Fire Ballets & Operas


The World Premiere of
MACHINE: A Fire Opera

January 11-14 and 18-21, 2012

Based on a short story by science fiction author Derek J. Goodman, MACHINE is set in a fiery industrial universe in which workers have sold themselves into a lifetime of servitude. When one worker regains his power of self-determination, the story ignites into an explosive brew of escape plots, alliances, and unlikely love interests. This spectacular performance features two opera singers, a rock singer and percussionists that “play” the scaffolding-like set. Visual effects including a molten metal pour, fire performers and industrial artists such as glass blowers and blacksmiths. MACHINE will deliver the kind of awe-inspiring performance that Crucible audiences have come to expect.

Learn More…

Past Fire Ballets and Fire Operas

Dracul: Prince of Fire - Fire Ballet 2009 The Crucible’s Benefit Fire Ballet 2009
DRACUL: Prince of Fire
January 7-10 and 14-17, 2009

The story begins with Dracul exploring the dark outer regions of his land. He encounters something both monstrous and magnificent and is attacked. He feels strange fiery venom coursing through his body as it dies. But he is not dead. Dracul awakes infused with a strange power…

read more…

As a spectacle, the show is—riveting. And the talent of performers and production staff is impressive…” – The Berkeley Daily Planet

The performances are unequivocally top notch. Nowhere this side of the Seine River are you likely to see such an extravaganza or partake of such a festival of sight and sound.” – Alameda Sun

From a group reenactment of Michael Jackson’s Thriller, to a fire-breathing metal dragon, to awe-inspiring feats of aerial ballet and fire tossing, Dracul doesn’t lack for eye-candy.” – Diablo Magazine

Firebird - Fire Ballet 2008 The Crucible’s Benefit Fire Ballet 2008
FIREBIRD: “L’oiseau de feu”
April 9-12 and 16-19, 2008

A theatrical spectacle that fuses ballet, classical music, and aerial performance with fire and industrial arts to create a compelling 1970’s retro-modern interpretation of Russian folklore.

read more…

…one of the most visually stunning performances to take place thus far at The Crucible’s West Oakland warehouse.” – East Bay Voice

Leave it to The Crucible to remake a respectable work of art into a flaming, beautiful and shocking piece of theatre.” – Contra Costa Times

Awesome and fantastic; I wholeheartedly recommend this unusually creative ballet and any others performed at The Crucible. Captivating and magical, it’s an evening you’ll never forget (or ever see duplicated!)” – Urban Moto



Romeo and Juliet -
Fire Ballets & Operas2017-11-22T12:08:43-08:00

Machine – A Fire Opera


January 11-14 and 18-21, 2012
Tickets: $45-$65 {Buy Now}

Directed and Libretto by Mark Streshinsky
Score by Clark Suprynowicz

Press ReleaseThe Crucible proudly presents, MACHINE: A world premiere Fire Opera written, conceived and directed for The Crucible stage by Mark Streshinsky, who previously collaborated on Dracul and Firebird. The music of MACHINE is by Clark Suprynowicz who is well known in the Bay area for his Jazz and Rock infused compositions of opera and symphonic work.

Based on a short story by science fiction author Derek J. Goodman, MACHINE is set in a fiery industrial universe in which workers have sold themselves into a lifetime of servitude. When one worker regains his power of self-determination, the story ignites into an explosive brew of escape plots, alliances, and unlikely love interests. This spectacular performance features two opera singers, a rock singer and percussionists that “play” the scaffolding-like set. Visual effects including a molten metal pour, fire performers and industrial artists such as glass blowers and blacksmiths. MACHINE will deliver the kind of awe-inspiring performance that Crucible audiences have come to expect.

Composer Clark Suprynowicz has written a riveting score for this piece that incorporates seven percussionists alongside both classical and rock instrumentalists and directed by noted conductor, Barnaby Palmer. The musicians inhabit the machine and perform as the workers of the factory. Suprynowicz’ score reinforces the virile voice of baritone Eugene Brancoveanu who The SF Chronicle calls “extravagantly gifted with unforced charisma, vocal clarity and heft.”

Sung in English, MACHINE is a stunning show that takes full advantage of the industrial surroundings of The Crucible’s 56,000 square foot education facility.


This project is based on the short story Deus Ex Machina by Derek J. Goodman and is being developed in collaboration with composer Clark Supynowicz and writer/director Mark Streshinsky with support from The Phyllis C. Wattis Foundation, the Kenneth Rainin Foundation, the James Irvine Foundation, and the East Bay Community Foundation’s Fund for Artists.





