Contemporary, Careers in Entertainment, Dance and New Media
Betsy Struxness grew up in Kansas City, Missouri training and performing with the Kansas City Ballet. Alongside the rigors of a professional ballet track, Struxness earned top academic and vocal performance awards throughout her childhood. As a young girl she attended the prestigious summer training programs of Pacific Northwest Ballet in Seattle and School of American Ballet in New York City, and in off summers would perform with Starlight Theater or her personal favorite, Worlds of Fun, the local amusement park.
Struxness then attended The Juilliard School in New York City and earned a BFA in Dance. Picking up valuable performance insights and technical prowess, her love for dance grew and solidified beyond ballet, but the lack of music opportunity and artistic collaboration was felt. Ever a multi-faceted artist, Struxness knew Broadway was what she was looking for.
Working through the ranks of professional theater, Struxness performed on a cruise ship, at regional theaters, and then toured the country with productions of Oklahoma! and All Shook Up before landing in Wicked: Chicago. Shortly after closing the Chicago company, Struxness was asked to join Wicked: San Francisco, and then made her Broadway debut in Wicked. Once on Broadway, Struxness quickly joined the newly opened musical, Memphis, before its triumphant TONY win for Best New Musical. Always looking for new challenges, Struxness began to originate new musicals. A couple of original flops (Leap of Faith, Scandalous) and a West End transfer (Matilda) paved the way for her to develop a new show, the smash hit phenomenon, Hamilton. (workshop, off-Broadway, Broadway)
After her journey with Hamilton, Struxness shifted gears and moved to Los Angeles, for more artistic freedom and creative control. Struxness has been part of numerous developmental projects from stage to screen, is active in various mediums and facets of the entertainment industry both behind the scenes and as front person, and can navigate the waters between art, business and emotion adeptly. Through her extensive work as a union liaison, a conduit between performer and management, Struxness has been, and is, a huge advocate for performers and the hard work that goes into the lives they lead. Her activism extends beyond her colleagues and into the larger conversations of today’s societal issues, and is built into the work she makes and seeks.
Most recently Struxness released her debut pop album, Physical Attention, which she also co-wrote, and is thrilled to be a professor at USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance.