INSTRUCTORS

CURRENT INSTRUCTORS

  • Bruce Bierman
  • Anthony Clarvoe
  • Jeri Lynn Cohen
  • Mary Gay Ducey
  • Jeff and Susan Dunn
  • Lucia Fanelli
  • Michael French
  • Greacian Goeke
  • Joanne Grimm
  • Jeanne Haynes
  • Ellen Hoffman
  • Martin Holtz
  • Clara Kamunde
  • Scrumbly Koldewyn
  • Olga Loya
  • Marijo
  • Christie Maturo
  • AeJay Mitchell
  • Benjamin Pither
  • Ellen Robinson
  • Daniel Savio
  • Suzanne Schmidt
  • Barbara Scott
  • 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
  • Amy Gorman
  • Joanna G. Harris
  • Terrance Kelly
  • Lindsay Leopold
  • Joan Mankin
  • Jeannie McKenzie
  • Sara Moore
  • Dyan McBride
  • Josiah Polhemus
  • Ray Reinhardt
  • Grace Renaud
  • Andy Sarouhan
  • Charles Shaw Robinson
  • Jeremiah Selvey
  • Meryl Shaw
  • Debbie Sternbach
  • Jesse Vail
  • Helen Vaughn
  • Valerie Weak
  • Larry Wright
  • Carlos Zialcita

 

 

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CURRENT INSTRUCTORS

Bruce Bierman

Bruce Bierman has been a member of the Stagebridge company since 2007–serving as teacher, director and choreographer. Most recently, he directed and choreographed Grandfather’s Journey. Other productions with Stagebridge include: Sylvia starring Joan Mankin with original music by Scrumbly Koldwyn, Chicken Sunday and City Green. Bruce wrote and directed the award winning gender bending flamenco musical; Passion of Carmen at the Celebration Theater and wrote and performed his first solo show, The Blue Dress, for the New Conservatory Theater in San Francisco (Dean Goodman Award). Acting credits include: St. Joan (South Coast Repertory), Titus Andronicus (Shakespeare Santa Cruz), Madwoman of Chaillot (Odyssey Theatre Ensemble), Richard in Richard II (Powerhouse), Fortune and Men’s Eyes (Coast Playhouse) The Snow Maiden and The Nightingale and the Rose (24 St. Theatre). Bruce is teaching Viewpoints, Broadway Dance, and Joy of Dance for us this fall. Click HERE for a fall schedule with descriptions of these classes and more, and click HERE to register online.

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.

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.

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!

Michael French

Mr. French is originally from London, England where he studied acting at the Drama School. At twenty-two years old he founded the infamous Glasshouse Theatre Company where he wrote and directed many of his own plays. This included the award winning ” The Rainy Season” and the much acclaimed, “Bellyache”. In 1992 he arrived in New York City to study at the Acting Studio. While in New York he directed over thirty-five Off and Off-Off Broadway productions, including “The Inner Workings of a Man” for Eva Minemar, founder and Artistic Director of the internationally celebrated Angry Jellow Bubbles theatre company, and “And On” for multi-award winning writer Franco D’Alessandro. In 2003 he relocated to Boulder, Colorado where he co-founded the influential theatre company Theatre13, and co-wrote and co-produced “The Buddha Prince”, a play about the life of the Dalai Lama, which has toured the U.S. extensively and was performed in Central Park in New York City during the summers of 2005 and 2008. In 2011 Mr. French moved to the Bay Area where he is a resident director at PlayGround and the Artistic Director of The Aluminous Collective.

Greacian Goeke

Greacian Goeke is a performance artist and writer trained in improvisation, percussion, modern and folk dance, and choral singing. She is a certified Orff Schulwerk movement and music educator. She teaches PreK and college students at the Mills College Children’s School, and elders in numerous settings in the Bay Area. She received her M.F.A. in Performance from California College of Arts and Crafts (now CCA). Greacian dances with the intergenerational company, Dance Generators, based at University of San Francisco. She is founder and artistic director of Impromptu No Tutu elder creative movement ensemble and co-director of the community dance project, Walking in Witness, at Mountain View Cemetery.
Greacian also sings with the San Francisco Threshold Choir and practices and teaches T’ai Chi Ch’uan (Yang style, short form) which she has studied since 1989. From 2009 to 2012 she directed the Storybridge and Stories and Music United programs at Stagebridge, developing new creative partnerships for storytelling and music in the schools.

Joanne Grimm

Joanne Grimm has been a Stagebridge cast member for 16 years and the director of Never Too Late for the last two 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 six Grandparent 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.

Ellen Hoffman

Ellen Hoffman was founding Music Director of Jazz Camp West, and Berkeley Broadway Singers. She was co-founder/pianist for Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir. She writes music for the Oakland Symphony and performs her own music at the Paramount Theater. She has worked with Rita Moreno, Frederika von Stade, Bobby McFerrin, the late great singer/actor Ronnie Gilbert, Linda Ronstadt, and the late great jazz vocalist Mark Murphy. Ellen performs at the Great Dickens Christmas Fair each December, where she is music director of the Grand Music Hall Revue. Ellen has directed hundreds of Open Mics throughout the East Bay – including Berkeley City Club, Mr. E’s Club, Anna’s Jazz Island, Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse. She is a member of The Modulations, the Bay Area’s newest English County Dance music ensemble. The trio (violin, accordion & piano) plays for live dances in Berkeley. (If you enjoy dancing to wonderful music that might be as much as 400 years old, come check it out!) Ellen has taught music at Laney College and Contra Costa College, and has a Master’s Degree in Music from Mills College. Little known fact: Ellen occasionally does comedy at the piano.

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.

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.

Daniel Savio

Daniel Savio has been creating music for twenty five years and has been working in theatre since he was a young teen. Daniel wrote lyrics and music, with Bruce Barthol, for FSM, a new musical with book by Joan Holden about the Berkeley Free Speech Movement, commissioned by Stagebridge for the 2014 Fall season. He is also the composer of four musicals for young audiences, all commissioned by Stagebridge, including City Green and Grandfather’s Journey. Daniel is the musical director of Sharon Boucher’s children’s theatre companies in San Rafael where he has put on such productions as West Side Story, RENT, A Chorus Line, Les Miserables, and many others. He is a member of The 808 Band, winner of the 2011 North Bay Bohemian Award for Best Hip Hop Band. He is a graduate of the Music Department of the University of California at Santa Cruz, Class of 2004, and is currently a student of Bay Area composer Michael Kaulkin.

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.

Barbara Scott

Barbara Scott has been teaching and performing improv for 30 years. She’s a company member and coach with BATS Improv and a founding member of True Fiction Magazine Improvisational Theatre, with whom she has performed internationally. She also teaches at American Conservatory Theatre, the San Francisco Opera Center, Bay Area high schools, and has led master classes in song improv in Finland, Canada, New Zealand and Japan.

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.