Access the insight and experience of those who have made theater their life’s work.
With expertise ranging from acting and directing to playwriting and dramaturgy, A.C.T. faculty members are some of the most extraordinary artists—and inspiring educators—in the business.
Instructors for any given term are drawn from this list and are subject to change.
Dr. Michael Mohammed
Michael Mohammed received his doctorate from the Music and Music Education Program at Teachers College, Columbia University. His dissertation used narrative inquiry to explore the use of the voice as a means of personal and cultural expression by elite black theatre and opera performers. His research continues to look at the representation of persons with historically excluded identities in theatrical and operatic performance.
"Dr. Mojo" is the Director of the Musical Theatre Ensemble at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. He is also on the voice faculty of San Jose State University, College of Marin, and the San Francisco Community Music Center. He has been invited to give presentations at Stanford University, Opera Philadelphia, Pacific Voice Conference, Bowling Green State University, and Earlham College.
He works throughout the US and Canada as a stage director, choreographer, and performer. Recently, he co-created What's Known To Me Is Endless with baritone Kenneth Overton and pianist Rich Coburn for the inaugural season of Amplified Opera, a Toronto based company that places equity-seeking artists at the center of public discourse.
Patrick Russell has performed in theaters across the Bay Area, including ACT (King Charles III, A Christmas Carol, Once in a Lifetime), TheatreWorks (Frost/Nixon), California Shakespeare Theater (As You Like It), San Francisco Playhouse (Noises Off, Red Velvet), Aurora Theatre Company (Body Awareness), Magic Theatre (Fool for Love), Marin Theatre Company (Othello), Marin Shakespeare Company (Measure for Measure, Love’s Labour’s Lost), CenterREP (Old Wicked Songs), and Shotgun Players (Care of Trees). Film credits include the feature film Being Us and the award-winning animated short film Rapunzel’s Etymology of Zero. Most recently, Patrick directed The Arsonists at UC Berkeley, As a teaching artist, Patrick has taught at ACT in various programs, Southern Oregon University as the movement instructor for the BFA program, and currently serves as a lecturer at UC Berkeley, where he teaches acting and movement. In addition, Patrick is the co-founder of The Actors Space professional actor training program in San Francisco. He received his B.F.A. in acting from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and is a graduate of American Conservatory Theater’s Master of Fine Arts Program in Acting. Patrick is a member of AEA and SAG-AFTRA.
Anna Marie Sharpe
Acting Styles (Spring 2022)
Anna Marie Sharpe is an actor and teaching artist in the Bay Area. She was recently in productions of Paradise Blue (Aurora Theatre) as Pumpkin, and A Christmas Carol (American Conservatory Theatre) as Annabelle. Other credits include The Incrementalist (Aurora Theatre Company), the filmed production of [hieroglyph] (San Francisco Playhouse), and understudying School Girls (Berkeley Repertory Theatre). Sharpe made her film debut in the award winning short film, “The Best Time.” She received her B.A. from UC Berkeley where she double majored in Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies.
Dee Dee Stephens
Dee Dee Stephens is an actor/comedian, producer and arts educator. She uses her voice as an artist to discuss tough social issues like civil rights, mental health, and gender equality to name a few. The underlying belief always being that radical love and radical art can change the world for the better.
A first generation American born to Caribbean parents and raised in San Jose, California, Dee Dee received her MFA degree in Acting from University of Southern California in Los Angeles, and her undergraduate degree from UC Berkeley.
Mia Tagano* is an Actor, Teacher and Voice Coach who was seen at ACT in Love and Information. Other local credits include Berkeley Rep (Macbeth), Cal Shakes (Hamlet and NicholasNickleby), TheatreWorks (Calligraphy and Loudest Man on Earth), and Aurora Theatre (Splendour and Bull In A China Shop) Regional credits include Tamburlaine, (Shakespeare Theatre), Tantalus (Denver Center), and Snow Falling on Cedars (Hartford Stage). New York credits include Far East (Lincoln Center), 99 Histories (Cherry Lane Theater) and Song of Singapore (Capital Repertory). Abroad with the Royal Shakespeare Company in the Tantalus UK tour closing at the Barbican. A member of AEA and SAG-AFTRA since 1998, Mia received her MFA in Acting from the University of Washington.
Physical Theater (Spring 2022)
Natalie Greene is an artist and educator working at the intersection of dance, theater and community engagement. Before becoming a choreographer and intimacy director for theater (working with A.C.T., Aurora, Cal Shakes, Center Rep, Portland Center Stage, Shotgun Players, and more), Natalie was a professional modern dancer in several local companies and a creator of dance/theater work, flash mobs, intergenerational dance and immersive theater. She was a company member and artistic director of the award-winning devised physical theater ensemble Mugwumpin, producing at theaters and non-traditional performance spaces including Z Space, San Francisco Airport, Children's Fairyland, and Pro Arts Gallery. Natalie is a passionate advocate for socially-conscious arts education, intergenerational performance, and interdisciplinary collaboration, specializing in embodied creative experiences that build a culture of consent.
