Teaching Artists

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

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Akaina Ghosh+ Teaching Artist

Akaina (they/them) trained with One Year Lease and New York Stage and Film while attending Vassar College in New York, where they received a BA in Drama as well as a BA in Philosophy. Akaina’s specialties include music composition, devised theater, and ensemble performance. Recent performances with SF Shakes include Silvius in As You Like It and Lysander in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Akaina is passionate about reconstructing historically significant narratives through a feminist lens and generating new works that center feminine and non-binary voices and perspectives. Follow Akaina at akainaghosh.com.

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Amy Lizardo*+ Teaching Artist

Amy (she/her) was formerly a Bay Area actor, singer and teaching artist. Currently Amy is an acting company member with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Amy has taught all over the bay and across the country with various theatre companies including: Arena Stage (Washington D.C), California Shakespeare Theatre, Marin Shakespeare Company, San Francisco Shakespeare Festival and Oregon Shakespeare Festival. As an actor Amy has worked with various companies including: San Francisco Shakespeare Festival (The Taming of the Shrew, The Tempest [School Tour]), Berkeley Repertory Theatre (Party People), American Conservatory Theatre (A Christmas Carol, Men On Boats, The Unfortunates), California Shakespeare Theatre (The Tempest, Quixote Nuevo), Theatreworks (Once Upon A Rhyme, Simple Gifts), San Francisco Playhouse (Dogfight, The Rules), Oregon Shakespeare Festival (Mother Road, La Comedia of Errors, [The Tempest and Bernhardt/Hamlet, canceled due to COVID - 19], Arena Stage (Mother Road). Amy received her Masters Degree from San Jose State University.

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Brittany Villars Teaching Artist

Brittany (they/them) 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 (she/her) 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.

Chris Steele

Chris Steele Teaching Artist

Chris (they/them) is a nonbinary actor, director, drag artist, and co-artistic director of Poltergeist Theatre Project. They have worked as a  playwright, fight choreographer, intimacy choreographer, makeup artist, dialect coach, dance captain, costume construction aid, and lighting designer. They toured with SF Shakes, playing Lady Macbeth/Witch 1 in Macbeth and Polonius/Laertes in Hamlet. Other favorite Shakespeare roles include: Benvolio in Romeo and Juliet, Titania/Puck in Midsummer of Love, Casca in Caesar Maximus (We Players); Cupid/Caphis in Timon of Athens (Cutting Ball), John Rugby in Twelfth Night (Great River Shakespeare Festival), and Pandarus/Agamemnon/Hecuba in Troilus and Cressida (Poltergeist Theatre Project). Chris studied theatre at Pepperdine University and The University of Oklahoma. and relocated to the Bay Area where they've worked with Summer Repertory Theater, Sierra Rep, Cutting Ball, Breadbox Theatre, New Conservatory Theater Center, Playwrights Center SF, Musical Café, San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, and We Players.

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Danielle Ferrer Teaching Artist

Danielle (she/her) is a graduate of Scripps College and studied Shakespeare and Musical Theatre while studying abroad in London. Danielle is very excited to be working with San Francisco Shakespeare Festival again after performing in their tour of Macbeth and their Free Shakespeare in the Park production of As You Like It: A New Musical. Danielle hails from Maui, Hawaii where she first fell in love with theater and is thrilled to continue sharing her love of performance.

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Ella Ruth Francis+ Teaching Artist

Ella (she/her) is a San Francisco-based teacher and performer who first came in contact with SF Shakes in Bay Area Shakespeare Camp when she was 6 and fell in love with the Bard's language. Her acting credits include Juliet in Romeo and Juliet (SF Shakes & Half Moon Bay Shakespeare Co.), Pamela in Head Over Heels (New Conservatory Theatre), La Ronde (Cutting Ball Theater) and Jan in Grease (Berkeley Playhouse). She received a 2019 Theatre Bay Area Award for her performance as Natalie in Next to Normal (Los Altos Stage). Ella is a proud graduate of the Pacific Conservatory for Performing Arts. See more at ellaruthfrancis.com.

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Evan Held Teaching Artist

Evan (he/him) 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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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 Waterstone Performer/Teaching Artist

Joshua (he/him) is excited to be working with San Francisco Shakespeare Festival as a performer and educator. In the Bay Area Joshua has performed with FoolsFURY and Ragged Wing Ensemble. Nationally he has performed with Georgia Shakespeare, Nebraska Repertory Theatre, Center Theatre, Georgia Mountain Theatre, Push-Push Theatre and Film and Georgia Ensemble Theatre. Joshua also works as a director, fight choreographer and educator with Cal Shakes, LEAP, San Francisco Youth Theatre, Berkeley Repertory School of Theatre and Shakespearience. He is an associate member of the Society of Directors and Choreographers and member of the Society of American Fight Directors. https://waterstonejoshua.wixsite.com/director

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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.

Ron Chapman

Ron Chapman Performer/Teaching Artist

Ron (he/him) is an actor who believes in the power and necessity of great storytelling. He last appeared as Edmund in SF Shakespeare Festival's virtual production of King Lear.