Some Assembly Required (2017)

Thu 9/21 7:00pm
Fri 9/22 7:00pm
Sat 9/23 2:00pm, 6:00pm
Contemporary Craft and UnSmoke Systems Artspace

Blurring the lines between visual art, music, and dance, Some Assembly Required will engage you in a process performance of improvisation and co-creation. From the Strip District to Braddock, every show combines the planned and the spontaneous to create a world premiere inspired by each new venue, audience, and work of art.

Some Assembly Required offers audiences a new way to view visual art, a new lens to experience dance and live music, and a new outlook on the culture of engaging arts experiences. Beginning with a short dance with live cello and percussion music, the performance evolves through a lively, guided conversation with the performers about selected works of art. This discussion will generate the inspiration for improvisational movement and music that will be overlaid onto the existing dance structure. The performance expands and intensifies through the feelings and interpretations of the audience to culminate in a world-premiere performance that connects artists with audience and artwork in an intimate exploration between the planned and spontaneous.

Four performances, two venues, one price: The one that moves you.


Orb Study (2015) by Seth Clark, featured in Shelter: Crafting a Safe Home at Contemporary Craft.Contemporary Craft

2100 Smallman Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Thursday, September 21st at 7:00pm

Friday, September 22nd at 7:00pm

At Contemporary Craft in the Strip District, explore the visual art of the upcoming exhibit: Shelter: Crafting a Safe Home. This exhibition poses the initial question: “How does lack of safety and security, from the physical elements as well as unseen external dangers, affect our psyche and ability to live and flourish?” As the process unfolds the audience will explore this question through a discussion about individual works of art by artists from across the United States and around the world. This venue is ADA Accessible.

How to get there:

Centrally located in the Strip District, Contemporary Craft is easily accessible by bus routes: 54, 86, 87, 88, and 91. Free on-street parking is also available in the Strip District beginning at 6:00pm. Click here for directions. 

Explore our stomping grounds in the Strip:


Western Non-Site (2017) by Liz Ensz, featured in The Industrial Sublime at UnSmoke Systems ArtspaceUnSmoke Systems Artspace

1137 Braddock Ave, Braddock, PA 15104

Saturday, September 23rd at 2:00pm

Saturday, September 23rd at 6:00pm

Join us for our first-ever performance in Braddock, PA. At UnSmoke Systems Artspace, explore the artwork of Chicago-based artist Liz Ensz in her exhibit: The Industrial Sublime, which "ruminates on the material and cultural legacy of the Industrialization" (Liz Ensz, Artist Statement).

How to get there:

UnSmoke Systems is located on Braddock Avenue in Braddock, PA. Braddock is accessible by bus routes 59, 61A, and 61B. Parking is available along Braddock Avenue; click here for directions.

Explore Braddock with us!


History of Some Assembly Required

Fusing choreography and composition with visual art, Some Assembly Required was originally commissioned for the Carnegie Museum of Art (Pittsburgh). Inspired by the work of Philip Yenawine, former director of education at the Museum of Modern Art, this process gives the audience the ability to influence and interact with the creative process, and simultaneously allows for a facilitated discussion.

The process begins with the presentation of a short performance accompanied by live music. After viewing this piece, the audience embarks on a guided discussion of chosen artworks. The performers transform these comments into music and movement, which they insert and overlay into the existing piece. This new layer of emotion, intent and color adds passion to the existing dance. This process concludes with a synthesis of the conversations and improvisations resulting in the one-time performance of Some Assembly Required



 Simon Cummings, Musician (Cello)

Simon J. C. Cummings is an active cellist, composer and teacher based in Pittsburgh, PA. After graduating from the Pittsburgh High School for the Creative and Performing Arts in 2004, he attended Carnegie Mellon University and received his BFA in 2008. Mr. Cummings is a cellist and composer in the cross-genre cello ensemble, Cello Fury, based in Pittsburgh. Combining his background of performing in rock groups with his knowledge and experience in classical styles, Mr. Cummings’ music fuses together both worlds. As a member of Cello Fury, he co-wrote and performed three ballets for Bodiography Contemporary Ballet, and performed as soloists in the premiere of the opera “La Bisbetica” by Efrain Amaya in Italy. With Cello Fury, Mr. Cummings has also performed across 26 states and for audiences of over 70,000 people. Outside of Cello Fury, Mr. Cummings is an active composer, having composed and performed the incidental music for the Thom Thomas play, “A Moon To Dance By”, directed by Edwin Sherin and starring Jane Alexander. Mr. Cummings also collaborates with other numerous Pittsburgh based cultural groups, such as Texture Contemporary Ballet, Attack Theatre, Resonance Works, and Alia Musica, a new music ensemble which performs contemporary classical music by local and international composers. As a teacher, Mr. Cummings maintains a studio of cellists at his home studio for students of all ages. He is also a founding member and teacher of Cello Fury Rock Camp for Strings, a two week camp for alternative string music entering it’s 9th season. For more information about compositions, lessons, or performances, please contact and visit

