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Staff Bios

EXECUTIVE STAFF

ELLEN GEER (Artistic Director) has been Artistic Director for Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum since 1978. In that time, Ms. Geer has guided the theatre from a Sunday afternoon workshop to a professional repertory theatre company with a negotiated AEA Contract. She has produced and directed over 40 productions including the works of Shakespeare, Tennessee Williams, Chekhov, Thornton Wilder and the classics of Greek literature. She created the Academy of the Classics in 1976, which now houses our Intensive Shakespeare Seminar, Scene Study, classes and a Youth Drama Camp. She helped develop School Days, a field trip for young people which serves over 8,000 Los Angeles school children each spring. She co-developed Classroom Enrichment, which takes our actor/teachers into classrooms working along with the teachers to help the students perform the roles in selected Shakespearean plays. In addition to her work in film and television (Harold and Maude, Patriot Games, Clear and Present Danger, to name a few), she is a graduate Professor of classical acting at UCLA’s Department of Theatre, Film and Television. She has received numerous awards for her work at Theatricum and in the community including a Los Angeles County “Woman of the Year” award.  egtree@theatricum.com

JULIE ANDERSON (Comptroller) Julie has a BA in Writing from Johns Hopkins and an MA in Cinema Studies from NYU. A Wisconsin native, she comes to Los Angeles by way of New York and is the mom of 9-year old twins currently in the SMMUSD. She is especially happy when poring over the ledgers for education and arts organizations which she has done for Women Make Movies, the SMMUSD Local Control Funding Committee, and her family’s manufacturing business.  theatricumcomptroller@gmail.com

ELIZABETH TOBIAS ( Education Director, Grants Manager) received her BA from UCLA’s School of Theatre, Film and Television and a degree from UCLA’s Graduate School of Education. She has both taught and administrated for Serendipity Children’s Theatre, S.T.A.R., The Powerhouse, The Actors’ Gang and Theatricum. She has Professional Designation in Arts Education from the L.A. County Arts Commission and writes curriculum, lesson plans, and grants for a variety of arts programs. She has produced film and theatre, and as an actress, has performed professionally at Theatricum, Pasadena Playhouse, The Getty Villa and others. Her many television and film appearances include Entourage, 7th Heaven, and NYPD Blue. Ms. Tobias is Co-Artistic Director of Creative PlayGround, a company of adult, professional actors presenting interactive adaptations of classic children’s literature.  classroomenrichment@hotmail.com

ADMINISTRATIVE STAFF

IAN FLANDERS (General Manager) has been a member of the Theatricum acting company for most of his life and serves in many different capacities: Board member, Grounds Manager, Photographer, Computer/IT Consultant, Sound Designer, General Overall Trouble-Shooter and Marketing Team member (with oversight of Web and Graphic Design). Ian teaches improv classes for our Academy of the Classics and is the founder of Topanga’s renowned (and hilarious) Off-The-Grid Improv Comedy Troupe that performs each summer season at Theatricum.  ifweb@theatricum.com

RON GLASS (Administrative Assistant)  TheatricumOffice@gmail.com

DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT

JOY KLIEWER, Ph.D. (Development Director) has spent two decades in nonprofit and educational leadership, development, teaching, and research. She previously served as Director of Advancement at Mirman School, Director of Institutional Advancement at Fountain Valley School of Colorado, Associate VP for Advancement at Pitzer College, and Director of Alumni and Donor Relations at Claremont Graduate University, where she received her Ph.D. in Higher Education. Joy was founding Dean of the College of Education and Assistant Professor at Argosy University Orange County, and Assistant to the Executive VP for Distance Learning and Educational Outreach at Western University of Health Sciences. In addition to her Ph.D., she received a master’s degree in Higher Ed. at UCLA and a BA in Psychology and Sociology at UC, Irvine. She is author of the book “The Innovative College: Nurturing the Distinctive Learning Environment” (Greenwood/Oryx Press/American Council on Education).  TheatricumOffice@gmail.com

