2021 Guest Artists
The following is a list of professionals who have lent their time, talent, and passion as guest artists to the Lenaea High School Theatre Festival.
Alicia Jeffrey (she/her) proudly serves as the President of the Board of Directors for the Lenaea High School Theatre Festival. She is also the Executive Artistic Director of Broadway by the Bay in Redwood City, Calif.; a former board member and producer for Contra Costa Musical Theatre; and a founding member of “OMG, I Love That Show!” Productions of Walnut Creek, Calif. She has served in numerous artistic capacities throughout the Bay Area theater community, including casting director, director, music and vocal director, production manager, and stage manager. Recent production credits include Aida, Million Dollar Quartet (Theatre Bay Area finalist for Outstanding Direction and Outstanding Music Direction), Miss Saigon; Beauty and the Beast; Les Misérables; West Side Story; Kiss Me, Kate; My Fair Lady; In the Heights; Dreamgirls; Anything Goes; Tommy; Godspell (Theatre Bay Area Award nominee for musical direction); Dogfight; The Great American Trailer Park Musical; Disenchanted! and others. Alicia also serves on the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion council for 42nd Street Moon in San Francisco.
Alissa Deeter is a nationally recognized performer with a firm footing in the classical, operetta, and musical theater repertoires. She is an advocate of art to affect change and is continually promoting vocal music in local communities as a cultural force. She is the author of The Mélodies of Francis Poulenc: A Study Guide and has published several articles in the Journal of Singing. Alissa and her accompanist Arlene Shrut recently released a CD entitled Hier: Mélodies of Francis Poulenc on the Centaur label. She is currently the co-Artistic Leader of the Portland Symphonic Choir in Portland, OR.
Andrea Bechert teaches Production Design & Technology at San Jose State University. Andrea has designed over 350 productions at theatres across the country including TheatreWorks, the Cleveland Playhouse, the Colorado Shakespeare Festival, Chautauqua Theatre Company, Opera San Jose, American Musical Theatre of San Jose, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, the Stardust Casino in Las Vegas, and many others. She received numerous awards for her design work, and her designs have been included in the USITT Design Expo, the World Design Expo, and the International Prague Quadrennial.
Andrea is a proud and active member of United Scenic Artists, Local 829 where she serves as Western Region Trustee and Chair of the Design Exam Committee.
Anna McConnell (she/her) is an LA-based actor, improviser, and creative. Before moving to LA, she performed improv throughout Chicago at iO, The Annoyance, and The Second City with her group, A Very Special Episode. Anna is an experienced improv coach and has taught acting and improv at Young Actors’ Theater Camp. She holds a BA in Drama and Environmental Science from Washington University in St. Louis.
Bill Voorhees (Duo Scenes) has been involved in theater for 32 years in the Sacramento, Los Angeles and San Francisco regions. Local theaters where Bill has worked include The Show Below, Thistle Dew Dessert Theatre, Chautauqua Playhouse, and California Stage. Bill was also Artist-in-Residence at Folsom High School and an instructor at Sacramento Country Day School. He currently resides in Los Angeles, where he has worked on The Family Guy and American Dad! for Fox TV Animation. Plays that Bill has directed include the world premieres of Skeleton Stories by Delondra Williams, Red Helen by Jennifer Barclay and Kirsten Vangsness’ Potential Space at Los Angeles’ Theatre of NOTE, where he serves on the Artistic Management Committee. Film and TV credits include Real Time with Bill Maher, Attila, Mega Shark vs. Mecha Shark, Ardennes Fury, Circus Kane and Z-Nation.
Camille grew up training in ballet, modern, lyrical, jazz, hip hop, Polynesian dance, and musical theater at the Westlake School for the Performing Arts. With over 11 years of experience as a dance instructor, she was also the resident choreographer for Westmoor High School’s drama department for 7 seasons. In 2016, Camille was nominated for an Excellence in Theatre Award for Choreography of a Musical by the San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle for her work in Broadway By the Bay’s OKLAHOMA! , and again in 2017 for SMOKEY JOE’S CAFE with BBBay. Camille has enjoyed teaching the dance and young emerging choreographers workshops at the Lenaea High School Theatre Festival since 2017, and enjoys being able to share her passion for the performing arts with her students.
Colby Loesch is an applied improv instructor with years of both online and in-person experience. Colby is from Reno, Nevada and has been working for YATC and other performing arts related businesses since 2017. Building skills related to social and emotional learning through improv games is Colby’s second priority, making sure everyone has a good time always comes first.
