Lia-Shea Tillett (Clara) is excited to be reprising her role as Clara! Lia-Shea is an NYC-based actor, dancer and singer with a BA in Theatre Performance from SUNY New Paltz. Recent: Rheba in You Can’t Take it With You (Saint Michael’s Playhouse). Upcoming: Happiness in 420 The Musical: Christmas Special (Kraine Theater). For more dancing, you can catch Lia-Shea performing as a company member of Gotham Dance Theater and SammyJDance around NYC!


Kyle Marra (Nutcracker Prince) is thrilled to be joining this production of DIY Nutcracker. Originally from Clifton Park, NY, Kyle received dance training from the School of the Arts at the National Museum of Dance, and has performed with numerous theatre and dance companies in Upstate New York including Potsdam Music Theatre, Cohoes Music Hall, and Youth Ballet Company. He received his BA in History from SUNY New Paltz and is currently pursuing his MSEd in Educational Theatre at The City College of New York. Select credits include Parada (Leo Frank), Oklahoma! (Dream Jud/Asst. Choreographer), Mary Poppins (Valentine), and The Music Man (Tommy Djilas). Kyle is also an aspiring teaching artists.


gwyneddvetter-druschheadshot1Gwynedd Vetter-Drusch (Sugar Plum Fairy) is a New York-based dancer, actor, singer and teaching artist. Regional Theatre: Saratoga Shakespeare Co.’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Tytania/Hippolyta); The Winter’s Tale (Perdita/Mamillius); Cider Mill Playhouse’s Peter and the Starcatcher (Molly Aster); A Year with Frog and Toad (Bird/Mouse/Young Frog).  New York Theatre: Rock & Roll Refugee (Ensemble). Dance: Gelsey Kirkland’s The Nutcracker (Marie); Tulsa Ballet’s Sleeping Beauty and Dracula; and TEDxTalk: La Danza de la Vida (filmed in Morelia, MX). Gwynedd is also the co-founder/choreographer of Moving for Monarchs, a performance project promoting monarch butterfly conservation. She is very merry to be joining DIY Nutcracker for a second year! Love and Magic to Jo, Mark and Connor.


a16Ashley Carter has had the opportunity to perform at venues such as Jacob’s Pillow, SummerStage, Battery Dance Festival, Webster Hall, New York Fashion Week and Carnival Choreographer’s Ball, and has worked with artists Sia, Ricky Martin, NeYo, Lady Sovereign, Nicki Minaj and Justin Timberlake. She has danced with Pilobolus, Balasole,  Germaul Barnes/Viewsic Expressions, HannaQ Dance and Ruddur Dance.  Ashley  co-directs contemporary dance company DoubleTake Dance, and is on faculty at Joffrey and Ballet Academy East in NYC. Recently she was featured in the original dance film “Here We Go Again,” and worked on a production of “Peter Pan” for Broadway Asia. Ashley is thrilled to return to her role as Fritz/Rat King/Russia in DIY Nutcracker!


Tsubasa Ogawa (Uncle Drosselmeyer/Mother Ginger), or Subie, is originally from Japan. She graduated from The New School, Eugene Lang College. Off-Broadway: Twelfth Night, SAYONARA. Regional: Miss Saigon, The King and I, and Nutcracker Rated R. Her performances can also be seen at various venues in NYC as a member of THE LOVE SHOW.





Hiroko Uchino (Reeds; u/s Asia) was born and raised in Fukuoka, Japan. She started training ballet when she was 4 years old. Hiroko moved to New York in 2009 where she continued training and performing various styles of dance. Most recently, Hiroko danced in the off-off Broadway play Northboard. She has toured over 30 cities at iconic theaters across Northern America and Canada, including the Beacon Theatre in New York City, in the National Theatre production Chuggington Live! Great Rescue Live. Additionally, Hiroko performed in the music video “Hello” from the electronic music group Above and Beyond. She was a member of the dance team for the New York Lizards,  part of Major League Lacrosse. She was on MTV for top 15 of Ariana Grande Video Contest. She danced for a professional Japanese baseball team for 3 years.


Vanessa Martínez de Baños (Spain/Ensemble) is co-director of, featured in Dance Informa Magazine. DTD has recently received several commissions. Currently dancing for DTD and Gwirtzman, she’s been featured on CNN, NBC and TV Globo in Brazil. Other credits include BalaSole, Noir Tribe, RSW, Little Opera Theater, Ryan Beck, Guillém Alonso, Tony Waag, L’OREAL, Heineken, Ameriprise, Yahoo, KDDance, Lush, Fuse TV, X-Box/Kinect (NeYo and Lady Sovereign), and Rachel Ray. Film credits include Friends with Benefits with Justin Timberlake (IMDB 2011). A passionate teacher, she’s faculty at Steps, Joffrey and more.


kelly-vaghenas-headshot-1-jpgKelly Vaghenas (Arabia/Ensemble) holds a BFA in Dance from Montclair State University. After performing at Miraggio Spa Resort in Greece last year, she moved to NYC where she continues work as a freelance performing artist.  Most recently she was a dancer in the new circus production Unleashed at Six Flags. Other notable credits include modeling for Make Up For Ever and choreographing for the play Northbound which premiered at Theater for the New City.


headshot-maria-byersMaria C Byers (England/Ensemble) is so excited to be returning to DIY Nutcracker this year! She graduated with a BFA in drama from NYU. She recently choreographed Oliver!, 13, Spamalot, A Grand Night for Singing, Hairspray, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and Curtains! Some other past favorites include: The Producers, Anything Goes, and Oklahoma! Maria is passionate about theater education and teaches at the Riverdale Children’s Theatre and Young Peoples Theater Workshop where she just finished choreograph Bye Bye Birdie, one of her absolute favorites!



Mikki Shoji (Asia/Ensemble) has trained in various dance styles in Japan and New York City. She danced the works of Fabien Prioville, Kojiro Imada, Ballet Noah, Hiroko Ishikawa, Valentina Kozlova, Margo Shappington, Olga Verterich, Sekou McMiller, Jennifer Archibald, Ashlé Dawson and Phil Orsano. She has had the opportunity to perform at such notable venues as Gelsey Kirkland Arts Theater, Salvatore Capezio Theater, the Kaye Playhouse, Battery Dance Festival and the Global Citizen Festival 2017. Internationally she performed at Saitama Arts Theater (JPN), Setagaya Public Theater (JPN), NRW International Dance Festival “Fest mit Pina” (DE), Bielefeld Tanzfestival (DE). Mikki is currently a member of DoubleTake Dance, Awaken Dance Theater and Matthew Westerby Company.



Madeline McBroom (Ensemble; u/s Clara/Spain) is thrilled to be performing in the DIY Nutcracker this holiday season. Originally from San Antonio, Madeline got her BA degree in Acting and minor in Dance from University of Northern Colorado. Some of Madeline’s favorite past dance credits include Swing, Alamo City Dance Company’s production of The Nutcracker, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Miranda’s Nightmare. Madeline would like to thank her family and friends for their endless love and support. Enjoy the show!SaveSave