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Annual Conference Speaker Bios
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2014 Annual Conference Breakout Speakers


Niall Adler (panelist for “Size Doesn’t Matter: Marketing on Limited Resources”) spent 15 years in the world of sports, garnering publicity for some of college’s top teams. He is currently the marketing manager at CMT San Jose, home to 10 shows a year and a wide array of programs for youth theatre. If they skated, passed, hit, swam, dove or scored, he found a way to get them attention in a very crowded media market. His adventures led him to the Deep South, the City of Angels, the Rose City, and of course San Francisco. Internationally, he has worked on four continents, notably in Australia, where he received his master’s last year. He has worked across television, wire services and radio and for public, private, small and large organizations. A graduate of the University of San Francisco, he grew up on the wild streets of Albany.

Dale Albright (moderator for “Rally Your Troops! How Individual Artists Can Galvanize Support for Their Work”) serves as director of field services at Theatre Bay Area. In addition to his duties providing programming and support to Theatre Bay Area’s 2,500 individual and 350 theatre company members, Dale also administers all of Theatre Bay Area’s granting programs. This includes 12 years as the administrator of CA$H (a grants program for individuals and small organizations), as well as the development of and continued administration of other Theatre Bay Area grants programs such as the Eric Landisman Fellowship (a grant for emerging performing arts designers and technicians) and ATLAS/Titan (a program for theatre artists that combines training, mentorship and granting). Dale is an actor, director, playwright, producer and arts administrator. He received his BA in Arts Administration from San Francisco State in 1999. As an actor, Dale has appeared in works in his native Ohio, as well as Los Angeles and throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. He was nominated for a Bay Area Critics Circle award as for his work as Tennessee Williams in Tennessee in the Summer at New Conservatory Theatre Center.

Patrick Alparone (panelist for “Meet Working Actors”): The Normal Heart, Elektra (American Conservatory Theater); Red (Portland Center Stage); Every Five Minutes, Buried Child, Any Given Day, Mrs. Whitney, Octopus (Magic Theatre); Phaedra (Shotgun Players); Period of Adjustment, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (San Francisco Playhouse); Man of Rock (Climate Theater); Twelfth Night, Ambition Facing West (TheatreWorks); Olive Kitteridge (Word for Word/Z Space); Lolita Roadtrip (San Jose Stage Company); A Streetcar Named Desire (Marin Theatre Co.); Skin (Encore Theatre Co.); Hamlet (Impact Theatre); Little Dog Laughed (B Street Theatre); Karima’s City in Egypt for the Cairo International Festival for Experimental Theatre (Golden Thread Productions). Film credits include The Wisdom Tree, This Is Hamlet, Seducing Charlie Barker and Two from the Line. This May, Patrick will appear in 36 Stories at Word for Word/Z Space.

Suzanne Appel (moderator for “Size Doesn’t Matter: Marketing on Limited Resources”) joined the Cutting Ball Theater as its first managing director in June 2011. Appel completed her dual MBA/MFA in Theatre Management from Yale’s schools of management and drama in May 2011. At Yale she served as associate managing director of Yale Repertory Theatre, where she presented No Boundaries: A Series of Global Performances in association with the World Performance Project at Yale. In that role she also managed Yale Rep’s touring production of Dostoevsky’s Notes from Underground in a new translation by Bill Camp and Robert Woodruff. Before attending Yale, she was the director of individual giving at Dance Theater Workshop and the assistant director of the Wesleyan Annual Fund at Wesleyan University.

Terry Bamberger (panelist for “Rally Your Troops! How Individual Artists Can Galvanize Support for Their Work”) is a SF Bay Area actor whose recent theatre credits include Jeremy Bloom’s Peter/Wendy at the Custom Made Theatre Company and the premiere of Singulariteen at the SF Fringe Festival; as well as The Winter’s Tale, Romeo & Juliet and The Tempest at SF Shakespeare Festival, King Lear at Calveras Repertory Theatre, and non-Shakespearean works including Done to Death at Venue 9, How It Works and The Maltese Frenchman at Theatre Rhino, Guilty Conscience and The Odd Couple (female version) at Sierra Repertory Theatre. Film/TV credits include Coffee & Language and General Hospital. Bamberger trains young actors at Oakland School for the Arts and is inspired by her colleagues and students, daily. Bamberger is honored to be a recipient of the 2013 Theatre Bay Area Titan Award.

Jeanne Bell, MNA (presenter for “Measuring Organizational Sustainability”) is the CEO of CompassPoint Nonprofit Services, a national leadership and strategy practice based in Oakland, CA. She is the co-author of Nonprofit Sustainability: Making Strategic Decisions for Financial Viability (Jossey-Bass) and Financial Leadership for Nonprofit Executives: Guiding Your Organization to Long Term Success (Turner). In addition to frequent speaking and consulting on nonprofit strategy and finance, Jeanne has conducted a series of research projects on nonprofit executive leadership, including Daring to Lead 2011: A National Study of Nonprofit Executive Leadership. Jeanne currently serves on several boards, including Intersection for the Arts and the Nonprofit Quarterly.

Russell Blackwood (panelist for “Offensive Theatre”) is the director of Thrillpeddlers, a company dedicated to Grand Guignol horror theatre and Theatre of the Ridiculous. The company produced the American premieres of both Clive Barker’s Frankenstein in Love and Noel Coward’s The Better Half, as well as a Crime in a Madhouse and The Medium in South Africa. Since 1999, Thrillpeddlers have presented Shocktoberfest!!, San Francisco’s annual pageant of horror and titillation. In 2004, Russell and his longtime partner Jim Toczyl opened the Hypnodrome in San Francisco. There the company has produced musicals from the Cockettes, two of which toured to New York City. Thrillpeddlers’ production of Pearls over Shanghai, which originally ran from 2009 to 2011, is currently enjoying a revival at the Hypnodrome. Mr. Blackwood has also directed productions for Theatre Rhinoceros, Shotgun Players, Lamplighters and the L.A., Lake Tahoe and San Francisco Shakespeare Festivals. He is a graduate of Boston University.

Carrie Blanding
(speed consultant) works with arts and other nonprofits to improve organizational sustainability, navigate leadership transitions and secure necessary funding. From cofounding a children’s theatre company to leading a 40-year old nonprofit through an organizational turnaround as executive director, she knows firsthand about the challenges and opportunities that organizations face at different phases in their growth. Carrie combines real-world experience with a deep understanding of arts policy, philanthropic trends and management theory to give her clients a big-picture view of the field. More information at

Stuart Bousel (moderator for “Offensive Theatre”) is a Bay Area playwright, director, and actor who has been working locally for more than 10 years. He is a founding artistic director of the San Francisco Theater Pub and editor-in-chief of its contributor blog,; the artistic director of No Nude Men Productions; the executive director of the San Francisco Olympians Festival; and the hospitality coordinator/marketing and social media admin at the EXIT Theatre. He is also a frequent collaborator with Custom Made Theatre Co. and Wily West Productions, and is currently directing The Crucible at the former, while his new play Everybody Says Hello! will be produced this summer by the latter. His adaptation of Kristin Hersh’s memoir Rat Girl will be opening this summer at the EXIT Theatre, where he will be directing a workshop of his play Pastrorella in the fall. You can find out more about his work at

Brandi Brandes (moderator for “Forging Business Partnerships: Finding Shared Goals Between Private Businesses and Nonprofit Theatres”) recently joined Theatre Bay Area as its development manager after four years as a nonprofit arts operations consultant. Prior to Theatre Bay Area, Brandi worked with a variety of San Francisco arts organizations, including the Brava! Theater, LEVYdance, City Circus, the Fresh Meat Festival, the San Francisco Transgender Film Festival and many independent dance, music and circus artists. Brandi is also a musician and has written four original scores for theatrical productions premiering at Magic Theatre, the Climate Theater and the Brava! Theater in San Francisco.

Kirsten Brandt (moderator for “Successful Strategies for Putting More Women Onstage”) is an award-winning playwright, director and producer. She directed the critically acclaimed productions of Legacy of Light, Groundswell, Splitting Infinity, This Wonderful Life and Rabbit Hole at San Jose Repertory Theatre. She has served as the executive artistic director of Sledgehammer Theatre, San Diego’s leading alternative theatre. At Sledgehammer, Brandt produced 23 productions (including nine world premiere and five West Coast premieres) and directed 15 productions, garnering numerous Critic’s Choice nods and 32 awards (San Diego Critic’s Circle, Backstage West Garland, KPBS Patte Award, San Diego Playbill). Notable productions at Sledgehammer include Macbeth, The Dream Play, Furious Blood, Knife in the Heart and Sweet Charity.  She was one of the cofounders and curators of DURGA, the Women’s Performance Festival of San Diego in 2000 & 2001. Regionally, she has directed for the Old Globe, La Jolla Playhouse, TheatreWorks, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, San Diego Repertory Theatre, North Coast Repertory Theatre, Sierra Repertory and Diversionary Theatre. She is the author of the award-winning Berzerkergang, NU, The Waves and The Frankenstein Project. Brandt received a San Diego Critic’s Circle Award for Creative Achievement and another for Outstanding Direction for The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow at the Old Globe. Brandt wrote and directed The Thinning Veil, a telematic, multi-venue, multimedia performance piece that had its world premiere at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where she lectures in the theatre arts department. She is a member of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers and a proud alumna of the University of California, San Diego.

Ann Brebner (panelist for “Playwright Residency Programs”): Trained as a director at London’s prestigious Old Vic Theatre, Ann has directed for the stage in England, New Zealand, Rhode Island, New York and the Bay Area. She is the cofounder of the Marin Shakespeare Company, directing frequently for them. Until 1981 she was the president of Brebner Agencies, Inc. in San Francisco representing actors and screenwriters in the motion picture industry. She has worked as a casting director, written three screenplays, and authored a book on the skill of living a creative life in a left-brained world, Setting Free the Actor, published in 1991. More recently she headed the drive to restore the Rafael Film Center in San Rafael as the permanent home of the California Film Institute, which produces the Mill Valley Film Festival. For the Rafael Film Center Project she was the chair and the project manager. She has completed her second book, All My Mothers, a memoir of those who formed her life. With AlterTheater, Ann codirected, with Frances Lee McCain, the Bay Area premiere of Sex Parasite in AlterTheater’s Inaugural Season, and directed the West Coast premiere of “Cuddle Time” by Keely Madden in Smorgasbord of Shorts II. More recently, she directed the award-winning production Intimate Apparel by Lynn Nottage, Two Sisters and a Piano by Nilo Cruz, and the award-winning production of her own play, The Dead Girl. She and her writing partner Laurel Graver adapted Anne Lamott’s first novel, Hard Laughter, into a play, which premiered with AlterTheater in spring 2008. She is a two-time member of AlterTheater’s writers’ program, AlterLab.

Chloe Bronzan (panelist for “Successful Strategies for Putting More Women Onstage”) is artistic director and cofounder of Symmetry Theatre Company, where she has directed Emilie: La Marquise Du Chatelet Defends Her Life Tonight by Lauren Gunderson (BATCC nomination for Best Director), The Language Archive by Julia Cho (KQED 2013 Top Ten list) and Carnival Round the Central Figure by Diana Amsterdam. She recently directed Harold Pinter’s The Lover for Virago Theatre Company (Broadway World nomination: Best Director), which will be reopening in New York this summer! Chloe has been working in the Bay Area as an actor, director and producer for over 15 years. She is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association.

Velina Brown (panelist for “Being Agents of Change”) is an award-winning actress, singer/songwriter, occasional director and co-artistic director (aka collective member) of the Tony and Obie award-winning San Francisco Mime Troupe. FYI, the Mime Troupe has long been a leader in gender, ethnic and racial parity in hiring onstage and behind the scenes. You may have also seen Velina at the American Conservatory Theater, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Magic Theatre, Theatre Rhino, TheatreWorks, Shotgun Players, SF Playhouse, Symmetry Theatre, the Lorraine Hansberry Theatre, Center Repertory Company and the Denver Theatre Center among others. She has appeared on television shows such as Final Witness, Party of Five, Nash Bridges and Trauma and in films such as Bee Season, Maladaptive, One Way to Valhalla and Milk. You can read Velina’s monthly advice column named after her coaching practice for actors called The Business of Show Biz, in Theatre Bay Area magazine and on TBA’s website. For more info about coaching and workshops please visit Velina is pleased to participate in the process of developing tools and techniques for moving the “parity movement” forward with other committed, smart people on the TBA Gender Parity Advisory Committee.

Laura Brueckner (moderator for “Bread and Circuits,” moderator for “Playwright Residency Programs,” moderator for “Hackathon,” moderator for “Playwrights Cabaret”) is the digital content manager of Theatre Bay Area, where she authors “Bread and Circuits,” a column on technology and theatre, curates the new “Roar of the Crowd” blog, and has launched a number of new web columns and series. She also proudly serves Crowded Fire Theater as its director of new works, writes for HowlRound as a residency producer, and continues to do freelance script consulting and development. She will defend her doctoral dissertation on dramaturgy this September at UCSD. Fun fact: the first computer she ever saw inside someone’s house belonged to her software-engineer grandmother, who, with a high school education, entered the field in the late 1960s and wound up managing a team of 50 male coders building software for the US Government.

Hugo Carbajal (panelist for “Rally Your Troops! How Individual Artists Can Galvanize Support for Their Work”) is a proud recipient of the 2013 Theatre Bay Area Titan actor award. Hugo works as a freelance actor, director, photographe, and teacher. He is currently in rehearsal the Cutting Ball production of Communiqué No.10. As well as directing a touring production of Esperanza Rising at Los Medanos College. Hugo has performed with Bay Area companies such as Shotgun Players, Teatro Vision, Stagebridge, AlterTheater Ensemble, Bay Area Children’s Theatre and the San Francisco Mime Troupe. Also a proud member of BALTAN (Bay Area Latino Theatre Artists Network). Visit & Follow on twitter: @oogoever.

Cathy Cassetta
(presenter: Spotlight: Tabard Theatre Company)

Desdemona Chiang
(panelist for “Bread & Circuits: Technology in/as Theatre”): See plenary bios.

Eugenie Chan
(panelist for “Being Agents of Change”) is a 5th generation San Franciscan. Her work includes Bone to Pick (Best of 2008 List, SF Bay Guardian); Madame Ho; Kitchen Table; Daphne Does Dim Sum; Rancho Grande; Emil, A Chinese Play; Novell-aah!; Pilgrim; Consent; Circus; and opera libretto Snakewoman. Theatres that have developed or produced her work include: West Coast: Cutting Ball Theater, SF Mime Troupe, Houston Grand Opera: HGOco, Magic Theatre, Thick Description, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Northwest Asian American Theatre, Group Theatre, East West Players and the Asian American Theater Company; East Coast: The Public, Playwrights Horizons, Ma-Yi, Centenary Stage, Pan Asian Rep and Perishable Theatre. Eugenie has received commissions from the Houston Grand Opera, Cutting Ball, the San Francisco Arts Commission, Magic/Sloan Science Initiative and the San Francisco Foundation. Currently, Eugenie is writing the San Francisco Mime Troupe 2014 summer show with local playwrights Tanya Shaffer and Michael Gene Sullivan and will present a workshop of her new piece 19 Wentworth Alley, Chinatown next spring at Z Below. Eugenie is a resident playwright at New Dramatists, playwright emerita at Cutting Ball, and alumna resident of the Playwrights Foundation. She is an adjunct professor in the Performing Arts & Social Justice program at University of San Francisco.

Megan Cohen
(panelist for “Offensive Theatre”) is a playwright, performer, and founding member of the San Francisco Neo-Futurists ensemble and was named one of SF Weekly’s “Top Theater Artists to Watch in 2013.” She was recently profiled in the Sept-Oct issue of Theatre Bay Area magazine as an artist to “Keep an Eye On” and is the most frequently produced female playwright in the Bay Area, with 30+ shows and readings in the last 14 months. With the Neo-Futurists, she writes for and performs in the open-ended run of their weekly show Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind, an Ever-Changing Attempt to Perform 30 Plays in 60 Minutes. Website: Twitter: @WayBetterThanTV

Don-Scott Cooper
(panelist for “Forging Business Partnerships: Finding Shared Goals Between Private Businesses and Nonprofit Theatres”), before joining ACT as general manager in 2011, managed more than 50 theatre productions in New York and was general manager at Second Stage Theatre for six seasons. Prior to joining Second Stage, he spent six seasons at Roundabout Theatre Company, where he managed Broadway and off-Broadway productions. Production highlights include the Pulitzer Prize–winning Next to Normal, the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award–winning Intimate Apparel, the Tony Award–nominated revival of A Day in the Death of Joe Egg, the Tony Award–winning revival of Big River, Anna Deavere Smith’s Let Me Down Easy, and the 2011 Lucille Lortel Award winner for best play, The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity. During his time at Roundabout, he worked on the construction and renovation of the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre and the Laura Pels Theatre; at Second Stage he managed the renovation of the Helen Hayes Theatre, which is to become Second Stage’s Broadway home in 2013. He has been on the negotiation committee for numerous collectively bargained union agreements. He has been a guest lecturer at New York University and an instructor at the Einhorn School of Performing Arts at Primary Stages. (From ACT company website.)

Bradley Diamond (panelist for “Uncommon Excellence: Teaching Artists and the Common Core”) is an experienced secondary English teacher who is currently serving as San Lorenzo Unified School District’s Teacher on Special Assignment for the Secondary Common Core State Standards Transition. A native of Southern California, Bradley taught all levels of high school English, as well as AVID, at El Monte High, a large public school. After moving to the Bay Area, she taught Speech and journalism at KIPP King Collegiate, a public charter school in San Lorenzo. For much of her tenure she has served as a grade level or content area lead teacher, always seeking to make change through meaningful teacher collaboration.

Robin Dolan (moderator for “Triumphantly Using Ticketing Technology”) is audience services manager at the Aurora Theatre, managing all front of house operations. She worked as box office manager with California Shakespeare Theater for seven years. Robin served as secretary of the Bay Area Professional Ticketing Association (BAPTA). She previously facilitated a workshop on Discount Ticketing at a TBA conference and presented a workshop on Retaining Young Audiences at the International Ticketing Association (INTIX) conference in 2011. Robin has BAs in theatre and music, has sung on several CDs with local folk music groups, and serves as Grove Talk speaker at Cal Shakes.

Patrick Dooley (panelist for “Successful Strategies for Putting More Women Onstage”) started Shotgun Players in the summer of 1992 with a handful of brave souls and a production of David Mamet’s Edmond at La Val’s Subterranean. Before that he received a BA in English from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia. While there he cut his theatre teeth as a founding member of the American Shakespeare Center, formerly Shenandoah Shakespeare. Since then, Patrick has directed more than 40 award-winning productions for Shotgun including: Tom Stoppard’s Coast of Utopia, Beardo by Jason Craig and Dave Malloy, Iphigenia at Aulis and The Bacchae by Euripides; Committed to using theatre as a means of community building, Patrick led an effort in 2007 to the make the Ashby Stage the first 100% solar powered theatre in America. Our Make a Difference campaign raises money to underwrite the cost of nearly 1,500 free tickets to Shotgun every year. Patrick is married and has three beautiful daughters, so he’s pretty busy at home too.

Ryan Drummond (panelist for “Meet Working Actors”) has been lucky enough to make his living solely as an actor/singer since 1993. He graduated from Eastern Michigan University with a theatre arts degree. He has numerous credits in the areas of film (Bring It On starring Kirsten Dunst), television (most recently in SF’s own Trauma), commercials (where he won an Emmy for a series of San Diego Padres commercials in which he starred), theme-park work, on-camera industrials, live industrials, print ads, cruise ship entertainment, singing telegram performer, voiceover artist (he has won Omni, Axium and Telly Awards for VO, as well as he was the official voice of Sonic the Hedgehog for Sega Gaming Corp. from 1998-2004), and he has also sung around the US, Canada, and Mexico as the bass of his a cappella group, the AYU Quartet. Locally, he has had the opportunity to work with the Willows Theatre, Diablo Theatre Company, Center Rep, TheatreWorks, Woodminster Summer Musicals, Shotgun Players, California Musical Theatre and 42nd St. Moon. He has received three Shellie Awards and two Bay Area Critics Circle Awards for his work in the Bay Area. In his spare time, he’s also a certified mime instructor, clown and fire eater. Next up for Ryan is the next two shows at 42nd St. Moon (Painting the Clouds with Sunshine and Du Barry Was a Lady). Ryan is a proud member of AEA, SAG-AFTRA and AGVA. Have a look at and also

Brad Erickson (moderator for “What is the Ideal Theatre Community?,” “Is the Bay Area an Ideal Theatre Community?” and “Framing the Value of the Arts”): See plenary insert.

Rebecca J. Ennals (panelist for “Being Agents of Change”) is the artistic director of the San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, where she has been a staff member since 2002. She has extensive acting, directing and teaching experience and holds a BA in Theatre and English from Scripps College and an MFA in Performance from UC Davis. As a director in the Bay Area, she has worked with PlayGround (where she is a company member), Peninsula Youth Theatre, Los Altos Youth Theatre, California Conservatory Theatre-San Leandro, Pear Ave. Theatre, Napa Valley Shakespeare Festival and Napa Valley Repertory Theatre. For the San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, she has directed eight Shakespeare on Tour productions and written classroom curriculum for seven of them, all of which cover state standards for English Language and Performing Arts. For Civic Arts Stage Company (a program of SF Shakes), Rebecca has directed multiple productions that bring together community children and professional actors to explore classic stories. Rebecca currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Shakespeare Theatre Association and the Gender Parity Advisory Committee of Theatre Bay Area. She is deeply interested in issues of access and representation, especially in the classical theatre. She blogs at

Kat Evasco (panelist for “Offensive Theatre”) is a writer, stand up comic and performing artist living and working in San Francisco. Kat co-created and coproduced The Bakla Show I and II (2007, 2010), highlighting experiences of the queer Filipino community. She competed in the 2010 San Francisco International Comedy Competition and has performed at venues including the Haha Cafe, San Jose Improv, the Purple Onion, Napa Valley Opera House and the Logan Center for the Arts. Drawing on her experience as a standup comic and comedic actress, Evasco recently premiered her autobiographical one-woman show, Mommy Queerest, and received rave reviews. This new work chronicles the coming-out process of a lesbian daughter and a closeted lesbian mother, illustrating how the reclaiming of their sexuality challenges and strengthens their relationship. Mounted as a solo performance, Mommy Queerest aims to celebrate sexuality, eradicate homophobia and break cycles of abuse. Copresented by Guerrilla Rep and DIVAfest, Mommy Queerest made its premiere at the EXIT Theatre in San Francisco on February 28, 2014 and is now getting geared to tour nationally. 

Katie Fahey (panelist for “Confident Decision Making: Data as a Means to Smarter Administration”) is associate program officer, arts for the Kenneth Rainin Foundation, a private family foundation which offers funding for small and midsize dance, theatre and multidisciplinary performing arts organizations. She supports the grants process for the foundation’s arts program which includes the Visibility Awards and Impact Grants Program, as well as the recent Imagining Central Market initiative. In addition to her grant making responsibilities, Ms. Fahey provides research and administrative support for the Community Arts Stabilization Trust (CAST), an organization dedicated to increasing the capitalization of arts and cultural organizations to purchase or lease space. Ms. Fahey was previously the managing director of the Red Poppy Art House in San Francisco and worked in development at the Art Institute of Chicago. She also held positions with the Cultural Attaché of the Canadian Embassy in Washington, D.C. and the City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs. Ms. Fahey earned an MA in Arts Administration and Policy from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Safiya Fredericks
(presenter for “Working Actors”) originally hails from Oakland, CA. In a family steeped in musical tradition, it was only natural that she got her start in acting and singing at the age of 10 with the former Young Actors Workshop of Contra Costa College. After studying at the University of California Irvine and the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA), she made her New York stage debut as Ernestine in an off-off Broadway production of Lynn Nottage’s Crumbs from the Table of Joy. While living in New York Ms. Fredericks was also featured in The Civilians in the Footprint (the Gallery Players), Mrs. Bob Cratchit’s Wild Christmas Binge (The Ghost) and Irving St. Rep’s touring production of Smokey Joe’s Café (Pati.) She has most recently been seen in TheatreWorks’ Once on This Island (Asaka), 42nd St. Moon’s It’s a Bird...It’s a Plane...Its Superman! (Sydney), African-American Shakespeare Company’s Merry Wives of Windsor (M. Page), San Jose Repertory Theatre’s Antigone (Antigone) and Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson at SF Playhouse. 

Nick Gabriel (presenter for “Meet Working Actors”)

Durand Garcia (presenter for “En Garde! Fight Demonstration and Safety Consultations”), a San Francisco native and teaching artist, is an actor, director, member of SAG and fight choreographer who has worked on over a hundred productions. He has trained in stage combat since 1992. His studies include training with fight masters J. R. Beardsley, Dale Girard, Richard Ryan and J. Allen Suddeth, as well as with master teacher Gregory Hoffman. As a fight choreographer he has worked with the Sacramento Opera, Anima Mundi Dance Co., Lorraine Hansberry Theatre Co., Hillbarn Theatre Co., Diamond City Playhouse, Shotgun Players, Last Planet Theatre Co., Notre Dame de Namur University, Contra Costa College, San Francisco State University, San Francisco Cabaret Opera Co., Shady Shakespeare, Teatro Didactico Popular, Dragon Productions Theatre Co., Palo Alto High School, Performing Arts High School, Pinole Valley High School, Washington High School and the African-American Arts and Cultural Complex among others. Since 1998 Mr. Garcia has been the resident fight director for African-American Shakespeare Co. Durand is an apprentice teacher with Dueling Arts International and is twice certified as an actor/combatant with the Society of American Fight Directors. His dance and movement training includes workshops with Yoshi Oida, dance with Kei Takei, Suzuki Technique with Jeffery Bihr, and various forms of yoga. He is a member of the Screen Actors Guild, Society of American Fight Directors and National Association of Latino Independent Producers, and he is an affiliated artist with BorderZone Arts, Inc. Related martial arts training includes Kali, Escrima and Iaido as well as firearms training with Brian Normandy and Scott Jackson. Through his company, Fight Action Associates, he provides fight coordination/choreography, theatrical fight training and weapons/firearms safety training services for the theatre and motion picture industries and has provided fight coordination for 23 indie films. Durand offers a unique set of training techniques that help actor/combatants retain what they are taught and thus learn quicker. He is a faculty member at the Academy of Art University where he teaches stage combat. He is currently completing his Master of Arts in Drama at SFSU.

David Gluck (speed consultant) is a San Francisco-based nonprofit arts consultant specializing in finance and strategic planning. Current and past clients include Intersection for the Arts, the Jewish Theatre San Francisco, AXIS Dance Company, Playwrights Foundation, Climate Theater, GroundSpark, TheatreWorks, San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, Stern Grove Festival Association, San Francisco Girls Chorus, San Francisco Center for the Book, Headlands Center for the Arts, the Book Club of California, New Century Chamber Orchestra, Golden Gate University, Theatre of Yugen, Boxcar Theatre, Crowded Fire, the Marsh, Afro Solo, Zaccho Dance Theatre, Luna Kids Dance and Berkeley Playhouse, among others. David has served as both managing director and finance director of Magic Theatre, and as development director of California Shakespeare Theater. He is also an experienced commercial theatre producer and general manager, having served for two years as senior management executive in London on the long-running Tony and Olivier Award-winning production of the musical Chicago, as well as producing Man of Rock at the 2011 New York Musical Theatre Festival and serving as general manager on the 2006 San Francisco commercial transfer of Marin Theatre Company’s Killer Joe. David was appointed to the San Francisco Arts Task Force in 2005, and currently serves as a board member and treasurer of both Theatre Bay Area and the San Francisco Arts Democratic Club. He received an MBA in Arts Management from UCLA Anderson and a BA from Princeton University.

Addie Gorlin (moderator for Playwrights Cabaret”) is a freelance director. At the Cutting Ball Theater, Addie has directed a staged reading of Andrew Saito’s Five Tries, worked as M. Graham Smith’s assistant director for Cutting Ball’s fall production Sidewinders, and served as the artistic fellow for Ubu Roi. Her upcoming directing projects include a staged reading of Mordecai Ettinger’s Chokehold and a workshop production of Five Tries. Addie has also served as Marissa Wolf’s assistant director for Crowded Fire Theater’s The Bereaved. Before moving to San Francisco, Addie worked at several theatre companies in the Twin Cities, such as Stages Theatre and the Children’s Theatre Company. She graduated from Dartmouth College in 2011, and has since worked with Teach for America as middle school drama and English teacher. 

Jeanette Harrison
(panelist for “Playwright Residency Programs”): Passionate about new plays, Jeanette has produced 15 world premieres with AlterTheater Ensemble, which she cofounded, and ran the new works program the Global Age Project at Aurora Theatre in Berkeley. With AlterTheater, she codirected The River Bride by Marisela Treviño Orta, and appeared onstage in Fool for Love by Sam Shepard; References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot by Jose Rivera; in the Lauren Yee commission A Man, his Wife, and his Hat; the Bay Area premiere of Nilo Cruz’s Two Sisters and a Piano; Lynn Nottage’s Intimate Apparel and Owners by Caryl Churchill, among others. With the Cutting Ball Theater, she appeared in the award-winning production (Best Ensemble, Best Production) of …and Jesus Moonwalks the Mississippi. In the Bay Area, she has worked with Berkeley Rep, Magic Theatre, Golden Thread Productions, Woman’s Will, Sonoma County Rep, San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, and more.

Sylvia Hathaway (moderator for “Engaging Tweens in Out of School Time Arts Activities”) is a theatre artist and educator who serves as the conservatory director at New Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco. She has a diverse background in teaching in and through the arts, including experience leading early childhood art, music and dance classes with Habitot Children’s Museum, teaching science lessons through theatre with TheatreWorks, and teaching literacy through playmaking with Berkeley Repertory Theater. She has also led theatre education programs as drama school manager with TheatreWorks and as camp director with Fairyland Performing Arts Camp. Since fall 2012, she has been teaching empowerment and conflict resolution workshops for young girls through Girls Leadership Institute, Oakland. As an artist, Sylvia enjoys working on new plays, dance theatre and devised work. She is passionate about creating theatre with and for youth, and strives to produce and support performing art works that are relevant and vital to communities whose voices are not typically encouraged in society. She holds a BA in Theatre from IUP in Pennsylvania.

Stephanie Alyson Henderson (moderator for “Tech & Design/Director & Producer Speed Dating”) is proud to be the production manager of Crowded Fire Theater, as well as the seasonal production stage manager for LEVYdance. She has also worked with the Cutting Ball Theater, Altarena Playhouse, Berkeley Playhouse, DanceArt and Joe Goode Performance Group. Favorite projects include The Bereaved (Crowded Fire, PSM, 2013); The Hundred Flowers Project (Crowded Fire, PM, 2012); Exit, Pursued by a Bear (Crowded Fire, SM, 2011); and AMP (LEVYdance with Sidra Ball Dance NY, home season and tour, 2012-13). In November 2011, Theatre Bay Area awarded Stephanie a Landisman Fellowship in recognition of her promising work. Stephanie holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theater and Performance Studies from UC Berkeley, where she received a 2010 Mask and Dagger Award for Extraordinary Contributions to the Department of Theater, Dance and Performance Studies. Contact:

Melissa Hillman (panelist for “Navigating Social Media for Individuals”) is the artistic director of Impact Theatre in Berkeley. She holds a PhD in Dramatic Art from UC Berkeley and teaches at Cal, the Berkeley Rep School of Theatre and Maybeck High School. Melissa blogs as Bitter Gertrude at

Philip Huang (panelist for “Offensive Theatre”): is the founder of the Home Theater Festival, and the Dana Street Theater in Berkeley.  He is also the winner of the Goldie Award in Theater in 2012.  He is very pleased to be here today.

Cindy Im (presenter for “Successful Strategies for Putting More Women Onstage,” presenter for “Meet Working Actors,” panelist for “Greater Race and Ethnic Representation): Cindy’s credits include Twelfth Night (Cal Shakes), The Snow Queen (San Jose Repertory Theatre), 410[Gone] and The Hundred Flowers Project (Crowded Fire Theater), Stuck Elevator and 4000 Miles (American Conservatory Theater), The World of Extreme Happiness (Goodman Theatre), Spring Awakening (Center Repertory Company), and the U.S. and French national touring companies of 11 Septembre 2001 (Theatre Dijon Bourgogne/REDCAT Center for New Performance). She will appear next in American Conservatory Theater and La Jolla Playhouse’s coproduction of The Orphan of Zhao. Cindy is a recipient of the 2013 TCG Fox Resident Actor Fellowship for Extraordinary Potential with TheatreWorks and holds an MFA in Acting from CalArts. 

