INSTRUCTORS

Current Instructors: Please click below if you are in Group A or Group B to find a copy of your blank Timesheet. Please fill out the excel completely and email to Lily at [email protected] or submit your Timesheet to the Stagebridge Office.

Fall 2019 INSTRUCTORS:

  • Edris Cooper-Anifowoshe
  • Renee Benmeleh
  • Bruce Bierman
  • MaryGay Ducey
  • Lucia Fanelli
  • Joanne Grimm
  • Jeanne Haynes
  • Martin Holtz
  • Joan Howard
  • Joel ben Izzy
  • Judith Kajiwara
  • Scrumbly Koldewyn
  • David Norfleet
  • Ely Orquiza
  • Charley Robinson
  • Ellen Robinson
  • Sam Weber

PAST INSTRUCTORS:

  • Kaye Anderson
  • Marge Betley
  • Lauren Carley
  • Joy Carlin
  • Nancy Carlin
  • Fred Casto
  • Anthony Clarvoe
  • Jeri Lynn Cohen
  • Patricia Cotter
  • Donna Davis
  • Reid Davis
  • Matt Deegan
  • Lina del Roble
  • Jeff Dunn
  • Susan Dunn
  • Jean Ellisen*
  • Lauren English
  • Michael French
  • Greacian Goeke
  • Amy Gorman
  • Ruth Halpern*
  • Joanna G. Harris
  • Wayne Harris*
  • Ellen Hoffman
  • Mary "Marijo" Joseph*
  • Terrance Kelly
  • Lindsay Leopold
  • Olga Loya
  • Joan Mankin
  • Christie Maturo
  • Jeannie McKenzie
  • AeJay Mitchell
  • Sara Moore
  • Dyan McBride
  • Liz Nichols*
  • Benjamin Pither
  • Josiah Polhemus
  • Ray Reinhardt
  • Grace Renaud
  • Corey Rosen
  • Daniel Savio
  • Suzanne Schmidt
  • Barbara Scott
  • Andy Sarouhan
  • Yael Schy
  • Jeremiah Selvey
  • Meryl Shaw
  • Debbie Sternbach
  • Mona Thompson
  • Trish Tillman
  • Shara Tonn
  • Jesse Vail
  • Helen Vaughn
  • Kirk Waller
  • Valerie Weak
  • Larry Wright
  • Linda Wright*
  • Carlos Zialcita
  • *Storybridge Instructors



CURRENT INSTRUCTORS

Edris Cooper-Anifowoshe

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Edris Cooper-Anifowoshe launched her career in the San Francisco Bay Area, touring nationally and internationally for six years with the San Francisco Mime Troupe. Edris has appeared in productions at SF Playhouse, Aurora Theatre, Magic Theatre, Ashby Stage, TheatreWorks in Palo Alto, Theatre Rhinoceros, Intersection for the Arts, Theater Artaud, Word for Word, Z Space, Lorraine Hansberry Theatre and Brava Theater Center. Edris is an accomplished solo performer with 5 original works. Her solo play Adventures Of A Black Girl In Search of Academic Clarity and Inclusion was published in the anthology, solo/black/woman and her solo play, Traveling While Black was presented at Penn Museum in Fall of 2018. Edris’ directing credits include the West Coast premiere of Relativity at the Magic Theatre, Stealin’ Home at Exit Theatre; Crying Holy at Theatre Rhinoceros, and Urban Zulu Mambo and Blue/Orange at Lorraine Hansberry Theatre. With the company she founded, Black Artists Contemporary Cultural Experience, Edris recently directed the Bay Area premieres of Robert O’Hara’s An American Ma(u)l and Bootycandy.

 Renée Benmeleh

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Renée Benmeleh is a multi-cultural vocalist/composer/instrumentalist created in Venezuela from Mediterranean ancestry. She has been joyfully singing Improv, Jazz, World, Ritual, and Original music for 20 + yrs. in the Bay Area. Renée is the founder and agile facilitator at Bay Area Vocal Improv where she leads monthly classes, workshops, and events using vocal and movement games, improvised melodies and rhythms, in an accepting, and caring environment that supports vocal exploration and the expression of your authentic sound. Renée is also happy to spend her time on the planet as a Drum Circle Facilitator, a Sound Nourishment Practitioner, and a seasoned early childhood music practitioner.www.bayareavocalimprov.com - www.reneebenmeleh.com

Bruce Bierman

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Bruce Bierman is an award-winning director, choreographer and teaching artist known for his special way of inviting all into a safe supportive space to play, explore and create dynamic theater using each student's special talent and unique expression.  He  has served on the teaching faculty of Stagebridge since 2006 and began the Musical Theater program with Ellen Robinson along with the first dance and theater movement programs (Joy of Dance & Viewpoints).  He has directed and choreographed several original Stagebridge productions including:  'Grandfather's Journey', 'Tomas & the Library Lady' and 'Sylvia: How to Age Gracefully on the Planet Denial' at the Ashby Stage.  Other productions include:  'Passion of Carmen' (Celebration Theater *Backstage West Choreography Award*), 'Wade in the Water' (Odyssey Theater Ensemble "NFJC award), 'The Blue Dress' (New Conservatory Theater * Dean Goodman Choice Award), 'Di Megillah of Itzik Manger (Berkeley Jewish Music Festival) and 'Wonder' (Phoenix Theater).  As a dancer and dance educator, Bruce was a member of the Los Angeles Aman Folk Ensemble and is currently in the company of East Bay's Dandilion Dance Theater.  He is a celebrated Jewish dance master and travels throughout the U.S. with his Joy of Jewish Dance workshops.

