Atlanta Ballet Gennadi Nedvigin | Artistic Director

Atlanta Ballet Gennadi Nedvigin | Artistic Director

A Ballet Based on Camino Real by Tennessee Williams

A Ballet Based on Camino Real by Tennessee Williams

Tara Lee & Heath Gill. Photo by Charlie McCullers.

May 12-14, 2017 Camino Real

Called “an extraordinary creative achievement” (ArtsATL), Camino Real is a rousing fusion of dance, theater, and live music.

  • Choreography by Helen Pickett
  • Music & Sound Design by Peter Salem
  • Live with Atlanta Ballet Orchestra led by guest conductor Tara Simoncic
  • Costume Design by Sandra Woodall
  • Lighting Design by David Finn
  • Set Design by David Finn & Emma Kingsbury

Gutman, the wicked hotelier, rules the Camino Real with an iron fist, and the residents of this dead-end town live in fear of him and his band of thugs. Trapped and disillusioned, they have all but given up when the arrival of our hero and former light heavyweight boxing champ, Kilroy, brings renewed hope to these lost souls and reignites their wills to live. Called “an extraordinary creative achievement” (ArtsATL), Camino Real is a rousing tale of survival and good versus evil that fuses dance, theater, and live music into one unforgettable experience. Recommended for ages 12 and up. Parental discretion is advised.

Strobe lights and fog will be used during the performance.

*Please be aware that there will be no late seating in the orchestra at all performances of Camino Real. Latecomers will be seated in the rear of the mezzanine or grand tier and can relocate to their ticketed seats at intermission. We appreciate your understanding.

Run time is approximately 1 hour and 50 minutes, including one 20-minute intermission.

Performance Photos

  • Venue
    Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre

    The Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre is the first major performing arts facility built in metro Atlanta in four decades.

    The Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre is located in northwest Atlanta near the junction of I-75 and I-285, at the intersection of Cobb Galleria Parkway and Akers Mill Road. Click here for parking, dining, hotel, and additional venue information.

    Emergency Phone Number
    The 24-hour public safety number for the Cobb Energy Centre is 770.916.2911. Please leave your seat location with your babysitter or answering service so that the house manager may find you in case of an emergency.

    Special Needs
    The venue is ADA compliant. Designated seats in various locations are available for guests with disabilities and those needing special assistance. The venue is equipped with wheelchair accessible courtesy phones, elevators, plaza ramps, wheelchair accessible ticket windows, and wheelchair accessible drinking fountains.  For more information, please call 770.916.2800.

  • Group Discounts

    Community and Corporate Group Tickets

    It only takes 10 people to benefit from Atlanta Ballet's Group Sales program.  With our fast, friendly and convenient service, you can secure the best seats in the house in no time at all. Groups save up to 40% off regular prices!

    Click here for details and to submit a request to Myredith Gonzales, Group Sales Manager.

    Atlanta Ballet Centre for Dance Education's Kids In Step for School Groups

    The Centre for Dance Education's Kids In Step program is designed to bring dance to the school-age child.  For more information on weekday performances for accredited school groups and registered home schools, please visit our Kids In Step page.

  • Audience Reviews

    By Warner Maney May 8th, 2017

    I loved the multi-layered choreography and how the characters and dance overlapped so that there was always something going on in every part of the scene/stage. Cheers to Helen Pickett and her wonderful cast of dancers.

    By Allan Little May 8th, 2017

    I thought the dancing, particularly by the two leading ladies, was very good. The problem with the presentation stems from the surrealistic nature of the story. It would be very helpful to include better plot summary notes in the program so that the audience would have had a better idea of what was going on. This is a difficult play even by Tennessee Williams' standards and the audience needs to be better prepared. The voices were difficult to understand and, to us, created more confusion than clarification. Nonetheless, it was a boldly original presentation which I'm glad I saw.

    By Tarek Takieddini May 8th, 2017

    I thought the Ballet was very good,the choreography was great, the lead dancers did a great performance, the orchestra was amazing. The atlanta ballet company did it again, looking forward to the next performance.