Lily Janiak (Space Rental Lab) is the listings editor for Theatre Bay Area. Her arts journalism and criticism have appeared in SF Weekly, HowlRound and the Village Voice. Previously, she was an instructor in theatre writing at San Francisco State University, where she got her master’s degree. She got her BA in Theatre Studies from Yale.

Heather Johnson (panelist for “Confident Decision Making: Data as a Means to Smarter Administration”) has spent over 20 years working in the field of evaluation. She currently serves as the evaluation officer at one of the largest community foundations in the United States, the Marin Community Foundation (MCF). At MCF she helps measure the effectiveness of the organization’s strategic plan, and provides evaluation technical assistance to grantees. Prior to her work with MCF, Heather worked as a health educator for Health and Human Services, where she provided education and evaluation services to the Mental Health and Alcohol/Drug Service departments. Prior to this, she spent 15 years working at a private evaluation consulting firm in Northern California where she evaluated over 100 projects that served vulnerable populations. Heather’s passion is helping nonprofit and government organizations see the power of making data driven decisions. She believes data can uncover serious social issues and help organizations improve their practice. Heather holds a BA in Sociology with a minor in Child Development and also has a Masters of Administration in Social Science with an emphasis in Health Services. She is a big fan of music and enjoys singing and playing the guitar with her band, Hangar 6.

Kiku Johnson (panelist for “Engaging Tweens in Out of School Time Arts Activities”) is the director of programs at Girls Leadership Institute (GLI) and has 25 years of nonprofit experience with a youth development approach model rooted from her past work with the High/Scope Education Research Foundation. Seventeen of these years have been centered with girls! She is a dynamic facilitator and educator with a strong passion for working with girls and young women to build their confidence, capacity and persistence in learning and life. Studying drawing and photography at the University of Michigan, Kiku developed a love for inspiring youth through project-based learning and outdoor adventure programming. She has primarily worked with youth from urban communities that are primarily lower access including Southwest Detroit, Boston, Oakland and rural West Virginia. Currently, in her work with GLI, she coaches educators nationally and develops Social Emotional Learning curriculum cornerstoned with educational theatre helping girls and families build healthy relationships and assertive self-expression through role-play and game playing. She brings a diverse background in grant writing, program development and curriculum design and implementation. Previously, she invested eight years managing STEM (science, tech, engineering & math) focused college and career preparation programs for middle and high school girls with Girls Incorporated of Alameda County, centered in Oakland. Though the Bay Area is home to Kiku and her partner today, her soul is of Midwest roots, hailing from Michigan. Additionally, she has a flair for “hands on” and “minds on” creative expression, having built houses, and loves stained glass and mosaics.

Stephanie Johnson (speed consultant) is a second-generation theatre worker whose mother, Virginia E. Greene, worked with the American Negro Theater in NY. In a career that spans more than three decades, she has designed lighting for local companies such as Cultural Odyssey (SF), Anne Bluethenthal & Dancers (SF), Dimensions Dance Theater (Oakland), and the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame (Oakland). Nationally, her work has been seen at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the Arizona Repertory Theater, La Mama Theater (NY) and the National Black Theater Festival (North Carolina). Her international credits include shows in India, the Netherlands, Italy, France, Canada and Belgium. She has also taught theatre in women’s prisons in Massachusetts and California. As a visual artist, Stephanie Anne Johnson’s installations and mixed media sculptures preserve and honor the history of Africans using slide projections, objects and light in settings such as railroad stations, churches, cemeteries and galleries. Johnson has had one-person exhibitions at the African American Historical Society (SF) and the Sargent Johnson Gallery (SF) In addition to her theatre and visual arts activities, Dr. Johnson serves on the Berkeley Civic Arts Commission and teaches at California State University, Monterey Bay.

Patrick Kelly Jones (panelist for “Meet Working Actors”) has been working as a professional actor for over ten years. Currently he is performing in Tom Stoppard’s Coast of Utopia Trilogy at Shotgun Players. In the Bay Area, Patrick has worked with Berkeley Rep, Marin Theatre Company, the Magic, SF Playhouse, TheatreWorks, San Jose Rep, the Aurora and more. He’s also worked around the country with such theatres as the Florida Studio Theater, the Cleveland Play House, the Kentucky Shakespeare Festival, the Denver Center and the New York Classical Theater. He is a proud member of AEA and SAG/AFTRA. He holds an MFA in Acting from Case Western Reserve University.

Nathaniel Justiniano (panelist for “Offensive Theatre”) is an award-winning actor/creator and teacher, as well as the founder of Naked Empire Bouffon Company. His satirical performances are usually characterized by grotesque costuming, outrageous physical comedy, audience interaction, tragic resonance, poetic imagery and profound social relevance. In 2007, under the direction of Master Teacher Giovanni Fusetti, he cocreated Pax Americana, a satire of war as seen through the lens of United States history, and EUOI!, a bouffon experiment in ecstatic ritual, inspired by the research of anthropologist Barbara Ehrenreich. In 2009 he led the creation of Shame!, Naked Empire’s skewering of the San Francisco queer community. His one-man show, Cousin Cruelty’s Compulsion, addresses the use of institutional violence in society and was one of the offerings in the 2011 International Home Theatre Festival, as well as the subject of a feature column in the San Francisco Bay Guardian. Last year, he cocreated and performed in You Killed Hamlet, a satire about avoiding death which won critical acclaim, the San Francisco Best of the Fringe Award, the Vancouver/Plank Magazine Talk of the Fringe Award and a nomination for Vancouver’s Georgia Straight Critic’s Pick Award and was an official selection of the Toronto Festival of Clowns. He also teaches bouffon workshops in the US and Canada, for which he was honored with the SF Bay Guardian’s Best of the Bay award for Best Romp with Your Inner Psychopath. He is currently devising a one-person bouffon show celebrating class privilege that will tour internationally in 2015.

Min Kahng (panelist for “Greater Race and Ethnic Representation) is a Bay Area playwright/composer and a recipient of the 2014 Theatre Bay Area Titan playwright award. His works include Where the Mountain Meets the Moon: A Musical Adaptation (Bay Area Children’s Theatre, a Theatre Bay Area Awards recommended production), The Song of the Nightingale (Altarena Playhouse, nominated for a SFBATCC Award for Original Musical) and Tales of Olympus: A Greek Myth Musical (Bay Area Children’s Theatre). Kahng has worked as director and music director for many local theatre productions including Shout! The Mod Musical (Tri-Valley Repertory Theatre) and The Last Five Years (TVRT). Kahng also works as the marketing manager for Bay Area Children’s Theatre. He holds a degree in music from the University of California, Berkeley.

Sabrina Klein (panelist for “Uncommon Excellence: Teaching Artists and the Common Core”) is a founding member of and advisor to the Teaching Artist Support Collaborative (TASC) of California and serves as cochair for the working group on teaching artists for CREATE CA, a collaboration between the California Arts Council and the Department of Education. Trained in the Lincoln Center Institute for Arts in education methodology, she is a teacher and artist trainer around the state through her own consulting business, Creative Education Consulting. In her past lives, she has been executive director of Teaching Artists Organized (now Teaching Artists Guild), the Julia Morgan Center for the Arts (now Berkeley Playhouse) and Theatre Bay Area (still Theatre Bay Area, thank goodness!).  Her clients have included such diverse arts and education organizations as Golden Thread Productions, ACT, Alameda County Office of Education, Montalvo Arts Center and Cal Performances.

Alan Kline (panelist for “Confident Decision Making: Data as a Means to Smarter Administration”) is Theatre Bay Area’s marketing resources coordinator. Originally hired to run the advertising program, he now also oversees the TIX program, the Postcard Distribution Network and the Audience Database (previously known as the Really Big List, previously known as the Bay Area Arts and Culture Census). Previously he was the assistant box office manager for Cal Shakes, where he had worked with artistic learning, casting and new works as well. He received his BA in Theatre and Dance from Oberlin. after which he stage managed locally for a number of years. Now, in addition to his work with TBA, he is on the board for East Bay Waltz and has taught and DJed at half a dozen social dances around the Bay Area.

Nick Knave (panelist for “Offensive Theatre”): After a very successful career as a Bay Area juvenile delinquent, Nick Knave turned his eye and mind to the world of puppetry. Learning from master puppeteer Basil Twist, Nick promptly forgot everything he was taught and instead makes hilariously low brow, blood splattered and lurid bits of “Puppetsploitation” theatre. Not wanting to leave the kiddies out of the fun, he devotes a large amount of time to busking the Flat Broke Puppet Co., his all ages, street and subway show, starring the ever unflappable Wolfie T. Wolfe; the only puppet wolf that has charges against him by the SFPD. Nick also curates the only beatnik, adult puppet salon in the Bay Area, PuppetLand: Confidential. He is a regular in the burlesque and drag circuits and is probably the butchest faggot you’ll see here today. Buy him a coffee.

Sara Kraft (panelist for “Bread & Circuits: Technology in/as Theatre”) is an interdisciplinary artist, performer, director, writer, designer, producer and educator. Her award-winning original work has gained acclaim for its unique fusion of live performance, multimedia, site responsive installation and layered physical, visual and textual narratives. Transcending the use of media and technology in performance as background or spectacle, her work often directly questions our complex relationship with these tools and the nature of live embodied experience itself. Kraft is founding director of KraftyWork and was 1/2 of the multimedia performance collaborative Kraft + Purver. Her work has been supported, commissioned and/or presented by YBCA, Z Space, Headlands Center for the Arts, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, EMPAC NY, ODC Theater, Counterpulse, SOMArts, the David Brower Center, the Ontological-Hysteric Theatre, 3 Legged Dog, EXIT Theatre; the HERE American Living Room, DanceChicago, FRESH, TIWIW and SF International Arts Festivals; the Kenneth Rainin Foundation, the Zellerbach Family Fund, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the SF Arts Commission, Theatre Bay Area CA$H, Chicago CAAP and others. Kraft holds a BS in Performance Studies from Northwestern University.


Lindsay Krumbein (panelist for “Forging Business Partnerships: Finding Shared Goals Between Private Businesses and Nonprofit Theatres”) is a director and a designer, a teacher and a dreamer, a collaborator and a life-long student, is the executive artistic director of Gritty City Repertory Youth Theatre in Oakland. She is passionate about providing opportunities for young people through dynamic, cutting edge theatre. After teaching English and theatre for 10 years at a variety of schools in the Bay Area, she realized her greatest strength lies in establishing and working with student ensembles, where all participants thrive emotionally, intellectually and artistically, so she founded Gritty City Rep in 2012. She has produced and directed 13 shows with talented youth performers since 2002, including Shakespeare’s The Tempest, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Macbeth and The Comedy of Errors, Anon(ymous) by Naomi Iizuka and Caught Up, an original work Lindsay cocreated with playwright Tom Bruett. Coming in May is Sharman Macdonald’s After Juliet, which will be the very first show staged at Oakland’s newest theatre, the Flight Deck, where Gritty City Repertory is now a resident company. Lindsay is also the youth coordinator for SF Playhouse in San Francisco, where she has worked in the education program for the last five years.

