KST’s Renters Council

Kelly Strayhorn Theater is pleased to announce the application for three positions as a part of KST’s Renters  Council. The Renters Council is a new initiative launched by KST with support from The Pittsburgh Foundation that aims to co-create our rental program and offerings with our community, and practice transparency with renters and audiences. The Renters Council will consist of five renters representing a diverse range of rental needs and identities. They will meet for at least two hours every other month beginning January 2021. Meetings will be focused on the intentions, operations, and outputs of KST’s rental program.

To date, KST’s rental team has invited the participation of the first two members of the Renters Council: Shana Simmons and Elise Walton. In collaboration with the two inaugural members, KST is launching this application to welcome three additional seats on the council. All council members are compensated $25/hour for their participation in council meetings. KST aims to have diverse representation on the renters council with respect to identity, rental needs, artistic discipline, professional background, and/or aesthetics. Council members may be invited to spearhead various initiatives and are not limited from participating in other KST programs. The full terms of the Renters Council are yet to be determined as they are to be finalized with the participation of the full Council.

An Info Session for the Renters  Council application process with KST Senior Producer Ben Pryor will take place, Tuesday, November 10 from 6:00pm – 7:00pm. The info session will talk attendees through the application process and hold time for answering questions from prospective applicants. Applications will be reviewed and positions invited by KST’s Renters Advisory members Shana Simmons and Elise Walton in conversation with KST’s Rental Team.

Applications open: Thursday, October 29, 2020
Applications close: DEADLINE EXTENDED UNTIL Saturday, November 28, 2020 at 11:59pm
Renters Council members will be announced by the end of December 2020.




Shana Simmons: Point Park University, BA Dance (2003), LABAN, MA Choreography(2009). Simmons has performed her own works in New York City, Belgium, London, Chicago, Boston, and Pittsburgh. Performance Credits: NYC: Noemie Lafrance “Agora,” Alexandra Beller, Tomé Cousin, white road dance media. London: Flat Feet Dance Co, Stacy Abalogun, Nadine Doran-Holder Pittsburgh: Staycee Pearl Dance Project, Pittsburgh Opera, Atlanta Opera, Jamie Erin Murphy, Brady Sanders Festivals: Revêrie Dance Festival, PEARLpresents Dance Festival, Spring Up Dance Festival, New Moves Festival, Three Rivers Arts Festival. SHANA SIMMONS DANCE(est2009), aims to draw audiences into modern dance in immersive environments and highlight current societal topics. Simmons has produced a variety of works in Pittsburgh: Relative Positions(2012), PASSENGER(2014), Objective I(2015), The Missing Peace(2018), and Elevate(2019), a three-city tour featuring female choreographers. The Missing Peace, performed two weeks of sold out shows and spread awareness towards topics such as: Alzheimer’s Disease, suicide/depression, and struggles with self-identity. Simmons presented SSD at APAP in NYC and was a nominee for the Carol R Brown Award (2016), received Pittsburgh’s Best Dance listings (2014/2015/2018), and is an independent teacher along with Adjunct Faculty at Point Park University.

Elise Walton is Duolingo’s Employee Experience Manager, where she oversees programs related to employee engagement, culture & career growth, and DEIB (diversity, equity, inclusion & belonging). Prior to Duolingo she worked for various Pittsburgh arts organizations including Conflict Kitchen, Pittsburgh Center for Arts & Media, and the Mattress Factory. She has a BFA from Carnegie Mellon University.