Christina McCarthy

Lecturer SOE

Office Location

Theater Dance West, Room 1508


Christina McCarthy is a multi-disciplinary artist in dance, aerial circus arts, theater, puppetry, film and visual art. She danced with Nina Wiener Dance Company and was both a dancer and Assistant Director to Santa Barbara Dance Theater. She teaches contemporary dance technique, dance on film, choreography, solo performance generation, puppet making and aerial dance. Her movement training background includes ballet with Lupe Serrano, Finis Jhung, Bob and Carol Hanlin and Valerie Huston, modern training with Tonia Shimin, Alice Condodina, Nolan Dennet and Christopher Pilafian, and aerial dance training with Ninette Paloma and Autumn Phillips. Ms. McCarthy engages in the department both in theater, where she works in collaboration with directors on dance and movement aspects of musical theater productions and plays and in dance where she often collaborates with the Music Department on joint dance/music performance projects. She has made site specific work for the opening of the new UCSB Library and for Arts Walk 2019, directed departmental dance concerts and choreographed multiple musical theater productions in the Santa Barbara community including, Spamalot, Young Frankenstein, Bullets Over Broadway, Chicago, Pippin, Beauty and the Beast, The Drowsy Chaperone, Singing in the Rain, Anything Goes, Music Man, Grease, On the Town, Pajama Game, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Cabaret, Into the Woods, Bye Bye Birdie, Little Shop of Horrors, Hair, Footloose, The Wizard of Oz, Copacabana, Beiderman's Match, Gunmetal Blues, Once Upon a Mattress, and Wind in the Willows. Ms. McCarthy is the resident movement director of Naked Shakes whose work has been shown both on campus at UCSB and at the Arizona Shakespeare Festival. She has designed and fabricated puppets for Lit Moon Theater Company, Ensemble Theater Company, Out of the Box Theater Company, Proboscis Theater Company, storyteller Michael Katz and Santa Barbara Dance Theater in addition to her creations for her own creative choreographic works. Her puppets have appeared in Amelie, Peer Gynt, Young Frankenstein, A Perfect Ganesh, Beauty and the Beast, Once Upon a Mattress, La La La Strada, and Big Fish. In 2018, Ms. McCarthy was the featured puppet artist at the Santa Barbara International Puppet Palooza Festival. Her concert dance choreography often includes puppet/theater and aerial dance elements. In her teaching, she is interested in exposing dancers to the threads of movement training based in ballet, Limón, Graham, floor work practices and aerial dance elements. An accomplished ceramic artist, she has also shown her work at the Terra Sol Gallery and at the annual Santa Barbara Mission Arts Fair.