Liz Lisle (panelist “Forging Business Partnerships: Finding Shared Goals Between Private Businesses and Nonprofit Theatres”) has worked in nonprofit theatre arts and management since arriving in the Bay Area in 2000. For the past 13 years she has served as managing director for Shotgun Players, establishing a strong commitment to smart artistic growth and an increased focus on new play development within the company. In addition to her work with Shotgun Players, Ms. Lisle has served as the associate artistic director for Mugwumpin and as a dramaturg for several local companies.

Kristin Margolis (panelist for “Framing the Value of the Arts”)

Rami Margron (presenter for “Successful Strategies for Putting More Women Onstage”): Rami’s recent credits include Twelfth Night and Lady Windermere’s Fan (Cal Shakes), Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol (Marin Theatre Company), Pericles (Berkeley Rep), Precious Little (Shotgun Players), Dogsbody (Intersection for the Arts, La Mama NYC) and He Moved Swiftly but Gently Down the Not Too Crowded Street (Dancers’ Group). Other Bay Area companies she has worked with: SF Shakes, Magic Theatre, Shotgun Players, Crowded Fire Theater, Mugwumpin, Willows Theater, Woman’s Will, Word for Word, Pacific Rep, Town Hall Theatre, the Pear Ave Theater, City Circus and a handful of dance companies. She studied acting at the Bennett Theatre Lab in SF, clown and buffoon in Paris and over twenty styles of dance and movement in the US, Haiti, Cuba, Brazil and Indonesia. She is a company member of Crowded Fire Theater and Rara Tou Limen Haitian dance company.

Susannah Martin (presenter for “Successful Strategies for Putting More Women Onstage”) is a director, teacher and theatre maker who has worked with organizations throughout the Bay Area. Her work has been honored with three Dean Goodman Choice Awards and several Bay Area Critic’s Circle, Shellie Award and Broadway World Award nominations. Recent projects include directing Stephen Sondheim’s Assassins for Shotgun Players (where she is associate artistic director), George Brandt’s Grounded for the NNPN/San Francisco Playhouse and Laura Jacqmin’s And when we awoke there was light and light for Saint Mary’s College. Upcoming projects include Ariel Luckey’s Amnesia, a new piece about race and immigration; Blockbuster Season, a devised piece made in collaboration with Mugwumpin, about disasters, their aftermath and the distorted filter of Hollywood movies; and Thornton Wilder’s Our Town with Shotgun Players.

Leslie Martinson (panelist for “Greater Race and Ethnic Representation) is the associate artistic director at TheatreWorks, where she has worked for more than 25 years as a director, casting director and administrator. Her recent TheatreWorks directing credits include Warrior Class, Time Stands Still, The Pitmen Painters and Superior Donuts. She has also directed productions for Shakespeare’s Associates, Underworld Opera, First Seen and City Lights Theatre Company. A graduate of Occidental College and the University of Sussex, England, she has been a Watson Fellow in British Political Fringe Theatre, twice a member of the Lincoln Center Directors’ Lab and a member of the La MaMa International Directing Symposium in Spoleto, Italy. She has served on Theatre Bay Area’s Theatre Services Committee since 2002, as chair of the auditions committee, as an initiator and guest speaker in the ATLAS program and as an awards panelist for Titan grants. She leads master classes, workshops and panels for many Bay Area universities, academies and theatre companies. She was awarded the Arts Council of Silicon Valley Individual Artist Fellowship in Stage Direction for artistic achievement and community impact and was one of Theatre Bay Area’s 2012 35 Years, 35 Faces honorees.

Nina Meehan (moderator for “Uncommon Excellence: Teaching Artists and the Common Core”) is a founding company member of Bay Area Children’s Theatre, where she has directed James and the Giant Peach, Little Women, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, Pippi Longstocking and many others. She is an award-winning youth theatre director, most recently winning Outstanding Achievements in Acting at the Broadway Jr. Festival in Atlanta, GA for her youth production of Pirates of Penzance. Nina was recognized as one of the 35 Faces of Theatre Bay Area and a “Mom who Rocks” by Red Tricycle. She has worked throughout the Bay Area as an actress, educator, storyteller and director. Nina received her BS in Theatre from Northwestern University and her master’s in Nonprofit Administration from the University of San Francisco. She is mom to Toby (age 5) and Robby (age 2).

Rob Melrose (panelist for “Playwright Residency Programs”): See plenary bios.

Patricia Miller (panelist for “How Individual Artists Can Galvanize Support for Their Work”) is the artistic director of Pollinator: a hive of creative talent, a nexus of classical theatre genres and new work in play with physical theatre, circus, opera ritual and performance. Pollinator blurs the lines between performance and reality and between audience and spectator. Patricia is based in London/San Francisco and brings a diversity of experience to theatre directing, teaching and acting. She is interested in a strong dynamic between text work and physical theatre techniques. She works in many genres raging from classics to new play development, modern works and live arts genres (performance, circus, ritual and opera). Her work has been seen all over the UK, including Edinburgh premieres, Europe and California. She has an MFA in Directing from UC Davis. US directing venues include Magic Theatre, Tides Theatre, Ashby Stage, New Conservatory Theatre, UC Davis, UC Riverside, Berkeley Rep School, Exit Theatre, Teatro Zinzanni. UK directing includes Mountview Theatre School, London; Contact Theatre, Manchester; Riverside Studios, London; National Youth Theatre; Edinburgh Festival. Bay Area acting highlights include Magic Theatre, TheatreWorks, Shotgun Players, NCTC, Pacific Playback, Mystic Family Circus/Cirque du Soleil. Teaching credits include: Berkeley Rep, UC Davis, UC Riverside, California Shakespeare, SF Shakespeare, NCTC, Aurora Theatre Education. Casting director: Kinetic Productions, Magic Theatre, Aurora Theatre, Playwrights Foundation, also film and commercial projects.

Richard Mosqueda (panelist for “Triumphantly Using Ticketing Technology”) currently serves as box office manager for American Conservatory Theater. Previously, Richard has held positions of box office manager for Marin Theatre Company and assistant patron services manager for Magic Theatre, as well as box office work for SHN and Theatre Bay Area (TIX). In addition to his ticketing experience, Richard has also served as literary manager for AlterTheater Ensemble in San Rafael and is an active member of Magic Theatre’s literary committee.

Peter Sinn Nachtrieb
(panelist for “Playwright Residency Programs”), 6’6”, is a San Francisco-based playwright whose works include boom (TCG’s most produced play 2009-10), BOB (2011 Humana Festival for New American Plays at Actor’s Theatre of Louisville, Barrie and Bernice Stavis Award), T.I.C. (Trenchcoat In Common), Hunter Gatherers (2007 ATCA/Steinberg New Play Award, 2007 Will Glickman Award), Colorado and Litter: The True Story of the Framingham Dodecutuplets. His work has been seen off-Broadway and across the country, including at Ars Nova, SPF, Woolly Mammoth, Seattle Repertory, Actors Theatre of Louisville, San Diego Rep and in the Bay Area at ACT, Encore Theatre, Killing My Lobster, Marin Theatre Company, Impact Theatre and the Bay Area Playwrights Festival. His newest play, The Totalitarians, is receiving its NNPN rolling world premiere in 2014 at Southern Rep, Woolly Mammoth and Z Space. He is also working on an original musical called Fall Springs: A Musical Disaster. Peter holds a degree in theatre and biology from Brown and an MFA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University. Peter is a member of New Dramatists and is the Playwright in Residence at the Z Space Studio in San Francisco. He likes to promote himself online at


Lisa Niedermeyer (Space Rental Lab) is a program director at Fractured Atlas. Prior to joining Fractured Atlas she was the digital projects manager for Jacob’s Pillow Dance. Noteworthy projects include the launch of Jacob’s Pillow Dance Interactive, an open source engagement platform for performance archives and mobile marketing for the international media firm Soundwalk. Lisa spent her first 10 years in NYC dancing with Jane Comfort and Doug Elkins. She grew up on the edge of the Snake River Canyon in Southern Idaho.

Evren Odcikin (panelist for “How Individual Artists Can Galvanize Support for Their Work”) is a Turkish-American director based in San Francisco and the literary artistic associate for Golden Thread Productions. For Golden Thread, he directed the West Coast premiere of Yussef El Guindi’s Language Rooms, which moved to the Los Angeles Theater Center after a successful San Francisco run (critic’s pick for Los Angeles Times), the West Coast premiere of Mona Mansour’s Urge For Going, the world premiere of Denmo Ibrahim’s ECSTASY | a waterfable and the short plays Birds Flew In by El Guindi, Orhan by E. H. Benedict and 22 Minutes Remaining by Ignacio Zulueta as part of the ReOrient Festival. For the company, he has produced the world premiere of Torange Yeghiazarian’s 444 Days and the annual new play reading series New Threads for the last three years and has led the selection process for and helped produce the ReOrient 2012 Festival and Forum. His other Bay Area directing credits include the world premiere of Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig’s 410[GONE] and the West Coast premiere of Jonas Hassen Khemiri’s Invasion! for Crowded Fire Theater; The Oldest Profession (two Bay Area Theatre Critics’ Circle nominations) and Machinal (three BATCC Award nominations including best director and best production) for Brava Theater Center; the West Coast premiere of David Bell’s The Play About the Naked Guy for Impact Theatre (“Honorable Mention,” Bay Area Reporter); and Rhino for Boxcar Theatre (“Most Inventive Staging of 2010″ from SF Weekly, “Best Play of 2010″ from SF Bay Times). He has directed readings and workshops at American Conservatory Theater, Magic Theatre, Aurora Theatre Company, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Golden Thread Productions, Crowded Fire Theater and Cutting Ball. A graduate of Princeton University, Evren was awarded the 2013 Titan Award for directors by Theatre Bay Area and selected as an Emerging Theatre Leader by TCG for its American Express Leadership Bootcamp. Upcoming: the world premiere of Christopher Chen’s Mutt for Impact Theatre and Ferocious Lotus.

Doyle Ott (panelist for “How Individual Artists Can Galvanize Support for Their Work”): Doyle Ott is a performer and director with 20 years of professional experience. He holds certificates from the Clown Conservatory in San Francisco and the Centro Maschere e Strutture Gestuale in Italy, and has trained at Circus Center, the Dell'Arte School, and with the SITI company. He is artistic director of Splash Circus in Emeryville, CA and performs regularly with Lunatique Fantastique.