MaryGay Ducey

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MaryGay Ducey was raised in New Orleans with its rituals and play, Ducey is a descendent of Southern women who prized a sassy mouth. She tells all sorts of tales to all sorts of ages as befits a woman with a restless nature, and her work has been described as “full of wit and elegance, but aimed straight at the heart.” A celebrated storytelling educator with many workshops up her professional sleeve, she has taught storytelling at several universities—UC Berkeley among them. A featured storyteller at the National Storytelling Festival several times, she is also the recipient of the Oracle Lifetime Achievement Award.

Lucia Fanelli

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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 Pennsula 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, Peninsula Ballet Theatre School, and she currently assists teaching movement classes for people diagnosed with Parkinsons.  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

Jeanne Haynes: Inspired by a Stagebridge storytelling seminar 23 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.


Joan Howard

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Joan Howard is a physical theater creator, teaching artist and clown. She is co-creator of Idiot String, an ensemble theatre company devoted to inciting delight and activating meaningful human connection through play, and she is the other half of the acrobatic slapstick clown duo Max & Antoinette. Joan teaches the next generation of professional clowns at San Francisco Circus Center’s Clown Conservatory, where she is also co-director of ClownCorps, a social clowning program serving local and international communities through laughter relief. Joan feels deeply grateful to visit hospitals with the Medical Clown Project and to have the opportunity to teach clown to children and adults of all ages locally and internationally, and she is incredibly excited to teach at Stagebridge this fall! 

Joel ben Izzy

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Joel ben Izzy: It was thirty-six years ago that Joel set off to travel the world, gathering and telling stories. Since then, he has performed and taught in some 36 countries and recorded six award-winning recordings. His memoir The Beggar King and the Secret of Happiness (Algonquin, 2003), which weaves together stories from his travels to tell his own remarkable story, is now in 18 international editions and in development as a musical. Joel is a highly saught-after story coach and consultant, both to individuals and organizations.  For more information, see www.storypage.com.

Judith Kajiwara

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Judith Kajiwara is an independent solo Butoh performing artist, teacher and choreographer.  She began her Butoh career in 1995 with her first solo performance, The Ballad of Machiko, at NOHspace, San Francisco (SF).  She is a life-long dancer who has trained in numerous dance and martial arts.  She currently teaches Butoh and hip hop dance classes in the East Bay.  In 2013, she formed OnenessButoh, an ensemble of Butoh enthusiasts who regularly train with Kajiwara and perform her works.  Judith will teach her first class at Stagebridge, Hip Hop Demystified, in the Spring 2019 session.

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.

David Norfleet

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Since 1991, David Norfleet has been improvising music with companies around the U.S. and Canada. During the day, he composes and produces music for film, television, multimedia, installations, and anything else he can think of. From 1995 to 1998 David was active in New York’s improv, live theatre, and performance art scene. He transplanted himself to San Francisco to start his own music/sound studio, Seal Rock Music. David’s music and audio clients include Pixar, Dreamworks, Comedy Central, National Geographic, Intel, the city of San Francisco, MasterCard, and National Public Radio. He has also taught improvised singing for many years and has been the musical director of numerous musical improv shows.

Ely Orquiza

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Ely Orquiza is a Filipino actor based in San Francisco Bay Area.Orquiza studied at the University of California, Berkeley in the department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies with an emphasis on Acting. At Cal, Orquiza has performed in many devised plays, mainstage shows, and student productions working with prominent Bay Area artists including Rhodessa Jones, Sean San Jose, Joe Goode, Guillermo Gomez Pena y La Pocha Nostra, and Philip Kan Gotanda.He has workshopped with internationally renowned artists from all over the world. He graduated from American Conservatory Theater's Summer Training Congress in the summer of 2016 and also became one of the first of many students to study under Lauren English in San Francisco Playhouse's Rising Star Program.

Charley Robinson

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Charley Robinson is thrilled to return to Stagebridge. In October, he is appearing in OSLO at the Marin Theatre Company. Recent work includes IT CAN’T HAPPEN HERE at Berkeley Rep. Other favorite roles include Shag in Bill Cain’s Equivocation, directed by Jasson Minadakis (MTC); Leonard in Seminar (San Francisco Playhouse); Milton in the West Coast premiere of Tony Kushner's Homebody/Kabul (Berkeley Repertory Theatre); and Iago in Othello (California Shakespeare Theatre). He was last seen in New York in the American premiere of Frank McGuinness’s Gates of Gold at 59E59 Theaters, and before that at the Second Stage Theatre as the Father in Sarah Ruhl’s Eurydice.

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.

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.