Nesbitt is a contemporary performance artist who merges physical comedy, performance art, and sound/video to create original, outlandish performances that defy easy categorization. Thought provoking, boundary-busting, pushing beyond disciplinary confines, Nesbitt highlights issues relevant to our times.
Juxtaposing pratfalls with the seriousness, absurdities with sincerity, and pathos with surreal-humor, Nesbitt utilizes non-linear narratives that explore themes of feminism, sexuality, aging, healing, identity, disparity, ancestry, memory, dreams, intimacy, alienation, and the return to love. Fluctuating between an atmosphere of high energy bathos and amusing moments of quiet intimacy, Nesbitt embodies the archetype of the fool, dances between laughter/tears, and holds a space of radical performance.
Nesbitt employs layered costuming, makeshift props, object puppetry, superhero motifs, bedazzled spandex, physical comedy, and gender-bending drag. Lowbrow video animations merge with non-linear narratives, absurd audio mash-ups, and the use of opaque marketing techniques as Nesbitt's shapeshifting characters follow the arch of the shero's journey. Creatively combined this makes for a dynamic intermedia comedy.
Audiences members have described Nesbitt’s performances as transcendentalist hilarity, utterly inexplicable, and wonderfully wrenching.
Nesbitt has performed at the Andorra International Festival of All Womens Clowns in 2005 and since has toured Europe and the States (see TOUR) performing in fringe festivals, speakeasies, black boxes, nursing homes, puppet slams, backyards, bunkers, and inside a dumpster. She has received grants from the Maine Arts Commission and has been a resident of Portland, Oregon since 2013. Nesbitt also has a background in Liberal Arts at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and holds a Bachelors Degree in the Arts & Sciences with a certification in Occupational Therapy.
Nesbitt has training in Physical Theatre and gives credit to her masterful fool teacher Giovanni Fusetti who taught her that ‘Intelligence is limited. Stupidity is infinite’. To the eternal Obie playwright Laurie Carlos who taught her that ‘Everything is already in the room.’ To the the schools of The Dell'Arte International School of Physical Theater, the Pig Iron Theater Company, The Celebration Barn Theater, and my DIY community (See TRAINING). Creative influences on Nesbitt's current work comes from outer space, her heart, and DIY community.
"Kelly is an excellent self-producer and master marketer, both of which were evidenced as I worked with her on her production in the Fertile Ground Festival of New Work 2017. She met or exceeded every deadline and request, and asked many thoughtful questions. Her marketing skills and efforts far surpassed the average producer. She's a creative powerhouse from social media marketing to community partner-building, from email marketing and press development. I have a great deal of respect for her work professionally and creatively and am confident she will achieve and surpass what she sets out to accomplish. Should you have any questions about Kelly, please do not hesitate to reach out." - Nicole A. Lane, Director of Communications & Community Engagement at Artists Repertory Theatre & Festival Director, Fertile Ground Festival of New Work 2017
“Your confidence on stage and the absolute fully formed character gives the feeling you're in good hands. The commitment to the opaque marketing - if someone wasn't quite sure whether it's a serious event, comedy show, performance art, public medical procedure; even after arriving and standing in the lobby, they could still be unsure. 5 minutes before the show they might think "fuck this is actually a Lamaze class" and leave. That takes vision and some real courage to play with the contextual framing of a performance like that. The feeling that the character/workshop/show/idea refuses to be neatly categorized - bringing a huge amount of laughs and heart, growing way beyond the confines of one "type" of performance. Makes it unforgettable and the bond you can grow with the character is pretty amazing & amazingly hilarious.
I would have 100% loved the show without sound/music jokes, but that just pushed it into 'omg fuuuuck amazing' territory for me. The absurdly-long music samples, the snyc-error jokes where the effects were off as hell, the distorted whistling bit, the ASMR meditation jokes...the 'fade out' instructions read by an audience member. Those KILLED me. The intimate setting and small crowd (approx 40). This felt really critical to a bunch of mechanisms of the performance, though it could 100% work with larger crowds and through videos and other mediums. This still felt like the rare, "purest form" of the piece though, and also felt like another signal of dedication to the art. Most of all though - - the mind blowing surprise of being involved in the finale show. I had no idea what I was getting myself into, but was so happy I did afterward. The adrenaline that gave me (as an audience volunteer) turned the ending of the show into a true emotional experience, honest. I came into the show shy (saw you in the lobby, and darted my eyes away) but left changed, however slightly, and that's pretty rare. You're onto something amazing as a performer/creator, please keep doing it!” -JAMIE VANCE (an audience member that I pulled up onto stage as a volunteer) 2017