Kitty Thompson - Founder & Director
Ms. Thompson has been a teaching artist for over 25 years. She has educated in painting, text analysis, psychology in acting, improvisation, voice, movement, stage combat, Shakespeare history and playwriting. Her work has associated her with such award-winning companies and schools as The California Shakespeare Theatre, Urban High School, San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, Stage Write, Throckmorton Theatre, Berkeley High School, Marin Academy and Tamalpais High School.
She is an award winning AEA actress, the primary and focused piece of her career involved in Shakespeare productions. Her professional theatre credits include The Orpheum, The Magic, Marin Theatre Company, San Francisco Playhouse, Center Rep, Central Works, Golden Thread, Theatreworks, Playground, Pacific Repertory Theatre, Carmel Shakespeare, San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, California Shakespeare Theatre, and Marin Shakespeare Company.
Most importantly, she is a proud mother.
"In my heart of hearts..." (Hamlet), her primary focus is on utilizing Shakespeare's text as a vehicle for students and actors to develop their self-esteem, multicultural empathy, emotional authenticity, and best still, in finding a richness in human capacity and imagination.
Dani O'Dea - Program Director and Senior Combat Instructor
Dani is a New York City and Bay Area based fight director and stage combat instructor. Her Broadway credits include associate fight direction at the Atlantic Theatre Company on AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE, and at the Cort Theater on GRACE. Her Off-Broadway credits include work on BETHANY at New York City Center, MEDIEVAL PLAY at Signature Theater, GABRIEL at the Atlantic Theatre Company, & THAT FACE at Manhattan Theatre Club. Some of her Bay Area credits include choreography (including world premieres) at American Conservatory Theatre, TheatreWorks, San Francisco Opera, New Conservatory Theatre Company, & more. Danielle's work as an associate teacher began while she was still a student herself at New York University, assisting Fightmaster David Brimmer with his semester coursework and summer high school programs. Since then Danielle has enjoyed teaching stage combat with Marin Theatre Company, Piedmont High School, ACT's Youth Conservatory, and at PianoFight Theatrein San Francisco.Danielle is a BFA graduate from New York University, and has been with the Society of American Fight Directors for 10 years.
Jamin Jollo - Teaching Artist
Anne Kobori - Teaching Artist
Anne Yumi Kobori is a Japanese-American actor, playwright, director, producer, and teaching
artist. She has taught with A.C.T, Word for Word, SF Shakespeare Festival, Magic Theatre,
Shakespearience, and Young Performers Theatre. Select performance credits: title role in
Hamlet (Silicon Valley Shakespeare), Celia in As You Like It the musical (SF Shakespeare),
Henrietta in The Hollow (City Lights Theater), Simca in To Master the Art (CCCT), and Masha in
Three Sisters immersive (Utopia Theatre Project). Recent writing projects include Braided at
Theatre of Yugen and CalShakes, A.C.T.’s Neo Symposium, and The Window Affair with
PlayGround Festival. The world premiere of her full-length play Apertures of Love in Times of
War will be presented by PlayGroundSF this spring. www.anneyumikobori.com
Ben Prusiner - Teaching Artist
Ben is a director and educator who has directed in New York, England, LA and the SF Bay Area. He has assisted and trained at Shakespeare's Globe in London and presented at their conference "Women & Power on the Early Modern Stage". Ben is on the Advisory Council of the Rose Playhouse, the archeological site of one of Shakespeare's theaters. He wrote and directed a live-streamed play "Rally for the Rose" about the discovery of the site which was introduced by Ian McKellen and Judy Dench. He is a longtime collaborator with Red Bull Theater in New York, having recently directed his fourth reading for their Obie award winning Revelation Readings series. He was the founding Artistic Director of Re:Verse Theatre, which commissioned a new play about a performance of Hamlet by English sailors in Sierra Leone in 1607. The production premiered on a ship at the Bristol Harbour Festival and had a subsequent run at the Bridewell Theatre in London. Ben holds an MA in Applied Theatre from the City University of New York and an MA in Drama Directing from the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.
Lisa Townsend - Acting and Movement
Lisa Townsend is a consent based performing arts educator, director, choreographer, and filmmaker whose work has been presented in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and France. Named “choreographer to watch” in balletanz magazine, Lisa has been a Dance Maker/Artist-in-Residence with L.A.C.E., Joyce SoHo, St. Mark’s Church, ODC Theater, CounterPULSE, CHIME Across Borders, The Garage/SF, and as a Creative Capital Fellow at Headlands Center for the Arts. She was a Director/Choreographer with A.C.T.’s MFA Conservatory from 2012-2021. Collaborations at A.C.T. include: The Rocky Horror Show, Crazy for Country, CLICKSHARE, Sense & Sensibility, Blood Wedding, The Awakening of Spring and an Annually Devised Performance Piece with the first-year students. Other professional collaborations include Early Shaker Spirituals (The Wooster Group), King Charles III (A.C.T. West Coast premiere), HOME with Joanna Haigood, and ongoing projects with her partner/photographer/jazz bassist/composer, Piro Patton. For ten years Lisa was the Artistic Director for BCAST (Bolinas/Stinson Children’s After School Theater, Youth 6yrs-17yrs). From 2010-2021 BCAST produced numerous productions including A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Matilda, Singin’ in the Rain, West Side Story, Romeo & Juliet, Orpheus & Eurydice, Bugsy Malone and Burning Chronicles of Late: Original Student Short Films. Recently Townsend’s film short POZZO was screened in West Marin. She is currently working on a new film, Agate Hands, to be released in 2024. Lisa holds an MFA in Dance/Performance from CalArts, a BFA in theater, and she regularly teaches Contemporary Dance and Mind-Body practices in San Francisco and West Marin.
Micah Watterson - Text, Combat
Micah is an actor and fight choreographer who worked in theatre and film for 12 years in New York and Los Angeles before moving to the Bay Area in 2018. Being a graduate of The American Musical and Dramatic Academy, Micah has been trained in several different weapon systems by Michael Chin, Carrie Brewer, Joseph Travers, Robert Hamilton, Mike Mahaffey, Charles Currier, and Timothy Brown. As a young actor combatant, he cut his teeth at the New York Renaissance Faire working under the direction of SAFD Fight Director Dan O’Driscoll for two seasons. During his time in LA, he is most noted for co-creating the one man show ROUGHLY HAMLET, which he performed to critical acclaim at the Hollywood Fringe Festival. Locally,
Micah keeps busy on the stage and has worked with several companies including Those Women Productions, Role Players Ensemble, and Custom Made Theatre Company to name a few. Shakespeare has the power to open hearts and minds like no other playwright in history. He is honored to be working for Shakespearience.
Red Thompson - Administrative Assistant