Tickets On Sale Now!

January 11-14 and 18-20, 2012
Doors at 7:30pm / Show at 8:30PM
Tickets: $45-$65

Please Note: This is a seated event, no late entry will be permited. This show also contains mature content and situations that may not be suitable for young children.

Closing Night Gala

Saturday, January 21, 2012
Doors at 6:30pm / Show at 8:30PM
Tickets: $150

Join us in your finest evening attire at the Closing Night Gala of MACHINE to celebrate The Crucible’s 12th Anniversary. As industrial art and performance art unite, our studio space transforms into a mysterious machine of operatic fire performers, belting baritones and flaming sculptures.

Enjoy fiery cocktails and decadent hors d’oeuvres during our pre-performance reception and after the show, a champagne toast with the cast as we celebrate another innovative year at The Crucible. Gala tickets are partially tax-deductible.

Machine – A Fire Opera2018-03-15T13:53:43-07:00

Inferno: A Fire Circus


photos a courtesy of Lucent Dossier Experience

Inferno: A Fire Circus

Friday & Saturday, July 15 & 16, 2011 • 7PM

Event Press Release
Media Photos

Enter into Inferno: A Fire Circus, the hottest show on Earth with main stage performances by Lucent Dossier Experience. Explore a world of flames with an amazing cast of enticing characters and creatures where seductive sirens, fallen angels, fire breathing acrobats and irresistible creatures from the underworld beckon you to join their luminous conflagration and return with them to the fiery depths.

Follow these characters in limbo as they choose between light and dark, heaven and hell. With aerial apparatuses set aflame, fiery sword balancing, men rising from the ash with their skirts ablaze, prisoners hoisted into the air, and dancing skulls singing haunting tales, one can’t help but to be pulled in…

As the night continues there will be music and dancing to DJ Mancub from the Space Cowboys. Also step right up and try your hand at one of our fiery circus games like Flaming Skee Ball, Pyro Putt, or the High Strike. And don’t miss our mesmerizing sideshows of glass blowing, sword making and fire dancing or the hypnotic sounds of our Crucible made flaming Ballyhoo Calliope. Learn more about our sideshows…

Event Amenities: There will be no in’s and out’s during the event, so please come prepared. There will be a coat check and several full service cash bars. There will not be food available. A smoking area will be provided. Directions & Parking…

Please Note: This is a standing room only event with very limited seating. This show also contains mature content and situations that may not be suitable for young children.


Tickets On Sale Now!

Tickets will be $60 for both nights at the door,
so buy early and save!

Friday Night tickets are now only available for purchase in person at our caboose box office. $60
Saturday Night General Admission: $55
Saturday Night Crucible Member: $50

The Crucible’s Box Office is open Monday-Friday from 10AM-6PM. Online ticket sales will end at 4pm the day of the event. For questions call (510) 444-0919 x122.


T-Shirts, Get Your T-Shirts Here!
Inferno t-shirts are now available online at CafePress.

Fire & Light Soirée and Art Auction

Thursday, July 14, 2011 • 6PM

Please join us for The Crucible’s 6th annual Soirée and Art

Inferno: A Fire Circus2018-03-08T13:25:53-08:00

Media Coverage



Classes & Programs
OaklandLocal – “Oakland bike program give youth chance to stay active this summer” by Jackie Ho
Comcast Hometwon Network- “Upside” (aired March 2011)
PBS Kids – Design Squad Nation – “Musical Bike” (aired March 2011)
Full Episode…
Inferno: A Fire Circus
San Francisco Bay Area Today Inferno: A Fire Circus Comes to Oakland on July 14-16
by Vickie Chandler (July 11, 2011)
Fire Circus at the Crucible: The hottest show in Oakland
by Nicole Jones (July 14, 2011)
Circus of fire in Oakland
By Roshni Oommen (July 14, 2011)
IT’S AN INFERNO: A Fire Circus At The Crucible
KTVU Channel 2 (aired July 14 & 15, 2011)
Fire on stage highlights this weekend’s arts festival at The Crucible
by Irene Florez (July 17, 2011)
Black Rock City Comes to Oakland Through Inferno: A Fire Circus
by Tamara Palmer (July 15, 2011)
Crucible Revival: Keep The Fire Burning
Diablo Magazine “The Crucible’s Fiery Anniversary” by Serena Renner
KTVU Channel 2 “Crucible Benefit Bids Farewell To Founder”
SF Chronicle “Crucible’s Michael Sturtz leaving in blaze of glory” by Meredith May
SF Chronicle 96 Hours “The Crucible Revival: Keep the Fire Burning” by Andrea Abney
East Bay Express “Michael Sturtz Is Passing the Torch at The Crucible” by Ellen Cushing “Photos: ‘Revival: Keep the Fire Burning’ at The Crucible” “Revival at The Crucible! Amen!” by Pamela Mays McDonald
Bay Area Reporter “Oddly Enough” by Jim Provenzano


