San Diego Junior Theatre Alumni
Betty Arnold King
Betty Arnold King BETTY KING is a San Diego native who started her theater training at San Diego Junior Theatre under the auspices of Don and Bonnie Ward. She performed and worked at Starlight prior to attending USC as a Fine Arts Major and Dance Minor. She graduated with a BS in Education from USC in 1981 and MA in Education from SDSU in 1990. Fourteen years ago she helped start C-MENT (Christian Musical Enrichment Theatre) at Penasquitos Lutheran Church and has been the Director and Choreographer since 2002. She has also been an assistant director and choreographer at BBYT as well as at Westview High School. Betty has been blessed with the opportunity of combining her love of theatre with teaching children and, as a mother of three daughters, feels strongly that all children should be taught to sing and dance.
Sharon Barcom Hoffer
Sharon Barcom Hoffer
Sharon Barcom Hoffer has had a love for theater since she was a child. At age 9 she joined the Junior Theatre Wing of the San Diego Community Theatre (now, the Old Globe Theatre). her first show was at the Old Globe in The Rose and the Ring with Dennis Hopper. Shortly after, the Junior Theatre Wing set out on its own and became San Diego Junior Theatre. Sharon was Dorothy in its first production - The Wizard of Oz. Nine years and many productions later she became president of the Junior Board of Directors. She also performed at Starlight Opera during her college years.
John Maxwell Bardt A.E.A.
John Maxwell Bardt A.E.A.
I joined San Diego Junior Theatre in 1957 and performed the title role in Puss and the Boots under the direction of Robert Chambers. This theatrical introduction expanded my imagination and lead to 5 years of classes and a score of plays: Buffalo Bill, Circus Days, the Blue Bird, Cinderella, Snow White, Rip van Winkle, and Tom Sawyer. I worked under the direction of John DePuglio and knew Sharon Barcum, Shirley Clark, Mike Hoffer, Dee Ann Johnson, Victor Buono. In 1962 I was cast as the Marquis of Dorset in Richard the III at the Old Globe Theater and was one of the first six paid apprentices to perform a variety of roles during the next four consecutive National Shakespeare Festivals under the direction of Craig Noel, B.Iden Payne, Duncan Ross, and Allen Fletcher. In 1966 I joined the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco under the direction of William Ball performed in Six Characters in Search of an Author, the Seagull, and Charlie's Aunt. I was awarded a Full Scholarship at the School of Performing Arts and studied acting and directing with Aasad Kelada. I performed in Jean Giradeux's North American premiere of Judith, and the Boyfriend under the direction of Jack Tygett. I also worked with Starlight Opera under the direction of Jack Tygett in 1776, the Sound of Music, South Pacific and the Music Man. I eventually earned my Bachelors Degree with Distinction from ALMEDA College and in 1973 became the Founding Producer of the BEAR STATE THEATRE, INC. We produced Tom Paine by Paul Foster. After this I would travel with the First National Tour of No, No Nanette and work with Rose Marie in Everybody's Girl at the Off Broadway Theater.
Annette Bening was a very shy girl when growing up, however she was very sincere and very friendly. Also very outgoing. She took drama classes at Patrick Henry High School and San Diego Junior Theatre.
Information from Internet Broadway Database and Internet Movie Database.
Danny Bernardy Danny Bernardy has found himself living in New York for the past five years, after a cloudy four years in Pittsburgh at Carnegie Mellon and a sunny 18 years prior in his native town of San Diego. He spent three of those New York summers in Greece with One Year Lease, where he was reportedly seen singing while swimming in a gold corset and tunic (Iphigenia Crash Land Falls…) and cussing in a church (Phaedra’s Love), among other endeavors in the name of cutting-edge theater. Some of Danny’s New York credits include: Every Girl Gets Her Man (SOHO Playhouse), Cougar Cabaret (Don’t Tell Mama), Love’s Labour’s Lost (NY Classical Theatre), The Black Dahlia (York Theatre), 24 (NY Theatre Workshop), and PHAEDRA x 3 (Cherry Lane Theatre). Regional credits include: Picasso at the Lapin Agile (Delaware Theatre Company), Vincent in Brixton (Virginia Stage Co), and Macbeth (Pittsburgh Hazlett). TV: One Life to Live (recurring), As the World Turns (Guest Star), FEED ME! (Follow Productions). Danny is a proud member of AEA and AFTRA.
Eileen Bowman Eileen Bowman has been seen in numerous regional productions across the country. Some of her favorite roles include Eliza in “My Fair Lady,” Lina Lamont in “Singing In The Rain,” Agnes Gooch in “Mame,” and for the 10th year as Grandma Who in “How The Grinch Stole Christmas” at the Old Globe Theatre. She has been seen on TV and in film, but is best remembered as ‘Snow White’ opposite Rob Lowe on the 61st Academy Awards Telecast seen by over half a billion people. God bless Junior Theatre. Thank you for everything.
Molly Bowman-Styles As a proud San Diego Junior Theatre alumna, Molly enjoyed performing with several San Diego County theatrical companies — including Starlight Musical Theatre, East County Performing Arts Center, and the Fiesta and Lawrence Welk Dinner Theatres – before beginning a career in public affairs. Since earning her B.A. and M.A. degrees from the University of San Diego, Molly has honed her public affairs skills as a Policy Advisor to Congresswoman Lynn Schenk, a Senior Advocacy Director of the American Heart Association’s Western States Affiliate, and in her current position as a member of the American Lung Association of California’s Public Policy Staff. She is delighted to be a member of the San Diego Junior Theatre Board of Trustees. Molly resides in La Jolla with her husband, Shawn and their adorable cocker spaniels, Winky and Buddy.
Kimberley Briggs Layton
Kimberley Briggs Layton (SDJT '81) is a third generation San Diegan. She attended San Diego High School and received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Irvine.
Jill Brow Weller
Jill Brow Weller attended her first Junior Theatre play when she was 6 years old and she knew right away that someday she wanted to be involved with the organization. She is proud to have been involved with Junior Theatre from the late 1970’s until 1982. First crew position: Spot Light for “Bye Bye Birdie.” First on-stage appearance: Cherry Laurel in “12 Dancing Princesses.” Other shows: How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying, Babes in Toyland, Mary Poppins, No No Nanette, Cheaper by the Dozen, Anything Goes, I Sincerely Doubt that this Old House is Really Haunted and Grease. It was a television production class at Junior Theatre that introduced Jill to the magic of “the little screen” and since that time she has gone on to graduate from San Diego State University with a degree in Broadcast Management. Now celebrating more than 20 years in the television industry, she is Director of Research for FOX Television’s local stations, FOX11 and My13 in Los Angeles. Jill lives in Redondo Beach with her husband and son.
Lisha Brown Bio coming soon!
Erin Gray Brown
Erin Gray Brown ’s obsessive compulsion to be on stage started at the age of nine when she played the “Angel” in a school production of “Johnny Appleseed”. After moving to San Diego from Texas with her family, and baby sister Jennie Gray, Erin was cast in “Gypsy” at the Jewish Community Center along with her mother and sister. Her one and only Junior Theatre production came a few years later when she was cast as a chorus member in “No, No, Nanette." Since then Erin has performed in many different productions in many different areas of the country. From San Diego to Whitefish, Montana with a few stops along the way. Some favorite roles include: Miss Adelaide (Guys and Dolls), Belinda (Noises Off), Kate (Taming of the Shrew), Olive (Female version of The Odd Couple), The Kid (The Roar of the Greasepaint the Smell of the Crowd), Antonia (Man of La Mancha), Sandy (Grease), Hattie (Laundry and Bourbon), and Frumah Sarah (Fiddler on the Roof). Erin lives in Del Mar, spitting distance to her sister Jennie, and works as a clinic supervisor at UCSD Student Health Services. Erin’s greatest role to date is that of mother to her beautiful daughter, Casady and wife to her wonderful husband, Mark Brown.
Tanya Bulette Tanya (Vogan) Bulette starred in her first JT production, "Jack and the Beanstalk" as the front half of Betsy the Cow. She later went on to perform in shows such as "FAME" (Doris' Mom), "No, No Nannette" (Betty), "You're a Good Man Charlie Brown" (Lucy), and "Grease" (Rizzo). Tanya graduated in 1990 from Monte Vista High School and attended San Diego State University where she earned a degree in Journalism with a minor in Advertising.
Victor Buono was born February 3, 1938 in San Diego, California, to Victor F. and Myrtle (Keller) Buono. As a child, he studied drama and participated in productions at San Diego Junior Theatre. He began working professionally as an actor in 1956, when he played in Volpone at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego. After attending Villanova, he began work in television, where he had guest roles in several detective shows. Buono made a big screen splash in 1962 with his role in What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? His performance as the underemployed and drunk musician Edwin Flagg won him an Oscar nomination.
Information compiled from the Internet Movie Database, David Culp's "Victor Buono Fan Page", and "Victor Buono: these were giant steps for young acting giant who leaped from San Diego stage to Hollywood," San Diego Union, 7 Jan 1962, E2.
Trish Buttrill Trish Buttrill was involved in Junior Theatre from 1968 to 1974. She received her B.A. in Theatre Arts from UCLA, and her M.F.A. in Acting, from UCLA as well. Trish has extensive performance experience including a role at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego where she received the Globe's Atlas Award for her performance in "La Ronde". She also received numerous acting awards at UCLA, and worked for a time as a voice-over actress. She can be heard as the voice of Susan B. Anthony at Disney's EPCOT Center. She was employed for several years as a script analyst in the film industry. Tricia finally found her niche as a high school drama teacher. She was San Jose Unified School District's 2001/2002 Teacher of the Year, and also received the 2001 Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce's "Outstanding Educator of Silicon Valley" as part of their "Legends and Leaders" series. Trish received an IDEA award from the Anti-Defamation League for her work in teaching tolerance at the school site. Trish teaches and directs in San Jose, California.
Lloyd “Skypp” Cabanas
Lloyd “Skypp” Cabanas currently sits at a desk inside a bungalow in the middle of a parking lot at the Music Center of Los Angeles County. He supports the Ahmanson Theatre's ticketing system and customer service departments and is currently involved working on www.CenterTheatreGroup.org. When he's not staring at the computer screen at his IKEA purchased desk he's out on his bicycle pretending he's some kind of famous cyclist - but not Lance Armstrong.. some other famous cyclist...
Rex Camphuis Rex Camphuis has been working in Theater, Film, Television or Circus Production since 1986. Rex attended The San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts and San Diego Jr. Theater. After a 3 season apprenticeship at San Diego’s Starlight Opera Rex went to Cabrillo College in Santa Cruz where he studied Acting and Direction for the stage. While working for the Tandy Beal Dance Company as a stage manager Ms. Beal became San Francisco’s Pickle Circus’ Artistic Director. Rex stage-managed the Pickles from '92-'95. In '96 he moved to Los Angeles to begin work in film and television production where he was the Production Coordinator for WB’s “Felicity” and ABC’s “Alias”. Rex served as the Board President for Pasadena Jr. Theater, a youth theater school, for 4 years. In '04 Rex Co-directed and was the Musical Director of the Pickle Circus production Birdhouse Factory. His directing work along with partner Aloysia Gavre continued with the Pickle Circus productions High Water Radio, Elevation 63 and Vertigo. Rex spent the '07/’08 season as San Francisco's Traveling Jewish Theatre’s Associate Producer and Sound Designer in Residence whose credits include their recent productions of Rose and Death of a Salesman. Also in ’07 Rex and Aloysia co-founded TROUPE VERTIGO a theatrical circus entertainment company bringing the thrill of the circus and the art of the theater to special events and theatrical productions around the world. LA based Troupe Vertigo delightfully indulges in a genre-bending mixture of dance, music, theatre and circus. An ensemble of acrobats, dancers, aerialists and actors Troupe Vertigo innovates theatrical circus production. Their new production and performance space is also the home of Cirque School, home to professional circus artists and amateur circus enthusiast alike. Cirque School opens up the world of circus arts to anyone and everyone with an wonderful Aerial Circus Fitness Program for Anybody and Any Body. Located in Hollywood it has quickly become one of the new homes of the circus arts in LA. He recently Co-Produced five short Children’s Defense Fund documentaries for JJ Abrams and Katie McGrath.
Jason Connors has been working in theatre for the last ten years, beginning at San Diego Junior Theatre and moving on to the Playwrights Project where his own original plays started being produced. Since then he has worked with the Fritz Theatre, Sledgehammer, Actors Alliance, The Blank Theatre (LA), Planned Parenthood’s IMAGES Theatre, Grossmont Stagehouse, Voices of Women, the JCC, and now the wonderful 6@Penn Theatre.
Liz Crabb Breen
Liz Crabb Breen Liz Crabb Breen was an active member of Junior Theatre from age 8 to 18, performing in over 20 productions at both the Puppet Theatre and the Casa del Prado, including the lead role of Abby Brewster in “Arsenic and Old Lace”. As a member of the JT touring troupe known as “Confetti”, Liz appeared in numerous performances of “A Thurber Carnival” and “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown”. She also appeared with the Civic Light Opera under the direction of Don and Bonnie Ward in “Camelot”. Liz started off in college as a Theatre Arts major, but has since gone on to perform not on the stage, but in the laboratory, the classroom, and the lecture hall, where she pursues research and teaches in the field of immunology. Active for more than twenty years at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Liz is currently a professor there studying and teaching about the immune system, HIV/AIDS, cancer, and aging. Although it has been many years since she appeared in costume and make-up on the Junior Theatre stage, Liz credits much of her success as a teacher and public speaker to the training and experience gained at JT.
June Cummins was active in Junior Theater for 10 years, from ages 8 to 18. After she graduated from San Diego High, a stone throw from Casa del Prado, she went to the University of California, Berkeley and then to Columbia University, where she obtained her Ph.D. in English literature. While her dissertation was on modernist British writers such as Virginia Woolf, she is now a professor in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at San Diego State University specializing in children's literature. She feels quite certain her interest and now expertise in this genre stems from her involvement with J.T. Her first published article was about the film adaptation of Beauty and the Beast, and she has published many more articles on topics ranging from Beatrix Potter to Harry Potter. At SDSU, she has taught several different children's literature classes, including a graduate seminar on children's literature and film. Recently, she has been developing a second specialization in Jewish-American literature, an interest that has grown out of the biography she is writing of author Sydney Taylor, who wrote the All-of-a-Kind Family books (the first mainstream books to depict Jewish children). She is married to a completely non-theatrical person, and they have three sons, ranging in age from 9 to 17. She fondly remembers her J.T. years and friends.
Daryl Daley Daryl Daley is so happy to be back up on the Junior Theatre stage! She has been involved in musical theatre since age 7, and has been in about 20 productions at JT, playing such great roles as "Adult Ensemble," "Citizen of the Jungle" and "Teenager." Since graduating in 2005, she has been a student at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, majoring in Art and Design with a concentration in Graphic Design. Daryl is also currently a member, and the Art Chair of her sorority, Sigma Kappa. She would like to thank her parents for first bringing her to Junior Theatre and always supporting her in all her endeavors, and her JT family for all the memories, and for always being here to come home to.
Brandon Davidson Brandon Davidson has Junior Theatre to thank for his first young and professional theatre experiences. He was part of over fifteen productions with Junior Theatre including Crazy For You, West Side Story, Miracle Worker, And The World Goes Round, Merrily We Roll Along, and Guys and Dolls.
Monica Dean Monica Dean is committed to making a difference in the community both on and off the air. Monica joined the NBC 7/39 news team in June 2004.
Holly Ferguson Phillips
Holly Ferguson Phillips
Holly (Ferguson) Phillips began her career at San Diego Junior Theatre in 1968. You might say that Balboa Park was where she grew up, having been in SDJT, San Diego Youth Ballet and Starlight Opera, where she played Louisa in the 1971 production of The Sound of Music. At SDJT Holly appeared in over 15 productions, among them: Rumplestiltskin, The Good Witch of Boston, The Wizard of Oz, Aesop’s Falables, Tom Sawyer, Once Upon a Mattress (the Princess and the Pea) and Good News. Holly was also an original member of the Bright Side musical group, founded by Don and Bonnie Ward, and studied voice with Evelyn Roodhouse and Tom Datz.
Following her passion for theatre Holly attended UCSD, and studied acting with Eric Christmas and Luther James and did voice work with Kristin Linklater. She also studied dance with the late Floyd Gaffney, Ruby Millsap and the San Diego Ballet. Finding that design was her passion, she was mentored in costume design by Deborah Dryden, and studied set design with Robert Israel. She performed in a vaudeville review at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival with UCSD, and was the assistant costume designer for the production of Medea, also performed at the Edinburg Festival. Following graduation from UCSD, Holly returned to work on staff as the wig master, costume designer, and personal assistant to the late Alan Schneider.
Holly has also worked extensively in advertising as a copy writer at Foote, Cone and Belding, and as a television producer at KRON TV in San Francisco where she won an Emmy for her work on a series of promotions for the Golden Gate Bridge 50th Birthday. From there, Holly went on to become the executive director of the Eastern Oregon Regional Arts Council, and co-founder of the La Grande Summer Youth Theatre. She also appeared as Yum-Yum in the Eastern Oregon University production of the Mikado, and reprised the role 5 years later in Santa Fe.
Holly moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico, where she currently lives and works as the Admissions and Outreach Director for the New Mexico School for the Arts – Art Institute. She helps students with college planning and works with students to select and prepare audition pieces for college auditions, designs an occasional costume for the dance department, and steps in to teach drawing when the art department needs her!
In her spare time, Holly makes jewelry and loves to cook and paint.
Ashley Fox Linton
Ashley Fox Linton Roles at Junior Theatre include Alice in Alice in Wonderland, Charlotte in Charlotte's Web, Fudge in Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, Kim McAfee in Bye, Bye, Birdie, Cinderella in Into the Woods, Peter Pan in Peter Pan, The Narrator in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Polly Baker in Crazy For You and many others. She served as President of Confetti and directed and choreographed the original musical Athens High.
Other theatre credits include the Broadway National Tour of Les Miserables (Cosette); Regional: Baby (Lizzie); North Coast Repertory Theatre, How the Grinch Stole Christmas! Old Globe Theatre; Call Me Madam, Goodspeed Opera House; Evita, Helen Hayes Theatre Company; A Chorus Line, Titanic, Seacoast Repertory. Workshops: David Zippel's Princesses, NAMT; Oh Rats! York Theatre Company, Grinch 10th Anniversary, Old Globe. Film: Have Dreams, Will Travel. Soloist with the Boston Pops “Best of Broadway” at Symphony Hall. Proud member of Actor's Equity Association. Ashley currently resides in Manhattan and her next project will be the Broadway National Tour of the smash hit Wicked!
Casey Gardner is currently majoring in theatre performance at San Diego City College. Casey is a veteran of San Diego Junior Theatre, where he performed over a period of 8 years and was in Confetti. Casey was a member of the International Thespian Society and served as president of his troupe. He appeared in Coronado Playhouse's 2007 "Dracula." Casey performs at the National Comedy Theatre (NCT) in shows of competitive improvisational comedy. At SeaWorld San Diego he performed in the summer nighttime dolphin show "Ignight!" and in the Halloween Sea Lion and Otter show "Clyde and Seamour's Trick or Treat."
Russell Garrett (Giesenschlag)
Russell Garrett (Giesenschlag) lives in Central Massachusetts where he is the Artistic Director of Foothills Theatre Company, a professional regional theatre in Worcester. He worked as an actor based in New York for over 20 years before moving into directing and choreographing at theatres around the country. He still occasionally performs when the schedule allows. He misses the San Diego weather come February but enjoys living in New England.
Darlene Geer Gould Davies
Darlene Geer Gould Davies
is a JT Kid. She joined the Junior Theatre
Michael Gier began his entertainment career at SDJT starting with chorus roles and working his way up to leading roles ending with the role of Tom in No, No, Nanette. His first paying job was with The Brightside with Don & Bonnie Ward. After working extensively in local theatres, Michael moved to Los Angeles to continue his career. He became an accomplished Equity performer starring in musical productions throughout the United States. Over the years Michael has had the privilege of making a living as an entertainer performing all over the world on stage, television and film as an actor, singer, dancer, and on-camera host. A few of his television and film credits include working with Gene Hackman in Geronimo, Ben Kingsley in Mrs. Harris, Gregory Hines in Tap, Brooke Shields in Suddenly Susan, The Middleman, In Living Color, Simon and Simon, a recurring role on The Bold & The Beautiful, and guest appearances on Days of Our Lives, and Passions. Michael worked as a featured soloist at the 2,300 seat Lawrence Welk Champagne Theatre in Branson, MO as one of their new young stars performing with the original Lawrence Welk television stars and a 20 piece orchestra. While with the Welk family, he also appeared in three nationally aired Lawrence Welk television specials, released an album Forever In Love, and on Labor Day performed as a soloist on the nationally aired Jerry Lewis “Stars Across America” MDA telethon. During Branson’s off season, Michael performed his headlining cabaret act for a number of cruise lines on a variety of ships. Michael has been the on-camera host for television shows Your Ticket To Branson and Snapshot: Long Beach interviewing celebrity guests such as: Debbie Reynolds, The Lennon Sisters, Roy Clark, Glen Campbell, Shari Lewis & Lamb Chop and many others. The show also included cooking segments, craft segments and stories out on location. He’s hosted many live PBS fundraisers, industrial and training videos. He was seen worldwide (including MTV here in the states) as an actor and principle dancer in FatBoy Slim's music video "Praise You", directed by Academy Nominated Director Spike Jonze. Due to the video's popularity, Michael performed "Praise You" with FatBoy Slim live at the MTV Music Awards in New York on 9/9/99, walking away with three of the four awards the video was nominated for. In October of 2003, Spike Jonze released a short film entitled "Torrance Rises" starring Michael and the others from the fictitious Torrance Community Dance Troupe. For more on Michael’s entertainment career, go to www.MichaelGier.com. In the middle of a five year stint as Wild Bill in Wild Bill’s Wild West Extravaganza at the 850-seat dinner theatre in Buena Park, CA Michael decided to find a back up career should his entertainment career slow down, which led him into real estate investing. He enjoyed real estate so much that by choice he made it his new career, and entertainment became a hobby. His company, Gier Enterprises, Inc. at www.GierEnterprises.com, builds homes to sell, and purchases homes as rentals. His company, Nationwide Property Investments, LLC at www.NationwidePropertyInvestments.com, helps others become real estate investors through education and investment opportunities. His one hour live radio show Creating Wealth Through Real Estate airs weekly on KHTS AM1220. Most recently, Michael started another company, Protect Yourself, LLC at www.2ProtectYourself.com, to help people protect themselves from Fraud and Identity Theft scams.
