Teaching Artists

Bay Area Shakespeare Camps, Residencies and workshops are led by trained theatre professionals!

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Amy Lizardo*+ Teaching Artist

Amy is a Bay Area actor, singer and teaching artist. Amy is currently a Resident Artist at SF Shakes where she has taught all over the Bay Area and has appeared in both the School Tour (The Tempest and A Midsummer Night's Dream) and Free Shakespeare in the Park (The Taming of the Shrew). Amy has appeared in numerous productions around the Bay including The Unfortunates at ACT, The Tempest at CalShakes, Dogfight at SF Playhouse, Party People at Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Speakeasy with Boxcar Theatre, Hundred Days at Z Space, Hedwig and the Angry Inch with Boxcar Theatre, and numerous others. Amy recently returned from Ashland, Oregon where she spent three months as a teaching artist with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

Anne Yumi Kobori

Anne Yumi Kobori+ Education Programs Manager

Anne Yumi Kobori is an actor, director, playwright, costume designer, and teaching artist. She adapted Chekhov’s The Seagull and played Nina in Utopia Theatre Project’s inaugural production in 2014. Her plays Seeds and Every Day Alice have premiered at Utopia. Her performance credits include the title role in Hamlet, Desdemona in Othello, Ariel in The Tempest (Silicon Valley Shakespeare), Ophelia in Hamlet on Tour (San Francisco Shakespeare Festival), Peggy Maruyama in Allegiance (CCCT), and numerous ShotzSF comedy shorts. Anne is the Education Program Manager of SF Shakes, and will be directing a Butoh-inspired Macbeth with their touring program this fall. www.AnneYumiKobori.com

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Ayelet Schrek Teaching Artist

Ayelet Schrek works as a professional theatre artist and educator throughout the Bay Area. She is thrilled to be back at SF Shakes for her 18th season, and her 7th as a teaching artist. She has directed, taught, acted, and been a playwright for Playground SF, 3Girls, 6NewPlays Collective, SF Olympians Festival, PianoFight's Shortlived, Hearthfire Theatre, Pint Sized Plays, Young Playwrights Inc, Artists’ Theater of Boston, among others. She holds a BA in English and minors in Theater Arts and in Creativity, the Arts, and Social Transformation from Brandeis University, and currently works as Production Manager for the Jewish Community High School of the Bay's Theater Department. She also enjoys costuming, acting coaching, prop construction, and a wide variety of non-theatrical artistic pursuits.

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Brittany Villars Teaching Artist

Brittany Villars is a Teaching Artist, Director, and Actor. A Seattle Native who loves to share stories. Graduated with B.A in Communications: Film studies and a minor in Dramatic Arts from Northwest University. For the last six years they have served as a teaching artist with Seattle’s Young Shakespeare Workshop. They’ve portrayed Rosalind in YSW’s As You Like It in 2016 & 2017 summer shows. They directed the main stage production of The Tempest, served as the Stage Manager for the production of The Diary of Anne Frank, and participated on stage in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead and at Northwest University. They are looking forward to working alongside fellow artists at San Francisco Shakespeare Festival.

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Carolina Morones Teaching Artist

Carolina is an Actor and Bilingual Teaching Artist focused on theatre that empowers through poetry and movement. She returns to the Bay Area after 7 seasons in residence at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Graduate of Santa Clara University with a BA in Theatre & Performance and of Kent State University with an MFA in Acting. Currently in her 2nd year teaching in-school residency programs for A.C.T in San Francisco, and is excited to be teaching this fall at Studio A.C.T. Most recently she played the role of Sonia Sotomayor in She Persisted, the Musical at Bay Area Children’s Theatre, Beatrice in Shakespeare In Detroit’s Much Ado Para Nada and Darushka in Central Works’ Ward 6.

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Charlie Lavaroni Teaching Artist

Charlie Lavaroni is a rising sophomore at the University of California, Davis where is pursuing a double Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Theater. Favorite previous credits include: Lady Macbeth (Macbeth); Brick Pollitt (Cat on a Hot Tin Roof); and The Baker (Into the Woods). He has participated in Upstart Crows and has interned, understudied, and performed at the San Francisco Shakespeare Festival (or SF Shakes). He is a true believer that theater can change lives for the better, bridge communities, and heal. He plans on continuing his passion for teaching, acting, and literature through the lenses of teaching, acting, and public service. http://charlielavaroni.weebly.com/

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Ella Ruth Francis+ Teaching Artist

Ella is a writer and performer who first came in contact with SF Shakes in their summer camps when she was 6 and fell completely in love with the Bard's language. Since then she completed the actor training program with the Pacific Conservatory Theatre (PCPA). Some favorite acting credits include Juliet in Romeo and Juliet (SF Shakes) and Natalie in Next to Normal (Los Altos Stage).