Bruce Pachtman (speed consultant): For the past 15 years, Bruce Pachtman has worked in the Bay Area as a producer, publicist and marketing director. His client list includes theatre, dance and opera companies, solo performers, comedy improv groups, stand-up comics, bands and performing arts series. Prior to this, Bruce was an arts administrator in New York City for the Manhattan Punchline Theater and the First All Children’s Theater as well as a performer. His solo show don’t make me look too psychotic ran in San Francisco and on the East Coast for a total of 100 weeks. He also produced and publicized the show, which led other performers to approach him for assistance. One of those performers was W. Kamau Bell, whose long-running solo show, The W. Kamau Bell Curve: ending racism in about an hour, was seen by Chris Rock. With Rock’s guidance, Bell became the host of Totally Biased on the FX Network. Bruce currently coproduces three highly-regarded series at Stage Werx Theater: Solo Sundays, The Vent and Underground Sound. All three were highlighted in last year’s SF Bay Guardian Best of the Bay issue.

Carrie Paff (panelist for “Meet Working Actors”) has worked as an actress and educator both nationally and internationally. Her theatrical credits include leading roles at ACT, Marin Theatre Company, Aurora Theatre Company, Arizona Theatre Company, Magic Theatre, San Francisco Playhouse, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, London’s Leicester Square Theatre, San Jose Repertory Theatre, ACT Seattle, Center REP, Woman’s Will, Word for Word and Shakespeare Santa Cruz. Film credits include Quitters, Love & Taxes, A Fighting Season, Presque Isle and Opal’s Diary, as well as the educational films This Is Macbeth and This Is Hamlet. She holds a master’s degree in Educational Theatre from New York University and is the cofounder of StageWrite, Building Literacy through Theatre. Carrie was recently named one of the “Ten Bay Area Actors We Love” by the San Jose Mercury News.

Karen Altree Piemme (panelist for “Uncommon Excellence: Teaching Artists and the Common Core”) is the director of outreach for San Jose Rep, where she was invited in 1993 to help develop and expand its Red Ladder Theatre Company, for which she is associate director. Ms. Piemme additionally develops and implements the Rep’s many education and outreach programs, including internships, job shadowing, classroom study guides, acting classes, artists-in-schools and the Creative Playshop Series—a unique program for children and families that has been replicated by other regional theatres. As an active Bay Area theatre staff member and community leader, Ms. Piemme is a community mentor, often appears as a guest speaker and serves as a member of the Theatre Services Committee for Theatre Bay Area. Ms. Piemme is an accomplished director, actor and acting instructor specializing in youth and community access. She received her degree in Acting and Directing from Syracuse University and also trained in England at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts.

Benjamin Pither (panelist for “Meet Working Actors”) is a Bay Area-based professional actor. Recent credits include 1776 at American Conservatory Theater (Joseph Hewes) and The Wiz at Berkeley Playhouse (Lion), where he also played Horton in Seussical (BATCC nomination). At Center REPertory Company, he played Vinnie in Lucky Stiff and Dennis in All Shook Up (BATCC/Shellie nominations). He has also performed with foolsFURY Theater, California Shakespeare Theater, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Custom Made Theatre Company, PlayGround and 42nd Street Moon. Pither has numerous film, web-spot, commercial and voiceover credits. Up next, he’ll be appearing in The Music Man (Marcellus) at Pacific Coast Repertory Theatre. A recipient of Theatre Bay Area’s 2010 TITAN Award, he earned his BA in Theatre Arts from Brandeis University with highest honors.

Scott Ragle (Panelist for “Navigating Social Media for Individuals”) started his acting career in San Francisco. He’s currently shooting the sci-fi short Beacon and recently worked on the hit web series Old Dogs & New Tricks. Upcoming productions for 2014 include Macbeth (We Players) and Long Day’s Journey into Night (Waterfront Playhouse). Recent credits include Write Dirty to Me (Bay One Acts Festival), Lawfully Wedded (Wily West Productions), Marat/Sade (Thrillpeddlers), Antony & Cleopatra (Marin Shakespeare Company), Comedy Ballet (Dark Porch Theatre), the 24-Hour Play Festival and many more. Regional credits: Much Ado About Nothing (with Danny Beaty); Romeo & Juliet (with Manu Narayan); Shakespeare & Company (Lenox, MA). Off-Off Broadway: I Love My Wife. He has trained with Shakespeare & Company, ACT & Berkeley Rep School of Theatre; he has extensive training in stage combat, voiceover (VoiceOne), commercial and improv (Bay Area Theatre Sports). More info at: or @scottragle.

Rob Ready (panelist for “Offensive Theatre”) is the artistic director of PianoFight, the marketing & business development manager at Z Space and a Canadian. He holds a BFA in Acting from NYU and regularly produces/directs and acts in shows around the Bay Area. Recently, his company PianoFight completed a $1.2 million capital campaign for its new space at 144 Taylor Street in SF, which will open in the next few months. Rob will also be moderating the unsanctioned “Whiskey Breakout Session,” happening outside around 4 p.m. with an excellent panel of bourbon-loving artists. 

Michelle Lynch Reynolds (Space Rental Lab) came to the Bay Area from her native Pennsylvania in 2005 to pursue a career in dance. She received her BA in Dance and International Studies from Goucher College in Baltimore and an MA in Dance Theatre: the Body in Performance from the Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in London. In addition to experience in institutional fundraising, Michelle served as curator of dance programming at Meridian Gallery and was a fellow with the San Francisco Bay Area Emerging Arts Professionals from 2010-11. She is currently part of the Emerging Arts Professionals’ Leadership Team and is a member of Trio, a loosely London-based experimental performance collective.

Claire Rice (moderator for “Navigating Social Media for Individuals”) is a playwright and director. She is a member of Thunderbird Theatre Company and was a cofounder of Anne Marie Productions. She has been directing and writing for Bay Area theatre for over a decade. She recently directed Why Torture Is Wrong, and the People Who Love Them by Christopher Durang for Custom Made Theatre and is currently directing Kristin Hersh’s Rat Girl adapted for the stage by Stuart Bousel for DIVAfest (opening May 3, 2014). Her plays include Sex in the Next RoomWoman Come Down, The Carmine LieIt Ain’t MeWater LineDemeter’s Daughter, Pride and Succubus and Ares and Eris. She is a frequent online contributor to San Francisco Theater Pub and recently participated in Write Club SF.

Martha Richards (panelist for “Being Agents of Change”) is the founder and executive director of WomenArts, formerly known as the Fund for Women Artists. Prior to WomenArts, Richards served as executive director of Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts at Brooklyn College and as managing director of StageWest, a regional theatre in Springfield, Massachusetts. She writes and lectures on arts and cultural policy issues and has been frequently recognized for her commitment to women and to the arts. In 2006, she was one of three U.S. nominees (with Quincy Jones and Wynton Marsalis) for the prestigious international Montblanc De La Culture Award for outstanding service to the arts. In 2009, she was inducted into the BayPath College 21st Century Women Business Leaders Hall of Fame for her work in philanthropy. She has been honored as one of the three “founding mothers” of the Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts. Richards has a BA in Economics from the University of California Berkeley and a JD from the University of California Hastings College of Law. She is a member of the California bar, and she was one of the founding directors of California Lawyers for the Arts.

Salim Rollins (panelist for “Engaging Tweens in Out of School Time Arts Activities”) has worked in youth development since 1998. Originally from New York, Salim came to the West Coast to attend UC Santa Cruz where he received a BA, Magna Cum Laude in African and Diaspora Cultural Studies. Salim went on to teach afterschool programs for numerous community-based organizations throughout New York City including the Henry St. Settlement, the Leadership Program, LEAP, The Caribbean Cultural Center and PASE. He taught Capoeira Angola (an Afro-Brazilian martial art), yoga, violence prevention/conflict resolution and video production in public schools. Salim emerged as a strong facilitator. He developed curriculum focused on violence prevention and facilitated trainings, workshops and professional development classes nationally and abroad. As the outreach programs director at Destiny Arts Center, Salim currently hires, trains and supervises more than 20 teaching artists who run residencies in 26 schools throughout the East Bay. The residencies bring culturally relevant movement and performing arts programming in conjunction with Destiny’s unique violence prevention curriculum to elementary, middle and high school youth. Additionally, Salim is the founder and lead instructor of the Capoeira Angola Center Oakland and is a certified yoga instructor. Through his work, Salim seeks to share holistic health practices with Bay Area youth and adults.

Kate E. Ryan (panelist for “Playwright Residency Programs”) is a member of the Resident Playwrights Initiative at playwrights foundation, a ’13-’14 member of Just Theater’s New Play Lab and a member of the playwrights collective 13P. Three years ago she moved from NYC to SF. She recently wrote the book for the folk-rock musical Hundred Days (featuring the Bengsons), produced by Z Space. Her plays, including Design Your Kitchen, Dot, Mark Smith, Science Is Close (sequel to Dot) and an adaptation of Sophocles’ Women of Trachis, have been produced or developed by 13P, Clubbed Thumb, Crowded Fire, the Flea Theater, the Ontological, Playwrights Foundation, Soho Rep, the Vineyard and Target Margin. She is currently writing a third play in her trilogy about Dot and developing two new plays: Gift Shop and The Worst. She is a Clubbed Thumb associate artist, a founder of the Brooklyn-based writing collective Machiqq, former co-chair of the Soho Rep Writer-Director Lab, former co-curator of the OBIE-winning performance series Little Theatre at Tonic and former co-organizer of the Pataphysics playwriting workshops at the Flea. Her career has received support from sources including California’s Creative Capacity Fund. MFA from Mac Wellman’s program at Brooklyn College, where she received a MacArthur Graduate Scholarship.

Andrew Saito (panelist for “Playwright Residency Programs”) has eaten insects on three different continents. He is resident playwright at the Cutting Ball Theater in San Francisco, where Rob Melrose directed his play Krispy Kritters in the Scarlett Night in May 2013. He is currently developing four other plays with Cutting Ball. Andrew has studied, worked and lived in Mexico, Guatemala, Peru and Papua New Guinea, where he was a Fulbright Scholar in Creative Writing in 2012. Andrew holds an MFA from the Iowa Playwrights Workshop, where he received an Iowa Arts Fellowship, as well as a Stanley Award to conduct research for a play about the period Langston Hughes spent living in Mexico, a Kenneth J. Cmiel Human Rights grant to teach playwriting in Mayan communities Guatemala and the Richard Maibaum Dramatic Writing Award for his script Dance of Pawns, about the internment of Japanese Peruvians in Texas during World War II. He has collaborated with the Andean theatre company Kusiwasi and the legendary Peruvian theatre collective Yuyachkani. He has received grants from Theatre Bay Area, the Zellerbach Family Foundation and the Association of Performing Arts Presenters, and has developed work with the Playwrights Center in Minneapolis, Mu Performing Arts, Brava Theater, the Bay Area Playwrights Festival, the Asian American Theater Company and Mixed Phoenix Theatre in New York. Andrew has taught playwriting at the University of Iowa, with Kearny Street Workshop, WritersCorps, Performing Arts Workshop, ArtCorps and at Montalvo Arts Center, where he held a teaching artist fellowship. Additionally, Andrew was a core apprentice at the Playwrights Center and is currently a member of Playwrights Foundation’s Resident Playwrights Initiative, Just Theater’s Writer-Director Lab and PlayGround’s Writers Pool.