Vesta “Vicki” Gleissner
Vesta “Vicki” Gleissner Vesta “Vicki” Gleissner was exposed to the entertainment field from the get-go. The niece of acclaimed cowboy Gene Autry found her parents home filled with actors, musicians and Hollywood Studio employees. She became a member of Professional Screen Children’s Guild at age 5 and appeared on stage at the Pasadena Playhouse and in several TV shows. In 1948 her parents moved to San Diego and she was soon enrolled with the San Diego Jr. Theater for training. Her first appearance was in the “Rose and the Ring” and her favorite roles were Snow White in “Snow White and Seven Dwarfs” and the Griffin in “Alice in Wonderland”. She appeared at the Old Globe as Queen Elizabeth on the Green, Mopsa in “A Winters Tale”, and Hippolita in “A Mid-Summer’s Night Dream”. She also appeared in the Old Globe’s two seasons at Sherwood Hall in La Jolla as the Stepdaughter in “Six Characters in Search of an Author” and Patricia in “A Memory of Two Mondays”. When the then Falstaff Tavern became a theater in the round Vesta participated in the opening season as Abigail in “The Crucible”. Vesta’s last appearance on the main stage was in 1967 as Essie in You Can’t Take it with You. After her marriage to her Air Force husband Vesta took a hiatus to raise her two sons, Christopher and Richard. The stage called again when they were stationed in Denver, CO and Vesta performed at Bonfils Theater as Mrs. Grose in “The Innocents”, Sally Cato in “Aunty Mame” and at the Third Eye Theater as Mary Stuart in “Mary Stuart”. She also appeared in several segments on PBS. The late 70’s found the family transferred back to California and Vesta won the role of the Senora in the Ramona Pageant and both acted and directed at the Palace West Theater and the Ramona Playhouse where she received an Inland Theater award for her performance as Mother Superior in “Agnes of God”. Currently Vesta acts and directs at the Patio Playhouse in Escondido and last season won an ACT award for her performance of the Nurse in “It Runs in the Family”. Thoughts on JT: “I can not think of Balboa Park without being flooded with wonderful memories of the talented and creative people that surrounded me at San Diego Junior Theater. Always, in my minds eye, is a picture of my beautiful mother, Wilma, close by sewing costumes, building props, and calming nerves. It was an honor and privilege to be a part of JT”.
Debbie Glivar Roberts
Debbie Glivar Roberts is an award winning musical theatre expert with more than four decades of experience. Recognized as a gifted soprano vocalist she has appeared in more than 150 musical productions, concerts, television specials and recordings throughout the United States and Europe. As a music and vocal director, conductor and musician Debbie has worked with students of all grade levels. Her passion for inspiring and teaching children has lead her to become one of San Diego's most highly sought after voice and audition coaches.
Heidi Griffin Aiem
Heidi Griffin Aiem Heidi participated in JT from 1977 - 1983. She performed in numerous shows but most enjoyed her experiences in Grease, Little Mary Sunshine and Bye Bye Birdie. Heidi performed in community theatre productions with Grossmont College, Covenant Ark Theatre and Octad One Productions. After graduating from San Diego State University in 1988 with a degree in French, Heidi went to Northwest Africa with the Peace Corps. Upon her return she found her passion working in healthcare with underserved populations. She has worked with in HIV/AIDS since the late 1980's most recently at UCSD working with HIV-positive women, children and pregnant women. She currently manages HIV Counseling and Testing and Partner Services Programs for the County of San Diego in Public Health Services. Heidi is married to a great guy and has a very talented 20 year-old son and hilarious 8 year-old son -- Jakob and Rhys. Heidi credits much of her humor and passion towards life to her wonderful experiences in San Diego Junior Theatre.
Patrick Hamill After being actively involved in his high school drama class and
Ellen Harvey grew up in San Diego and loved being a part of Junior Theatre. From the moment she did her first musical "No, No, Nanette", (which was directed by Ole Kittleson and choreographed by Don & Bonnie Ward) she was hooked and couldn’t wait to start taking classes year round. Even though she was only at JT for two years, she did her first Shakespeare play "A Midsummer Night’s Dream" and ended with her most favorite role of all, "Mary Poppins". She attended Helix High, but transferred to The Children’s Theatre Company in Minneapolis for her senior year. She graduated from CTC’s conservatory program and decided that she wanted to go to college back East. She received her BFA in Acting from Boston University, and has lived in both New York City and Los Angeles ever since. Her parents still live in San Diego, having both just retired from SDSU as Theatre Arts Professors.
Jay Heiserman Jay currently serves as the full-time Art Director for The Ellen Degeneres Show, for which he has received two Emmy awards for Outstanding Art Direction/Set Design/Set Decoration. In addition, he keeps busy with many other production designs in the Los Angeles area. Jay graduated with a BFA in scene design from The Conservatory of Theatre Arts at Webster University in St. Louis, MO. At 5 years old, Jay can remember returning from a Junior Theatre production of The Music Man and re-creating the set he had seen on the Casa Del Prado stage out of wooden blocks and cardboard. For Junior Theatre, Jay has designed “actual” scenery for Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Crazy for You, Charlotte’s Web, and The Secret Garden. Some of his favorite designs elsewhere include: Oliver!, Always…Patsy Cline, The Women, Amadeus, Cinderella, and Lost in Yonkers.
Bill Hoese is a biology professor at California State University Fullerton and uses his experiences from JT every day in class while performing “street theater” to engage students in learning biology. Whether it’s dancing like a fiddler crab to illustrate animal communication or juggling pins while lecturing to demonstrate nervous system function, acting plays a pivotal role in exciting students about the wonders of biology. He is also director of the Southern California Ecosystems Research Program, which is funded by the National Science Foundation, and trains diverse students for careers in ecology and environmental biology.
Christian Hoff began his stage and screen career at age eight. Performing became an instant passion and he began training as an actor, singer and dancer. When he was eleven, he followed his Dad and Brother into music and bought his first guitar. By age twelve he was a member of three professional actors unions: Actors Equity Association, the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists and the Screen Actors Guild.
Michael Hoffer Mike was born in a USMC Hospital in Quantico, Virginia just south of Washington D.C. His theatrical career began at the early age of 6 when his Mom took him to an audition for the very young role of Peter in MOTHER CAREY‘S CHICKENS-the Senior Play for Tustin Senior High School, he got the part and had to learn all of his lines by memory as he couldn’t yet read! San Diego’s Junior Theatre beckoned and he did it all; acting in many plays among them; THE GREAT BIG DOORSTEP with the late Victor Buono as his Father, CARRIBBEAN HOLIDAY with Raquel Tejada Welch, ROBIN HOOD, A DRAGON, HERO & A KING, ALI BABA & THE FORTY THIEVES. Musical Director/Composer/Pianist for; THE WIZARD OF OZ, LOVE RIDES THE RAILS-OLIO, & MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS. He held the title of President of SDJT’s Board of Governors and served on that Board. At The Balboa Bowl SummerTeenage Operettas, under the direction of Maria Fielding and Don Ward, he appeared in THE GOLDEN TRAIL (Tad) & THE GIPSY BARON (Otto).
Trevor Hollingsworth Trevor was last seen at Cygnet Theatre as Harry Bailey and others in "It's a Wonderful Life." San Diego Rep: "A Christmas Carol", "King Lear." Trevor was Assistant Director for "The Goat or Who is Sylvia" as well as "A Christmas Carol" and "King Lear." He has worked with P33 Inc and has performed numerous roles at Starlight Civic Light Opera, Lyric Opera San Diego, and 6 @ Penn.
Leasa Hood Shukiar
Leasa Hood Shukiar is a native San Diegan and began performing at the age of 4 and was hooked from that first sound of applause. She attended the San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts and couldn't wait until she turned 8 and could follow in her sister's footsteps and attend Junior Theatre. Leasa's performing has literally taken her around the world. She even fell in love while performing, when she met her future husband in a production of "Singin' In the Rain.". She is married to acclaimed jewish composer, David Shukiar. Leasa taught 3rd grade with Los Angeles Unified school district for 4 years until her first little performer was born and now teaches dance in Simi Valley, California. Leasa loves being a mom to her 2 daughters, Carly-7yrs.
