Told through circus, theater dance and music, Isabella and the Jewel Divine brings to life a magical and mythical tale of a young woman coming to embody her presence and power.

Co-Created & Performed by: Annie Herring, Asherah Weiss, Ben Goldstein, Bethlayne Hansen, Genie Cartier , Lane Lewis, Madison Worthington, Marie Cartier, Michael Curran, Sage Russo

Directed by: Polina Smith

“Isabella is the intense and moving story of a young woman first inspired by her bawdy and embodied grandma but then suppressed and controlled by a series of societal authorities until she finally resolves to follow her heart. The immensely talented and versatile Crescent Moon troupe uses a rich blend of mime, song, voice, accordion, choreography, costume, magic, and gymnastics to deliver to full effect this beautifully crafted tale that had me alternately laughing, crying, and cringing as the drama spun out with graceful and seamless transitions from scene to scene and mood to mood using minimal props. It’s a brilliant and memorable piece of theater with a powerful and important message to anyone wondering whether they are getting what they really want out of life and looking for inspiration. Missing it is missing out!” ~Don Smith

Isabella and the Jewel Divine Photos:

Best of Fringe Winner, 2014

In My Mother's Name Photos:


My great-aunt, Vera, was shot in a small Ukrainian village with her three-year-old son Toshya, during the Holocaust. Of course, I never knew her, but I have always been deeply effected by this story. At a time when I was struggling to understand how human beings could afflict so much cruelty onto one another, a wise woman told me, “Polina, you focus so much on the horror with which your great aunt died, but don’t forget she also had a full life before this - she was a mother, a wife, a friend…”

Her words stuck with me for a long time and left me wanting to create a piece that explored this idea- what would it mean to recognize the faces and the lives behind our female ancestors’ tragedies? What would it look to celebrate their lives?

For the last three months, the women you will see on stage and I, have shared stories, photos, relics and memories from our matrilineages. The stories are both deeply personal to us, and universal in their themes. We hope you will walk away today with a deeper curiosity in your history, and a remembrance that behind every woman is a story that runs as wide, as deep and as wild as the Amazon.

Thank you for sharing in this experience, and experiment, with us.

~Polina Smith



A Circus-Theater Fable

September, 2015

Photos from Blessed Unrest, 2016


Blessed Unrest was made possible with generous support from: