INSTRUCTORS

CURRENT INSTRUCTORS

  • Bruce Bierman
  • Anthony Clarvoe
  • Jeri Lynn Cohen
  • Reid Davis
  • Mary Gay Ducey
  • Jeff Dunn
  • Susan Dunn
  • Lauren English
  • Lucia Fanelli
  • Joanne Grimm
  • Jeanne Haynes
  • Martin Holtz
  • Clara Kamunde
  • Scrumbly Koldewyn
  • Olga Loya
  • Marijo
  • Christie Maturo
  • AeJay Mitchell
  • Benjamin Pither
  • Josiah Polhemus
  • Ellen Robinson
  • Suzanne Schmidt
  • Mona Thompson
  • Trish Tillman
  • Kirk Waller
  • Sam Weber

PAST INSTRUCTORS

  • Kaye Anderson
  • Marge Betley
  • Lauren Carley
  • Joy Carlin
  • Nancy Carlin
  • Fred Casto
  • Patricia Cotter
  • Donna Davis
  • Matt Deegan
  • Lina del Roble
  • Michael French
  • Greacian Goeke
  • Amy Gorman
  • Joanna G. Harris
  • Ellen Hoffman
  • Terrance Kelly
  • Lindsay Leopold
  • Joan Mankin
  • Jeannie McKenzie
  • Sara Moore
  • Dyan McBride
  • Josiah Polhemus
  • Ray Reinhardt
  • Grace Renaud
  • Daniel Savio
  • Barbara Scott
  • Andy Sarouhan
  • Charles Shaw Robinson
  • Jeremiah Selvey
  • Meryl Shaw
  • Debbie Sternbach
  • Jesse Vail
  • Helen Vaughn
  • Valerie Weak
  • Larry Wright
  • Carlos Zialcita

 

 

 

    CURRENT INSTRUCTORS

    Bruce Bierman

    Bruce Bierman is an award-winning theater artist, dance/movement educator and proud member of the Stagebridge company since 2007.   His work as a director, choreographer, actor and playwright has been seen in major theaters throughout California including The Laguna Playhouse, South Coast Repertory, L.A. Opera, Odyssey Theatre Ensemble,  New Conservatory Theater and the Ashby Stage.  After graduating from U.C. Santa Cruz with his B.A. in Theater Arts, Bruce toured the country as a leading dancer with the renowned Aman Folk Dance Ensemble of Los Angeles.  As a community arts advocate, Bruce served as Arts Coordinator for at risk youth at the Edgewood Center for Children and as a founding member of San Francisco's Intergeneration: Building Queer Community Through Art. Bruce founded New Stages-- a performing arts program serving LGBT seniors and currently based at the Los Angeles LGBT Center.  Influential theater and movement teachers include Jerzy Grotowski, Anne Bogart, Yoshi Odi, Anna Halprin, and Gabrielle Roth.  Bruce is also one of the leading presenters of Klezmer and Jewish dance on the West Coast and has performed with some of the great Klezmer bands in the country.  Bruce is teaching Viewpoints, Joy of Dance and Advanced Musical Theater for us this fall.

    Anthony Clarvoe

    Anthony Clarvoe is a veteran playwright and his plays include the award-winning Pick Up Ax, The Living, Let’s Play Two, The Brothers Karamazov, Ambition Facing West, Ctrl+Alt+Delete and The Art of Sacrifice. He has received a dozen commissions as well as fellowships from the Guggenheim, McKnight, Jerome, and Irvine Foundations, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

    Jeri Lynn Cohen

    Jeri Lynn Cohen has been a Charter Member of Word for Word Performing Arts Company for 18 years, originating roles in over a dozen of their productions. She has appeared throughout the Bay Area at A.C.T., Aurora Theatre, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Campo Santo, Marin Theatre Company, Magic Theatre, San Jose Stage Company, and she has toured internationally with both the San Francisco Mime Troupe and Word for Word Performing Arts Company.

