Our Team
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Cylan Brown has worked for several years with the Kingsmen Shakespeare Co.’s educational tour and taught with the Sage Ridge Academy in Nevada. Favorite professional Shakespeare roles include: Hamlet, Romeo, Julius Caesar, Mercutio, Edmund, Parolles, Philip (King John) and Dromio of Syracuse with The Rubicon, Shakespeare by the Sea, Los Angeles Actors Ensemble and South Bay Civic Light Opera. Cylan received his Bachelor’s degree in Theater from Northern Arizona University, with a minor in English Literature.  

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Elliot Davis is an actor, director, and improvisor originally from Philadelphia, PA. Elliot has trained with the Groundlings and has performed at both the UCB Improv Cage match Tournament and the UCB Del Close Marathon. Elliot has been a teaching artist at the Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia in past summers, helping create original musicals with high school students as well as assistant directing Arthur Miller’s The Crucible. Shakespeare credits include The Winter’s Tale, Measure for Measure, Much Ado About Nothing, Twelfth Night, The Tempest, and Midsummer Night’s Dream. He has also assistant directed a main stage production at his alma mater, Occidental College, where he received his BA in Theater.

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Diana Giampiccolo, known as “Didi” amongst her peers, is a teacher, director, performer and writer based in Los Angeles. She received a B.A. from UCLA TFT, in Theatre Arts with a specialization in Directing and Playwriting. She studied at ISTA-International School of Theatre Anthropology- with Odin Teatret in Denmark, where she was part of the long-term residency ensemble. Her projects range from classicism to existentialism, satirical, experimental, avant-garde works-with a particular sensibility for Theatre of the Absurd- to movement-based-pieces, physical theatre, performance and dance. Training includes: masks-based-performances, puppetry, mask making, Viewpoints, ensemble creation techniques, physical theatre, creative writing, and Improv (UCB). Didi’s theatre background goes back to her childhood in Belgium when at age seven she was “thrown” onto the stage by her desperate mother in a last attempt to find an extracurricular activity that would finally suit this child’s fancy! 

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Yvonne Senat Jones received her B.A. in theatre arts from California State University, Long Beach and is currently acquiring her M.F.A. in Acting from the University of South Carolina.  This year, she has returned to her hometown of Long Beach, CA to complete an internship in Los Angeles.  She has experience in Shakespeare acting and text analysis, improvisation, movement, commedia dell’arte, and clowning.  Some of her stage credits include the highly sought-after roles of Blanche DuBois in a Streetcar Named Desire, Lady Macbeth in Macbeth, and Gertrude in Hamlet.  You might also have seen her face on an Anna’s Linens commercial that is currently running.  For the past 5 years, she has volunteered in the children’s program at her church leading songs, managing arts & crafts, and facilitating theatre games.  

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Mike Anderson is a writer and actor trained at the North Carolina School of the Arts. Recently his TV Pilot Flawless Execution placed third in the UCLA pilot competition, and was featured in the Hollywood Reporter as a writer to watch. His short play version of Flawless Execution also won Red Bull Theater's inaugural short play festival and will be published by Stage Rights later this year. His TV Pilot "The Drama Dept." was produced by the Irregulars LLC in 2011. Other work as a writer: Mr. Sasquatch Goes to Washington(9Thirty Theater), Rub-A-Dub  (Working Theater), The Best Play Ever... Seriously! (Oscar and Lottie Productions.)  As an actor: Comedy of Errors, Othello, and Three Musketeers (Alabama Shakespeare Festival), Love's Labour's Lost and Romeo and Juliet (Riverside Shakespeare Festival), The Foreigner (Pioneer Theater), Bell, Book, and Candle (Triad Stage), Fat Pig (Speakeasy Stage), The Rover (New York Classical Theater), as well as the Off-Broadway premiere of The Invested. As a teacher: scene study workshops for Riverside Shakespeare Festival, East High School Speech Competition, as well as work with Young Storytellers and Reading Partners in Los Angeles.

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J. Tyler Jones specializes in Shakespeare, improv, and stage combat. He received his theatrical education from the Florida State University School of Theatre, including a semester in London, and is a proud member of the Society of American Fight Directors. Tyler has taught theatre to children ranging from elementary to high school in Florida, Georgia, and Southern California. While still in high school he helped found The Shakespeare Studio, a non-profit specializing in Shakespeare performed by and for young adults in the North Metro-Atlanta area. Tyler performs semi-regularly with the main stage company at the National Comedy Theatre, an improv theatre located in San Diego. Favorite theatrical productions include: A Midsummer Night's Dream, Henry V, Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead, Mud Blue Sky, Now or Later, and Machinal.

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Tamara Koltes holds her BFA in Theater from Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle. She is a recent graduate with an MFA in Acting from East 15 Acting School of Loughton, England, where she has worked on the stages of Shakespeare’s Globe and Off-West End. Tamara has taught and performed in Seattle, New York, Minnesota, and the United Kingdom. With years of experience teaching many different age groups in dance and the theater arts, she has worked with Boden’s Performing Arts, Children’s Theatre Company, SteppingStone Children’s Theatre, Youth Performance Company, Broadway Bound, Green Stage, and Seattle Children’s Theater.Her directing credits include youth productions of Seussical Jr. and the original jukebox musical The Buddy Benchwith Lakeshore Player’s Theatre, as well as We Are Monsters andMusicvillewith Ashland Productions. Her recent stage appearances include: A Dream Play (East15), The Tempest(Car Crash Productions), The Penelopiad(East15), Around the World in 80 Days(East15),Three Winters (East15),Never Wonder Land (Laughing Nomad Productions), Romeo and Juliet (Mission Theatre Company), The Bernice Project (Phoenix Theater), Consumed(Playable Artworks), Rumors of Shadows (Kinetic Fusion Physical Theatre), The Cruel Painter of Radostdale (Laughing Nomad Productions), Tales from Wonderland: A Common Night (Maximum Verbosity), Broceliande; The Death of Merlin (Six Elements Theatre), along with the 2018 Edinburgh Fringe debuts ofHigh School Englishand Splashbackwith Car Crash Productions.  

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Cloie Wyatt Taylor teaches acting, dance, improv, and history. As a dancer she has studied and performed with the Dance Theater of Harlem, Debbie Allen and the National Ballet as well as internationally with the finest dance masters in Cuba. As an actress, she appears in Atlanta Underground Film Festival indie favorite,Assisting Venus and on the small screen, in episodes of Brothers and Sisters and Private Practice.Dramatic Training: New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts (Atlantic Theater Company, C.A.P. 21)

Karen Baughn is a Los Angeles based teacher, actor, improviser, and playwright. A high school apprenticeship with the Idaho Shakespeare festival sparked passion for the theater, which brought her from her hometown of Boise, Idaho all the way to Occidental College in the heart of Los Angles where she earned her honors in Theater. She went on to study at The London Dramatic Academy, Improv Olympic Chicago, UCB, The Groundlings, and Bang Comedy Studio to develop her skills as a character actor and director. 

In the midst of her studies, Karen was also teaching. After three years of teaching for Occidental Children’s Theater, Karen successfully partnered with OCT and UCLA to bring her own curriculum to a local high school to teach underserved teens the positive influence of improv. In addition, Karen is currently teaching youth and adult improv classes at Bang Studio, acting classes with City Hearts, and directing the spring production at "A Time To Dance."  

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Kelly received her BFA at Wayne State University in Detroit, and continued her extensive training at Carnegie Mellon, Michigan Opera Theatre, the University of Detroit, and Oakland University.  Kelly’s experience as an actor, singer, and teacher has brought her to such cities as Detroit, New York, Los Angeles, Volterra, Italy, and Frankfurt, Germany.  In Los Angeles, she became a long-standing company member at the Knightsbridge Theatre, where Kelly directed and appeared in many productions, some of her favorites being A Piece of My Heart; Musical! the Musical; Comedy of Errors; Shakespeare’s Greatest Hits; Into the Woods; Dames at Sea; and Marat/Sade. Kelly also co-wrote and directed Macbeezy, the Macbeth Hip-Hopera at the Knightsbridge with her husband, Mark. Other directing credits include As You Like It at the Santa Clarita Shakespeare Festival. Kelly also adapted and directed a modern touring production of Romeo and Juliet for the Festival. Her film career includes an award for best actress in the film Click Three Times from the New York Independent Film Festival.  As an educator, Kelly has taught Shakespeare, Commedia dell’Arte, Improvisation, Dance, Musical Theatre, Creative Writing, and Film Production classes in over 50 schools and homeschool groups in LA and Ventura Counties.

