Iron Shoes

A collaboration between the Kitka Women’s Vocal Ensemble &
the Erika Chong Shuch Performance Project

A neo-feminist, futuristic folk opera, Iron Shoes transforms source material drawn from Eastern European fairytales into a contemporary performance experience. Departing from conventional narrative forms, the collaborators embark on an imaginative, evocative and entertaining journey using archetypal elements from the tales as points of departure to explore themes of female empowerment and disempowerment, confinement and mobility, youth, age, and relationship to self, others, daily life, fate and dreams.

We don’t know where they’re heading, but we know it’s time for them to fly, to shake off gravity, to allow their polyphonic sound to be released. And we’re ready to follow.

 —Lou Fancher, San Francisco Classical Voice

Created in collaboration with Erika Chong Shuch (director, choreographer), Kitka Women’s Vocal Ensemble, Janet Kutulas (composer) and Michelle Carter (librettist)

Initial development of Iron Shoes was supported by Berkeley Repertory Theatre’s Groundfloor program, with additional residency support from the American Conservatory Theater. Project support: Creative Work Fund, National Endowment for the Arts, Rainin Foundation, New Music USA

We are currently seeking development opportunities, residencies and producing partners. For more information go to or contact us at

[Images from our workshop at Berkeley Repertory Theatre's Groundfloor residency program]