Staff

EXECUTIVE STAFF

Ellen Geer
Artistic Director

ELLEN GEER 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 50 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.”

Elizabeth Tobias
Education Director/Grants Director

ELIZABETH TOBIAS  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

Julie Anderson
Director of Operations/Grants Manager

JULIE ANDERSON 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 where she was involved in independent film, and the Off and Off-Off-Broadway theatre communities for 20 years.   Julie began  her career working in a start-up family business and since then she has continued to hone the skills she learned there by pursuing her passions for arts and education,  both professionally and as a volunteer advocate.  Julie is the mother of twins, who, because of Theatricum have favorite characters in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and opinions about Coriolanus’ character flaws.   

julie@theatricum.com

ADMINISTRATIVE STAFF

Constance Jewell Lopez
Box Office Manager
Lisa Farber
Patron Services Manager
Ron Glass
Administrative Assistant
Karen Osborne
Volunteer Coordinator

DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT

Joy Kliewer
Development Director

JOY KLIEWER, Ph.D.  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). joy@theatricum.com

Gina Shansey
Development Assistant

EDUCATION DEPARTMENT

Elisa Schultz-Richardson
Young People's Camp Manager

ELISA SCHULTZ-RICHARDSON 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

Cynthia Kania-Guastaferro
Youth Programs Manager

CYNTHIA KANIA-GUASTAFERRO  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

Sarah Stone
Adult Programs Manager

SARAH STONE 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

Christine Breihan
School Programs Manager
Frank Weidner
School Programs Coordinator
Elizabeth Tobias
Education Director

ELIZABETH TOBIAS  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

REPERTORY

Ellen Geer
Artistic Director

ELLEN GEER  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 50 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.

Kim Cameron
Company Manager

KIM CAMERON creates order out of chaos in the world of theatre, opera, film, television, and events. She has been Stage Managing at Theatricum for over a decade, and became Company Manager in 2012. She graduated from Beloit College in Wisconsin, with a Bachelor of Arts in both Theatre and Economics Management, and holds a J.D. from Concord Law School. She has worked as a Stage Manager in Chicago (Victory Gardens Theatre and the Lyric Opera), New York (the Lamb’s Theatre), and Los Angeles (Theatricum; as an Assistant Director for film and television in New York and Los Angeles; as Venue Stage Manager for the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City; and as a Project Manager for The Hettema Group in Pasadena. Kim is also an attorney and Managing Partner for the law firm of Bucher & Cameron, LLP.

SPECIAL EVENTS & PROGRAMS

Peter Alsop
Family Fundays: Kids Koncerts Producer/Concerts Coordinator
Karen Hardcastle
Family Fundays: Creative PlayGround Producer
Marshall McDanial
Under the Oaks Producer/Oak Tree Group
Jennie Webb
Seedlings Program Director

JENNIE WEBB is an LA-based playwright, in residence at Theatricum and Rogue Machine (where her dark retail comedy “Yard Sale Signs” premiered), with works produced and/or supported by theaters and programs including The Playwrights Center’s PlayLabs, Great Plains Theatre Conference, Theatre of NOTE, Road Theatre, Santa Monica Rep, Inkwell Theater, Blank Theatre, Little Black Dress INK, Virginia Avenue Project, National Winter Playwrights Retreat, PlayGround-LA  & Moving Arts MADlab. She is currently a member of the Playwrights Union, EST/LA Playwrights & the Dramatists Guild and co-founder of the LA Female Playwrights Initiative. She was awarded a Max K. Lerner Fellowship and, for her work supporting new plays and playwrights, was received a Women in Theatre Red Carpet Award. She created “Botanicum Seedlings: A Development Series for Playwrights” after she received a new play commission from Theatricum Botanicum in 2001. seedlings@theatricum.com

MARKETING & PUBLICITY

Emily Bridges Stecklein
Marketing Coordinator

Emily Bridges Stecklein has spent the last six years developing and promoting programs within nonprofit arts organizations that benefit artists and communities. She holds a Master’s Degree in Arts and Cultural Leadership from the University of Minnesota. In addition to her work with the Theatricum, Emily works as an independent organizational consultant specializing in strategic planning and board development. As an active member of the Actors Equity Association and Screen Actor’s Guild, Emily also works as an actor in theater, film, and television and is a published playwright. marketing@theatricum.com

Ian Flanders
Design & Graphics Manager

IAN FLANDERS 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

Lucy Pollak
Publicist

LUCY POLLAK 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