ELIZABETH TOBIAS (Grants Manager)  classroomenrichment@hotmail.com

CAITLIN STEGEMOLLER (Development Assistant)

CARRIE BIRMINGHAM/MELORA MARSHALL (Barn Dance Event Coordinators)

PETER ALSOP (Concert Coordinator)  peter@peteralsop.com

MARKETING DEPARTMENT

VICTORIA HILYARD (Marketing Coordinator/Patron Services Manager) is a graduate of the California State University, Northridge with a BA in Radio-TV-Film production. She’s worked in a variety of capacities in both theatre and documentary film making as stage manager, assistant director and production coordinator, and was founder and Senior Managing Editor of Buzzine, an international entertainment magazine where she regularly contributed as a feature writer, film and music reviewer and photographer. Victoria studied classical theater under the mentorship of Ellen Geer, Susan Angelo and other teachers in the Theatricum’s Academy of the Classics. She is also a member of Theatricum’s acting company.   theatricum@theatricum.com

IAN FLANDERS (Graphics)  ifweb@theatricum.com

LUCY POLLAK (Publicist) has been providing publicity services to the Los Angeles arts community for the past 23 years, In addition to Theatricum, she is also active with 24th Street Theatre, Antaeus, DOMA Theatre Company, The Echo Theater Company, Fountain Theatre, International City Theatre, Los Angeles County Arts Commission, The Matrix Theatre Company, Odyssey Theatre Ensemble, Padua Playwrights; numerous independent theater and dance productions; and large events and festivals such as the annual L.A. County Holiday Celebration at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and the NoHo Scene. From 1981 to 1990, she was production manager/staff producer at the Odyssey Theatre. She is the recipient of a Los Angeles Drama Critic’s Circle Award (Master Class), an LA Weekly Award (Mary Barnes), four Drama-Logue Awards (Mary Barnes, Idioglossia, Accidental Death of An Anarchist, It’s A Girl!), and a Women in Theatre Recognition Award. She has served on the boards of directors of the Los Angeles Theatre Alliance (now L.A. Stage Alliance), Women in Theatre and P.A.T.H. (Performing Arts Theatre for the Handicapped).  lucy@lucypr.com

REPERTORY

ELLEN GEER (Artistic Director)  egtree@theatricum.com

JONATHAN BLANDINO (Casting Associate/Professional Acting internship Coordinator)  dblandino@gmail.com

ASHTON WILLIAMS (Technical & Arts Management Program Coordinator) Ashton Williams is a Production and Stage Manager for Theater and Live-Events. She earned a BA in Technical Theater from California Lutheran University, and is currently working on a MFA in Theatre (with an emphasis in Management) from California Institute of the Arts. At CalArts she is fine tuning her techniques under the mentoring of Jimmie McDermott, a Del Hughes Award recipient. Ashton’s edification and skill set have been enhanced by world travel throughout her education—studying theater and the Renaissance in Florence, Italy while simultaneously volunteering with Ronda della Carita and UNICEF. Her passion for entertaining started at a young age and by the age of 12 she was managing her first theatrical show. Since then Ashton has been fortunate to work with extraordinary people and companies such as John Gould Rubin, Los Angeles County Arts Commission, Jack McGee, Shakespeare Center LA, John Legend.  ashtoncheyenne@gmail.com

KIM CAMERON (Company Manager) creates order out of chaos in the world of theatre, opera, film, television, and events. For Theatricum, Kim serves as both Stage Manager and Company Manager. She graduated from Beloit College in Wisconsin, majoring in Theater and Economics Management. She’s worked as Stage Manager for Victory Gardens Theatre and Chicago’s Lyric Opera, Assistant Director on several independent films, Venue Stage Manager in Salt Lake City for the 2002 Olympics, and Project Coordinator for Thinkwell Design and The Hettema Group. Most recently, Kim was admitted to the California Bar!  kimcam.productions@gmail.com