HEAT: A Fire Cabaret

Live ABC 7 News
Don Sanchez
July 1, 2010

Hot Girls in Heat: A Fire Cabaret!
Rachel Gill
July 7, 2010

KTVU Channel 2 – PSA

Video – “Heat: A Fire Cabaret in Oakland”
Slideshow – “OO LA LA! The Crucible’s First Ever ‘Fire Cabaret'”

SF Bay Guardian
“Playing safe at the Fire Cabaret”

“Flash! Bang! Girl-on-girl aerial hula!: Scenes from the Fire Cabaret”
Oakland Tribune & Contra Costa Times
“Oakland’s The Crucible
Media Coverage2018-03-15T11:05:15-07:00

Crucible Revival


The Crucible’s 12th Anniversary Benefit

January 14 & 15, 2011 • 7-11pm

(Doors open at 7pm and show starts at 8pm)

Press Release

A fiery benefit for The Crucible’s educational programs honoring the work of our founder, Michael Sturtz

To mark the departure of Crucible Founder Michael Sturtz from his role on The Crucible’s staff, we are celebrating his vision and creativity by bringing back the show-stopping greatest hits of performances past. The Crucible’s 12th Anniversary Benefit is a Revival – Crucible style. In the tradition of the theater, we are reviving our most beloved and spectacular moments. As for the traditional revival meeting – our approach may be irreverent but our objectives are pure: we’re seeking to engage and inspire our most loyal members and friends and to end each night with a new legion of Crucible converts.

Join Master of Ceremonies Mark Growden as he soulfully sings his way through a fast paced, jaw dropping line-up of music, dance, aerial, fire and much more. Expect reprisals of unforgettable moments from Crucible stage shows, stunning surprises and plenty of fire from a veritable Who’s Who of Bay Area favorites, including many Crucible friends and collaborators. We’ll also be showcasing the industrial arts in a whole new light as only The Crucible can. Faculty and students will perform amazing feats with glass, metal, fire and more.

This not to be missed event is an homage to Michael Sturtz’s 12 years of leadership and his visionary approach to blending the visual, industrial and performing arts. It’s also a benefit for The Crucible’s arts educational programs, dynamic events and community outreach. All proceeds from tickets sales will support The Crucible’s future programs and work with artists, students and audiences of all ages. By purchasing tickets, you are helping to keep the fire burning and to ensure our continued success in the years to come.



The revival lasts two nights only.

Expect performances of fervor that will fan the flames within your heart
and resurrect your desire to make your dreams into reality.

General admission bleacher seating will be available.

Performances by
Mark Growden, Eric McFadden, Loop!Station, Scarlett + Axelrod, Rose Nisker & Juan Del Valle, Copper Lantern Fire Theater, Axis Dance Company, Flavor Group with Iron Monkey & special guests, Kristina Nekyia, Dan Cantrell, Marisa Lenhardt,

Crucible Revival2018-03-15T13:03:48-07:00

Crucible Revival Performers and Artists


Performances by

Aziz Abbatiellofiery whirling dervish
Axis Dance Companycontemporary dancing
Dan Cantrellcomposer and musician
Copper Lantern Fire Theaterfire dancing
Juan Del Valleflamenco dancing fire
Flavor Group with Iron Monkey & special guests hip hop and break dancing
Fleeky Flancohand balancing and contortion
Mark Growdenmusician and MC
Marisa Lenhardtppera sorpano
Loop!Station – musical band
Christine Marie – shadow puppeteer
Eric McFadden – musical band
Kristina Nekyiafire, dance and contortion
Rose Nisker flamenco tissue aerial
Jill Parker and the Foxglove Sweethearts tribal fusion bellydance
Scarlett + Axelrodaerial, dance and acrobatics


The Oracle Fire Fountain

Back to Main Revival page…


Aziz Abbatiello

Aziz Abbatiello


Aziz Abbatiello has combined the practices of the Mevlevi Order with fire arts, a process that has led him on a seven-year path of discovery and refinement, culminating in a synergy of the fire arts and the practice of the “whirling dervish.” He trains under Postneshin Jelaluddin Loras, Pir of the Mevlevi Order of America. He also studies with Sheikh Sherif Baba, head of the Rifai Marufi Order.

