Behind the scenes
Wes Hatfield – Acrobatic Captain, Act Development Lead
Wes has been a competitive trampolinist for over ten years. At age nineteen he quit competition and became a circus performer, traveling around the world wowing audiences with his technical prowess and zany comedic antics. Wes has holds the unique position of being both a cast member and as a key player behind the scenes in each of Cirque Mechanics’ national productions. Birdhouse Factory, Boom Town, The Orchestra Project and 42ft, performing trampoline, Chinese Poles, Cyr Wheel and Russian Swing. Wes now lives in Las Vegas, where he oversees act development helps to run the Cirque Mechanics workshop. Wes is a fan of avocados and coffee (not together though).
Anthony Powers – Lighting Director
Anthony Powers is a Lighting Designer and Production Manager that has worked on a wide array of shows across 4 continents. He has been working with Cirque Mechanics since 2010 and is excited to be designing his 3rd show with them. Anthony has had a hand in all of the CM touring shows, as either the Lighting Designer or the Lighting & Technical Director on tour. Outside of Cirque Mechanics, Anthony has been the Designer or Production Manager for concerts, festivals and events across the US. He currently has the honor of being the General Manager for the San Francisco office of Felix Lighting.
If he wasn’t working in the lighting world, he would want to be a Cheesemonger or an editor for Marvel Comics (if Joe Quesada or C.B. Cebulski are reading this – feel free to call him). Anthony currently lives in Oakland CA with his wife Jody and their dog Lemmy in an apartment way too small for his 11,000 comic books.
Michael Picton – Composer
Michael Picton is an award-winning composer whose eclectic career spans film, television, advertising, theatre and circus. Michael has scored four Cirque Mechanics productions: Boom Town, the Cirque Mechanics Orchestral Project, Pedal Punk, and now 42ft. His circus career began as a performer, touring as keyboardist with Cirque du Soleil’s Quidam. He has written songs and score for six editions of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus: Bellobration, Funundrum, Dragons, Built to Amaze, Circus Xtreme, and the final edition Out of this World. Recently his live work has expanded to include superhero arena shows with Feld Entertainment’s Marvel Universe Live and Marvel Universe Live – Age of Heroes, currently touring the US.
The winner of the Turner Classic Movies Young Film Composers Competition, Michael was chosen from a field of over 600 aspiring composers by a jury chaired by the legendary Elmer Bernstein. For TCM, he scored the silent films The Temptress and The Red Mill. Other film and television work includes Mutt & Stuff for Sid and Marty Krofft on Nickelodeon, the SyFy series Flash Gordon, the independent feature Little Chenier, and main title themes for I Want to Work for Diddy and Bates Motel. Michael has composed network themes for PBS, Amazon Originals, and CNN International among others as well as commercials and promos for a long list of clients.
Janeen Johnson – General Stage Manager, Creative Team Liaison, Director of Production
Janeen has served in stage management for dance, theatre and special events for over 15 years. Her training in the discipline was cultivated through her service in arts management and her own personal dance training and stage performances in community and regional theatres throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. She has also worked with organizations in both the public and private sectors as a freelance agent, upholding roles as Production and Company Manager, Managing Director, and Producer where she gained insight into the art of stage-managing. As a multi-faceted professional, Janeen has stage managed the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival, the San Francisco International Hip Hop Dance Fest, Black Choreographer’s Festival, India Jazz Suites World Premiere, A Musical Memoir-Be Bop Baby, and the multi-media docu-dance theatre, Kongo Odyssey. Janeen has also worked with celebrated arts organizations such as Kongo SQ West Kinship Society, Urban Bush Women, Fua Dia Congo, and the Chitresh Das Dance Company.
In 2008, Janeen made her maiden voyage into circus with the tour Cirque Mechanics’ Birdhouse Factory and toured with the company’s succeeding productions: Boomtown and Pedal Punk. Janeen is excited to get back on the saddle and tour with its latest production, 42ft – A Menagerie of Mechanical Marvels. Janeen continues to provide onsite event management, project-planning strategies, and producing community arts events in between tours. www.janeenellajohnson.com
Joe D’Emilio – Lighting designer
Joe D’Emilio is a New York City based lighting designer with over a decade of experience behind the scenes in theatre, opera, and dance and special events. He joined the Cirque Mechanics family in 2015 on Birdhouse Factory and continued on to tour with Pedal Punk. Additionally, Joe has designed for Circus Juventas in St. Paul, MN and Circus Sarasota. His SF Bay Area designs include work with Ray of Light Theatre, Broadway By the Bay, Aurora Theatre, and Contra Costa Musical Theatre. When not out on the road, Joe works at the NYC venues National Sawdust, The Box, and the Met Museum. He is a proud member of United Scenic Artists Local 829. Portfolio available at jodemilio.com