Faculty

Carlos Aguirre has been performing both as an actor and hip-hop artist in the Bay Area for over fourteen years. He is part of the musical group Felonious and has performed with The Roots, Eryka Badu, Black Eyed Peas, Mary J. Blige, Blackalicious, Jurassic Five, L.L. Cool J, and George Clinton among others. Carlos appeared most recently in The Magic Theatre’s 2012 world premiere of Bruja by Luis Alfaro. He also appears regularly at Intersection for the Arts with world-renowned theatre company Campo Santo (where he premiered his beatbox, rap and spoken word adaptation of Edgar Allen Poe’s The Tell Tale Heart). Carlos shares his experience by teaching at various schools and at risk environments throughout the Bay Area. He most recently taught a class in Literacy through Poetry and Songwriting at two correctional facilities in the Bay Area where he also used his vocal percussion workshops to help ESL students improve diction and clarity. He is currently working with STAGEWRITE, a literacy through theatre program which works in various schools throughout the SFUSD. His work has helped many different students from various demographics gain skills to better express themselves.

 

Andy Alabran received his B.A. in Theater from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and his M.F.A. in Acting from the American Conservatory Theater. He is an actor, director, writer, teacher, and producer. He has taught acting and voice at the Young Conservatory at A.C.T., Studio A.C.T., Oakland School for the Arts, Mission High School, 826 Valencia, and Cal Shakes Summer Conservatory. He has performed with Theatre First, the Shotgun Players, and Killing My Lobster. A current company member of the Shotgun Players since 2000, his acting credits include Woyzeck, The Death of Meyerhold, A Seagull in the Hamptons, Truffaldino Says No (world premiere), and Mother Courage.

Liz Anderson is an actor, filmmaker, and teaching artist. She is a graduate of the San Francisco School of the Arts theater program and holds a B.F.A. in theater from NYU Tisch School of the Arts. She has served as a bilingual arts educator and curriculum designer in public schools in Los Angeles and San Francisco, master teaching artist for the Brava Theater Academy, theater department chair for the Academy of Arts and Science, and program director for the Stonestreet Studios NYU Tisch LA Intensive Program. Liz has worked with numerous Bay Area theater companies, and is a company member with the Leela Faculty Armando Ensemble and PlayGround at Berkeley Rep.

Cristina Anselmo is an actor, director, and teaching artist. She has been teaching Introduction to Film Acting for both the Studio A.C.T. and the Young Conservatory during the last six years. She has worked in episodic, industrials, and commercial formats both in L.A. and the Bay Area. In addition to on-camera work, she has worked in narration and voiceovers. In the Bay Area, she has appeared on stage at SF Playhouse, Capital Stage, Jewel Theatre, Stanford Summer Repertory, TheatreWorks, and Pacific Rep, among others. LA credits include shows at A Noise Within and Grove Theatre Center. She was a member of Theatre of N.O.T.E., Actors Alley at the El Portal, and Pasadena Shakespeare Company. In addition, she was a member of the inaugural class of the Antaeus Academy under the artistic directorship of Dakin Matthews. She trained at LAMDA and received her B.A. from Santa Clara University.

Lynden Bair is the Associate Accompanist for the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus and the Principal Accompanist for the Oakland / East Bay Gay Men's Chorus. With a background predominantly in musical theatre, Lynden started studying the piano at age 3 and was working professionally as an accompanist by his teens. A native of Northern Utah, Lynden attended the University of Northern Colorado on a performance scholarship and moved to the Bay Area 21 years ago. He has worked professionally as an actor, singer, dancer, arranger, music director, and dog-sitter - all roles he enjoys, but his favorite is still being behind the piano.