Axis Dance Company

axis dance companyPrepare to leave all your preconceptions at the door…

AXIS Dance Company, one of the world’s most acclaimed and innovative ensembles of performers with and without disabilities, will change the way you think about dance and the possibilities of the human body forever. Founded in 1987, AXIS has become a jewel of contemporary dance and disability culture. AXIS has paved the way for a powerful contemporary dance form – physically integrated dance- performing in over sixty cities nationwide, as well as in Europe and Siberia.

More information…

Dan Cantrell

Dan Cantrell began composing at age 11. Since that time he has continued performing and writing music of all kinds featuring his main instruments, accordion, piano and musical saw. Dan received a rigorous training in Classical, Jazz, and improvisational performance styles as well as extensive formal composition training from an early age. He attended the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), and the Idyllwild School of Music and the Arts studying piano performance and musical composition. Drawing from his rich musical experience, he strives to bring exciting new sounds to the world in collaboration and composition for interdisciplinary art. In recent years his attention has been focused on the study and performance of Eastern European folk music as well as compositions for film, dance, and theatre.

In recent years, Dan has composed the soundtrack to the television series Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack, currently on the Cartoon Network. Dan received an Emmy award

Crucible Revival Performers and Artists2018-03-15T13:05:21-07:00

HEAT: A Fire Cabaret


HEAT: A Fire Cabaret

Seduction’s Flash Point

July 15-17, 2010  7PM



Slip into a forgotten era when fire prohibition was in full effect and the frigid masses were forced underground to seek HEAT. Explore our speakeasy, where bootleg fire boils the blood and inflames the desires of all who enter.

Join us for an evening of drinking, dancing and illicit fire with seductive performances both on the stage and throughout the studio from the denizens of HEAT. Join us for The Crucible’s first ever Fire Cabaret.

This fantastically fiery evening will be filled with walk-through performance installations, fire sculptures, industrial art demonstrations, photo opportunities and a theatrical stage show divided into four 15-minute chapters presented over the course of the night. Guests are encouraged to dress up and walk around this sizzling interactive experience.

Hear the sultry voice of Kim Nalley, one of the world’s best jazz and blues vocalists. Behold the mesmerizing aerial artistry of Scarlett & Axelrod, witness the death defying feats of Gravity Plays Favorites and Jennings & Xiaohong, be captivated byFou Fou Ha!and feel the HEAT from a variety of other hot performers.

Stroll through displays of Arc welding flash dance, jewelry peep show, torch cutting burlesque, MIG welding strip tease, TIG welding aerial and many more of the fiery industrial arts as only The Crucible can present.

Feel the radiance of outlawed fire sculptures from Justin Gray, Orion Fredericks, Vance Cearley and others. Experience the glow of illuminated creations from the Sun Brothers, Jeremy Lutes, and others.

Pose yourself for a photo in front of 1920’s vintage bootlegger cars by Jim Callahan and in the notorious Photo Boof. Come decked out in your Deco best… flappers, dandies, gangsters and molls. It’s the 20’s, so roar like you mean it!

Designed and Directed by Michael Sturtz

Please Note: This is a standing room only event with very limited seating. It is designed as a dress up, walk-through interactive experience. This show also contains mature content and situations that may not be suitable for young children.



Box Office Info
Event Location & Directions
The Cast
What to Wear
Photography & Video



Fire & Light Soirée and Art Auction

Thursday, July 15, 6pm

Join us for The Crucible’s annual Soirée! Guests will enjoy a delicious, fire-inspired, three-course dinner and spectacular live art auction featuring exquisite works by top Bay Area artists working in

HEAT: A Fire Cabaret2017-11-22T11:16:27-08:00

HEAT: A Fire Cabaret – Performers


The Cast

Main Stage Performers
Kim Nalley Band vocals and live music
Scarlett & Axelrodaerial, dance and acrobatics
Gravity Plays Favoritespole dancing
Jennings & Xaiohonghand to hand balancing
Tracy Piperacrobats
Fleeky Flancohand balancing and contortion
Breonna Noackcontortion
Fou Fou Ha!performance troupe extraordinaire