    By Richard Utz May 8th, 2017

    Music, dance, and stagecraft united in the performance into a great experience.

    By Mary Jane Wilson May 8th, 2017

    My daughter and myself thoroughly enjoy every aspect of this amazing performance. Wonderful cast of dancers, and performers. Engaging the audience was a bonus on stage and in lobby.. Thanks for the entertainment! I loved the speaking, added more to it than just dancing!

    By Jane Wilson May 8th, 2017

    My daughter and myself thoroughly enjoyed the performance. The dancing, performing and the speaking was great. I loved the interaction with the audience, during and before the ballet began. It was a great experience! Thanks to everyone involved for making this amazing ballet.

    By Henry Brent May 8th, 2017

    All of the performances Were top-notch. Dancing was superb as were costumes and sets. An extremely original approach. I agree with the earlier reviewer, however, that due to the complex story line, It would have been very helpful to include better plot summary notes in the program so that the audience would have a better idea of what was going on --but congratulations on developing new, refreshing content and new ways to present the ballet to wider audiences.

    By Craig Allen May 8th, 2017

    A bold and brash production in every sense. Set design, costumes, and especially the choreography, dance, and original music - awesome! We would see this again, and this ballet should appeal to a wide range of audiences. Thank you for an entertaining afternoon!

    By Atlanta Dancer May 8th, 2017

    I thoroughly enjoyed the performance. The set, costuming, and dancing were all incredible. I do have to say that I thought some group dancing sequences could have been more together...and there were some dancers in minor roles that I would have liked to see in feature roles-- I felt they had more commitment to the characters that they were portraying than some lead dancers. Overall though, it was fantastic. I left feeling that I had just witnessed something truly groundbreaking in the world of ballet.

    By Ronald Huet May 8th, 2017

    Camino real was another example of the high quality ballet we have in Atlanta, GA, We enjoyed the performance. The costumes were great and the scenery was exceptional. The dialogue was at times difficult to understand because of the sound system. Alessa Rogers was fantastic as Esmeralda. I would put Atlanta Ballet company up against any ballet company in the world. Highly recommend this ballet. Good job to everyone.

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  • Seating Chart

    Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre

  • Reviews

    Review: “Camino Real” marks an electrifying final chapter to Atlanta Ballet’s John McFall era

    Cynthia Bond Perry, ArtsATL, 2017.05.16

    But it stands as one of Atlanta Ballet’s most significant contributions to today’s ballet repertoire. Future productions will determine its place in the ballet canon. For the moment, like its protagonist Kilroy, Camino Real is a heroic contender.

    Atlanta Ballet to Finish Season with “Camino Real”

    Rachel Hellwig, 4dancers, 2017.05.06

    Tara Lee will conclude her 21-season career with the company in the role of Esmeralda, a character derived from Victor Hugo’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame. “She’s a gypsy, trapped in the Camino like everyone else, but recognizes freedom when she meets Kilroy,” Lee says. “To me, she represents truth. In Helen’s production, reality is constantly shifting for the characters. A tragic scene can suddenly turn a switch and become a Vaudeville-like dance extravaganza. Beauty and poetry live beside ugliness and hopelessness. The audience decides which world they want to see.”

    In ‘Camino Real,’ Tara Lee to retire from Atlanta Ballet amid farewells

    Cynthia Bond Perry, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 2017.05.05

    Standing together at a stairway to an unknown land, Lee breathes with emotion as Gill lifts her veil. Tension builds as they reach through twists and countertwists. Their off-kilter balances recoil into embraces as their lives seem to intertwine. With Gill’s support, she vaults. She soars. Their paths will soon separate, but the only love she’ll ever need is right here, in this moment.

    BWW Preview: Must-See Shows in Atlanta in May

    Amy Zipperer, Broadway World, 2017.04.28

    The Atlanta Ballet is again offering up Helen Pickett's dance adaptation of Tennessee Williams's Camino Real, a show that debuted in 2015 to considerable critical praise. Cynthia Bond Perry, writing for ArtsATL, described the ballet in this way: "Like an intense roller coaster ride filled with sporadic, jerkily urgent twists and turns, the unstoppable action carries on, by turns wrenching, riveting and redemptive." That sounds like a ride worth taking.