 

Enrico Banson is a filmmaker, music director, stage director and actor. Enrico got his degree in Film from San Francisco State University and has written and directed two full-length indie films, The After and Some Night, both of which have played at various film festivals. He’s worked both in front of and behind the scenes in many Hollywood movies. Enrico has stage-directed Jekyll & Hyde and Glory Days and music-directed numerous musicals. Some favorite stage acting credits: Dr. Fine/Dr. Madden in Next to Normal, Stephen in Farragut North (Masquers Playhouse), Serge in Art, Roger in RENT (San Francisco Regional Premiere/Hollywood Hudson Theatre), Georg in Spring Awakening (Hudson Theatre, LA), Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing (Golden Eagle Award/Winner the National Shakespeare Competition), Iago in Othello, Harry in Company (actor/muso version playing piano and trumpet as well). Enrico is also teaching staff at Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill. He is a proud member of the Writer’s Guild and the Screen Actors Guild. Enrico thinks young people should study theatre because it provides them with a keen awareness of how storytelling is embedded in our lives, helping them build strong communication and social skills.

Denise Blase is a vocalist, pianist, dancer, actor and teacher having over 25 years experience in the performing arts. She received her vocal training in early music and musical theatre at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and Cornish College of the Arts. Denise has worked as Musical Director and accompanist with The Bay School of San Francisco, Berkeley Playhouse Conservatory, and San Diego Junior Theatre. For the past 15 years she has taught private voice and piano lessons out of her home studio. Denise has performed in numerous musicals throughout Northern & Southern California and was a recipient of a Bay Area Shelley Award for Best Actress in 42nd ST.

 

Kimberly Braun is a singer, writer and teaching artist. She earned her Bachelors of Music in Vocal Arts at the University of Southern California where she studied numerous genres including opera, musical theater, and jazz. Kim independently released an album of her own music, Growing Up, and wrote and performed the award winning one-woman musical, A Woman Grows in Brooklyn. Kim received her Master of Arts in Theater Arts from San Jose State University and she launched Citizen Workshops, a haven for performing artists in Los Angeles. Kimberly has worked as a teaching artist with TheatreWorks Silicon Valley, Cupertino and Monta Vista High Schools, and A.C.T.'s Young Conservatory. She thinks young people should become involved in theater to build friendships, confidence, and joy. Kimpetersonmusic.com

Mary Chun works with composers, artists and directors collaborating on new music across multiple platforms including opera, world music, musical theater and dance. In 2014 Mary Chun was named Music Director for China’s Seven Ages Musical Theater Company based in Beijing and Shanghai. Passionate about new work, she is one of the first American music directors to be invited to China to help pioneer the transformation of popular Broadway musicals for Mandarin-speaking audiences. Equally in demand for historic repertoire she has conducted on 3 continents and is the Principal Conductor for Earplay and the Music Director for Cinnabar Opera Theater.

 

Rebecca J. Ennals has been on the staff of the San Francisco Shakespeare Festival since 2002 and Artistic Director since 2012. She holds a BA in English and Theatre from Scripps College and an MFA in performance from U.C. Davis. She has taught and written curriculum at the elementary through college levels. As a director and teaching artist, she has worked locally with Marin Theatre Company, PlayGround, Napa Valley Shakespeare Festival, Pear Theatre, Napa Valley Repertory Theatre, Peninsula Youth Theatre, Los Altos Youth Theatre and Shakespeare At Stinson. Ms. Ennals has directed eight productions for the Festival's Shakespeare On Tour in-school touring program, six productions for the Civic Arts Stage Company program in Pleasanton, and four productions for Free Shakespeare in the Park. She also regularly writes the Festival’s Green Shows and conceived and executed the 2012 pop-up Shakespeare project "30 Days of Free Shakespeare in the Parklet" and the 2017 project “35 Famous Speeches in 35 Famous Places.” She is currently developing a new musical of As You Like It with The Kilbanes and Phil Wong, to be produced in Summer 2019. This is her first time working with A.C.T.