Carina Lastimosa Salazar (moderator for Playwrights Cabaret”) is events & membership associate for Theatre Bay Area and a local Bay Area actress. Selected credits include Top Girls (Custom Made Theatre Co.), A Kind of Sad Love Story (Bindlestiff Studio), All My Sons (Masquers Playhouse), Marat/Sade (Thrillpeddlers) and as a performer/educator for Kaiser Permanente’s Educational Theatre Programs. Upcoming projects include The Crazed at Central Works, opening May 2014, and Slaughterhouse-Five at Custom Made Theatre Co., opening September 2014.

Anthem Salgado (panelist for “Navigating Social Media for Individuals”) is a business coach and marketing strategist. He founded the professional development program Art of Hustle, providing training and consulting for creative entrepreneurs, small businesses and nonprofit organizations. He focuses on marketing, helping maximize on audience development, referral building and income generation opportunities. His experience spans 15 years across industries that include arts, education, nightlife, cultural and community affairs and more. He has been employed to market the programs of Intersection for the Arts, Center for Asian American Media, Kularts Inc. and Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center, among many other organizations and projects. He has given lectures and workshops at Foundation Center, Network of Ensemble Theaters Summit, UCLA, SF State University, University of San Francisco, California Institute of Integral Studies, Sonoma State University, Napa Valley College and Mills College. He has appeared on panels hosted by Social Media Week and Emerging Arts Professionals. Awards include the Arts & Culture Fellowship to Rockwood Leadership Institute, Philippines Fulbright-Hays scholarship via Sonoma State University’s North Bay International Studies Program, Fellowship to Behance’s 99% Conference and the title of Young Leader of Color by Theatre Communications Group.

Yesenia Sanchez (speed consultant) is a professional coach and arts management consultant based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She has almost 15 years of experience working with artists and arts organizations in many capacities: as an interim director, finance manager, administrative and program director and executive coach and consultant. She has served as a panelist and presenter for Theatre Bay Area, San Francisco Arts Commission, San Francisco Foundation & Grants for the Arts “Best Practices Series” and the National Performing Arts Convention. She is a trainer and coach for the Center for Cultural Innovation and is a featured author in the Business of Art© book, authoring the chapter on financial literacy for artists. Previously, she ran one of the largest artist incubation programs in the country at Intersection for the Arts in San Francisco. Yesenia is a founding member of C2Arts—Consultants and Coaches for the Arts ( She received her coach training through the Coaching & Philanthropy Project’s Coach Training Pilot Program, where she and 40 other national nonprofit leaders were awarded the opportunity to receive coaching training and to be a part of a yearlong cohort exploring the value of the coaching model in nonprofit environments and in underserved communities. Yesenia specializes in business and finance coaching for individual artists, in addition to financial management, fundraising and development, facilitation, executive coaching and team building for arts organizations.

Nicole Sandoval (panelist for “Uncommon Excellence: Teaching Artists and the Common Core”) has been teaching in some capacity for 20 years. From her beginnings as a dance teacher at the local ballet school, Nicole has grown into a teaching artist for children’s theatre groups throughout the Bay Area and an award-winning choreographer. She is currently the resident choreographer for Bay Area Children’s Theatre, where she has helped in the creation of world premieres: The Magic School Bus: Climate Challenge!, Ivy & Bean and Ladybug Girl and Bumblebee Boy and national tours: Strega Nona and The Magic School Bus. By day, Nicole teaches English intervention courses and Advanced Placement Literature at Arroyo High School, where she is also English department chair.

Phil Santora (panelist “Forging Business Partnerships: Finding Shared Goals Between Private Businesses and Nonprofit Theatres”) joined TheatreWorks in 2007. He has served as managing director of Northlight Theatre (Chicago) and Georgia Shakespeare Festival (Atlanta), as well as development director for Great Lakes Theatre Festival (Cleveland) and George Street Playhouse (New Brunswick). He holds an MFA in Theatre Administration from the Yale School of Drama and a BA in Drama from Duke University. He is vice president of the National Alliance for Musical Theatre Board. Prior board service includes the League of Chicago Theatres, Atlanta Coalition of Theatres and the executive committee of the League of Resident Theatres (LORT). He was named 2000’s Best Arts Administrator by Atlanta Magazine and received the Atlanta Arts and Business Council’s 1998 ABBY Award for Arts Administrator.

Peter Shanley (panelist “Forging Business Partnerships: Finding Shared Goals Between Private Businesses and Nonprofit Theatres”) started work in San Francisco by supporting TNDC and the affordable housing movement in the Tenderloin. He was born in the inner city, lives in the Mission District and can be found traveling the world evangelizing Neo Innovation, mentoring Code for America and NewMeAccelerator teams here in the Bay, or advising Classroom Champions, which connects inner city kids with Olympic athletes across North America. He has a passion for customer-centered product and service design and organizational change and has held entrepreneurial roles at Yahoo! Brickhouse and HP Labs/Snapfish. He also led the strategic pivot at the startup

Anna Shneiderman (presenter: Spotlight: Flight Deck), executive director and cofounder of Ragged Wing Ensemble, is committed to working at the intersection of theatre, social justice, education and social entrepreneurship. She is a theatrical director and performer, a master teacher and a creative arts administrator. Both as an artist and as an organizational leader, Anna’s work focuses on designing unique structures of collaboration to bring divergent voices into dialogue and create opportunities for connection. In 2014, after 10 years of successfully running and growing Ragged Wing Ensemble from a tiny theatre company into a thriving arts nonprofit, she is spearheading the opening of the Flight Deck, Oakland’s only shared, multidisciplinary performance venue.

Meryl Shaw (speed consultant): After earning a BA in Psychology at American University and spending a year in graduate school in Washington, D.C., Meryl moved to the Bay Area in the mid-1970s, where she was the resident stage manager at Berkeley Repertory Theatre for 12 years. During that time she also spent six summers as production stage manager at the Berkeley Shakespeare Festival (now California Shakespeare Theater). In 1992, she began stage managing at American Conservatory Theater and soon was asked to become the casting director there, a position she held for 17 years. Her role at ACT was wide-ranging, including not only casting but season planning, new work development and artist cultivation, including participating in the creation of and recruitment for the resident acting company. For many years, she coached the graduate students in the ACT Conservatory’s MFA Acting program on their audition material and mentored their preparation to enter the acting profession upon graduation. During her tenure at ACT, she also coached and mentored other local actors and conducted workshops, classes and intensives at theatres and colleges throughout the country. Meryl completed the Core Strengths Coaching program at San Francisco State University’s Center for Extended Learning in April 2010 and is now a member of the International Positive Psychology Association, as well as the International Coach Federation. Since leaving ACT in 2010, Meryl has focused on coaching actors for auditions and providing life coaching for nonactors and actors. She also developed a unique group workshop that combines life and audition coaching for actors.

John Simpson (speed consultant) provides financial/accounting consulting services to a variety of arts organizations. He offers a full range of services from bookkeeping and bank reconciliation to budgeting, internal controls, Chart of Accounts and financial policies & procedures. He is experienced with accounting software, including QuickBooks, and with preparing a nonprofit tax return, Form 990. Mr. Simpson provides a strong combination of skills with his education, a MBA in Finance from the University of California, Berkeley, and practical experience; he was the managing director of a midsized theatre in San Francisco for four years. He is currently an adjunct professor in Accounting at Golden Gate University and a registered tax preparer in California. He has a passion for providing accurate financial results and for the performing arts, having acted on the stage and screen.

Vidhu Singh (panelist for “Greater Race and Ethnic Representation) is an Indian-born theatre director and scholar, an artist-in-residence at Brava, where she directed last year’s hit comedy, Burqavaganza. She has a master’s degree in Dramatic Art from UC San­­­­­­ta Barbara with a Western theatre focus and a doctorate in Asian Theatre from the ­­­­­­University­ ­­­of Hawaii at Manoa. During her doctoral research, Vidhu investigated a historic Indian theatre experiment of the 1990s, focusing on ten Theatre Laboratory Network companies that received substantial funding to develop actor-training methodologies that blended Indian and Western actor-training techniques. She has worked as the managing director of the Asian American Theater Company and taught theatre at Foothill College. Vidhu is a graduate of the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab, and since 2011 is a member of World Wide Lab, an international theatre directors collective, which she cofounded. Thus far, she has collaborated on World Wide Lab residencies at Robert Wilson’s prestigious Watermill Center in the Hamptons in World Wide Lab 2011 followed by World Wide Lab 2012 and 2013 at the Irondale Center, Brooklyn. World Wide Lab highlights include Burqavaganza by Shahid Nadeem, Waxing West by Saviana Stanescu and devised pieces, The Breakfast Variations and Last Request. She plans to codirect Lion in the Streets by Judith Thompson in World Wide Lab 2014 in Rome this September. In 2004, she founded RasaNova Theater to produce bold new plays from across the globe, including South Asia and its diaspora. Recent highlights include Dancing on Glass by Ram Ganesh Kamatham, selected for the National Asian American Theater Festival in 2011, and Burqavaganza by Shahid Nadeem at Brava Theater in 2013. Vidhu is currently directing the Bay Area premiere of Saviana Stanescu’s Waxing West, which plays at Brava Theater from May 1-18, 2014.

Robert Sokol (moderator for Awards): Robert Sokol is the creative director at VIA MEDIA, a design and publishing firm. Writer, diva wrangler, cinefiler and occasional saloon singer, Robert has been touching the arts all his life. (So far no restraining orders have been issued!) His byline appears in the San Francisco Examiner, BAYSTAGES and other regional or national publications and websites.

Jonathan Spector (panelist for “Triumphantly Using Ticketing Technology”): Spector is the co-artistic director of Just Theater, where he has directed The Internationalist, 1001, Current Nobody and I Have Loved Strangers. He has also directed and developed work with Mugwumpin, Aurora Theatre and Playwrights Foundation. Also a playwright, he has been a winner of Aurora Theatre’s Global Age Prize, PlayGround’s Emerging Playwright Award and Theatre Bay Area’s Titan Award. He is a resident playwright at Playwrights Foundation, and his play In from the Cold will premiere this fall at Just Theater. 

Lisa Steindler
 (panelist for “Playwright Residency Programs”) is the artistic director of Z Space. Annually, Z Space has more than 10 works in various stages of development, nurturing a wide variety of artists in the common goal of increasing visibility and opportunity. Lisa served as the artistic director of Encore Theatre Company for 16 years. Lisa has shepherded such established playwrights as Adam Bock, Claire Chafee, Adam Rapp, Leigh Fondakowski, Peter Sinn Nachtrieb and Steve Yockey. She has produced more than 35 world premiere productions. She is an Equity actor and has performed in many plays over the years, including Adam Bock’s award-winning Five Flights and American Conservatory Theater’s production of Angels in America. From 1996-2004 Lisa ran the Zoetrope Live Series at Francis Ford Coppola’s studios in North Beach. She also created ACT’s ArtReach program, which she ran for 17 years, bringing theatre into the Bay Area public schools.