  • Video

    "Camino Real" 2017 - Costume Design | Atlanta Ballet

    "Camino Real" 2017 - Set Design | Atlanta Ballet

    "Camino Real" 2017 - Peter Salem, The Composer | Atlanta Ballet

  • Tennessee Williams

    Tennessee Williams (Playwright)

    Tennessee Williams was born in 1911 in Columbus, Mississippi, where his grandfather was the episcopal clergyman. When his father, a traveling salesman, moved with his family to St Louis some years later, both he and his sister found it impossible to settle down to city life. He entered college during the Depression and left after a couple of years to take a clerical job in a shoe company. He stayed there for two years, spending the evenings writing. He entered the University of Iowa in 1938 and completed his course, at the same time holding a large number of part-time jobs of great diversity. He received a Rockefeller fellowship in 1940 for his play Battle of Angels, and he won the Pulitzer Prize in 1948 for A Streetcar Named Desire and in 1955 for Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Other plays include Summer and Smoke, The Rose Tattoo, Camino Real, Baby Doll, The Glass Menagerie, Orpheus Descending, Suddenly Last Summer, The Night of the Iguana, Sweet Bird of Youth, and The Two-Character Play. Tennessee Williams died in 1983.

  • Choreographer

    Helen Pickett

    Helen Pickett, born in San Diego, California, studied dance in her hometown and at The San Francisco Ballet School under the direction of Lew Christensen and Michael Smuin, and Helgi Tomasson.

    Since 2012, Helen has been resident choreographer for Atlanta Ballet. In 2014, for her ballet, The Exiled, she was named Best Choreographer in Atlanta. And in 2015, Helen premieres her fist full-length ballet, Camino Real by Tennessee Williams. The commission includes a new score by Peter Salem, set by David Finn and Emma Kingsbury, costumes by Sandra Woodall, and lighting design by David Finn.

    Photo by Tatiana Wills.

    Helen Pickett, a San Diego, California native, currently resides in Brooklyn, New York. 2017 marks 13 years for Helen as a choreographer. During this time, she created over 35 ballets in the U.S. and Europe, and she is resident choreographer for Atlanta Ballet through 2017. Her commissions for 2017 and 2018 include a new full-length for Scottish Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, Charlotte Ballet, Oregon Ballet Theatre, and Tulsa Ballet and a dance theater collaboration with The Sisters Grimm based in London. She recently choreographed for the Chicago Lyric Opera on Les Troyens. In addition to Helen’s contemporary ballet choreography, she has collaborated as a choreographer and actress with installation video artists and filmmakers, including Eve Sussman, Toni Dove, and Laurie Simmons. She danced with Ballet Frankfurt (director William Forsythe) for 11 years and performed with the New York theater company Wooster Group (director Elizabeth LeCompte) for five years. She was nominated for the Isadora Duncan Dance Award in 2013, and she was named Best Choreographer of Atlanta in 2014 and 2015. She is the producer and creator of the workshops Choreographic Essentials and the motivational creative workshop for the general public entitled Steps into Courage. In 2006, Dance Europe published Helen’s article "Considering Cezanne." In 2012, Emory University published her writing for the Vulnerability and the Human Condition Initiative (director Martha Fineman) that appeared on the Emory University School of Law website. Helen earned her Masters of Fine Arts in 2011 from Hollins University. In 2016, she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate for her contribution to the arts and named visiting distinguished artist from North Carolina School of the Arts (dean Susan Jaffe). For more information, please visit

  • Special Offers & Events

    Pre-show Talk
    Friday, May 12 | 7:00-7:20pm & Saturday, May 13 | 7:00-7:20pm
    Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre

    Join us in the theatre before the evening performances for a pre-show talk with Helen Pickett, choreographer of Camino Real, and Lee Foster of Theatrical Outfit.