Daniel Feyer is a San Francisco native and a graduate of Lowell High School and Princeton University. He has been the Music Director for A.C.T.'s A Christmas Carol for the past four years, and accompanies classes, concerts, and cabarets for A.C.T.'s M.F.A. Acting program. Dan is also a Resident Artist with the Musical Theatre department at Ruth Asawa SOTA High School in San Francisco. Other Bay Area credits include Berkeley Playhouse (West Side Story, Tarzan, and Ragtime, which earned a Theatre Bay Area Award for Music Direction), Center REP (Freaky Friday), Contra Costa Musical Theatre (Thoroughly Modern Millie), Ray of Light Theatre (Reefer Madness), and Theatre Rhinoceros (Priscilla, Queen of the Desert). Off-Broadway and regional highlights include The Underclassman (Drama Desk nom. for Orchestrations), Evil Dead: The Musical, Illyria, With Glee, Working, Center Stage, Gateway Playhouse, Meadow Brook Theatre, and 11 seasons at the Weston Playhouse in Vermont, where he met his wife, Gretchen. Dan is also a puzzle writer and editor, and has won the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament seven times.

 

Nancy Gold is a multifaceted performing artist, director, teacher, playwright and author of Finding Your Funny Bone! The Actor’s Guide to Physical Comedy and Characters, Smith and Kraus Publishers. Her passion is to empower her students to find, fill and have fun developing their artistic gifts. She has studied physical theatre with Jacques LeCoq in Paris, clowning with Ctibor Turba and mime with Claude Kipnis. She holds a BFA from the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana and a Master’s Equivalency Degree. Nancy’s teaching experience includes A.C.T.’s Young Conservatory where she was honored with a Distinguished Artist Mentor Award, as well as Berkeley Rep School of Theatre, California Shakespeare Theatre, Marin Theatre, UCLA, Academy of Art University and public and private schools throughout the country. She has been a presenter at CAIS, AYCO, International Clown-Theatre Congress and recipient of grants from The Parsons Foundation and The Patron Saints Foundation. She has directed numerous productions as well as writing original plays about empowering women for young audiences and adaptations from literature. Nancy performs comedy and vaudeville with her partner, Lol Levy.

 

Dan Griffiths has performed and taught nationally and internationally. He has instructed at Clown Conservatory San Francisco, Clown LAB SF, Columbia College Chicago, Roosevelt University, and Indiana University Northwest. Most recently Dan taught Clown at The Wu Qiao International Circus Festival in Shijiazhuang China and at The Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theater. Dan has studied with Marcel Marceau and David Shiner at The School for Mime Theatre and The Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theater. Dan holds an M.A. in Experimental Performance from New College of California and an M.F.A in Interdisciplinary Art from the California Institute of Integral Studies.

 

Jane Erwin Hammett is on the faculty at Sonoma State University and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (SFCM) in addition to A.C.T. She has taught singing, acting and musical theater in the YC and the MFA Program, served as Musical Director for five YC world premiere musicals, and co-directed the YC Cabaret and Musical Ensembles with former YC Director Craig Slaight. She has performed across the U.S. and in San Francisco in two national companies of The Phantom of the Opera, as well as sung many leading roles with Bay Area opera and theater companies. She has earned two Bay Area Theatre Critics’ Circle Awards and a Drama-Logue Award for appearances with San Francisco’s Lamplighters, She has directed productions for Sonoma State University, the Lamplighters, Pocket Opera, SF Opera Guild’s Opera á la Carte, SFCM’s Gilbert & Sullivan Scenes Program, and the International Gilbert & Sullivan Festival in Buxton, England. For her 2016 direction of Ruddygore she received a Theatre Bay Area Awards nomination for Outstanding Direction of a Musical. Jane received her B.A. from Dartmouth College and her M.A. in Integrative Health Studies with Sound Healing Focus from the California Institute of Integral Studies where she was also a graduate of the Certificate Program in Sound, Voice & Music Healing.