Hans Weichhart, NASM-CPT
Hans currently serves as the Chief Membership Officer for the Educational Theatre Association (EdTA), home of the International Thespian Society (ITS). In this role, Hans provides leadership for 130,000+ students, theatre educators, and industry professionals in all 50 states and 13 countries around the world. Hans holds a BA in Theatre Arts from Sac State and has worked with companies like Walt Disney Parks & Resorts and was the Executive Director for the Lenaea High School Theatre Festival, prior to joining EdTA. A former member of Actor’s Equity Association (AEA), Hans was recently seen onstage as Black Stache in Peter and the Starcatcher, and was the AD for the award-winning production of In the Heights at Broadway by the Bay in Redwood City, CA.
James Elden is a producer, director, writer and actor who has worked professionally in the industry since 1996. His production company, Punk Monkey Productions, LLC, oversees both PLAY Noir, an original one-act festival dedicated to Film Noir styled plays and the Los Angeles Collegiate Playwrights Festivals, which is focused solely on bringing the work of aspiring college playwrights to the Los Angeles stage alongside working industry professionals active in the Hollywood community. Under the PMP umbrella, James curates the content for both festivals; each consisting of plays submitted by playwrights from around the world and colleges from across the country. His experience allows a perspective
that comes not only as a writer but also as a producer, providing an extra layer of analysis in determining the level of success a play might possess.
James Monroe Iglehart
James Monroe Iglehart is in the current Broadway cast of Hamilton (Lafayette/Jefferson). He won a Tony award for his show stopping roll as Genie in Disney’s Aladdin. His other Broadway credits include Freestyle Love Supreme, Memphis (Bobby), 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Mitch). You can also see James on TV: Hulu documentary: We are Freestyle Love Supreme, Netflix series “Maniac” (recurring), “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” (recurring), “Gotham”, “Elementary”, “Law & Order:SVU". He is also the host of the new HGTV show “Biggest Little Christmas Showdown” currently on Discovery Plus.
James’ voice can be heard on 3 seasons of the Disney animated series “Tangled” as Lance Strongbow, Disney’s “DuckTales” as Taurus Bulba, and “Vampirina” as Oscar. He has also written three different comic book stories for Marvel Comics and is one of the co-host of the podcast This Week in Marvel on Sirius XM.
He has also had the privilege to have sold out concert runs at 54Below, Carnegie Hall & concerts around the country. When he’s not on stage he’s usually watching Pro Wrestling or Disney + while just chilling out with his wife of 19 years Dawn and their cat Zoe.
Jerald Bolden has performed at Sacramento Theatre Company, Hackmatack Playhouse, Sierra Repertory Theatre, Woodminster Amphitheater and danced in the national and international tours of Sesame Street Live. In 2019, he won Elly Awards for Best Director and Best Overall Production for The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. He earned a MA in Theater from CSU Sacramento and is a proud member of Actors Equity. He serves as a Board Member for California Education Theatre Association.
Josh Marx is an award winning Actor, Director, and Producer based in San Francisco. He is a member of Actor’s Equity and holds an MFA in Acting from Rutgers University. Additionally, he is a SAFD certified fight director, and specializes is creating interactive immersive theatre experiences. Since the pandemic, Josh has been working in leadership development at Facebook. www.j-marx.com
Lori Ann DeLappe-Grondin
A member of the faculty at Sacramento City College since 2005, Lori Ann has been working in the local theatre community since 1994. As an artistic fellow of both Sacramento Shakespeare Festival (SSF) and City Theatre, she takes on both administrative and artistic positions with those organizations including directing, management and education. She is the program director of the High School Intern Program for SSF which she created in 2004. In 2015, she co-founded an all-female Shakespeare ensemble, Wildflower Women’s Ensemble, to provide free Shakespeare in the park to her community and opportunities for women to explore traditionally male roles.
Michele Hillen-Noufer, M.Ed., AEA, SAG is the Executive Director for NorCal School of the Arts. She is a member of Actors Equity Association, SAG/AFTRA and has a Masters degree in Education. Michele worked as a professional actor for over 25 years doing theatre, film, and television across the country and internationally. She has directed, taught, and choreographed professional theatre, as well as theatre for young people. Michele has a passion for helping young people achieve their goals in the performing arts as well as providing theatre arts education to schools including arts integration opportunities for students with learning differences. Michele is an arts integration specialist and keeps her skills current by teaching at Nor Cal, local elementary schools as well as providing workshops and professional development opportunities for conferences and in-services for Educators. She has been a member of the Sacramento State University’s Academic Talent Search faculty since 2012. For fifteen years Michele grew STC School of the Arts and created several programs while training many young theatre makers, storytellers & amazing humans who will go on to make their mark in the Arts field and beyond. Michele is a founding Board Member for SARA, the Sacramento Alliance for Regional Arts whose mission is to advocate for the regional Arts Sector of the Sacramento area.
