Professional Career

This page highlights notable events and achievements in my career across many mediums.

Christal is a regular company member of Danceworks Performance MKE. To see more about her work with Danceworks, please explore >Here.


Saint Kate Residancer

  • January – March Featured Artist in Co-residence with Collaborator Kirsten Schmid.
  • Regular improvisational performer in the Hotel’s Lunette Lounge each weekend.
  • Live exhibitionist in the hotel’s weekend art tours as a responder to existing installations sparking conversation with attendees about the process of interpreting and embodying art.

About the Residency

This originally 5 month turned 3 month residency in early 2020 at the new Saint Kate Arts Hotel was a studio collaboration with inter-disciplinarian Kirsten Schmid who was working to design clothing for animation on a dancers body.

Ideas and conversations about surrounding feminism and clothing production through the feminist lens started to develop along with movement explorations, videography, photography of existing works Kirsten had developed.

Explore the Gallery of work Christal and Kirsten Developed >here

Other 2020 events

Performance in DPMKE’s winter concert – Out of Many One (January)
Rehearsal direction of UWM Guest Artist Bernard Brown’s work The Things They Carry (January)
Choreography for Little Shop of Horrors* at Nicolet Hight School (February)
Choreography for Big Fish at Waukesha Civic Theatre (March)
Project Direction and Video Editing of Exquisite Corpse Milwaukee Movers Edition (April)

* notes Jerry Award Recipient for Outstanding Choreography


Zie Magic Flute (Reboot)

Carmina Burana



  • January – Resurrected the role of Papagena in Milwaukee opera Theatre, Quasimondo and Cadance Collective’s collaboration of Zie Magic Flute.
  • March – Received wide spread praise by critics for her role of Lady in Red in Skylight’s Carmina Burana.
  • September – Brought to life the role of Gertie Cummings in Skylight’s Oklahoma.
  • October – Created a mysterious character through movement as the Oracle in this original collaboration with Milwuakee Opera Theatre, Aperi Animam and Cadance Collective.
Papagena – Zie magic Flute
Photo by Mark Frohna
Gertie Cumings – Oklahoma
Photo by Mark Frohna
Lady in Red – Carmina Burana
Photo by Ross Zentner
Oracle – Utterance
Photo by Mark Frohna

Christal Wagner danced lithely through the show as Papagena, singing a delightful “Pa-pa-pa” duet with Wesselowski and to the audience’s amazement, donning skates and careening through the cast and audience like a Roller Derby pro.

Elaine Schmidt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinal – Zie Magic Flute

As the vocalists treat our ears, the dancers offer a delightful feast for the eyes – none more than Lady in Red, Christal Wagner. Wagner dances divinely, her manner such that she seems to inhabit another plane of existence when she moves. She is magnetism. Her red dress evokes immediate emotion, as do other strategic moments where color pops against the otherwise grey wardrobe.

Kelsey Lawler – – carmina Burana

Other 2019 Events

DPMKE’s Torch and Glamour (February)
Choreography for Nicolet High School’s Mamma Mia* (Feb)
Performance with Cadance Collective in Carrol College’s Spring Arts Festival (April)
Choreography for Shorewood High School’s Mamma Mia* (May)
Cadance Collective’s Illuminating Wrigley (June)
Choreography for DSHA’s Newsies (July)
Greendale Community Theatre’s Mamma Mia (July)
Performance with DPMKE in NO Studio’s Dance Fest (July)
Premiere of Collaborative work Ab Initio at Danceworks’ Movement Media Lab (Sep)
DPMKE’s fundraising event Revealing the Eclectic Body (November)

* notes Jerry Award Recipient.


Two 2 Duet


  • March – Co-produced and performed in a split bill concert with colleague Gina Laurenzi based on the idea of Duets across mediums. For example, Dancer to choreographer, poet to performer, musician to dancer. Two 2 Duet premiered at the 2017 Milwaukee Fringe Festival.
  • September – Choreographed Skylight Music Theatre’s first production of the 2018-19 season, The Critically acclaimed, Pippin.

At last summer’s Fringe Festival, Danceworks artists Gina Laurenzi and Christal Wagner treated a full house at the Marcus Center’s Wilson Theatre to a challenging, thoroughly engaging collection of original dance, music, spoken word and film collaborations on many good subjects. It was a festival highlight… 

John Schnider – Shepherd Express – Two 2 Duet

Christal Wagner’s choreography extends past several vigorous, stage-filling dance numbers, including a brilliant battle scene, to a palette of movement woven into even the smallest musical numbers, helping to define characters throughout the show.