Performance Making, Studio A.C.T. Director
Mark Jackson is a theatre maker. He makes, directs, writes, performs, attends, and teaches. He was the founding artistic director of Art Street Theatre, San Francisco, from 1995 to 2004, and made a lot of work. Based on this work, other people started hiring him to make things. His range of work in theater, dance, and performance has been seen at venues throughout the San Francisco Bay Area; Nationally at The Catamounts (Denver), Hunger & Thirst (NYC) and The Studio Theatre (Washington D.C.); Internationally at Arts International Festival IV (Japan), Bread & Roses Theatre and Edinburgh Festival Fringe (UK), English Theatre Berlin and Deutsches Theater Berlin (Germany). My plays have been developed at American Conservatory Theater, Capital Stage, Cutting Ball Theater, EXIT Theatre, Playwrights Foundation, Magic Theatre, Z Space, and occasionally in the homes of generous friends. He occasionally write about theater for the likes of Howlround and Theatre Bay Area, as well as other print and online publications.
Dr. Jack Sharrar
Jack F. Sharrar, Ph.D. received the Managing Director’s Award for 2003. He has served as a theater panelist for the National Foundation for Advancement of the Arts and is a member of Actors’ Equity and the Screen Actors Guild. His credits include roles at Michigan Repertory Theater, Mountainside Theater, the BoarsHead Theatre, Theatre 40, Pioneer Theatre Company, numerous media roles, and direction of over 50 plays and musicals. He is author of Avery Hopwood, His Life and Plays (UMI Press), editor (with an Afterword) of Avery Hopwood’s heretofore unpublished novel, The Great Bordello, a Story of the Theatre (Mondial), contributor to The American National Biography (Oxford), and The Gay and Lesbian Theatrical Heritage (UMI Press); coeditor (with Craig Slaight) of numerous award-winning volumes of scenes and monologues for young actors (Smith & Kraus), “Lean Forward, An Orientation to Professionalism for the Student Actor (Dramatics Magazine); adapter of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Debutante (Playscripts, Inc.), Avery Hopwood’s Fair and Warmer (Playscripts, Inc.) and Just for Tonight, a Screwball Comedy; Doctor Faustus; Better Angels, drawn from the Civil War writings of Walt Whitman and Louisa May Alcott, and author of Up In Avery’s Room, which received a staged reading at Theatre Rhinoceros. He is a graduate of Central Michigan University, the University of Michigan, and holds a Ph.D. in theater history from the University of Utah.
Peter J. Kuo
Director of the Conservatory, Head of the San Francisco Semester
Peter J. Kuo is an L.A. native that has been working in the theatre industry for more than two decades. At A.C.T. he is the Director of the Conservatory and sits on the Staff EDI Committee. He earned his MFA in Directing at The New School for Drama in New York City where he was the Social Justice Programs Coordinator. He is a theatre director, producer, writer, educator, and social justice advocate focusing on raising the visibility of marginalized communities. He is a Round Three grantee of Theatre Communication Group's Rising Leaders of Color Program and held a First Stage Residency at The Drama League. He is a co-founder of Artists at Play, an Asian American theatre collective producing Los Angeles premieres. He has directed/assistant directed at American Conservatory Theater, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Geffen Playhouse, East West Players, South Coast Repertory, The Play Company, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Rattlestick Theatre Company, among others. He holds a certificate in Diversity and Inclusion from eCornell and has facilitated workshops, led panels, and taught classes around Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion for Theatre Communications Group, The New School, HB Studio, Asian American Arts Alliance, and The Consortium of Asian American Theatres and Artists, among others.
Previous Intensive Faculty Include
Solo-Performance, Self-Producing, MFA 2019
Lisa Anne Porter
MFA Head of Acting & Text and Dialects
Andy Chan Donald
A.C.T. Associate Artistic Director, Guest Artist
Broadway Career: Director, Hadestown
Citizen Artistry, School Programs Manager
Alejandra Maria Rivas
Citizen Artistry, EDI Manager
MFA Program Director, MFA Head of Movement
Improv, Teaching Artist & Performer
Armed Stage Combat
Melissa Y. Smith
Acting, Conservatory Director Emerita
Citizen Artistry, School Programs Manager
MFA Head of Voice
Ashley J. Hicks
Solo Performance, MFA Class of 2021
Peter J. Kuo
Power Dynamics, Communication Building, Live Video Theater, Head of SFS
Broadway Career: Performance, Hadestown
Creating Your Own Improv Show, Rybin Talent & Studio of Drama
Citizen Artistry, Former Community Programs Manager
Director of Dramaturgy and New Works
Career & Collaboration, A.C.T. Artistic Director
Citizen Artistry, Director of Education & Community Programs
Audition Preparation, Literary Manager and Casting Associate
Peter J. Kuo
Director of Conservatory, Director of San Francisco Semester Program
Director of Financial Aid