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 School of Drama

Kelly Maxner, Director, Choreographer and Performer
Director of the School of Drama High School Program and Artistic Director of the Drama Summer Session.  Mr. Maxner holds two BFA degrees from the North Carolina School of the Arts. The first in Contemporary Dance, 94; and the second in Drama (Directing) 2000. He holds a Masters in Choreography from Smith College, 2005. He has been a guest artist/instructor for the North Carolina School of the Arts, the South Carolina Governors School for the Arts and Humanities, Baypath College, Amherst College, Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter High School, Mt. Holyoke College and Mimar Sinan University (Istanbul).

Kelly is a founding member and co-artistic director of the 2005 season, Open Dream Ensemble, a North Carolina School of the Arts multidisciplinary alumnae company supported by the Kenan Institute for the Arts. Working with the Open Dream Ensemble has allowed Mr. Maxner to perform in theaters and schools all across North Carolina.
As a freelance artist, Kelly has choreographed/directed for The Golden Mean Theater (Los Angeles), Great Lakes Theater Festival, Dallas Theater Center, One Arm Red (NYC), the Ankara State Opera and Ballet’s Modern Dance Turkey, Dans Fabrikasi (Istanbul), Pioneer Valley Ballet, East Street Youth Ballet, Serious Play Theater Ensemble, The Little Theater (Winston-Salem) and for the Theater Alliance (Washington DC). He is a two-time Helen Hayes Award Nominee, both for his choreographic work on plays at the Theater Alliance: Ovid and Mary’s Wedding.

Mr. Maxner is also the Co-Artistic Director of Chimaera Physical Theater. A non-profit theater company whose mission is to integrate the arts with non-artistic institutions and spark the proliferation of innovative collaborations. As the co-artistic director of Chimaera Physical Theater, he has produced performances internationally and across America. Kelly has performed in New York, Taiwan, Istanbul, Cairo, Dallas, Las Angeles, Washington DC, Minneapolis and many other spaces. Jack Anderson of the New York Times has written that Chimaera Physical Theaters performance at PS 122. was “Boisterously amusing and alarming to behold.“

Mr. Maxner is an annual resident artist at The Enrichment Center, an arts based care program for adults with developmental disabilities.

Mr. Maxner is honored to join the faculty of the North Carolina School of the Arts and is thrilled to be able to dedicate his passion and creativity to the people who have given him so much.