Mylinda Hull a fourth-generation San Diegan, graduated O’Farrell SCPA and San Diego Junior Theatre, made her professional debut at Starlight Opera, earned her Equity card at Welk Dinner Theater, continued on to San Diego Rep and La Jolla Playhouse. Her most recent SD performances were as Winifred in Once Upon a Mattress (Starlight) and Joan in The Lark (Second Star Productions). Mylinda resides in New York City.
Lisa Jaret (SDJT '87) is the Arts in Education Program Manager for the Washington State Arts Commission, where she manages several grant programs, a roster of teaching artists, and other projects related to supporting arts education at K-12 public schools. She's an ex-officio board member for ArtsEd Washington, and a newly appointed member of the Arts Education Advisory Group for the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies. Prior to coming to WSAC in 2005, Lisa worked at Seattle Children's Theatre for 13 years (1992-2005), where she was the Administrative Director of Education Programs and oversaw significant growth of the SCT Drama School. She hold a B.A. in Humanities from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Masters in Not-for-Profit Leadership from Seattle University. Lisa was involved in JT from about 1979 through 1987, which proved to be a great foundation for a continuing career in arts administration and arts education.
Jesse Johnson just released his first CD, "Cause & Effect". Those who wish to purchase a CD or just listen to the tunes can go to
Darcy Kavanagh Raust
Darcy Kavanagh Raust Darcy Kavanagh Raust enjoyed the acting classes and shows at the SDJT from 1979 - 1981. She was a part of Meet Me in St. Louis, Actin' Up, and No No Nanette.
Jason Kent is a partner in the Emerging Companies and Public Companies practice groups and a member of the Cooley Godward Kronish Business department. He joined the Firm in June 2000 and is resident in the San Diego office. The Firm's San Diego office was recently named the #1 firm in San Diego as ranked by area corporate board members, according to Corporate Board Member magazine.
Ole Kittleson Ole Kittleson joined SDJT as a student in 1950 and performed in 8 plays and musical. In later years he directed over 20 plays/musicals for the organization. He also served 2 years as President of the SDJT Board of Directors. Now’s that for a FULL CIRCLE!! Ole appeared off-Broadway in NYC in “Leave It To Jane” and “Little Mary Sunshine” and has appeared/directed over 60 musicals for Starlight Musical Theatre. He has also directed/performed at the Welk Resort Theatre, Diversionary Theatre, North Coast Rep, La Jolla Playhouse, Old Glove Theatre, Schroeder’s Club & Cabaret, 6th@Penn and Moonlight. He is the co-founder of the San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts and was inducted into the San Diego Theatre Hall of Fame (2004) by San Diego City Schools, Old Globe and La Jolla Playhouse. He is the lyricist for over 25 published musicals with Samuel French, Pionner Drama and Bakers Plays. The Little Theatre at SDSCPA was recently named the Ole Kittleson Little Theatre. In 2004 Starlight named him as their Man-of-the-Year.
Tyler Knell Tyler’s involvement in San Diego Junior Theatre began back at age 9 in the year 1997, thanks in large part to the urging of some of his friends at the time. While still reluctant to perform for an audience, he began to participate in summer camp and classes before finally auditioning at age 10. His first show, “The Wizard of Oz,” was such a fun and inspiring experience for him that he has continued to perform at and remain involved with SDJT in nearly every aspect for the next 9 years. His favorite memories include “Oliver!” in which he met some of the best friends he has ever had, and the Advanced Musical Theatre production of “Into the Woods,” during which he felt blessed to be able to act alongside some of Junior Theatre’s most talented students in a unique setting. Tyler currently attends the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts as a film production major. Some of his short films have been screened at film festivals throughout the San Diego and Los Angeles areas and he hopes to use the many skills that he has learned from his time at Junior Theatre in becoming a successful film director at the next level. He would like to thank Desha Crownover, Will Neblett, Mike Anthony, and all of the students, instructors, directors, and parents that have made San Diego Junior Theatre an unforgettable experience for him.
Lulu Lloyd is proud to say that since her JT days she has continued to professionally perform. Most recently she started as Lucy in 'Jekyll and Hyde' at Cabrillo Music Theatre. Other recent credits include 'The Full Monty' at Musical Theatre West and a company membership at Sierra Repertory Theatre where she played Ado Annie in 'Oklahoma!', Georgie in 'The Full Monty', Amy in 'Charley's Aunt', Herself in 'Back to Bacharach', The Narrator in 'Joseph...Dreamcoat', Lizzy in 'Baby' and Elizabeth in 'Paint Your Wagon'. She has also performed in her local San Diego at the Lyric Opera and the Starlight Bowl. Lulu graduated from the Studio Program at The American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City. She is a very proud member of Actors Equity Association. If it weren't for SDJT Lulu might not have met Scott Viets, who directed her there as Nancy in Oliver. Scott called Lulu in 2002 to come work for Sierra Rep where she got her Equity Card, the opportunity to meet incredible people and really jumpstart her professional career.
Dana Lyn Baron
Dana Lyn Baron Dana Lyn Baron (SAG, AFTRA, AEA) hails from San Diego, California, by way of Kittery, Maine and Chicago, Illinois. Her professional stage life began singing and hoofing away in musicals: Slings and Eros (West Coast Premiere), Weird Romance (West Coast Premiere), Bye Bye Birdie, 42nd Street, Singing in the Rain, No No Nanette, Sugar Babies, and Phantom. Other favorite stage roles include: Lucy in The Women (Circus Theatricals), Meg in Crimes of the Heart (HB Playwrights Foundation), Darlene in Hurly Burly (The Actors' Loft, NYC), Carol in Red Cross (Duality Playhouse, NYC), and Maria in Twelfth Night (Knightsbridge Theatre). In addition to stage and on-camera work, her voice over highlights include: 24 Day Zero (as Teri & Kim Bauer, opposite Kiefer Sutherland), World of Warcraft, Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe, among many others. While living in NYC, she began producing short films under her LongStoryShort Productions banner, including Riley’s Fan and Ultraviolet. Dana has trained with Jack Stehlin, Susan Batson, Bjorn Johnson, Paul E. Richards, Upright Citizens Brigade, The Groundlings, The British American Drama Academy, La Jolla Playhouse Summer Conservatory, and she received her B.A. in Mass Communication Studies at UCLA. She is a member of the Circus Theatricals Studio Ensemble.
Francine Maigue San Diego’s very own Francine Antoinette Maigue was crowned UCLA’s Homecoming Queen and is now known as the university’s “Royal Bruin.” Proudly representing UCLA’s Office of Residential Life, where she served as President, Resident Assistant (RA) and is now Assistant Resident Director, as its Royal Bruin nominee, Francine submitted an application including essays and lists of her many college achievements and was then invited as a finalist to be interviewed by a panel of judges consisting of UCLA leaders and alumni. After stunning the esteemed panel with her beauty, wit, composure and charm, she took home the beautiful crown sponsored by the renowned Sarah Leonard Jewelers. Francine is being honored for her outstanding service to the UCLA community, academic excellence and other university achievements. This is the first time in several years that such an honor is being awarded.
Mona Mansour is a playwright who lives in New York City. Her plays include Me and the S.L.A. and Girls Gone Scouting (with Andrea Berloff), which was part of New Work Now at the Public Theater, as well as the NY Fringe Festival. Girls Gone Scouting is headed to off-Broadway in fall 2008. Mona was recently chosen as “One of 50 to Watch” by the Dramatists Guild. Television credits include produced episodes of Showtime’s Dead Like Me and the CBS show Queens Supreme. She curated, with Lisa Kron, a piece for gay, lesbian, transgender and questioning youth called ‘Nuff Said, which was performed at Dance Theater Workshop in NYC. Excerpts from Others was performed in May 2006 at NYC’s Flea Theater, directed by Sharon Lennon. In her spare time, she teaches improv and writing classes to adults over 60 in NYC.
