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Performance Details

August 10 and 11 at 7pm

August 12 at 3pm

Rubber City Theatre 

Sandefur Theatre in Guzzetta Hall

228 E Buchtel Ave, Akron, OH 44325


Tickets: Pay-What-You-Can


The Encounter: Akron in rehearsal at Sandefur Theatre, 2023

photo Mike Cardew, Akron Beacon Journal

The Encounter: Akron is an expansive performance project created by choreographer/director Kimberly Bartosik (Brooklyn, NY). Joined by creative associate Burr Johnson, Bartosik has been creating unique Encounter projects in communities worldwide, exploring intergenerational cross-geographic, global conversation about the ferocious power of the body as a form of communication. The work is an encounter with oneself, pulling from what people currently carry in their bodies--grief, hope, fear, desire, newfound power--pulsing through and between generations.


The Encounter: Akron features a regional cast of professional, pre-professional, and non-professional performers.

  • Melissa Ajayi, 37 (Shaker Heights, OH), is a recreation therapist, mother of two children, loves to be outdoors, and is learning to garden. 

  • Neema Bal, 26 (Akron, OH), is co-artistic director of Gum-Dip Theatre, was born and raised in a refugee camp, and has a passion for theatre and a strong dedication to uplifting and advocating for refugee children.

  • Katie Beck, 31 (Akron, OH), also co-artistic director of Gum-Dip Theatre, is a theatre maker, creative community builder, and social entrepreneur who loves her house plants, two cats, and the North Hill neighborhood.

  • Kobe Calain, 20 (Newton Falls, OH), loves to move, dance, perform, and make people smile.

  • Kay DePew, 28 (Akron, OH), former Miss Akron, is an experimental artist and business student. 

  • Julia Dillard, 37 (Cleveland, OH), loves swimming in the ocean, making plum tortes, chasing her toddler, and being in nature. 

  • Josy Jones, (Akron, OH), is from a theatre background and tends to ask a lot of questions that she answers with research and movement; dinosaurs are her favorite animal. 

  • Elyse Morckel, 31 (Akron, OH), is Associate Director of The Movement Project and enjoys snuggling with her cat David, baking macarons, supporting her local library, and hiking the many trails a part of the Summit Metro Parks. 

  • Britt Oliver, 39 (Akron, OH), enjoys yoga, travel, museums, painting, and any activity that sparks creativity.

  • J2 Shepherd, 11 (Akron, OH), loves music, dancing, and singing. He also enjoys learning to play new instruments, playing video games, and joking around with his friends. His happy place is at home surrounded by his family. 

  • Larry White Jr, 21 (Akron, OH), has a passion for baking sweets, obscure fashion looks, and rarely is seen without a smile.

*The Encounter: Akron is developed in partnership with NCCAkron, Rubber City Theatre, and CDS Creative Productions. Performances are made possible by lead support from the Knight Arts Akron Community Fund at The Miami Foundation – investing in local collaborations and expanding presentation opportunities for dance with theater organizations in Akron.

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