Krista Monson

Biography

Krista Monson is one of the most relevant creative minds in the entertainment industry. As a writer of visual story-telling concepts, creative director and stage director, her experience and expertise encompass a remarkable range of live entertainment genres including circus, concert, theater, special events, and social action.  At the heart of her work in all areas is her commitment to creating profound storytelling and transformative experiences for audiences worldwide.

She most recently wrote and directed the critically acclaimed production, VIVID,  for the Friedrichstadt Palast in Berlin, Europe’s largest stage. For VIVID, she collaborated with world renowned hat and fashion designer Philip Treacy. Monson is the first woman in the theater’s 100-year history to serve as writer and director. 

Prior to 2018, Monson spent 13 years with Cirque du Soleil, first as Artistic Director of the renowned production “O” at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, then as Casting Director for Cirque du Soleil’s resident shows worldwide and most currently, as a writer, stage and creative director. 

In 2013, she was invited by Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberté to write and direct the inaugural and acclaimed One Night for One Drop, a one-night-only original stage production imagined by Cirque du Soleil aimed to raise global visibility and awareness of the mission of One Drop: ensuring sustainable access to safe water and sanitation worldwide through partnerships, creativity and the power of art. Featuring music by film composer Danny Elfman, fashion by Roberto Cavalli, and the collective talents of 230 Cirque du Soleil artists, the event raised 2.1 million US dollars in one night. She returned as Director of Creation for One Night for One Drop in 2017 and in association, directed the award-winning film segment The Climate Reality Project: 24 Hours of Climate Change founded by Nobel Laureate and former U.S. Vice-President, Al Gore. The segment was awarded the Hermes Award (gold medal), honouring the messengers and creators of traditional and emerging media, as well as the Telly Award (bronze medal), honouring excellence best in film and video. 

Also with Cirque du Soleil, Monson served as Writer and Director of Allavita!, an original stage production exclusively created for World Expo 2015 in Milan, Italy under the theme, “Feeding the Planet: Energy for Life”. Allavita! played nightly to 10,000 members of the international public over the course of the world exhibition. 

In 2016, Monson was invited to serve as Creative Director for the opening and closing ceremonies for the first World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, Turkey. Produced by the United Nations and United Nations Foundation, the opening ceremonies featured celebrities Forest Whitaker, Ashley Judd and Daniel Craig as well Nobel peace prize nominee, Victor Ochen, typhoon Haiyan survivor, Vicky Arnaiz-Lanting and Syrian social activist, Adeeb Ateeq. The World Humanitarian Summit was attended by delegations from over 180 countries and centered on five core pillars underscored by then Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-Moon: preventing and ending conflict; respecting rules of war; leaving no one behind; working differently to end need; and investing in humanity.   

Monson has directed and choreographed countless works in concert, music theater, corporate events, and international special events, including Guest Choreographer for Céline Dion at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas as well as Choreographer for the opening and closing ceremonies of the third largest sporting event in the world, the IAAF World Championships in Athletics in Canada, which was televised to an audience of 4.1 billion people.  As a native Canadian, Monson choreographed and directed countless shows in the genre of musical theater. She is the recipient of two Elizabeth Sterling Haynes awards for Outstanding Choreography honouring excellence in theater in Alberta.

In 2012, Monson was featured in the CNN series Leading Women, an OMEGA Ladymatic series showcasing outstanding women at the top of their fields, including Co-Founder of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Melinda Gates, and Facebook COO, Sheryl Sandberg. 

Monson values education and empowering emerging artists on their creative paths. She has served as a guest speaker and master class instructor for organizations including Production Talks (Istanbul, Turkey), North Carolina School of the Arts, Chapman University (Los Angeles), National Theater Conference (New York), Purdue University (Indiana) and Cirque du Soleil in addition to Victoria School of the Arts, University of Alberta (Français pour l’Avenir), and Paul Kane High School in Canada where she attended public school years before.  She is the recipient of two of the highest alumni awards at the University of Alberta: Le Prix d’Honneur (2017), recognizing significant contributions in the Arts at an exceptional national and international level; and, The Alumni Honour Award (2015), recognizing significant contributions made over a number of years on an international scale. 

Krista Monson is based in Las Vegas, United States, where she lives with her husband, bassist Paul Shihadeh and their two sons, Jaden and Zane.