Sylvia Martinez Avey
Sylvia Martinez Avey (SDJT ’72-’82) credits her career today to her beginnings at Junior Theater. Following Junior Theater, she was awarded a full scholarship from KNSD/KCST to San Diego City College and two years later San State University where she received her Bachelors in Television Management. While attending college and 7 more years thereafter, she worked for the local television station in production and operations. Sylvia and her husband John made a move to Chicago’s public television station, WYCC where she became Program Director and Acting General Manager in 1993. Continuing in the public television vein she later served as General Manager for the public television station KWBU/KCTF in the Central Texas region. Desiring the big city again, she and her husband moved to the Big D (Dallas) where she took the position as Director of Programming & Marketing for the independent television station, KXTX. After 11 years away from Southern California, she and her husband returned to the area and now works in Burbank as Raycom Media’s Corporate Program Director managing the company’s 46 television stations syndicated programming acquisitions. Sylvia and her husband John live in Studio City with their dog, Sammi and their cat, Mr. Big.
Gordon McLachlan Gordo McLachlan no longer attends UCLA, half by choice of his and half by choice of UCLA administrators. After returning home to San Diego he designed the set for Junior Theatre's production of "Zombie Prom." Currently he divides his time working for "the man" and operation his found art group "The Merry Art Pranksters" and his performance troupe "$.02 Canary", both of which are filled to the brim with members from Junior Theatre, both past, present, and future. He is currently a carnie/performer with downtown's irrereverent and ultraviolet Technomania Circus. www.technomaniacircus.com
Jeremy McQueen (SDJT Class of ‘04) currently lives in New York City where he is a senior in The Ailey School/Fordham University, Bachelors of Fine Arts in Dance degree program. While in school, Jeremy has dance professionally for The Chase Brock Experience and has returned to San Diego several times to dance as a guest artist with the California Ballet Company. Over the past four years he has had the privilege of dancing works by; Alvin Ailey, Nicolo Fonte, Christopher Huggins, Alonzo King, among many others. As a choreographer, Jeremy recently choreographed and produced EVOLVING: Beyond the Essence An Evening of Works by Jeremy McQueen, which was presented by The Ailey School. In May, Jeremy will make his Carnegie Hall debut performing with the Aeros Quintet. Following graduation, he will joining the cast of Susan Stroman’s Tony Award-Winning Musical, CONTACT, at the North Shore Music Theatre in Boston, Massachusetts.
Brian Stokes Mitchell
Brian Stokes Mitchell Brian Stokes Mitchell was born on Halloween in Seattle, Washington. Since his father was a civilian electronics engineer working for the Navy, his family traveled throughout the Far East, living for several years in the Philippines and Guam.
Bio and photo courtesy Brian Stokes Mitchell, at http://www.brianstokes.com/stokes.html. Credits from Internet Movie Database ( http://www.imdb.com ) and Internet Broadway Database ( http://www.ibdb.com ).
Casey Nicholaw Casey Nicholaw was heavily involved in Jr Theatre productions in the late 70's before he went off to UCLA and New York. Having just been nominated for a Tony award for best choreographer for SPAMALOT, SDJT congratulates him!
Sara Nichols Sara S. Nichols is a dynamic public speaker who has appeared on Larry King, Jerry Springer, the Newshour with Jim Lehrer and talk radio. She is the political/spiritual columnist for the online magazine Rudolf's Diner. She is also studying to be a spiritual practitioner and sings in a new thought gospel choir. She lives in cohousing in downtown Sacramento with her husband, a senior advocate for the Sierra Club, along with their two children. Founding Partner, Gross National Happiness Team. http://snicholsblog.blogspot.com/
Matthew Novotny Matthew went to Point Loma High School, where he was taught by one of San Diego's best, Priscilla Allen. Priscilla gave Matthew the guidance to pursue lighting design as well as acting. He attended San Diego Junior Theatre, where he was part of over 50 productions, including Bye Bye Birdie (Mr. Macafee), Peter Pan (Mr. Darling), as well as The Crucible (Judge Danforth), The Miser (Harpagon), and Antigone (Kreon).
Information from http://www.matthewnovotny.com/bio.php.
Tyler Ochoa appeared in eight shows from 1971-1979 (Wizard of Oz (twice),
Ric Oquita Ric Oquita studied at Junior Theatre from 1975 to 1979 and went on to Acting Conservatory programs at USC and Cornell. He has been a company member of the Milwaukee Repertory Theare, the Mixed Blood Theatre and Ping Chong and Company.
Lizbeth Persons Price
Lizbeth Persons Price Bio coming soon!
Bio coming soon!
Brian Polk Brian Polk was cast and crew for 40 shows at Junior Theatre from 1998 to 2005 and served as Secretary and President of Confetti during his final two years. Brian graduated from Point Loma High School in 2005 and is now a rising student at Harvard University. He has appeared in several shows with the Harvard-Radcliffe Dramatic Club, among them: Richard II, as Richard, last spring and the Gilbert and Sullivan Players' 50th anniversary production of H.M.S. Pinafore, as The Right Honourable Sir Joseph Porter. Brian is also the incoming president of OTI, Harvard's oldest improv comedy troupe, and sang in Harvard's Holden Choirs his freshman year. This coming fall, Brian will be returning for his second year as a cast member of Hasty Pudding Theatricals, Harvard's yearly, original burlesque musical, which tours New York City and the island of Bermuda for a handful of shows each spring after thirty shows in Cambridge. The Hasty Pudding Company welcomed Scarlett Johanson and Ben Stiller to Cambridge in style this past year with its annual Man of the Year and Woman of the Year celebrations. Hasty Pudding's 159th annual production, The Tent Commandments, included Brian as the Stewie-Griffin-esque ringmaster, Barney Munbailey. Brian studies American History and Literature and Medieval Literature and Art at Harvard.
Helen Prine saw her first Junior Theatre production, “Seventeen,” starring Eric Onstead, when JT was still performing shows at the old Puppet Theatre in Balboa Park. “At that time,” Helen recalls, “I don’t think I knew what it was to be an actor, I just knew that I wanted to (had to) do that!” Helen joined JT as soon as age would allow and was a thrilled member until she turned 18.
Colette Pritchard Fox
Colette Pritchard Fox When Colette (Pritchard) Fox recalls growing up in San Diego, some of her brightest memories involve the many hours & days spent at the Casa Del Prado taking JT classes & rehearsing for shows, and touring schools with Confetti. Colette was in Junior Theatre from age 8 to 18 and shows spanned “The Wizard of Oz” around 1970 to “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” in 1979. (Yes, I’m getting old!) Her crew assignments ranged from managing the telephones for “Bye Bye Birdie” to stage managing “Babes in Arms.” After high school, Colette earned her undergraduate degree at UCLA and then a master’s in broadcast journalism at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. She interned at CNN’s Washington bureau and then worked as an on-camera reporter at the ABC affiliate in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and the CBS affiliate in Honolulu. She then went on to produce for “America’s Most Wanted” and the Newseum in Washington, DC. Currently, Colette is a full-time mom and part-time freelance writer & producer in Honolulu, conducting & coordinating interviews for network & cable as well as producing a public affairs program for PBS Hawaii and contributing to print & online publications. A documentary Colette co-wrote & co-produced aired on The History Channel and is now showing at the Newseum in Washington, DC. Colette’s only theatrical outlet these days is the annual SPJ Gridiron Show – a musical satire production to raise scholarship funds for the Society of Professional Journalists. Meanwhile, she keeps busy raising two overly dramatic children.
Jennie Pyles Gregory
Jennie Pyles Gregory is a Real Estate Agent for Keller Williams Realty-Los Feliz in Los Angeles. This Fall she will be teaching English as a Second Language to Adults in the evenings for the Los Angeles Unified School District. Jennie can be seen in the opening scene of the feature horror film “Plague Town” which will be released in selected theaters this fall and later on DVD. Jennie also filmed all the “behind the scenes” footage for future featurettes of “Plague Town”.
