Takes On Shakes Artists

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Akaina Ghosh+ Director/Performer/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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Bidalia Albanese Performer/Teaching Artist

Bidalia is a native New Yorker and is so excited to be joining the SF Shakespeare family as a performer and teaching artist. She is also a choreographer, movement director, and director around the Bay Area. Bidalia is a graduate of The Guildford School of Acting in England and is an alumnus from The School of American Ballet in NYC. She has performed in the UK, NYC, and SF Bay Area Theatre Companies. Her favorite roles include Camila from In The Heights, (Custom Made Theatre) Marisol in Jose Rivers’ a Marisol (Sanford Meisner Theatre NYC) Frau Blucher in Young Frankenstein (CM. NY), and Charity Barnum in Barnum (23E) Bidalia also is a proud co-founder of 23 Elephants Theatre Company with her husband Steven Hess also an actor/writer. They were awarded The Best Of SF Fringe for their musical Unspeakable Act at The Exit Theatre. See More www.23elephants.org

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Brittany Mellerson Lighting Designer

Brittany (she/her) is an East coast native and a graduate of Point Park University’s Conservatory Program, with a BFA in Theatrical Lighting & Sound Design. Brittany is the Resident Lighting designer for Lamplighters Music Theatre, SF PlayGround, and the Telluride Film Festival. Recent credits include lighting design for Princess Ida, A Little Night Music and The Pirates of Penzance, as well as the revival of Roger Grunwald’s The Obligation, the PlayGround Festival of New Works, and Graveyard Shift with SF Playhouse’s Sandbox Series. Other design experiences include – EVERYBODY at Stanford University, SF PlayGround’s ZoomFest, and The Lady Scribblers with Custom Made Theatre.

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Carolina Morones Performer/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.

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Charlie Lavaroni Performer

Charlie (he/him) is a bi-coastal actor and teaching artist who graduated from UC Davis in fall of 2019 with a double B.A. in Theatre & Dance and English. He has worked professional with Bike City Theatre Company; Davis Shakespeare Festival; and the San Francisco Shakespeare Festival. Favorite recent credit: the NYC Industry Reading of MAXA. Other credits include: Ethan (Fat Kid Rules the World); Skip (Small Steps): Touchstone (As You Like It); Pyp (Westeros Side Story); Pippin (Pippin); and Queen Elizabeth (Richard III). Charlie also completed the 2020 month-long intensive at Shakes and Co. in Lenox Mass., where he trained in Linklater, clown, Alexander, and Shakespeare scene-study with renowned Shakespeare scholar Tina Packer. Charlie is a firm believer that theater can change lives for the better, bridge communities, and heal. His focus is primarily through a queer lens, and one of his main drives is queering the classical canon (especially musical theater and Shakespeare). Charlie Lavaroni

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Chris Steele Director/Performer/Hair & Make-up Designer/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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Christian Haines Video Editor

Christian (he/him) is the founding Artistic Director of Amios in NYC and the Producing Artistic Director of ShotzSF in San Francisco. Directing credits include: Boeing Boeing (coming up at RVP), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Tides), A Message (Arabian Shakespeare Festival), Heroes and Other Strangers (Best of Fringe NYC), Strictly Convenience (Fourfold Productions), Icarus' Mother (Actors Theatre of San Francisco) and a bunch of Shotz plays. Ensemble creations include: Brundibar (The Actors Center), Aloyisius in New York (Amios), Woyzeck, (Wits End). As an Actor he has been seen in The Elephant Man, Romeo & Juliet, Miss Julie, Death of a Salesman, Macbeth, King John, Woyzeck, Richard III, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Trip to Bountiful and dozens more. Mr. Haines holds an MFA from the National Theatre Conservatory.

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Danielle Ferrer Performer/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+ Stage Manager/Curriculum Development/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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Gabriella Howell Props/Costumes Coordinator

Gaby (she/her) is thrilled to be returning to San Francisco Shakespeare Company as a member of the Takes on Shakes team! She started her Bay Area theatre career as a stage management intern for the company’s 2016 run of The Winter's Tale and since then has joined SF Shakes the past two summers as ASM and wardrobe assistant for As You Like It: A New Musical and as ASM and props coordinator for King Lear. Other highlights of her past work include stage managing Urinetown at Berkeley Playhouse and Downton AirBnB (the 2019 Gala) for Lamplighters.

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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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Neal Ormond Technical Director/Graphic Designer

Neal (he/him) joined SF Shakes in 2017 as our first full-time technical director and manages all things tech, including set design, fabrication, paint, transportation, and installation for SF Shakes and several of our partner organizations. He also dabbles in lighting and sound and coordinates the infrastructure of our outdoor shows. Prior to this he spent 4 years in the advertising world as Manager of Art & Technology at Publicis, though the majority of his career has been spent as an independent designer/builder, recklessly pursuing and combining the realms of mobile architecture, pyrotechnics, electric vehicles, lighting and sound design, robotics, and graphic and web design. He holds a B.A. in Design from Stanford University. Recent intelligence suggests that he may currently be developing an autonomous, 50-foot-tall, fire-breathing, disco-dancing likeness of William Shakespeare . . .

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Pratiksha Shah Production Manager

Pratiksha (she/her) fell in love with San Francisco Shakespeare Festival while working on a joint production of the Ramayana. She has since joined the company as production manager. She holds a Bachelors in Electronics Engineering, but her true calling has always been theater; so, she did an intense two-year theater program at Foothill Theater Conservatory. Pratiksha is a production manager, director, actor, light designer and theater teacher. She has worked with San Jose Rep, City lights, NDNU,EnActe Arts, Rungmunch and many other local theater companies. She is excited for her first Free Shakespeare in the Park season and is thrilled to be part of the team.

Rebecca Ennals

Rebecca J. Ennals Artistic Director

Rebecca (she/her) has been on the staff of the San Francisco Shakespeare Festival since 2002 and Artistic Director since 2012. She holds a BA in English and Theatre from Scripps College and an MFA in performance from U.C. Davis. She has taught and written curriculum at the elementary through college levels. As a director and teaching artist, she has worked locally with Marin Theatre Company, PlayGround, Napa Valley Shakespeare Festival, Pear Theatre, Napa Valley Repertory Theatre, Peninsula Youth Theatre, Los Altos Youth Theatre and Shakespeare At Stinson. Ms. Ennals has directed eight productions for the Festival's Shakespeare On Tour in-school touring program, six productions for the Civic Arts Stage Company program in Pleasanton, and four productions for Free Shakespeare in the Park. She also regularly writes the Festival’s Green Shows and conceived and executed the 2012 pop-up Shakespeare project "30 Days of Free Shakespeare in the Parklet" and the 2017 project “35 Famous Speeches in 35 Famous Places.” She  developed a new musical of As You Like It with The Kilbanes and Phil Wong, which was produced in Summer 2019.

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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.