SEEDLINGS NEW PLAY DEVELOPMENT

JENNIE WEBB (Seedlings Program Director/Literary Manager) is an independent Los Angeles playwright whose plays have been presented on stages throughout the U.S. and internationally at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Her works have been published by Heinemann Press and International Centre for Women Playwrights. She is a resident playwright at Rogue Machine Theatre, and a member of the Playwrights Union, EST/LA Playwrights Unit and co-founder of the LA Female Playwrights Initiative (LA FPI). For her work supporting new plays and playwrights, she was chosen to receive a 2010 Women in Theatre Red Carpet Award. Her involvement with new play development programs including A.S.K Theater Projects, The Playwrights Center in Minneapolis and the Alliance of Los Angeles Playwrights led her to create “Botanicum Seedlings: A Development Series for Playwrights” after she was commissioned and named playwright-in-residence by Theatricum Botanicum in 2001.  seedlings@theatricum.com

SCHOOL PROGRAMS

ELIZABETH TOBIAS (Education Director)  classroomenrichment@hotmail.com

CHRISTINE BREIHAN (School Programs Manager)

FRANK WEIDNER (School Programs Coordinator)

ACADEMY OF THE CLASSICS

SUSAN ANGELO (Education Director Emeritus)  educationdirector@theatricum.com

SARAH STONE (Adult Programs Manager) comes to Theatricum from the world of feature film and television. In her years working as an IATSE art department manager, Sarah provided her administration and management skills to some of the most prominent production studios, networks and impresarios in the film business.  Reach her at academy@theatricum.com

CYNTHIA KANIA-GUASTAFERRO (Youth Programs Manager) received her MFA in theatre from the University of Southern California, studying with John Houseman, Nina Foch, and Charles Marowitz. She also teaches a variety of classes including Language & Rhetoric, Voice, Monologues, Elizabethan Dance, and Improvisation. She has taught and directed young people extensively in the L A area for over 30 years including Young Actors Workout, Hothouse Improv, TVI, Teen Age Drama Workshop at Cal State Northridge, as well as private and onset coaching. As an actress, Cindy worked as a Theatricum company member, as well as originating roles in the LA premieres of such plays as Edmond, Women Behind Bars, and Bleacher Bums. In film and TV, she has worked with Francis Coppola, David Mamet, Tom Hanks, Jackie Gleason, and Michael Apted. Cindy and her husband, actor Vincent Guastaferro, run their own acting school, The Sport of Acting, in Burbank.  youth@theatricum.com

CHRISTINA FEINBERG (High School Programs Manager)  theatricumteen@gmail.com

ELISA RICHARDSON (Young People’s Program Manager) trained in London with RADA and holds an MFA in Acting from Rutgers University under the direction of William Esper. Elisa received her undergraduate degree from Whittier College where she attended on a vocal music scholarship. Elisa is also certified in Armed and Unarmed combat by both the Society of British Fight Directors and the Society of American Fight Directors. She teaches and directs theatre for Inside-Out Community Arts, Inner-City Arts, CTG’s P.L.A.Y. program, Upstage Theatre Schools, Knightsbridge Theatre and La Canada Jr. Theatre. She created the Spectrum Drama Program at New Roads High School and co-founded the Young Actors Workshop in New Jersey. Regional credits: South Coast Repertory Theatre’s world premiere of Safe in Hell where she created the role of Little Mary. Film and television: “Days of Ours Lives”, “Guiding Light” and Fox Searchlab’s Delusion, which received acclamation at both the Palm Beach and Beverly Hills Film Festival.  youngpeople@theatricum.com

FAMILY FUNDAYS

PETER ALSOP (Kids Koncerts Producer)  peter@peteralsop.com

KAREN HARDCASTLE (Creative PlayGround Producer)