Nick Carrillo is originally from TX, but has been studying and performing improv and theater all over New York City for 13 years. He has studied at The Lee Strasburg Institute for TV and Film, UCB, The PIT, and various workshops and festivals all around the country. He studied under the likes of Donald Glover, Neil Casey, and Ian Roberts. He was part of a house team at The PIT since 2012, and has taught improv at The PIT since 2015. He was one of the original cast members in the Off-Broadway hit "Puffs; Or Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic and Magic.” Puffs had a very successful 3 year run, and was recorded live where it can now be found on iTunes, Amazon, and various other streaming platforms. Besides being one of the original cast members of Puffs, Nick contributed to the published script that is being used for productions all over the world. Nick can be seen in commercials for NAPA, GEICO, LEXUS, and many others. He has been featured on NBC, VH1, Comedy Central, and truTV.
Patrick has a bachelor’s in theater arts from CSU Sacramento and has been the full time theater technician and occasional lighting designer at Sierra College for over ten years. Patrick has also been the Lenaea Black Box stage manager for over 15 years, helping schools with their festival one act lighting needs.
Robert Johnson, MM, EdD.
Robert Johnson is a Northern California foothill native with a well-established history addressing the educational needs of commercial music students here in the Sacramento Valley. In 1994, he completed a bachelor’s degree in Commercial Music at CSU Chico and in 1994 and went on to later complete a
master’s degree in Music Education in 2003 and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership both at CSU Sacramento. Dr. Johnson serves both the Los Rios and Sierra Community College Districts providing instruction in the areas of music business, commercial music production, live sound reinforcement, studio
recording techniques, and composition with electronic media.
In the private sector, Dr. Johnson is owner-operator of Sacramento-based Sierra Professional Audio & Video Technologies, providing clients with equipment rentals, services in commercial/residential systems design and integration, public event audio/video technical support, musical/theatrical sound design and reinforcement, on-location contemporary and classical recording, documentation recording, audio
restoration/archiving, and forensic audio analysis. His client list includes the Placer Pops Chorale, Cal Expo, New York Life, Northern California PGA, El Dorado Musical Theatre, Broadway @ Sierra, Chamber Music Alive, and the Sacramento Philharmonic & Opera.
Sean Kana is an award-winning Bay Area music director, pianist and conductor currently serving as the resident music director for Broadway By the Bay in Redwood City. He has taught applied voice for the MFA program at American Conservatory Theatre (ACT) in San Francisco. Sean recently served as associate music director for a pre-Broadway musical, Ain’t Too Proud at Berkeley Repertory Theatre. Sean's other recent credits include playing keys at TheatreWorks for Rags, as well as the world premiere of the musical Triangle. He has been the music director for The Theatre Bay Area Awards for the past few years, and he has earned TBA Awards for best musical direction for his work on both In the Heights and Dogfight. A classically-trained musician with a degree in vocal performance from San Francisco State University, he has toured internationally and recorded sound for movie trailers and soundtracks for Pfeifer Broz. Music. Sean possesses an extensive knowledge of repertoire, style and technique and is a prominent vocal coach in the Bay Area.
Shawn Ryan - Writer/Director/Actor/Camp Director
Since receiving a perfect score and making it to the semi finals on "America's Got Talent” Shawn's star has continued to rise. As an actor, Ryan has been seen on the Fox Hit “Bones”, CBS' "The Mentalist" for which he received a GLAAD Media Award Nomination, appeared as the gender bending Drag King, Karen Adams in ABC's "Women's Murder Club," LOGO TV's "One Night Stand Up", and was most recently seen on FreeForm’s “Famous in Love”, opposite Bella Thorne.
Shawn’s directorial debut in was with the critically acclaimed short film “Charlie”, which screened at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival where Shawn, alongside his Executive Producer and husband, John Ainsworth was nominated for the Emerging Filmmaker Award in The American Pavilion. “Charlie” went on to screen at numerous film festivals including Newport Beach Int. Film Fest, Q Cinema Film Festival, Out on Film Festival, Cincinnati Film Festival, Garden State Film Festival, Palm Beach Int. Film Festival, and Q! Film Festival. The film won Best Actor at the Riverbend Film Festival, Best Short at the Gulf Coast Film Festival, and Best International Short at the Shropshire Film Festival. You can see this film on Amazon or Amazon Prime. His next 6 short films also played the Cannes Film Festival as well as won awards at countless festivals around the world.
When he is not writing, directing, or acting on TV or in Film, Shawn can be seen touring the globe with his jazz comedy trio with whom he has released three albums, the latest being “Shawn Ryan Live” which can be found on all digital streaming platforms. The Times called Shawn “the love child of Bette Midler and Peter Allen!”