Jason Rao Jason Rao went to the University of California at Santa Cruz where he balanced both theater arts studies with pre-med, graduating with a BS in chemistry. After working in the pharmaceutical industry for a few years, Jason went on to the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine receiving his doctorate in Molecular Medicine in 2001. From there, Jason was a fellow at the National Institutes of Health, and went on to a position within the U.S. Department of State working on the next generation of "Science Diplomacy" in countries like Russia, Indonesia and Pakistan. This year, Jason lived in Islamabad serving as the advisor to the U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan. He is now living in Washington DC, working as the Director of the Bioengagement Program for the State Department, which provides assistance around the globe to develop safe public health and research capacity. Jason has found his training at JT to be very much the key to success; all the world's a stage- especially when you are representing the US Government!
Lou Romano Lou Romano was born in San Diego, Ca. in 1972. He took an interest in drawing at an early age and studied theater arts, performing in plays throughout junior high and high school. After graduating in 1990 he studied animation at The California Institute of the Arts.
Jan Tassi Rominger
Jan Tassi Rominger After having grown up in Junior Theatre (1970-1980), Jan went on to graduate from San Diego State University with a degree in Recreation Thearapy. In 1981, Jan was hired by Don Ward as a Teaching Artist at JT before moving on to other children's theaters and professional ventures in Seattle, Phoenix, New Mexico and San Francisco. Jan is currently the Founder and Artistic Director of TheatriKIDS, an educational theater component of Theatrikos Theatre Company in Flagstaff, AZ. Jan moved to Flagstaff seven years ago and started the program with 35 elementary aged students, which has grown every year, with an expected registration this summer of 375 young actors hitting the boards at the Doris Harper-White Community Playhouse.
James Ruddy (83-84): Ruddy has been with The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation for the past couple of years; in the CSU. Ruddy hopes to survive the department until about 2021. When possible Ruddy would like to return to the stage and play his favorite role, The Fool in King Lear.
Kaleb Scott (aka Held) spent 16 years in the performing arts as a dancer, choreographer, singer, actor and model. He was born in Toronto, Canada and started studying at age 7 in San Diego. San Diego Youth Ballet, Junior Theatre, UTC Ice Skating, Victory Gymnastics, Munich International School, Geneva International School of the Arts, New York's American Dance Machine, Dance Electric, California Ballet, School of Creative and Performing Arts, and Starlight Theatre where his stomping grounds. Favorite roles: Oliver (Oliver!), Scarecrow (The Wiz), Gollum (The Hobbit), Jude (Jesus Christ Superstar) and Derma/Cover Girl (LaCage Aux Folles).
San Diego Civic Youth Ballet
Emily Shackelford is a San Diego native, and a proud San Diego Junior Theatre Alum! She developed her love for theatre through SDJT's educational program, and is overjoyed to work with the new generations of SDJT students! In May of 2009 she recieved her B.F.A. in Theatre from Stephens College, in Columbia, Missouri. While studying with Stephens, she spent a summer at the Okoboji Summer Theatre, in Okoboji Iowa, where she performed in 3 of the 9 mainstage productions, and worked in the scene shop, costume shop, light shop, box office, house management, and even dappled in sound design. Also at Stephens, she spent a year working as the Public Relations Director for The Warehouse Theatre Company, the student-run theatre on campus. She started as a teaching artist at San Diego Junior Theatre the summer of 2009, and will be directing Lyle Lye the Crocodile in September!
Roya Shanks is currently performing in “The Quotable Assassin” at Altered Stages, 212 West 29th Street, Chelsea, through Nov. 18; (212) 352-3101.
Jessica Sheridan Jessica Sheridan received a thorough education in all aspects of theatre during her nine years with SDJT. She learned, not just performing, but all the myriad tasks it takes to get a show up and running from painting the sets; publicity; selling tickets; to operating the light and sound boards; ensuring scenery and props are where they belong; costumes, hair, and makeup are right; and how to call a show. As a performer, she had ample opportunities to learn her craft. In Jessica’s first JT show she played a Munchkin, Jitterbug, and Ozian in The Wizard of Oz. She continued in many other roles–working her way up from the chorus to leads over the years–ending as Rizzo in Grease. In addition to her training at SDJT, Jessica danced for 14 years with the Janie Cushing Dance Studio in Pacific Beach and received a full scholarship to USIU’s School of Performing Arts. She left USIU after two years when professional work intervened. She currently lives in New York City. Jessica earned her Equity card in San Diego while playing in shows at Starlight, Theatre East, the Lyric Dinner Theatre, and several shows at Lawrence Welk’s Village Theatre. Subsequently she has been back in San Diego performing with several national tours. She also had the great opportunity to be in the world premiere performances at La Jolla Playhouse of Harmony, a musical conceived and written by Barry Manilow and Bruce Sussman. Other credits include: BROADWAY AND NATIONAL TOURS: The Producers (Shirley Markowitz, Touch-Me-Feel-Me); Beauty and the Beast (Mrs. Potts); Footloose (Betty Blast, Eleanor Dunbar); How to Succeed … (Smitty) – a role she first did at JT; and Les Miserables (Mme. Thenardier). OFF BROADWAY / REGIONAL: Play It Cool (Mary) — a world premiere for which Jessica was nominated for a 2007 Ovation Award for Lead Actress in a Musical and for an LA Weekly Award for Best Musical Performance and for Best Musical Ensemble; Radio City Christmas Spectacular (Mrs. Claus); A Funny Thing Happened … (Domina); Hello Dolly (Ermengarde and u/s Dolly); Liza–Stepping Out (Demon Diva) —Jessica went on to tour the US and Europe with Liza; Jesus Christ Superstar (Mary Magdalene); Music Man (Mrs. Paroo); The King and I (Lady Thiang); Nunsense (Sr. Hubert); La Cage aux Folles (Jacqueline); Anything Goes (5 times total, 3 as Bonnie [once opposite Ray Walston], and 2 times as Reno Sweeney) – 6 times if you count that she first played Reno Sweeney at JT; and
Bill Simmons is now Bill Polk. Bill is Mohawk and after marrying Jennifer Polk, took her clan ties. They are both retired from the San Diego Unified School District. Their 7 year old daughter Ayla has done numerous productions at the Casa Del Prado Theatre with the San Diego Civic Youth Ballet.
Erica Simpson is an Emmy nominated Videographer/Editor/Reporter now working for KPBS Television. Prior to that, she worked for KGTV, KUSI and Stu Segal Productions.
Kevin Six was once an up and comer in the nonprofit arts community, where he worked in ticketing, sales, as a marketing and PR director, grantwriter and executive director. This was before he discovered the flying trapeze. Add that to surfing and, well, you know…
Kerry Slattery joined Junior Theatre in 1956, and at age 13 in 1957 was cast in the title role of "Cinderella", an experience which caused her to realize she was destined for a career in theatre and she set about to prepare for it. At Junior Theatre, she subsquently played the role of Beauty in "Beauty and the Beast" (double cast with JT alumna Sharon Barcom Hoffer!), and then appeared in a number of San Diego community theatre productions while still in Junior High.