Theatrical Demo Performers
Alysia Hooktorch cutting burlesque
Luna Del Fuego torch cutting burlesque
Shareese WheelerMIG welding strip-tease
Lauren Guajardofire hooping burlesque
Avi Khalsa TIG welding contortion
Eve Adelfibelly dancing glass flameworking with violin
Jenny Atomikbridge crane aerial
Laura Lynn Balcerzakmezzanine pole dance
Rose Niskerflamenco tissue aerial
Carlos Oxfordaerial tissue
Shaina Dyani JohnsonARC welding flash dance
Katy PomelovARC welding flash dance
Delina Brooksafro-cuban blacksmithing dance
Larry Hunt – blacksmithing bucket beats

Back to Main HEAT page…

Main Stage

Kim Nalley Band

The Band
Tammy Hall – piano
Michael Zisman – bass
Kent Bryson – drums
Ned Boynton – guitar
Danny Armstrong – trombone


Recently named one of the “Ten Most Influential African Americans in the Bay Area,” Kim Nalley has an international reputation as one of world’s best jazz & blues vocalists. Known for her ability to turn a chattering cocktail-sipping crowd into a rapt audience of lifelong fans in minutes with a beguiling combination of sass, soul and smarts, no trip to San Francisco is complete without hearing Kim Nalley perform.

Kim Nalley, in looks and presence is often compared to Billie Holiday, but vocally she packs a 3 1/2 octave range that can go from operatic to gritty blues on a dime, projection that can whisper a ballad yet is capable of filling a room with no microphone, and the ability to scat blistering solos without ever losing the crowd’s interest or the intense swing. Her singing is most reminiscent of the former Basie Singers Helen Humes & Joe Williams with a dash of Dinah Washington and occasional nods to Ella, Sarah and Nina Simone.

More information…

Scarlett & Axelrod

Kate Scarlett and Chloe Axelrod combine imagination, creativity, and skill, to perform a mesmerizing duet on the aerial hoop. Spinning and raised high aloft, their movements take them through a graceful choreography of sculptural beauty. Their performance is a dance of precision and seemingly effortless strength which captivates and delights those who observe.

More information…

Gravity Plays Favorites


St. Louis socialites Katrina Dohl (aka Katrina the Red or Kate the Great) and Michelle Mynx (aka Michelle Gravity) have been flying high across the nation as
HEAT: A Fire Cabaret – Performers2018-03-15T11:30:21-07:00

Fire Arts Festival® 2009



The Crucible’s 9th Annual Fire Arts Festival
Wednesday – Saturday, July 15-18, 2009
8:00PM – 11:59PM


2009 Festival Recap Gallery | 2009 Soirée Recap Gallery

Jump To:

About The Festival
The Rootabaga Opera
Patron Pavilion
Fire & Light Soirée

Line-Up & Artists

Discounts & Quick Entry
Places to Stay

New Location / Directions
Photo/Video Policy
Fire Arts Arena Rules

2008 videos/images
2009 videos/images
2009 Soirée photo gallery

Click here for tickets

About The Fire Arts Festival

Each July The Crucible’s Fire Arts Festival celebrates creativity through fire and light with a spectacular open-air exhibition of interactive fire art, performance and the largest collection of outdoor fire sculpture on the West Coast. The Fire Arts Festival is our major fundraising event, and proceeds benefit The Crucible’s arts education programs for youth and adults. You’ll be dwarfed by gigantic sculptures, get hands-on with interactive installations, and experience an eye-popping array of cutting edge fire sculpture and art from the all over the country. Each evening, fire performers will awe and amaze the most discerning pyrophile and you’ll be dazzled by incredible music and dance performances. It’s the must-see event of the summer.

More Bang for the Buck – Literally!

This year we will be expanding the festival in a new, larger location. Our new Oakland location is three times larger than years past, giving attendees more elbow room and us the ability to bring you more of your favorite artists. We will have more fire and light sculptures, food and merchandise vendors. In addition to our regular performances, we will feature the world premiere of Dan Cantrell’s The Rootabaga Opera


a>. Oh, and did we mention that entrance into the Fire Arts Festival will be cheaper this year too! This year ticket service fees will be included in the price of the ticket, making the total cost of entrance into the festival more affordable than last year.


Fire Vortex
Dan Cantrell’s The Rootabaga Opera

Rootabaga OperaThe 2009

Fire Arts Festival® 20092018-03-15T13:30:23-07:00

Events Gallery


Click on an image to view a slideshow of pictures from each event.

Fire Arts Festivals®

Fire Ballets™

Fire Operas™

Theatrical Events

Fire & Light Soirées

Friday Night Events

Open Houses

Volunteer Appreciation Party

Events Gallery2018-03-15T13:15:54-07:00
Go to Top