Dani Bobbi Lee
Dani Bobbi Lee is gratified to be playing the role of Sarah Graves in this unique production. She considers it an honor to play a real person and to tell their story.
Dani is the Executive Director/Owner of Air Temple Arts. She trains in aerial silks, corde lisse and lyra, and coaches youth aerials and adult silks classes.
In 2020, Dani co-directed and performed aerials and other circus arts in Air Temple Arts’ first outdoor production, Time After Time. Heaven or California is Dani’s second Air Temple production and her first lyra performance.
Holly Gilligan came across Air Temple Arts 5 & 1/2 years ago while Googling for tap classes in New Haven. With a significant background in both dance and sports starting at the age of 3, she found aerials to be the perfect combination of both, and counts her decision to take that first silks class as one of her most life changing so far.
Holly has dabbled in a variety of aerial and circus arts over the past 5 years and currently trains in Chinese pole, aerial sling, rope, and hand balancing. Chinese pole remains her specialty, with additional training from New England Center for Circus Arts (NECCA) under her belt. She will begin teaching Intro to Chinese Pole classes at Air Temple this summer.
Due to a year off for injury recovery immediately followed by COVID, this will be Holly’s first aerial performance in over 3 years. Heaven or California is her fifth show with Air Temple Arts.
Crystal Cassetori began her aerial journey at Air Temple Arts in 2018. She likes to explore many apparatuses, but focuses on lyra and aerial sling. When not in the air, she can be found working on her grounded flow arts – dragonstaff and silk veil fans are her favorites.
Crystal has participated in several open stage performances at Air Temple and was a cast member in ATA’s summer 2020 performance, Time After Time. She hopes you enjoy watching Heaven or California as much as she enjoys being a part of it.
Kate Gonzales was climbing on curtains and people before she could walk, and baton-twirled and danced her way through childhood and college. So when she saw an amazing circus show in 2013, and was approached outside the theater by a certain studio owner asking if she wanted to try circus, she said ‘Yes, Please!’
Since then, Kate has trained in a variety of aerial disciplines, starting with aerial fabric and then expanding to basically anything she can get her hands on. She is currently a senior instructor at Air Temple Arts, specializing in aerial hoop and aerial sling. She has been seen performing as a sad clown, an evil minion, a sky witch, and even his purple-ness, Prince. She served as stage manager for the touring productions of Sherlock Holmes and the Sapphire Night and LOOM, and in 2020 she co-directed (with Dani Bobbi Lee) Air Temple’s first full outdoor production, Time After Time.
Kate would like to thank her fiancée, Holly Gilligan, for her never-ending support, and Air Temple Arts for introducing them.
Casey Kogut started her circus journey in 2016. She has dabbled in an array of apparatuses, including silks, sling, lyra, straps, and rope. She loves the direction and purpose that circus has provided, and it is an outlet she is extremely grateful to have found. Through appearing in Air Temple’s productions of LOOM and Time After Time, Casey found a love of performing she did not know she had! She would like to give a shout out to her mom and dad, her partner Dave, and her true friends who haven’t given up on her. She thanks you for your endless support!
Julian Salevan has been an avid performer since they were a three-year-old tiptoeing through dance classes. They studied classical ballet and modern dance for the first half of their life, acted in their high school theatre productions, led their college’s Rocky Horror cast as its producer, and sang in choirs through college and grad school (even while studying physics and engineering for their PhD!).
A dabbler in athletics as well as arts, they’ve tried their hand at everything from distance running to powerlifting. They took their first aerial hoop class at Air Temple in 2019, and they now also study silks, sling, hand balancing, and contortion. Heaven or California is Julian’s debut circus performance, and they will be back this autumn for Air Temple’s next open stage show in September.
Nicholas Strange has been involved in circus arts of one kind or another for over a decade. He started riding unicycles as a way to cross train for freestyle skiing in high school, but was soon addicted to riding on one wheel just for the fun of it. Since then he has taken up juggling and prop manipulation, partner acrobatics, hoop diving, and Chinese pole as major areas of interest. In addition to those traditional circus arts, Nicholas is an accomplished fire and sideshow performer.
Creative & Crew
Liz Richards is a multidisciplinary movement and theater artist based in New Haven, Connecticut. She received a BFA in Acting from New York University in 2014, and began her love affair with aerial arts and circus a year later, studying dance pole and lyra. Liz joined the Air Temple Arts community in 2019, with a focus on lyra and trapeze. She was last seen on The Cul de Sac stage as the vocalist in Air Temple’s 2020 performance of Time After Time, and can be seen again this September on trapeze at Air Temple’s next open stage. Heaven or California marks Liz’s directorial debut.
Brian Samuel Robinson
Brian Robinson is a composer and singer from New Haven, Connecticut. He graduated with a degree in Composition from the Mannes College of Music in New York. His works have been heard throughout New Haven, from orchestra premieres in Woolsey Hall to children’s songs at Worthington Hooker Elementary School.
As a classically-trained singer with strong roots in popular music, Brian’s genre-fluidity has led him to many unorthodox corners of the musical world. He is the songwriter and lead singer for a wind quintet that sings children’s music about dinosaurs called the Cretaceous Quintet, a string quartet rock band called The Tet Offensive, and last year released his first solo rock album: Brian Ember “The New Chastity.” This performance marks Brian’s first time writing for the circus.
Alexis Marotte and Bethany Wilder
Crew / The Puppet
Sierra Bachman is honored to be a part of Heaven or California, which is her first circus production. She started her aerial journey just a year ago when she fell head-over-heels in love with silks. She plans to continually improve and try other apparatuses and circus skills in the future. Sierra is constantly inspired to continue to work hard and pursue what she loves by the talented and fabulous individuals of Air Temple Arts .
Crew / The Puppet
Aimee Bush has been a student at Air Temple Arts since September 2018. Since then, she has studied aerial silks, lyra, and hand balancing, dabbling occasionally in rope and straps. She has also enjoyed learning to juggle and doing some hooping. She would like to shout out the ATA community for being so kind, supportive, and fun!
Alex Cassidy is thrilled to join Heaven or California as part of the crew in her first production at Air Temple. Happily returning after a prolonged break, she is revisiting silks and is poised to try new apparatuses. When not in the air, Alex can be found working at a special education facility in West Hartford or finding another peak to summit. Love and thanks to her Air Temple family to include her in this production!
Crew / The Puppet
Bianca Dawson is an enthusiastic member of the HoC crew! She has been studying different circus apparatuses at Air Temple since 2019, with a primary focus on silks. Bianca started aerials as a fun way to get in shape and has stayed at ATA for the amazing community. She looks forward to supporting the incredible cast and crew of Heaven or California!
The cast and crew of Heaven or California would like to give special thanks to Stacey Strange, Ian Sweeney, and Jude Regula for their contributions to this show.
About Air Temple Arts
Air Temple Arts is an aerial dance, circus and movement studio in Woodbridge, Connecticut.
Founded in 2012, Air Temple is the number one place in Connecticut to learn the popular art form of aerial silks, as well as other aerial apparatuses and skills such as contortion, acrobatics, juggling, and hand balancing.
Air Temple focuses on providing students of all ages and experience levels with endless opportunities to explore circus in a safe and encouraging atmosphere.
To learn more about the studio and their current class offerings, visit: airtemple.com