deep underneath your traditional theatre spaces. 


When Alice lands down the rabbit hole on the wave of a tantrum, a motly troup of animals invites us along to find her, and avoid the wrath of the Red Queen and her Rabbit henchman in the process. 

Written by Katie Bender & Gabrielle Reisman

Scenic and media design by Stephanie Busing

Costume design by Mercedes O'Bannion

Music composition by Peter Stopschinski

Choreography by Kelsey Oliver

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