Warren David Keith is an actor, teacher and director. He is a graduate of Wesleyan University and the Yale School of Drama and has served on the faculties of Barnard College, The New School, U.C. Davis, American Conservatory Theatre, The Nueva School and as a Teaching Fellow for the National Endowment for the Humanities. In addition to theaters in NYC and across the East Coast he has also appeared at A.C.T., Aurora Theatre, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, California Shakespeare Theater, Marin Theater Company, S.F. Playhouse, TheatreWorks and Word for Word. On-screen appearances include: Haiku Tunnel, Love and Taxes, Raising Arizona, Fargo, The Big Lebowski and A Serious Man.

 

Paul G. McCurdy is a teacher, coach, and pianist for Chabot College, Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory, the Hamlin School, and A.C.T., as well as a frequent collaborator with Lamplighters Musical Theatre, the Oakland-East Bay Gay Men's Chorus, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and Volti. He studied music at the University of Georgia and holds degrees in anthropology and German. In 2014 he recorded Mozart KLAR, an album of Mozart piano sonatas.

 

Andrew Mondello has been fortunate to call the Bay Area home since graduating with his degree in Acting from UC Irvine in 2015. Since then he has had the pleasure of performing all around the Bay from 42nd Street Moon in SF to BACT in Berkeley, to PCRT in Pleasanton and many more in between. He also enjoys an active life in educating youth theatre, directing and/or teaching year round here at ACT, Town Hall Theatre, and with the City of Pleasanton. Some favorite credits have been 42nd Street (Billy Lawlor), Beautiful Oops (Pig in a Car) No, No Nanette (Tom Trainor) Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (Guildenstern), and The Sweet Smell of Success (JJ Hunsecker).

andrewmondello.com

 

Corinna Rezzelle is thrilled to be a part of ACT’s Junior Conservatory staff! Hailing from Georgia, Corinna has taught students aged 1 to 81 in all manners of the performing arts for the last 9 years. She enjoys directing, teaching, and being behind the scenes in a theatrical production. Corinna holds a Master of Arts in Educational Theatre from New York University and a California State teaching credential. Her favorite classes to teach are Musical Theatre and Shakespearean acting to elementary and middle school students. She hopes to see you and your student at the JC very soon!

 

Lauren Rosi has been involved with the Young Conservatory as a student, YC associate and a teacher for the past 7 years receiving the 2012 Young Conservatory Distinguished Artist Mentor Award. She has served as a teaching artist, choreographer, and director at Ray of Light Theater (BATCC Award), Town Hall Theatre Company, Diablo Theatre Company, and Berkeley Playhouse. Bay Area acting credits include CalShakes, OMG I Love That Show Productions, California Conservatory Theater, Contra Costa Civic Theater, Contra Costa Music Theater, New Conservatory Theater, Ross Valley Players, Berkeley Playhouse, B Street Theater, Woodminster Summer Musicals and Town Hall Theatre Company where she is Acting President of the Board of Directors. Lauren currently serves as the Director of the Theater Department at St. Joseph Notre Dame High School in Alameda. “I believe young people should be involved in theater to explore their own personal emotional, physical and mental boundaries in a safe space with courage, vulnerability and empathy.”

 

Vivian Sam has been teaching at the YC for 20 years. She was in the original Miss Saigon, on Broadway, its B’way National Tour, and various other Regional theater shows & workshops. Her dance background comes from the Oakland Ballet. She has her degrees from UCLA, Santa Clara University and a Ca. Teacher’s Credential. Teaching MS/HS students is her passion and she enjoys sharing her knowledge, experience and process with young artists for developing performance and life skills.

 

Lauren Spencer is a Bay Area Based actor and teaching artist. She is proud to have collaborated with A.C.T. (New Strands Festival and King Charles III); Crowded Fire (Blackademics, Goods Goods), Berkeley Rep (Party People); Marin Theatre Company (Ann Boleyn, Miss Bennet) among others. Most recently, Ms. Spencer directed the CYAP world premiere production of Black Butterflies at A.C.T.'s Strand Theater. She is a proud member of AEA and teaches with A.C.T., San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, StageWrite, and Calshakes. “I believe young people should engage in theater to practice the deep vulnerability and courage that is required in their daily lives.”