Suzy Schierholt Smith
Suzy Schierholt Smith had a blast at Junior Theatre from 1980-1984 starting with being on the crew for "I Sincerely Doubt This Old House Is Very Haunted" at the Puppet Theatre while the Casa del Prado was being remodeled. Favorite memories include being in or being on the crew for "Heidi, "Babes in Toyland," "Anything Goes," "Midsummer Night's Dream," "Mary Poppins," and her personal favorite "Snow White" (how incredibly cute was Andy Collins as Prince Charming?). After leaving Junior Theatre and SCPA in 1984, Suzy headed off to the University of Miami in Florida to obtain degrees in political science and economics. While in Miami, Suzy had her biggest (ha-ha) moments in show business as a model and extra (on such fabulous gigs as the movie "Revenge of Nerds Part II" and episodes of "Miami Vice"). After living and working in San Francisco and Seattle, Suzy returned to San Diego and received a Master's degree in Rhetoric from San Diego State. She has fun at her job as a technical writer for the software company Adobe. Happily married to Kent Smith since 1997, Suzy has a son named Kellen and a daughter named Schuyler that attend Longfellow Spanish Immersion Magnet School in the Bay Park neighborhood of San Diego. Kellen and Schuyler are also proud second generation Junior Theatre students. Suzy frequently forces her family to listen to original Broadway cast albums and Internet radio stations that play songs from the Great American Songbook. She will play "Name That Tune" with anyone who dares.
Adam Stein After college Adam moved to New York and started acting. He played a small role in Julie Taymor's production of Titus Andronicus, got an Equity card and went to Chicago to do a two-hander at Steppenwolf, then returned to graduate school at NYU where he got an MFA in 1998. Since then, he's been acting professionally doing shows at regional theatres all over the country, and appeared on Broadway for a year in The Lion King as Zazu the blue hornbill. One of his biggest thrills was coming back to San Diego to play the lead role in Don Juan at the Old Globe Theatre. Over the last couple of years he's transitioned into writing. He's had articles published in GQ, the New York Times Magazine, and Glamour, and he's currently on the writing staff of a new television show shooting in New York called "Damages," starring Glenn Close. He plans to act again someday but he's enjoying seeing where this particular road takes him. In addition, he has a three year old son named Somerset and he's in a band called The Petersons (www.myspace.com/essexonhaughatuck).
Karina Tepper participated in JT from 1973 until 1979. She enjoyed dancing in Mary Poppins, the Music Man, and Meet Me in St. Louis. She also danced with Starlight in No No Nanette, Music Man and South Pacific.
Justin Valdez Justine Valdez began her Junior Theatre experience at the age of nine through summer camps and classes. Three years later, she appeared in her first show with Junior Theatre in their original cast of SLEEPING BEAUTY as Cinderella. Justine has been a part of over 10 productions with Junior Theatre. Some of her favorites include BYE BYE BIRDIE, PETER PAN, JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT, CRAZY FOR YOU and THE WORLD GOES ROUND. While doing productions with Junior Theatre, Justine has performed all throughout the San Diego community including the Coronado School of Arts, San Diego Repertory Theatre, The Old Globe, The Coronado Playhouse, Young Audiences of San Diego, Southwestern College and at professional sporting events as a solo performer singing the National Anthem. Much of her career over the past nine years has been working extremely close with director Bill Virchis and Teatro Mascara Magica. Justine currently lives Los Angeles and in May 2005, she graduated from The American Academy of Dramatic Arts- Hollywood where she took her final student bow as Desiree Armfeldt in Sondeim's A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC. Justine made her theatrical debut in the Los Angeles world-premiere musical as Candi McCallister in ZANNA DON'T! at West Coast Ensemble. The show received three Ovation Award Nominations and three Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards, including Best Ensemble. Recently, she has been working closely with director Tom Robinson at The Glendale Centre Theatre in THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL and as Urleen in FOOTLOOSE. Currently, Justine is a Studio Guide at Universal Studios-Hollywood and gives public and private VIP tours of the Universal's movie studio lot to hundreds of guests weekly. She also gives tours of the iconic Kodak Theatre- home to The Academy Awards. On top of that, she assists with children's art classes and gives tours to elementary students at The Los Angeles County Museum of Art. When Justine isn't giving tours, she is writing and creating her one woman show with the words and songs of Liza Minnelli called JUST...Like Liza. www.myspace.com/justinevaldez
Eric von Metzke
Eric von Metzke Eric von Metzke began his life in theatre at the age of 12 when he participated in the backstage crew for arguably the best JT show ever produced, Peter Pan (1994). Eric’s favorite roles at JT include Rooster in Annie, Harold Hill in Music Man, The Cowardly Lion in the Wizard of Oz and the title role in Hans Christian Anderson. Eric is a graduate from San Diego State University and has been performing professionally for the last 3 years at such venues as Starlight, San Diego Musical Theatre and Sea World among others. He is currently working on his Masters in Education while still finding time to jam with his band.
Kirby Ward Kirby Ward has been in the entertainment industry for over thirty-five years and is a veteran of over sixty theatrical productions. As the original Bobby Child in the London West End premier of Crazy For You he received an Olivier Award nomination and later a Helen Hayes Award nomination at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC. You can hear his performance on the London cast recording. He was also featured in the Broadway revival of Show Boat directed by Hal Prince. As director and choreographer, Kirby has created material for Debbie Reynolds and Donald O'Connor, worked with Bette Midler and James Caan on the film For The Boys, and has directed and choreographed both off-Broadway and regionally all over the US. Kirby was instrumental in translating George Gershwin’s lyrics and Ken Ludwig’s book of Crazy For You into Korean when he directed the Korean premier in Seoul. He’s been named Best Director of 2002 and 2005 in Boston for his critically acclaimed productions of Singin' in the Rain and Crazy For You and recently received the San Diego Critics Circle Craig Noel Award for Best Director of a Musical for 2005. He’s appeared in concert at the The Hollywood Bowl, with the Buffalo Philharmonic and Virginia Symphony and the Pacific Symphony in Orange County. Kirby has written for television and film, most recently wrapping on an original short film that he also directed for the film festival circuit called Down in the Mouth. His original new musical Romancing the Throne was featured at the Theatre Building Chicago’s New Tuners series and Goodspeed Music Theatre's New Artists Festival.
Beverly Ward www.beverlyward.com
Kelly Ward Kelly Ward has acted, produced, written and directed for television, film and stage. Notable credits include co-starring roles in the movies Grease, The Big Red One and Zoot Suit, co-writing the feature films Once Upon A Forest and All Dogs Go to Heaven 2, and directing voices for hundreds of cartoons including: Jakers! The Adventures of Piggley Winks, 101 Dalmatians, Casper, The Pink Panther, Back to the Future and Fievel's American Tales. His executive experience includes four years as V.P. of Animation at MGM, and two years as V.P. Creative Affairs at MCA/Universal Family Entertainment.
Teri Weisenberg Ang
Teri Weisenberg Ang Teri Ang is a JT alumni and is excited to be part of this year’s 6oth anniversary as the director for “How To Eat Fried Worms”. She has been involved in theatre since she was 8 years old starting at JT of course (when she was Teri Weisenberg). She has been a theatre arts teacher at Valencia Park Center for Academics, Drama and Dance, a San Diego City Schools performing arts magnet for the last 21 years. There she has directed countless youth theatre productions. She has also worked for many community theatres doing stage management, production and acting.
Wendy Wilson Graduated from Junior Theatre in 1981. First crew: grip on "Little Mary Sunshine" with Brian Mitchell and Maria Estrada (performed in the round so I didn't have to move anything)
Billy Wolfe BILLY WOLFE
Ellen Zolezzi was a Junior Theatre member from 1987-1996, Ellen performed and crewed in over 30 productions. Some of her leading roles include Peter Pan in Peter Pan, Peggy Sawyer in 42nd Street, Susan in Company, Anne in The Diary of Anne Frank, Lucinda in Into The Woods. Ellen also attended and received her diploma from the San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts, where her credits include Lola in Damn Yankees, Lucielle Early in No, No, Nanette, Minnie Fay in Hello Dolly, Judith in Sophisticated Ladies, and Sonya in Godspell. S.D regional credits include Jane in Peter Pan with Cathy Rigby at the Civic Theatre, Wendy in Peter Pan at the Welk, and a Minion in ʽDraculʼ at the S.D. Repertory Theatre. Ellen went on to receive her BFA in theatre at The Boston Conservatory, and now happily resides in New York.