    Dinner & Show Package
    Friday, May 12 – 8:00pm or Saturday, May 13 – 8:00pm
    Package: $172.00

    Use promo code: STEAK

    *Must purchase 2 tickets only. Valid on select performances only. Subject to applicable taxes & fees. Not valid on previously purchased tickets and cannot be combined with other offers. Available in price level 1 seating only. Sales cut-off Wednesday at 10am prior to first Friday performance.

    Book Package

  • Production Team

    Photo courtesy of

    David Finn (Lighting & Scenic Designer)

    David Finn began his career as a lighting designer at age 16 working for the puppeteer Burr Tillstrom and Kukla, Fran & Ollie. David's previous work with Atlanta Ballet includes The Four Seasons, Classical Symphony, and Firebird. His dance work includes The Nutcracker (Birmingham Royal Ballet), Romeo & Juliette (Paris Opera Ballet), Swan
    (Bayerisches Staatsballett), and works for choreographers Paul Taylor, Twyla Tharp, Sasha Waltz, Merce Cunningham, James Kudelka, José Limón, Helgi Tomasson, Liam Scarlett, and Dana Reitz. David was resident lighting designer for Baryshnikov’s White Oak Dance Project from 1993-2000. His opera work includes projects for the Metropolitan Opera, Royal Opera, Paris Opera, La Scala Milan, Salzburg Festival, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Berlin Staatsoper, La Monnaie, Dutch Nationale Opera, Stuttgart Opera, Opera Australia, Canadian Opera Company, and San Francisco Opera. For film, Finn consulted on Martin Scorsese’s The Age of Innocence and directed the PBS documentary The Green Monster. David designed ZED (Tokyo) and MICHAEL JACKSON ONE (Las Vegas) for Cirque du Soleil. Future plans include Rigoletto (Savonlinna Festival), Symphonic Dances (Royal Ballet), and Tosca (Metropolitan Opera).

    Photo courtesy of

    Emma Kingsbury (Scenic Designer)

    Emma Kingsbury is an international costume and scenic designer who trained at Australia’s National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA). She has worked for several companies, including Atlanta Ballet, Oregon Ballet Theatre, Smuin Ballet, Pinchgut Opera, Sydney Chamber Opera, Sydney Theatre Company, Belvoir Street Theatre Company, and Australian Dance Artists, as well as designing extensively for film and television. Her credits include scenic design for Atlanta Ballet’s Camino Real (2015), Oregon Ballet Theatre's Terra (2017), and Smuin Ballet's Oasis (2016) and scenic and costume design for Pinchgut Opera’s Der Rauchfangkehrer and Sydney Chamber Opera’s Ich Habe Genug. Other major works include conceptualizing and designing Andy X: The Movie, directed by Jim Sharman, and Atomic: The Musical for both the Sydney and New York productions. Emma designed the multi-award winning show The Baulkham Hills African Ladies Troupe touring the United Kingdom. Emma’s film credits include The Wolverine (2012), Gods Of Egypt (2016), and Truth (2015). She was assistant designer for Dreamworks/Global Creatures arena spectacular How To Train Your Dragon and assistant costume designer to Ngila Dickson on NBC/Universal’s Childhood’s End. Most recently, Emma has worked on Jane Campion's mini-series Top of the Lake: China Girl and as production designer for Let’s Talk About and Legendary Pictures’ Pacific Rim: Uprising shooting in China and Australia.