 Kaitlin Dann, Dancer

Kaitlin moved to Pittsburgh from New Hampshire in 2005 to study Modern Dance at Point Park University. Since receiving her BA, she has performed with such local companies as the Pillow Project, Knot Dance, No Name Players during their annual SWAN Day, and Bricolage during their run of STRATA. She spent two seasons with Bodiography Contemporary Ballet where she both choreographed and danced. Kaitlin has choreographed for No Names Players’ productions of ¡Viva Los Bastarditos! (2013) and Evil Dead: The Musical (2014). In her spare time she is a fitness instructor at Club One Fitness. She is currently pursuing her MFA in Dance at the University of Wisconsin: Milwaukee. Kaitlin has been dancing with Attack Theatre since 2011.


 Sonja Gable, Dancer

Originally from Johnstown, PA, Sonja received degrees in Dance and Early Childhood Education from Slippery Rock University. In her dance training she has learned from and collaborated with such artists as Jump Rhythm Jazz, Tara Madsen Robbins, Teena Marie Custer, Ursula Payne, and Diavolo Dance Theatre. Sonja has taught at Rock Dance Company for Kids and Butler Dance Center. This season she has been a performer and teaching artist with Attack Theatre, including her work with Pittsburgh Public Schools and productions of Turandot with the Pittsburgh Opera and Atlanta Opera.

 Ian Green, Musician (Percussion)

Ian Green is a musician, visual artist, massage therapist and native to Pittsburgh. Ian has written and performed music for Texture Contemporary Ballet, Murphy/Smith Dance Collective, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School, and this is his fifth collaboration with Attack Theatre. He regularly accompanies modern dance classes with Attack Theatre. Ian received his Master’s Degree in Painting from Indiana University in Bloomington. He has created murals for the Carnegie Library of Homestead, as well as various outdoor public artworks and private commissions.


 Dane Toney, Dancer

Originally from West Virginia, Dane graduated with a BFA in dance from Point Park University. While in school, he had the opportunity to work with numerous faculty members and guest artists, including Dawn Stoppiello of Troika Ranch and Doug Varone of Doug Varone and Dancers. Before college, he trained intensively with Toneta Akers-Toler, founder and artistic director of the West Virginia Dance Company (WVDC). Dane has also spent 15 summers with Theatre West Virginia’s Outdoor Drama Company and has performed as a guest artist with the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange and the WVDC. Dane is also a recipient of the 2017 BRAZZY Award, which recognizes two exceptional Pittsburgh dancers each year in honor of Leslie Anderson-Braswell. Dane began dancing with Attack Theatre in 2008.


 Anthony Williams, Dancer

A Chicago native, dancer, choreographer, and educator, Anthony has a strong investment in his community. Anthony has performed with Congo Square Theater Company (Chicago), Staycee Pearl dance project, Texture Contemporary Ballet, August Wilson Center Dance Ensemble, and Deeply Rooted Dance Theater (Chicago). Anthony’s choreography credits include works for Carnegie Mellon University’s Infra Dance Company, Reed Dance, Hope Academy, and Dreams of Hope. Anthony has premiered work at Kelly Strayhorn Theater’s newMoves Contemporary Dance Festival in 2015 and 2013. In 2014, he was selected as a Kelly Strayhorn Theater Fresh Works Residency artist for the development of his work, Loving Black. Anthony began working with Attack Theatre in the 2014/15 season.


 Ashley Williams, Dancer

Before coming to Pittsburgh, Ashley spent 6 seasons dancing and touring with Prometheus Dance, a modern dance-theater company in Boston. Originally from Colorado, Ashley’s training includes 13 summers at the Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School, a BA in Dance (CU-Boulder), and graduate studies at the Rotterdamse Dansacademie in Holland. Along the way, Ashley also went to school for a “serious career” earning a BS in Aerospace Engineering (CU-Boulder) and an MS in Electrical Engineering (MIT), and to her parents’ chagrin, she has been dancing happily ever since. Ashley spends her free time investigating the biochemical properties of cartilage as a research scientist for Stanford University. Ashley began dancing with Attack Theatre in 2007.


Some Assembly Required is made possible in part by:



Feature photo courtesy of Martha Rial.