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Ayana Strutz

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Ayana Strutz BIO

Ayana Strutz (formerly Freeman) is a trained dancer, circus artist, singer, and actress tucked into a 5-ft tall frame. Not to be fooled by her petite size, she is known for her explosive energy and athleticism. She is of Japanese and Black descent, and is able to speak, write, and read Japanese. Thrilled to call Chicago her current home, she is represented by Gray Talent Group.

​Ayana was born in Japan and raised in Hawaii. She attended the Mid-Pacific Institute School of the Arts and was actively involved in her high school's 4-year Theatre Arts program. She left the island to attend The Ohio State University, graduating in 2015 with a BA in Sociology and Dance minor.

 Ayana moved to Chicago in 2016 and attended the Actors Gymnasium's 9-month Professional Circus Training Program, where she trained 27 hours a week in various circus disciplines. Upon graduating circus school in June 2018, she has been continuously working professionally as a dancer and circus artist. Regionally she has performed at the Goodman Theatre, Marriott Theatre, Drury Lane Theatre, Mercury Theater Chicago, Porchlight Music Theatre, Arden Theatre Company, Skylight Music Theatre, Music Theater Works, Short North Stage, Cocodaco Dance Company, and Diamond Head Theatre.

Before the pandemic hit in 2020, she traveled across the US (and Canada!) with the First National Tour of Broadway's The Spongebob Musical as Ensemble/Sandy Cheeks understudy. You can catch Ayana on various commercials, and competing on episode 7 of NBC's TV show, FROGGER on Peacock TV.

Outside of performances, you can find her hanging from the ceiling as an aerialist, bending in half as a contortionist, teaching youth dance and youth circus classes, doing commercial work, or performing as Disney Princess Moana as a princess performer.

No matter where the unpredictable twists and turns of life take her, she will always be an island girl at heart!

Ayana Strutz Videos

Ayana Strutz News


Interview: Alexandra Silber On Taking On THE MUSIC MAN at Marriott Theatre


xWe spoke with Alexandra Silber about starring in Marriott Theatre's production of MEREDITH WILLSON’S THE MUSIC MAN, the six-time Tony Award-winning musical comedy, directed and choreographed by Katie Spelman with Music Direction by Jeff Award Winner Ryan T. Nelson.

Photos: First Look at the Cast of THE MUSIC MAN at the Marriott Theatre


Marriott Theatre is continuing its 2024 season with MEREDITH WILLSON’S THE MUSIC MAN. THE MUSIC MAN began previews April 10, opens Wednesday, April 17 at 7:30 pm and runs through June 2, 2024. Check out photos of the cast here!

THE MUSIC MAN Comes to the Marriott Theatre in April


 Marriott Theatre will continue its 2024 season with MEREDITH WILLSON’S THE MUSIC MAN, the six-time Tony Award-winning musical comedy, directed and choreographed by Katie Spelman with Music Direction by Jeff Award Winner Ryan T. Nelson.

Video: Sylvia Hernandez DiStasi & David Catlin on MOBY DICK at The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis


Watch as Sylvia Hernandez DiStasi, the Acrobatic Coordinator of Moby Dick, discusses her approach to circus arts - and David Catlin, the Director and Adaptor of Moby Dick discusses how aerial acrobatics can add depth to creative storytelling.

Review: MOBY DICK at Loretto-Hilton Center


The Rep’s Moby Dick isn’t just a cleverly staged reinvention of a stodgy classic, it’s an emotionally driven theatrical voyage that challenges, engrosses and captivates audiences. This is breathtaking and jaw dropping theater.

VIDEO: Moby Dick - A Theatrical Aerial Adventure Like Never Before


Watch an all new trailer for Moby Dick, which comes to The Rep February 6-25. The Repertory Theater of St. Louis (The Rep) presents the captivating timeless classic, Moby Dick at the Loretto-Hilton Center on the Campus of Webster University.  Moby Dick is based on the book of the same name by Herman Melville and adapted and directed by Lookingglass Theater Company founding ensemble member and former Artistic Director David Catlin. 