    REID DAVIS

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    Reid Davis, Ph.D. is Artistic Director of The Artory in Oakland, CA, which is dedicated to education, empowerment, and healing through the arts.  Reid works on issues of educational access and opportunity, arts education advocacy, and the development of community-based performance practice.  He earned a Ph.D. from the University of CA Berkeley in Performance Studies, 2006.   Reid began his career as grant-writer at Brooklyn Academy of Music under the legendary Karen Brooks Hopkins, and worked as assistant company manager for the Broadway productions of Burn This and Largely, New York and Off-Broadway production of Fugard's My Children! My Africa at New York Theatre Workshop.  Reid was associate director of the Apprentice/Intern Company at Tony Award-winning Actors Theatre of Louisville, where he directed in the Humana Festival of New American Plays.  Reid taught for 10 years in the Theatre and Ethnic Studies programs at Saint Mary’s College of California, where he directed the nationally recognized Interactive Theatre program (2009-2015), and the KC/ACTF Region VII invited productions of Spring Awakening and Angels in America, which received Kennedy Center National Commendations for Performance, Ensemble, Set and Sound designs.  Reid served as the originating Head of Theatre at Contra Costa School of the Performing Arts (cocospa.org), designing curricular programs in Acting, Musical Theatre, and Playwrighting/Directing.   From 1997-2012, Reid was a core-ensemble member of Shotgun Players, where he directed Bent (1999), Christmas on Mars (2000), Loot (2001), The Three Sisters (2002, BACT Award Nominee for production and ensemble), Quills (2004), and A Seagull in the Hamptons (2010).  Reid received his Ph.D. in Performance Studies (U.C. Berkeley, 2006), and was awarded the Association for Theatre in Higher Education and KC/ACTF Region VII Award for Innovative Teaching in 2014.  Reid resides in Oakland, CA, where he and his business partner Dakota Kyber direct The Artory Foundation, and is the author of the articles Intentional Directing: Against the Paradigm of TheatresecretBox: on the nature of immaterial gifting and What WOZ: Perversity, Performance, and the Sissy Warrior (Film Quarterly, Sep/02).

    Mary Gay Ducey

    Mary Gay Ducey is a storyteller who performs throughout the United States, Canada, and Ireland. She has appeared at the National Storytelling Festival and at the Timpanogos Storytelling Festival. Ducey has also been featured on the television program Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. She is a retired children's librarian at a branch of the Oakland Public Library, where she trained staff to be volunteer story-readers placed in Oakland Head Start programs. 

    After a childhood in segregated New Orleans, Ducey moved to Berkeley - just in time for the protest marches and sit-ins. From a childhood steeped in tradition and heritage to starting her own family amidst the social unrest of the sixties, Ducey lived the social change that swept the country. As a storyteller, she draws from her life experiences to delight audiences with her humorous and insightful tales that mix personal and historical, literary and folk. 

    Ducey is the former chairperson of the National Association for the Preservation and Perpetuation of Storytelling; the 2001 recipient of the Oracle Award for Distinguished National Service in Storytelling; and was named one of the "Outstanding Women of Berkeley" by the Berkeley Commission on the Status of Women. She has taught storytelling at the University of California, Berkeley's Library School, and at Santa Rosa Junior College and Dominican College. She is co-founder and co-director of the Bay Area Storytelling Festival.

    Jeff Dunn

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    Jeff Dunn, composer and co-lyricist, first began to love the creation of musicals when Meredith Wilson played a preview of his The Unsinkable Molly Brown on the piano at Jeff’s childhood home. Jeff earned a B.A. in geology and project management while composing art songs, a film score, incidental music for plays, and chamber works, many of which were performed as part of concerts for the National Association of Composers, USA, where he is a lifetime member.

    Jeff has been a music critic in the San Francisco Bay Area since 1993, writing for many journals including San Francisco Classical Voice. Jeff has co-taught Radio Plays at Stagebridge since 2016.

    Susan Dunn

    Susan Dunn, Production and Development, has been active in Bay Area theater for 25 years. Her production experience includes Cabaret and the 75th Anniversary Gala and Museum shows for Altarena Playhouse, and several private SF and San Jose shows. She is proud to bring needed business skills to the arts. Recently retired from a system-design career in the corporate world, she currently indulges her passion for live theater full time as Staff Historian at Altarena, and Development Director and Stage Manager for Island City Opera in Alameda. In recognition of her achievements and contributions impacting the arts community and residents of Alameda County, she has been announced as one of the recipients of the Alameda County Arts Commission’s 2015 Alameda County Arts Leadership Awards. Susan has co-taught Radio Plays at Stagebridge since 2016.