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Jenny Mercein recently relocated to New Orleans where she and husband are directing and teaching theatre at Tulane.  Jenny guest teaches for us in the Santa Barbara area on occasion and also offers private coaching via skype at a discount for our students..As an actor, teacher, and director, Jenny received her B.A. in Theater Studies and the History of Art from Yale and her M.F.A. in Acting from The University of Washington. She is also a graduate of the New York Shakespeare Festival/ Public Theater Shakespeare Lab. Jenny works extensively as an actor in theater, film, and television. NY Theater credits include “Hillary” with New Georges, “Good Morning, Bill” with The Keen Company, “Gallethea” at HERE, and “Animal Farm” with Synapse Productions. Regional Theate credits include: Christiane in "Sherlock Holmes and the Adventures of the Suicide Club" at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, and Kelli/Martha/Chorus in "X's and O's: A Football Love Story," a new play she co-created at Berkeley Rep, Desdemona in "Othello" (Pioneer Theater), Beatrice in "Much Ado..." and Portia in "Julius Caesar" (Alabama Shakespeare Festival), Beatrice in "Much Ado..." and Mistress Ford in "Merry Wives..." (Shakespeare Festival of St. Louis), Olivia in "Twelfth Night" (Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival), Rosalind in "As You Like It" (Connecticut Free Shakespeare), Florida Studio Theater, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Fulton Opera House, Stamford Center for the Arts, Seattle Children’s Theater, and ACT (Seattle). T.V./ Film: 30 ROCK, BLUE BLOODS, UNFORGETTABLE, LAW & ORDER, “The Prospects,” and “Birth Date.” Recent directing credits include “Mother Eve’s Secret Garden...,” (NY Fringe), “The Uses of (Dis) Enchantment” (Cornelia Street Cafe), and assistant directing gigs at Lincoln Center and The Alabama Shakespeare Festival. She's taught acting at AMDA, Fordham University, Queens College, Nassau Community College, and Scott Freeman Studios.

Andy Stokan has worked for the past six years as an actor and theater educator at Theatricum Botanicum and for the past three years in the same roles with The Kingsmen Shakespeare Company. Other professional Shakespeare acting credits include plays with A Noise Within, Antaeus Theatre Company, Coeurage Theatre Company, The New England Shakespeare Festival, The Theater at Monmouth in Maine, Jean Cocteau Repertory in New York City, and many more. TV credits include The Goldbergs and Tales of the City. He has trained with Antaeus, UCB, and has a BFA in Acting from Marymount Manhattan College.

Samantha Miller received her classical acting training in Ashland, OR, earning a BFA in Theatre Arts. In her final semesters of undergrad, she joined the acting company of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and performed in their season while serving as a teaching artist for their education department. In other notable Shakespearean experiences, she toured the Seattle area with Greenstage Shakespeare in the Park, performing as Luciana in The Comedy of Errors and she recently toured with The Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles reading for Katherine in Love's Labour's Lost. Also working as an actor on camera, Samantha has been seen in multiple commercials, streaming series, and independent films.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Leslie Spencer is a musician, singer, songwriter, teacher and writer. A professional actor for more than twenty years, she has starred in numerous regional productions in the LA area. Off-Broadway:THE MARVELOUS WONDERETTES.  Also a vocalist in THE BRIAN SETZER ORCHESTRA and has toured the United States, Canada, Europe and Japan with the big band. In addition, Leslie has recorded multiple albums and videos with Setzer.

Most recently, Leslie has written and recorded a solo album, to be released in the summer of 2019.

B.A. in Broadcast Journalism, Improv training at the Groundlings. Leslie ran the 4th-6th grade drama programs at all three elementary schools in La Canada, CA, where she directed, produced and music-directed Broadway Junior shows.

CONTACT US

Email: info@shakespearekids.org    

Phone/Fax:  818-578-4651

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