Producer/Director | Theater Photographer | Dance Filmmaker
Grace Copeland is a producer/director of theatrical media based in New York City. To support her own creative endeavors, she is a freelance theater photographer and dance filmmaker. Grace has no background in theater or dance and has stumbled into the arts industry through God's favor and good friends who believed in her before she believed in herself. She is currently producing a series of dance films called Dance In Development, which supports theatermakers developing new work by creating dance films of original songs written for the stage. She is also producing a dance series called Unpolished Movement Portraits that celebrates the humanity of movement artists. Her producing credits for live shows include IJM x Broadway: Until All Are Free and Ryan Dunn: A Seasonal Playlist. Her photo exhibition credits include Rockefeller Center’s annual Flag Project (2021 and 2022) and Moshava Art Gallery in the West Village (2023). Grace is on the leadership team for Renaissance, a creative collective of redemptive artists in Manhattan fostering communion and creation. She is beginning her second year as an artist-in-residence at Greenhouse Arts Center in Harlem. Grace is currently feeling a pull to start writing and speaking about her process and the intersection of faith and vocational artistry. She hopes to always create in a way that loves the artist more than the art.
My main goal is to always love the artists more than the art. More than anything I will ever create, I want to be a good friend and trustworthy collaborator. I am drawn to meaningful, story-driven movement and I hope to empower individual choreographers and dancers/movers to bring their ideas to life. Recently, I’ve begun to attempt to figure out how my specific niche of work can support other artists developing new original work. I want to create theatrical media that tells stories written for stage in an innovative new way on screen, while retaining the original intention of the piece to live on stage. I hope that my work can be a step toward generating new audiences, gaining financial support, and finding potential producing partners to move original theater to full production. I’ve recently begun to produce live shows - I don’t have any super profound insights to offer about that other than I just really love to bring good people together for a good time.
I've been doing photo and video for 7 years now, but it took me 6 of those years to be comfortable identifying as an artist. Since I've finally accepted the artist that God made me to be, I've never felt more like myself.
Why theater and dance?
Short answer: It just sort of happened. I moved to New York City when I was 18 and became friends with musical theater performers. Through friendships and luck, I've found myself in this industry that is both deeply beautiful and deeply broken. I love to capture the artistic process just as much as the finished product!