    LAUREN ENGLISH

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    Lauren English is a local performing and teaching theatre artist. Most recently she was seen in the legacy revival of The Baltimore Waltz at The Magic Theatre. Locally, she has worked at The Aurora Theatre Company, California Shakespeare Festival, Word for Word Performing Arts Company, Marin Theatre Company, Magic Theatre and Marin Shakespeare Company, among others. Lauren is a founding member and Artistic Associate at the San Francisco Playhouse. Selected New York Theater performance credits include: TACT's off-Broadway production of The Cocktail Party, Hamlet at the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, and The Idealist at The New York Times Theatre. Lauren has taught acting at Studio ACT, Berkeley Rep School of Theatre, San Francisco State University, City College of San Francisco, and she also teaches privately. She holds a MFA from NYU Grad Acting. You can find more info about her at www.laurenenglish.net

    Lucia Fanelli

    Lucia Fanelli is a professional dancer who studied tap extensively with San Francisco tap master Stan Kahn and his protege, tap virtuoso Sam Weber. Lucia studied ballet at Peninsula Ballet Theatre School under its founding director, Anne Bena, and jazz dance with Dancer Synectics Studio in San Francisco.  Her performance career is highlighted by shows with Mason-Kahn, Peninsula Ballet Theatre, Fascinating Rhythm Productions and industrial shows, backing up such performers as Bing Crosby, Phil Harris and Julio Iglesias. Her teaching experience includes teaching tap to children and adults at Mason-Kahn Dance Studios and Peninsula Ballet Theatre School. She currently assists with movement classes for people diagnosed with Parkinson’s.  Lucia loves working with the students teaching tap at Stagebridge and is excited to be a part of this program!

    Joanne Grimm

    Joanne Grimm has been a Stagebridge cast member for almost 20 years and the director of Never Too Late for the last six years. She also performs with Generation Theatre, a Bay Area based repertory company. She started out as a story teller and keeps her hand in telling tales at assisted living facilities. She has appeared in numerous Grandparent's Tales plays, productions produced by Stagebridge. Joanne’s background includes training in radio, public speaking, oral interpretation, improv, acting and children’s theater. She’s been acting in one venue or another since elementary school and enjoys introducing others to the thrill of applause!

    Jeanne Haynes

    Inspired by a Stagebridge storytelling seminar 16 years ago, Haynes abandoned her media relations consulting business to become a full time performer and teacher. Theater venues include SF Theater Festival, Bay Area Storytelling Festival, SF and Berkeley Marsh, Brava! in San Francisco; Julia Morgan Theatre and Ashby Stage in Berkeley, regional Telebrations, KPFA FM Berkeley Public Radio. A former news reporter with a degree in Journalism, she draws from her communication background to tell personal and traditional tales. She has taught more than 300 adults in ongoing weekly classes at Stagebridge and conducts senior workshops. As an artist in residence she has taught some 3,000 students in 20+ Bay Area schools.

    Martin Holtz

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    Martin Holtz is a veteran of more than 30 years as a performer, award winning writer and artist-as-educator, in both South Florida and the San Francisco Bay Area. Over this span of time he has managed to interweave his love of teaching with the performing arts. He was a featured performer in the South Florida Shakespeare Festival, Miami Beach Art Deco Festival, the New World Festival, as well as creative director of Unexpected Company. He was associate artistic director of the Coconut Grove Children’s Theatre and creator of the highly successful “Wizard of Words” language arts enhancement program. He is a trainer and creative consultant for the Center for Domestic Peace dealing with domestic violence and founding member of the Bay Area Playback Theatre.

    Clara Kamunde

    Clara Kamunde is a tinkerer, a maker, an actor, storyteller and creativity development specialist – for real – she actually has Master of Science in Creativity
    Studies – who knew you could study creativity – right? Clara is an experienced facilitator and has developed and lead creativity workshops for a variety of organizations including The Children’s Creativity Museum of San Francisco, Cal Shakes Summer Conservatory, Performing Arts Workshop, Reading Partners,
    Mission Learning Center and the San Francisco Department of Children and Youth. In her capacity as a performing artist Ms.Kamunde has worked with Stagebridge, Cal Shakes (where she also a presenter on the Grove Talk Series), Berkeley Rep, Ross Valley Players, Virago Theatre, amongst others. She is a former recipient of the COLA Artist-in-The-Community grant from the City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department, and enjoyed a year of creating fun and fostering creativity in venues all over Greater Los Angeles.