    Photo courtesy of

    Peter Salem (Music & Sound Designer)
    Peter Salem's compositions range from scores for television dramas, documentaries, and film to music for theatre, dance, and concert hall. His full-length ballet A Streetcar Named Desire, which was commissioned by Scottish Ballet won the Southbank Sky Arts award in 2013 and was nominated for an Olivier award. It is touring to L.A. and San  Fransisco this May and starts a run in Estonia in September. His ballet Broken Wings based on the life of Frida Kahlo was commissioned and premiered last year with English National Ballet, and he has a new  ballet score commissioned by Scottish Ballet set to choreography by Helen Pickett that will open in 2018. Peter's many television score
    include music for the hugely popular series Call the Midwife. Other dramas include Great Expectations, the award-winning 5 Daughters, and, most recently, Cider with Rosie, all for the BBC. He has scored crime dramas such as Trial and Retribution, Painted Lady, and The Vice and documentaries including Francesco’s Venice and Simon Schama’s The Power of Art; he also wrote music for the ballet movie Alive and Kicking. Peter has composed music for many theatre productions for London's West End, National Theatre, and Royal Shakespeare Company, as well as for the multi-award winning physical theatre company Shared Experience Theatre. Music for the concert hall includes a series of pieces for strings, including Windhover for piano trio, which has been recorded by the Fidelio Trio.

    Photo courtesy of

    Sandra Woodall (Costume Designer)

    Sandra Woodall has contributed scenic and costume designs to San Francisco Ballet, Frankfurt Ballet, Stuttgart Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet, and many other companies around the world. Recent productions include costume designs for Atlanta Ballet’s Camino Real choreographed by Helen Pickett. Ms. Woodall’s artwork has been shown in solo exhibitions at

    the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford, Connecticut, the San Francisco Museum of Performance and Design, and in many group exhibitions, including the 2011 Wearable Art exhibit in Hong Kong. In 1999 and 2000, she was a Fulbright scholar teaching at what is now the Taiwan National University of the Arts (TNUA). She has contributed designs and visual consultation to many productions in Taiwan and China, including 2009’s stadium-scale opening pageant for the Deaf Olympics, scenic designs for the 100th anniversary celebration of Taiwan National Day, and, in 2015, scenic and costume design of Winter Journey by Wan Fang and directed by Stan Lai in Beijing.

  • Guest Conductor

    Tara Simoncic frequently works with symphony orchestras as well as opera and ballet companies in America and abroad. Ms. Simoncic is music director of Ballet West and is a frequent guest conductor with the Louisville Ballet. In 2016, she made her conducting debut with the New York City Ballet. Ms. Simoncic is conductor of the Flexible Orchestra in New York City, where she champions new works specifically written for the ensemble. She is also the music director of the Greenwich Symphony’s Young People’s Concerts. In addition to her work in the United States, Tara Simoncic recently conducted performances of Don Giovanni in Trieste, Italy and The Barber of Seville with the Slovenian National Opera Ballet Theatre. She holds a BM in Trumpet Performance from the New England Conservatory, an MM in Orchestral Conducting from Northwestern University, and a Professional Studies Diploma in Conducting from
    Manhattan School of Music.

  • Casting

    Friday, May 12 at 8pm

    Kilroy - Heath Gill
    Esmeralda - Tara Lee
    Marguerite - Nadia Mara
    Casanova - Christian Clark
    Gutman - Jacob Bush
    Cleaners - Peng-Yu Chen, Jordan Leeper & Rachel Van Buskirk

    Saturday, May 13 at 2pm

    Kilroy - Alexandre Barros
    Esmeralda - Alessa Rogers
    Marguerite - Jackie Nash
    Casanova - Christian Clark
    Gutman - Jacob Bush
    Cleaners - Peng-Yu Chen, Jordan Leeper & Rachel Van Buskirk

    Saturday, May 13 at 8pm

    Kilroy - Heath Gill
    Esmeralda - Tara Lee
    Marguerite - Nadia Mara
    Casanova - Christian Clark
    Gutman - Jacob Bush
    Cleaners - Peng-Yu Chen, Jordan Leeper & Rachel Van Buskirk

    Sunday, May 14 at 2pm

    Kilroy - Alexandre Barros
    Esmeralda -
    Alessa Rogers
    Marguerite -
    Nadia Mara
    Casanova -
    Christian Clark
    Gutman -
    Jacob Bush
    Cleaners -
    Peng-Yu Chen, Jordan Leeper & Rachel Van Buskirk

    *Casting subject to change.

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