Evan Held Teaching Artist

Evan is a recent graduate from the Pacific Conservatory of Performing Arts (PCPA), and excited to be back home in the Bay Area. He's been involved in numerous Shakespeare productions across the years. He's done shows all over Sonoma and Marin counties with companies like Shakespeare in the Cannery, Redwood Theater Company, Santa Rosa Junior College, and Marin Summer Theater.

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Henry Alper Teaching Artist

Henry Alper is a longtime member of the San Francisco Shakespeare Festival family, since  joining as a camper in the first grade! The Festival is what sparked his love of Shakespeare and has kept him coming back ever since. He is currently on a gap year while pursuing his BFA in theater at Emerson College. He has taught previously with SFShakes, most recently As You Like It this past summer. As a performer, he most recently could be seen as the titular role in Hamlet with Pale Fire Theater, the Palo-Alto based community theater he founded. He’d like to thank SFShakes for sticking with him for over a decade.

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Isabelle Bushkov Teaching Artist

Isabelle is a rising sophomore at Northeastern University where she is pursuing a Major in Theatre with a concentration in Performance. This is her fifth year as part of the SF Shakes community and her second year as a teaching artist. She is thrilled to be back and excited to tackle distance learning this summer! This past year, she studied theatre, art history, and philosophy in London at the New College of the Humanities before returning to Boston to get started on her degree. She will be performing as Farrah the Faerie and the Narrator in Northeastern’s production of She Kills Monsters this September. She is a graduate of Lowell High School where she was involved in her school's theatre department, acting in the annual plays and directing scenes and one-acts for class showcases. She was also the artistic director of MoveAbout Theatre, a San Francisco-based, youth-run, theatre company, from 2017-2019, directing plays such as Spider's Web by Agatha Christie and Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare.

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Joseph Schmitz Teaching Artist & autism specialist

Joseph Schmitz, founder of Eureka Street Learning, and our partner in the "Shakespeare's Heartbeat" program for kids on the autism spectrum, feels fortunate to work in technology, education, and theater in the Bay Area — exciting fields in a wonderful place. When not making video, writing, or acting, he has the pleasure of teaching improv and videomaking in Bay Area classrooms. He is a co-founder of Special Focus, a performing arts program for special education students in Northern California.

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Joshua Merwise Teaching Artist

Joshua Merwise is an actor and theatre artist from San Francisco. He attended Bay Area Shakespeare Camps as a camper from age seven onward and is excited for his second year as a counselor. He is a junior at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles majoring in Theatre Arts and minoring in Psychology. His favorite college role has been in the theatre department's production of Brecht's The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, and this summer he will be acting in the school's virtual production of Shakespeare's The Two Noble Kinsmen.

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Lauren Kivowitz Teaching Artist & Inclusion Specialist

Lauren Kivowitz is a performer and teaching artist with a Master's degree in Applied Theatre from CUNY School of Professional Studies. As an actor, Lauren has had the opportunity to perform across many theatrical genres, from Shakespeare to experimental theatre, straight plays to operetta and musical theatre, and she was part of an improv and sketch comedy troupe for many years. As a teaching artist, Lauren facilitates classes for folks of all ages and abilities, using combinations of improv, role-play, music, storytelling, and play-building. Lauren is a strong believer in the transformative power of theatre, and is the founder of Inclusive Arts, an organization whose mission is to create opportunities to engage in critical dialogue and meaningful action surrounding issues of access, inclusion, and ableism in theatre and other creative arts.

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Michaela Stewart Manager

Michaela Stewart is very proud to be celebrating a decade as a teaching artist and manager with SF Shakes! A Bay Area native, Michaela has been involved in the performing arts for over 14 years, working as an actress, director, choreographer, dancer, flutist, and teacher for several companies including SF Shakes, Los Altos Stage Company, and Los Altos Youth Theatre--where she has been involved as an actor and/or staff member in over 25 productions. Michaela attended Chapman University, where she received a B.F.A. in Film Production with an emphasis in Directing, as well as having attended Second City's Harold Ramis Film School in Chicago. More info at www.cinemamichaela.com

Phil Wong

Phil Wong+ Resident Artist

Phil Wong is an actor, musician, comedian, and teaching artist native to Oakland. Bay Area credits include work with Shotgun Players, Bay Area Children's Theatre, Quantum Dragon Theatre, Killing My Lobster, The EXIT, Palo Alto Players, The Lamplighters, Los Altos Stage, Ray of Light, Word for Word, and TheatreWorks. He is graduate of Oberlin College and received his physical theatre training at the Accademia dell' Arte in Arezzo, Italy. He has also written music for various SF Shakes productions including Shakespeare on Tour's Twelfth Night, The Winter's Tale, A Midsummer Night's Dream, and the upcoming As You Like It musical. Phil has been a part of the Bay Area theatre scene since he was a teen and is working every day to make his art more relevant, conscientious, and empathetic. IG: @phillywongsteak & @weirdstagedirections

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Radhika Rao+ Manager

Radhika Rao is an actor, improviser, storyteller, director, writer, and arts educator/consultant. She has performed theater in the United States and abroad. A post-graduate from Harvard Graduate School of Education, Radhika specializes in creating curriculum that integrates theater into diverse learning situations for various populations and organizations. Her work is steeped deeply in respect for life and social justice. She teaches in schools (K-12), universities, juvenile detention centers, corporations, theaters, and community centers. On any given day, she could be performing a Chekhov play, Shakespeare’s Sonnet or Improv Comedy!