Robert Sweibel (panelist for “Confident Decision Making: Data as a Means to Smarter Administration”): In 20 years as a senior marketing and communications officer, Robert Sweibel has helped several institutions achieve record-setting attendance. For Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Robert initiated a series of strategically driven initiatives to identify, cultivate and retain audiences for Berkeley Rep’s unique brand of theatrical programming. In doing so, Robert helped make the theatre’s recent seasons the most successful in its history. During his seven years with American Conservatory Theater, ACT reopened its landmark theatre; expanded its audience from the smallest in its history to the largest; and saw its annual ticket income more than double. Arizona Theatre Company of Phoenix and Tucson also enjoyed record growth during Robert’s tenure. Robert has served as a panelist for the Opera America, the League of Resident Theatres, Theatre Communications Group and Arizona Arts Commission, and as a trustee of Huckabay McAllister Dance, Downtown Berkeley Association, and most recently Theatre Bay Area. Robert’s consulting clients range from Berkeley to Boston.

David Szlasa (panelist for “Bread & Circuits: Technology in/as Theatre”) is a video artist and producer. For his innovative use of video in live performance, Szlasa has received the Gerbode Award, Center for Cultural Innovation Investing in Artists grant, Future Aesthetics Artist Award, Lighting Artists in Dance Award, CA$H Grant, Zellerbach Community Arts Grant and commissions from the National Science Foundation/UC Berkeley, the Triangle Lab, the Contemporary Jewish Museum, 3200 Stories and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Original works include: Studio 1, Life as Leo, Full Balcony, Break Tradition, Connect, Nano, GADGET, My HOT Lobotomy and Light. Works in collaboration include Marc Bamuthi Joseph (rbGb, the break/s, Scourge), Joanna Haigood (Between Me and the Other World), Rennie Harris (Facing MeKKa), Deb Margolin (Index to Idioms), Bill Shannon (Sketchy, AOW Remix, Spatial Theory), Sara Shelton Mann (Eye of Leo, Zeropoint, tribes/dominion, shapeshifter, Inspirare), Sarah Wilson (Off the Walls), Myra Melford (Language of Dreams), Yuri Zhukov (coin/c/dance, Enlight), Dohee Lee (GaNaDa, Mago Project) and others.

Shamsher Virk (panelist for “Size Doesn’t Matter: Marketing on Limited Resources”) comes to CounterPULSE with a dedication to performance as a language and tool for collaborative community-based arts. As the communications & engagement director, he connects CounterPULSE to its neighbors, city, media and wider community in cyberspace. Prior to CounterPULSE, Shamsher worked with Joanna Haigood’s site-specific performance company, Zaccho Dance Theatre. Shamsher graduated from College of the Atlantic in 2007 with a BA in Human Ecology, a course of study that immersed him in interdisciplinary communication arts and social research methodology. Shamsher’s experience in the nonprofit world includes documentary video production work with Interlock Media in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and administrative work with the Centre for Performance Research in Aberystwyth, Wales.

Marc Vogl (panelist for “Framing the Value of the Arts,” moderator for “Confidant Decision Making: Data as a Means to Smarter Administration”) is an arts consultant and philanthropic advisor. Marc provides facilitation, strategic planning, program design and coaching services to cultural organizations and funders. Recent and current clients include Theatre Bay Area, the Frameline Film Festival, Emerging Arts Professionals SF and the Playwrights Foundation. Marc has also been engaged by Helicon Collaborative to work with grantees on behalf of the Rauschenberg, Marin Community and Kenneth Rainin Foundations. Marc is currently the Bay Area field director for the Sustain Arts Initiative, a project of Harvard University, the Foundation Center and Fractured Atlas. Formerly the executive director at the Bay Area Video Coalition and a program officer at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Marc has served on the San Francisco Arts Task Force and Obama’s National Arts Policy Committee and chaired the Arts Loan Fund. Marc cofounded and led the sketch comedy group Killing My Lobster and the hi/lo Film Festival and has a BA from Brown University and an MPA from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. More information and Marc’s blog can be found at

Wolfgang Lancelot Wachalovsky
(moderator for “Hackathon”) is the managing director of Mugwumpin, a freelance director-collaborator and lighting designer. He has worked in a broad range of scripted works including Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s Bremen Freedom and Sartre’s No Exit as well as adapting and directing Wolfgang Borchert’s Draussen vor der Tür and Christopher Marlowe’s Faustus. Wolfgang has developed and directed the world premieres of Killer Queen (Burning Monk Collective), a hand in Desire (EmSpace Dance) and Owners of Nothing (Transient Theatre). For the past year and a half, he has been developing—in collaboration with a director in London and in New York—a completely online performance event. Wolfgang’s lighting design is focused on site-specific creations like Mugwumpin’s Future Motive Power at the Old Mint in San Francisco and Killer Queen in a warehouse in West Hollywood in Los Angeles.

Valerie Weak (panelist for “Being Agents of Change”) is an actor and theatre educator with credits at local companies including CenterREP, Word for Word and the Marin and San Francisco Shakespeare Festivals, and is currently featured in the webseries I Killed the Devil. She is the founder of the Counting Actors Project, a monthly report on gender representation in SF Bay Area theatre, and serves on Theatre Bay Area’s Gender Parity committee. She is a Theatre Bay Area Titan winner (2009), has trained with Anne Bogart and the SITI Company and holds a BA in Theatre Arts from UCLA.

Robert Weiner (speed consultant) is an independent consultant specializing in helping fundraisers make informed, strategic decisions about information technology. He has consulted with a wide variety of organizations, ranging from volunteer and grassroots organizations to UC Berkeley, Earthjustice, the Nature Conservancy, Mothers Against Drunk Driving and Komen for the Cure. He is the cohost of TechSoup’s Technology for Fundraising forum and a frequent speaker on donor management systems and best practices in development operations. Typical projects include assessing advancement services departments, selecting software such as donor databases, CRM systems, association management systems, email marketing software and online giving tools, and developing strategic plans for technology. His web site is  

Jayne Wenger
(panelist for “Playwright Residency Programs”) is the past artistic director of the Bay Area Playwrights Foundation and was the artistic director of Women’s Ensemble in New York. As a new work dramaturg and director, she has worked with acclaimed playwrights including David Adjmi, Brenda Wong Aoki, Kate Bornstein, Michelle Carter, Claire Chafee, Nilo Cruz, Christine Evans, Sara Felder, Anne Galjour, Julie Hebert, Dan Hoyle, Holly Hughes, Naomi Iizuka, Arlitia Jones, Sherry Kramer, Brighde Mullins, Laura Shamus and Deke Weaver, among many others. Jayne leads workshops for playwrights at Art Workshop International in Assisi, Italy. She is a featured guest artist and advisory council member for the annual Last Frontier Theatre Conference in Valdez, Alaska. She is a member of the Dramatists Guild, the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas, League of Professional Theater Women and AlterTheater of San Rafael. She is the dramaturg for Baba by Denmo Ibrahim and Lovebirds by Marga Gomez, currently running in San Francisco.

Phil Wong (panelist for “Offensive Theatre”) is an actor, director, musician and recent graduate of Oberlin College with degrees in Theatrical Direction/Performance and East Asian Studies. He has also studied commedia dell’arte and physical theatre at the Accademia dell’Arte in Tuscany. His credits in Ohio include Double Figure with Real Time Opera at Cleveland Public Theater, Candide with the Oberlin Conservatory and Strike Slip with the Oberlin Theater Department. Phil is relatively new to the Bay Area theatre scene and has been involved in only a couple of productions including The Rocky Horror Show at Boxcar Theatre and SF Shakespeare Festival’s educational tour of Julius Caesar. He can be seen this summer in Free Shakespeare in the Park’s Taming of the Shrew. Phil is a fervent advocate and activist for equal representation for performers of color in live performance and media as well as a proud supporter of the Asian American Performers Action Coalition in New York City. You can also see him most nights testing the limits of people’s liberal proclivities at the various standup comedy open mics around the Bay Area. He is honored to be a part of this panel.

Christine Young (moderator for “Being Agents of Change”) is a theatre director, dramaturg and educator. She currently serves as assistant professor in the Performing Arts & Social Justice Program at the University of San Francisco. Prior to joining USF, she held several administrative posts with nonprofit arts organizations (including six years at Playwrights Foundation as literary manager and artistic associate) and worked as a K-12 teaching artist and a freelance director specializing in new plays about social issues affecting women’s lives. In the Bay Area, Christine has directed and taught for Tenderloin Opera Company, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Crowded Fire, Lunatique Fantastique, Shotgun Players lab series, California Shakespeare Theater, Magic Theatre, New Conservatory Theater, TheatreWorks, SF Shakes and Golden Thread Productions. Current projects include: curating the Works by Women San Francisco blog which spotlights theatrical work written, directed, designed and produced by women theatre artists in the San Francisco/Bay Area; and directing Jonathan Spector’s In from the Cold for Just Theater in November 2014. Christine holds a BA with honors from Princeton University and an MFA in Directing from the University of Iowa.

Roberta Yuen (speed consultant) is a costume designer and consultant who has worked with nonprofit performing arts groups (California Shakespeare Festival, Eureka Theatre, ACT, Magic Theatre) and on commercial productions. She has overseen costume production for the San Francisco Opera, the San Francisco Ballet, Sandra Woodall Productions and La Jolla Playhouse. Ms. Yuen has been with the Performing Arts Assistance Program since its inception and has consulted with Shizen Dance, Eth-Noh-Tec, Community Music Center and Lenora Lee Dance

Kathryn Zdan (presenter for “Meet Working Actors”) is an actor/creator/teacher/director based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She received her BFA in Theatre from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and her MFA in Ensemble Based Physical Theatre from the Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre. After graduate school, she performed and toured Europe with the internationally acclaimed, Amsterdam-based street theatre and performance art group, Warner & Consorten. She has been performing, teaching and directing professionally in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond since 2009. Companies she has performed with include TheatreWorks, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, Marin Theatre Company, Livermore Shakespeare Festival, Crowded Fire Theater, Shotgun Players, Magic Theatre, Center REP, Central Works, Berkeley Playhouse, Impact Theatre and Town Hall Theatre Company. In 2012 she did a rock opera about Emma Goldman in Santa Fe, NM, which rocked her face off. She has taught and directed in the San Francisco Bay Area for TheatreWorks, Cal Shakes, Berkeley Playhouse, StarStruck, Marin Youth Performers, Mill Valley Middle School, Musically Minded Academy, the Flying Actor Studio, Little Opera, Berkwood Hedge Elementary, Marin Theatre Company and Steve and Kate’s camp. She is a guest artist and director year-round at Tamalpais High School’s Conservatory Theatre Ensemble, where her area of specialty is movement and physical theatre.