    Scrumbly Koldewyn

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    Scrumbly is an accomplished composer who has performed with the Cockettes, the Distractions and the Jesters Vocal Trio, touring throughout Europe. He has been musical director at many Bay Area theatres including Berkeley Rep and 42nd Street Moon. His awards include the Bay Area Critic’s Circle and Bay Area Cabaret Gold Awards. Revivals of his shows with the Cockettes have been playing at Thrillpeddlers in SF for 4 years. For Stagebridge he has been musical director for Comedy Tonight and currently co-directs the touring show Never Too Late. He also created the music for Stagebridge’s world premiere musical Sylvia’s Advice on How to Age Gracefully on the Planet Denial based on the works of Nicole Hollander.

    Olga Loya

    Latina storyteller, performance artist, writer and teacher, Olga Loya performs a mix of Spanish and English to share traditional tales from Latin America, as well as stories from her own varied and colorful life growing up in East Los Angeles. She performs and teaches workshops at a wide variety of locations, including schools, businesses, museums and festivals, such as the Guadalajara, Mexico Festival and the Jonesborough National Storytelling Festival. Olga was the recent recipient of the National Network of Storytellers 2013 Oracle Award in The Circle of Excellence.

    Marijo

    Marijo, Actor, Storyteller, Writer, & Arts Educator. She has been performing for 20-plus years, & has toured her solo shows throughout the US, London, Germany, & Zimbabwe, Africa. Marijo has taught drama & storytelling at schools in the Bay Area and many states throughout the country. She was the storyteller for the California Governor’s conference on Arts in Education and the California Arts Council Artists-in-Schools.

     

    Christie Maturo

    Christie Maturo holds a BS in theatre and sign language from Towson University, a teaching credential from CSUB, spent a summer studying with the Moscow Art Theatre in Russia, and holds a Master’s Degree in Fine Arts from NIU. Christie is also a proud member of Actor’s Equity Association. Christie specializes in character acting, physical comedy, and improvisation, and has performed in musicals, classic and dramatic works in theatres across the country. As a Meisner trained actor, Christie strives to live truthfully in each moment of performance.

    AEJAY MITCHELL

    AeJay Mitchell is an educator, actor, singer, dancer, and choreographer based in Oakland, California. Originally from Louisiana, he has been granted opportunity to study, perform and teach for the past decade across the United States. He trained in Dance, Theatre, and Music at Wake Forest University in North Carolina and is an alumni of Jacob's Pillow Dance Apprenticeship Program where we took classes from Monica Bill Barnes, Camille A. Brown, Hofesh Schecter, and Barak Marshall among others. He has also worked with dance theatre and performance artists Yin Mei, Tim Miller, Joe Goode, and the Architects. His joy is spreading the love of performance arts to students of all ages and is honored to be working collaboratively with African American Shakespeare Company and San Francisco Opera. When not educating, you can see him on stage at regional bay area theatres, where he serves as company member for the African American Shakespeare Company, Black Artists Contemporary Cultural Experience, and Bay Area Musicals all based in San Francisco, as well as dancing with the intediscplinary collective "Portrait Makers" based in Oakland. Please follow his work @aejaymitchell on Instagram and Twitter.

    Benjamin Pither

    Benjamin is a professional actor and theatre educator. He currently teaches Musical Theatre and Acting at both the New Conservatory Theatre Center and at Berkeley Playhouse. He has worked as a drama teacher at several schools in the Bay area, including Park Day School in Oakland and SF School of the Arts. He served as the Theatre Arts Director for three years at Camp Swig and Camp Newman. Benjamin was trained as a theatre educator when he was selected as a Stephen Spielberg Fellow in 2001 and he has performed with Center Rep, Berkeley Playhouse, Willows Theatre, 42nd St Moon, Custom Made Theatre, Altarena Playhouse, Berkeley Rep, Cal Shakes, the Playwrights’ Foundation, and the Playwrights’ Center of SF.

    josiah polhemus

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    Josiah is an award-winning actor and director who is the Founding Artistic Director of RE:ACT.  He is also the former Artistic Director of Stagebridge.

