Three dancers are encircled by waves of green and blue light, designed by Michael Maag. Laurel Lawson, a white woman with cropped hair, bends backward, arms curved, as she hovers above the stage. Alice Sheppard, a multiracial Black woman with short curly hair and coffee-colored skin, also hovers behind Laurel, partnering her and cradling her legs and wheelchair. Jerron Herman, a Black man with blonde hair, stands embracing Alice and Laurel’s wheels. Photo Robbie Sweeny/Kinetic Light.

Wired is a passionate and potent aerial and contemporary dance experience that tells race, gender, and disability stories of barbed wire in the United States. The dancers of Kinetic Light trace the fine line between “us” and “them” as they explore the contradictions, dangers, and beauty of barbed wire. 

Immense and intimate, Wired meditates in sound, light, and movement as it questions and ruminates on power, belonging, abolition and deinstitutionalization, sexuality, art, community, and connection—all through the powerful lens of disability as creative and cultural force. 

In-depth: Making Wired, barbed wire, Melvin Edwards, & more

Access & Experience

Access for and in Wired

Click for more details about:
Venue layout and physical accessibility,
ASL interpretation,
Tactile & haptic experiences,
Quiet spaces & stim kits,
Light, sound, and content notices, and
Audio Description info & description samples.

ASL is present for all live performances. A limited number of seats may feature a haptic experience of the soundtrack. There is no spoken text in Wired. These performances feature expanded accessible seating. Audio Description will be available for all performances. Live performances will feature audio description through Audimance, with multiple content and experience options. Orientation and assistance with the app will be available pre-show at the venue, along with a tactile experience of Wired's set, props, and costumes.

There are no strobe lighting effects in Wired. There are moving lights and animated projections. Light haze is present in some sections. Wired content and artistry will remain the same for all performances. Audience members are welcome to exit and reenter the theater. Quiet space and sensory kits are available before, during, and after all performances.

Masks are required for all attendees.

Alice Sheppard, a multiracial Black woman with coffee-colored skin and short curly hair, crouches onstage, legs and wheels curled toward her core, arms reaching toward the camera.  Dappled purple and blue lighting covers Alice and the floor, as a projection of white and yellow barbed wire extends from under her. She peers intently beyond the camera, eyebrows raised. Photo Robbie Sweeny/Kinetic Light.
 Laurel Lawson, a white woman with very short cropped hair, bounds toward the camera: wheelchair high off the ground, arms open and reaching. A mask of delicate gold wire and lustrous pearls covers half her face. The stage floor below her is drenched in blue light; the same light gives her pale skin a light violet glow. A strand of silver barbed wire appears, close up, in the upper corner. Photo Robbie Sweeny/Kinetic Light.
Jerron Herman, a dark-skinned Black man with blonde hair and a dark mustache, sits on the stage curled into a taut spiral; he is wrapped in a tangle of barbed wire. He wears a shimmery bodysuit and black leather top. His eyes are closed, a tense expression on his face; one arm arcs over his head, palm open, as the other is tucked at his shoulder in a fist. Photo Robbie Sweeny/Kinetic Light.


Wired is made possible with funding from the Mellon Foundation, Ford Foundation, New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Theater Project, MAP Fund, The Harkness Foundation for Dance, O’Donnell Green Music and Dance Foundation, Shelley and Donald Rubin Foundation, and Café Royal Cultural Foundation.

Wired is commissioned, in part, by The Shed Open Call 2020; supported by a Pillow Lab Residency; and developed, in part, at Z Space (San Francisco, CA, 2020–21).

The engagement model for Wired was developed with support from the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago’s New Works Initiative, with lead support provided by Elizabeth A. Liebman. Generous support is provided by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Events (DCASE).

Flight support by The Chicago Flyhouse.

Content Advisory: Wired honors the race, gender, and disability histories of barbed wire in America. At times, the performance includes depictions of violence and disability/race injustice.

Special Bonus! Coloring pages for your home-based enjoyment -- color in Alice, Laurel, and Jerron

Cast, Crew, and Artistic Collaborators

Conception & Direction: Alice Sheppard

Choreographed in Collaboration: Jerron Herman, Laurel Lawson, Alice Sheppard

Lighting, Projection, Scenic & Production Design: Michael Maag

Music: LeahAnn "Lafemmebear" Mitchell, Ailís Ní Ríain

Scenic & Prop Design: Josephine Sales

Costume & Makeup Design: Laurel Lawson, with jumpsuit fabrication by Timberlake Studios, Inc.

Audio Description: Finnegan Shannon, Cheryl Green, Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, Nathan Geering and Mo Pickering-Symes and Shankojam, using The Rationale Method; AD Sound Design by Dylan Keefe, Andy Slater

Audimance Design & Wired Audimance spatial environment:Laurel Lawson, CyCore Systems

Audimance Engineer: Sean McCord, CyCore Systems

Production Stage Manager: Nykol DeDreu, Tiffany Schrepferman

Flight Director: Catherine Nelson

Rigging Consultant: Chicago Flyhouse

Lighting & Video Supervisor: Jordan Wiggins

Scenic & Prop Fabrication: Lu Barnes-Lee, Misae Carrol, Max Chen, Sophronia Cook, Anthony Freitas, Marissa Todd

In-depth: Learn more about Wired's additional collaborating artists


Three dancers face each other onstage. Jerron, a dark-skinned Black man with blonde hair, stands boldly facing the others, his body tense with energy. His tight pants and leather top shimmer. His fist flies overhead as silver barbed wire cascades from head to feet. Alice and Laurel are stacked and lean in toward Jerron with concentrated expressions. Alice, a multiracial Black woman with coffee-colored skin and short curly hair, hovers in the air. Laurel, a white woman with cropped hair, balances beneath her; she grips Alice’s wheels while tilting on one wheel. Photo Robbie Sweeny/Kinetic Light.