MOBY DICK Comes to The Rep in February


 The Repertory Theater of St. Louis (The Rep) presents the captivating timeless classic, Moby Dick this February 6-25, 2024 at the Loretto-Hilton Center on the Campus of Webster University. 

Photos: First Look at CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY at Paramount Theatre


Step behind the gates and discover the magic that awaits when Aurora’s Paramount Theatre presents the Professional Regional Premiere of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, currently running through January 14, 2024. Check out production photos here!

VIDEO: Watch Tiffany T. Taylor in New Promo for Paramount Theatre's CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY


Step behind the gates and discover the magic that awaits when Aurora's Paramount Theatre presents the Professional Regional Premiere of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, November 8, 2023-January 14, 2024. Check out the promo video here!

VIDEO: Watch New Promo of CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY at Paramount Featuring Devon Hayakawa


Step behind the gates and discover the magic that awaits when Aurora's Paramount Theatre presents the Professional Regional Premiere of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Check out the promo video here!

Video: THE WHO'S TOMMY Sets Record as the Most Successful Production in Goodman Theatre History


Discover the incredible success of The Who's Tommy at Goodman Theatre, breaking records and thrilling audiences. Watch the exclusive video of the final bow featuring Pete Townshend. Don't miss out on this historic production.

Video: Watch a New Clip from THE WHO'S TOMMY at The Goodman


Watch a clip of 'Sensation' from THE WHO'S TOMMY at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago!

Review Roundup: Critics Sound Off On Goodman Theatre's THE WHO'S TOMMY


What did critics think of The Goodman's summer musical The Who’s Tommy? Reimagined for a new audience 30 years after the original production opened on Broadway.

Video: Get A First Look At Goodman's THE WHO'S TOMMY


BroadwayWorld has a first look at Chicago’s must-see summer musical The Who’s Tommy, reimagined for a new audience 30 years after the original production opened on Broadway, extended a second time. Check out all new video of the production below!

Photos: Get A First Look At Goodman's THE WHO'S TOMMY; Now Extended Through August 6th


BroadwayWorld has a first look at Chicago’s must-see summer musical The Who’s Tommy, reimagined for a new audience 30 years after the original production opened on Broadway, opens tonight and extends a second time—now running through August 6.

You Can Now Become 'The Pinball Wizard' With Pop-Up Pinball Arcade at The Goodman's THE WHO'S TOMMY


A pop-up pinball arcade has joined the run of The Who’s Tommy at The Goodman Theatre. Audiences can play our original Tommy pinball machine and take their shot at becoming “The Pinball Wizard.”

Video: THE WHO'S TOMMY Extended at the Goodman; Get a Behind the Scenes Look


Watch a behind the scenes video of Lorin Latarro and Ali Louis Bourzgui as they discuss The Who's Tommy at the Goodman!

Photos/Video: The Company of THE WHO'S TOMMY Kicks Off Rehearsals At Goodman Theatre


The epic pop-culture musical smash sensation that revolutionized the theater, The Who’s Tommy, is reimagined anew at Goodman Theatre this summer. The cast and crew of the production went began rehearsals this week! Go behind the scenes and meet the cast with new photos and video!

Adam Jacobs, Alison Luff, Bobby Conte & More Will Lead Reimagined THE WHO'S TOMMY at Chicago's Goodman Theatre


This summer, Chicago will be first to experience a reimagined production of The Who's Tommy when the original creators reunite at Goodman Theatre. Tony Award winners Pete Townshend and Des McAnuff, nearly 30 years after their epic pop-culture musical theater sensation first bowed on Broadway, have reconvened to tell the story of Tommy Walker for 2023 audiences.

Video: First Look at Alexander Gemignani & More in BIG FISH at Marriott Theatre


Get a first look at footage of Big Fish at Marriott Theatre starring Alexander Gemignani and more.

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