Shawn is currently in development with his first feature, “Feels Like Home” which begins filming in 2021 and is also the Co-Founding Director of the world’s best theatre camp in the Santa Cruz Mountains, The Young Actors’ Theatre Camp! www.CampYATC.com Follow him @TheShawnRyan www.Shawn-Ryan.com
Stephen Gelpi is the Talent Casting Director for Disney Parks Live Entertainment, based in Orlando Florida.
Taylor Iman Jones
Taylor Iman Jones is an Actor, Singer, and Teaching Artist based out of New York City. When we're back in our theaters, you can see her as Peggy Schuyler/Maria Reynolds in the LA production of HAMILTON the musical. She made her Broadway debut in Groundhog Day the Musical, and later originated the role of Mopsa in Head Over Heels. Off-Broadway, she was seen as Pat in the new musical Scotland, Pa. And outside of New York, she appeared in The Tale of Despereaux at The Old Globe in San Diego, and The Who's Tommy at The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. In 2014, she performed as Extraordinary Girl in the National Tour of American Idiot. A Bay Area native, you could have seen her performing with American Conservatory Theater, San Francisco Playhouse, Center Rep, Berkeley Playhouse, Bay Area Children’s Theater, and Ray of Light, to name a few. When offstage, Taylor is a passionate teaching artist, and enjoys playing her guitar. *Taylor has been announced to portray Andy Sachs in the upcoming Broadway bound production of The Devil Wears Prada.*
Thor Tivol has worked in Sacramento in Technical Theatre for over thirty years. He is the Theater Production Supervisor at Sierra College, where he has worked for over twenty years. Before that he worked at Sacramento High School’s Visual and Performing Art Center for four years. Previous experience includes Master Electrician for Sacramento Theatre Company (STC) for two seasons, working in AV for four years for conventions and hotel conferences, and did summer stock at Western Stage for two seasons. He studied theater at CSU Sacramento and has degrees from Sierra College in Cabinetry and Mechatronics.
Tori Johnson has always had a passion for creating spaces. Spaces that are bold, exciting, unique, open, inclusive, and connected. She started her journey being a part of amazing spaces as an actor at Guthrie’s BFA Actor Training Program and the Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre Education Program in London performing in “A Christmas Carol” and “Boudica” (Guthrie Theatre) and “Titus Andronicus” (The Globe). Then, she found her love for creating inventive spaces for the actor to do their best work when she directed, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, “I Never Saw Another Butterfly”, and the film, “Oh, Well”. Last year, she was fortunate enough to experience the joys of creating energized spaces in the classroom and education as the STC Young Professional Conservatory Program Manager. Now, she is beyond excited to continue this journey with the Northern California School of the Arts as Program Director where she will continue to create spaces for actors, students, teachers, and other creators. Tori thanks everyone who shared knowledge, time, and trust along the way.
Vicki Johnson, the Director of College Admissions Counseling at NorCal School of the Arts Performing Arts Corps, has successfully guided high school theater students into some of the nation's most highly competitive college theater programs. Utilizing a holistic, individualized approach, we view the college counseling process more than just getting students into the college of their choice. We also see the process as an opportunity to teach students valuable life skills (goal setting, self-awareness, self-advocacy, initiative) that will improve your ability to thrive in all endeavors and at the same time, promote mental wellness.
Young Actor's Theatre Camp
The Young Actors’ Theatre Camp is celebrating it’s 20th Anniversary Season in the Santa Cruz Mountains this summer and we want you to be there! Obeying all CDC COVID Compliances, CampYATC will be back in person, overnight and exactly what we all need after the year we had in 2020!
For more information of to schedule an interview for placement into our Award Winning Program call (925)858-3548 or Visit us Online at CampYATC.com
This Summer’s Faculty includes: Megan Hilty (Smash), Jeremy Jordan (Newsies), Laurie Metcalf (2 Time Tony Award Winner, The Conners),
Kate Rockwell (Mean Girls), Eden Espinosa (Wicked), Laura Bell Bundy (Tony Nominee Legally Blonde) Julia Lester (High School Musical, The Musical: The Series), Alex Brightman (2 Time Tony Nominee Beetlejuice, School of Rock), Jim O’Heir (Parks and Rec), Christopher Henry Young (Hamilton), Brandon Hudson (Hamilton, The Prom), James Alsop (Choreographer for Beyonce and J Lo) and SO many more amazing teachers!
With an All Star Faculty, a COVID Safe Camp, and the most amazing campers & staff, we are going to have the BEST SUMMER of OUR LIVES!
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