Elaine Schmidt – Miwaukee Journal Sentinal – Pippin

Other 2018 Events

Development of Interactive Programing, Improv 101 for Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra’s Ace program (Jan)
Choreography of Nicolet High School’s Adams Family* (Feb),
Performance and Choreography in DPMKE’s Women Who Dance (Feb),
Rehearsal Direction for Anna Maria Alvarez’s Joyous, Just Us UWM Springdances (April)
Performance and Choreography in DPMKE’s Secrets From the Wide Sky (April),
Choreography of DSHA’s Willy Wonka (July),
Performance in DPMKE’s Against The Grain (Oct).

* notes Jerry Award Recipient.


Improv 101

Mad Hot Program Liaison

Trying to Get Home

  • January – Collaborated With 3 musicians on original programing for Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra’s ACE program. Educated 5th grade students on improvisational dance and music practices in this interactive, imaginative program.
  • Year long – Danceworks Administrative team member for the Mad Hot Ballroom and Tap program. Oversaw teaching staff and provided support to participating schools in 1 of 4 consortiums.
  • October – Choreographed ensemble piece titled Trying to Get Home. This piece was tiled after a cardboard sign found on site stating just that; Likely discarded by someone in need. The work premiered at DPMKE’s Fall concert Dance In, Take Out. The setting for the work was a site specific empty lot across from the Milwaukee Intermodal Station. Upon use of the space the company cleaned the lot of litter and it became the backdrop for a film created by Kym Mcdaniel as a complimentary piece highlighting connection and dissonance. These ideas acted as metaphor for connection with a public space that is often neglected and underutilized, but used for shelter by populations of homeless neglected and unseen.
Trying to Get Home, Photo by Paul Ruffolo
Improv 101 Rehearsal

The premiere of Wagner’s physical “trying to get home ” found dancers Anderson, Cambra, Cotton, Kuepper Laurenzi and Licht along with Wagner, in an angular, somehow airy ensemble. They danced in front of a floor-to-ceiling projection of a film by Kym Mcdaniel, it’s shifting images of sky and urban Milwaukee lifting the performance out of the theater and into the realm of imagination.

Elaine Schmidt – Journal Sentinel – trying to get home

Other 2017 Events

Premiere of Zie Magic Flute with Cadance Collective (Jan)
Choreography of Nicolet High School’s Ragtime* (Feb)
Soloist Performer in DPMKE’s Stories from a Life in Washington DC (Feb and March)
Performance and soloist in DPMKE’s Handel’s Bestiary with Milwaukee Opera Theatre (June)
Premiere of Two 2 Duet at the Milwaukee Fringe Festival (Aug)
Choreography for Dsha’s The Little Mermaid (November)

* Notes Jerry award Recipient for Outstanding Choreography


Twin Talk

Haiku Fiction

A Woman’s Place

Eau Claires Festival

  • February – Featured performer in Gina Laurenzi Dance Project’s collaboration with Twin Talk Band.
  • March – Aerialist in Coperative Performance’s production of original stage play, A Woman’s Place
  • March – Directed choreography of a suite of 6 dance pieces based on Haiku’s written by the public. The writer imagines movement, they then describe it in haiku form, and it is translated to the actual stage. Excerpt.
  • June – Performer with Dawn Springer Dances and Jon Muler at the nationally recognized new music festival, Eaux Claires.

A celebration of friendship inaugurated a series of six radically different dances inspired by poems written by friends and the dancers themselves. Christal Wagner was the primary choreographer. The poems appeared as projections or were spoken by dancers whose movements embodied them. For the final two, the excellent musicians of UW-Milwaukee’s Leonard Sorkin Institute of Chamber Music provided piano, violin and cello accompaniment, dramatically heightening our awareness of the relationship of movement and music.

John Schnider – Shepherd Express – Haiku Fiction

Other 2016 Events

Performance and Choreography in DPMKE’s Writing About Music, Dancing About Architecture (March)
Performance in the DPMKE’s The Quest (May)
Choreography for Shorewood High School’s South Pacific (May)
Choreography for DSHA’s Hairspray (July)
Choreography for DSHA’s 9 to 5 (October)
Performance and Choreography in DPMKE’s Dance In, Take Out. (October)

seems like that should be the end of the excitement, but its not… more on its way soon

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