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Rainier Pearl-Styles Teaching Artist

Rainier Pearl-Styles (she/her/hers) is thrilled to be back at SFShakes this summer, where she began her career as an actor and teaching artist after coming up through their intern program. Last summer, Rainier had the opportunity to train and work at Bard on the Beach in Vancouver, Canada. She just graduated from Wellesley College with a BA in Theatre Studies, and will pursue theatre education in Boston next year. Her favorite Shakespeare play is The Winter's Tale and her favorite quote is "Let the sky rain potatoes!"

Robyn Grahn

Robyn Grahn+ Resident Artist

Robyn Grahn was last seen in the 2017 & 2018 Seasons of San Francisco Shakespeare Tour and absolutely loved it! She recently has taken on the role of Engagement Coordinator and looks forward to facilitating new community stories. She also works for the Mountain Play in Marin acting as Community Engagement Coordinator. Favorite Shakespearean roles include Adriana and the Courtesan (Comedy of Errors), Viola (Twelfth Night), Mercutio & Friar (Romeo and Juliet), and Phoebe (As You Like It). Robyn is often acting or directing with the monthly produced SHOTZ SF. She studied with ACT and the Moscow Art Theatre School. robyngrahn.com

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Suzanne Halka Teaching Artist

Suzanne Halka is a San Francisco based director, costume designer, choreographer, writer, actor, dancer, and teaching artist. She joined the SF Shakes team as a teaching artist in 2012, and has also taught for San Francisco Recreation and Parks, Destination Art, New Conservatory Theatre Center, and The Jewish Community Center of San Francisco. Her favorite theatre role to date was as The Nurse in Romeo and Juliet: CSI, a deconstructionist version of the well-known play. Suzanne most recently performed in the Oakland-based sketch comedy group, Running With Glitter as The Plant Virus and as Carla, a dancing zombie. She also practices and performs with her all-women improv troupe, the HAMAZONS! Suzanne feels privileged to have interned with The American Shakespeare Center and to have studied theatre while abroad in London. Her most recent directing credit was a personal passion project: a contemporary dress version of Hamlet with the Harvey Milk Center for the Arts Junior Acting Troupe. Suzanne can’t wait to have fun with the Bard and all of our young actors at BASC this summer! Huzzah!

Sydney Schwindt

Sydney Schwindt+ Resident Artist

Sydney is an actor, fight director, teaching artist, and visual artist. She joined the SF Shakes family in 2015 playing Rosalind in the tour of As You Like It. Favorite acting credits include: Laertes Hamlet, SF Shakes; Sally Ride She Persisted the Musical: Bay Area Children’s Theatre; Helena A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Benvolio Romeo and Juliet, Helena Landless Mystery of Edwin Drood Davis Shakespeare Festival; Cassandra Jihad Jones & the Kalashnikov Babes Arabian Shakespeare Festival; Hartford Stage, Berkeley Rep, Mirage Entertainment, The Hampton Theatre Company. Education: BFA Hartt School of Music, Dance, and Theatre, Accademia dell’Arte, Society of American Fight Directors, DAI, SF Clown Conservatory. www.sydney-schwindt.com

Will Shattuc

Will Shattuc+ Resident Artist

Will Shattuc is an Oakland-born director, playwright, teaching artist, and graphic designer. A SF Shakes legacy, they got their start at a 2001 camp as Marc Antony wearing a pillowcase, and have since gone on to Assistant Direct The Winter's Tale and As You Like It on our main stage and served on the 35 Speeches Committee. They are currently co-directing our upcoming tour production of The Merry Wives of Windsor. They helped found Oakland Classical Theater Co., a company dedicated to putting on free productions with under-30 artists in Oakland; their most recent production was directing Dr. Faustus by Christopher Marlowe. Will graduated from Hampshire College with a B.A., focusing on ensemble theater, and are an alumni of the Shakespeare Academy at Stratford, CT, and studied Viewpoints program at Divadlo Archa in Prague. They are inspired by the work of the Federal Theater Project under the New Deal and The Public Theater in New York and firmly believe in SF Shakespeare's mission of "Art for All!"