     

     

    Ellen Robinson

    Jazz vocalist, composer and educator Ellen Robinson has worked with literally thousands of students throughout her life. Her musical journey has led her through many genres: folk, rock, Blue Grass, Cabaret, musical theater, a cappella and finally jazz. Her third and latest CD “Don’t Wait Too long” was released in 2011. Ellen is a member of National Association of Teachers of Singing and is a gifted and dedicated vocal coach. In addition to her own jazz performance dates and recording projects, Ellen has been a Vocal Instructor for adults at U.C. Berkeley Extension, a Choral Director for teenagers in the Oakland Youth Chorus and a Music Instructor for children at Walden Center and School in Berkeley and Beacon Day School in Oakland, CA. Currently, Ellen teaches a beginning singing class for women called Swingshift Singers and she is the director of the Anything Goes Chorus, a community chorus that gives public concerts and also free performances at retirement homes and homeless shelters since the early 1980s. In 2011 Ellen was honored with a prestigious Jefferson Award for her community work.

    Suzanne Schmidt

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    Suzanne Schmidt is currently nominated as Best Actress (along with Melissa Leo) for her role in the web series Hey You, It’s Me. She has graced theatrical stages throughout California and her television credits include Sons Of Anarchy, Days of Our Lives, and Hillbrook Gardens (2016). Suzanne’s film credits include Lilin’s Brood, Apt 123, The Dark Mirror, Mr. Maples, Mechanic and watch for her in Dark Sky Picture’s upcoming graphic novel film, Monster School. Suzanne holds a BA in Theater from USC and an MFA in Acting from Northern Illinois University and has also studied extensively at Stella Adler LA and The Moscow Art Theatre (MXAT) in Russia. She now resides in Los Angles and works as an Actress, Acting Teacher/Coach, Content Creator/Writer/Producer and Voice Over Artist.

    MONA THOMPSON

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    Mona Thompson is an improv performer, teacher, and coach. She has performed and taught in 21 cities around the U.S. She began improvising in high school, continued in college as a member of the Stanford Improvisors, and never looked back. Currently, Mona performs with Un-Scripted Theater Company, Social Studies Improv, Minerva, and Mona and Shara Do Improv. She teaches at BATS Improv, Un-Scripted Theater Company, Stagebridge, and Stanford University. In 2014, she co-founded Collective Capital, a company that helps organizations create a culture of innovation through improv and design.

     

    Trish Tillman

    Trish Tillman was most recently the Director of Artistic Learning at California Shakespeare Theater for five years and has been a working actor, improvisor and theater arts teacher for 25 years. She has a Masters in Dramatic Performance and Teaching Theater from Antioch University, and a B.S. in Performance Studies from Northwestern University. In addition to acting regularly at theaters throughout the Bay Area, she’s created teaching artist training programs for both classroom teachers and college education students, brought the world of Shakespeare to literally thousands of children through productions and classes, founded two improvisational theater companies in San Francisco and is currently on staff and in the ensemble of Un-Scripted Theater.

    Kirk Waller

    With a lifelong love of story, literature and the performing arts, Kirk Waller has been immersed in these art forms for over 20 years. He has garnered national recognition for his storytelling, including being awarded the J.J. Reneaux Emerging Artist Grant by the National Storytelling Network, receiving a Parent’s Choice Foundation GOLD award for his CD, “But Why? Stories, Music and Songs” and being a storyteller at the Exchange Place at the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, Tenn. In addition to being the Director of Storytelling at Stagebridge, he is current chair of the Storytelling Association of California and is on the advisory board of Tell It On Tuesday at the Marsh in Berkeley. Kirk received his bachelor’s degree in English and his Master’s in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University.

    Sam Weber

    Sam Weber is professional tap dancer who works internationally as a performer, master teacher and choreographer. A protégé of San Francisco tap master Stan Kahn, Sam is the winner of numerous awards, including the New York Dance Critics’ Bessie.