Meet our guest artists who will be teaching, growing, and working with us this year!
An award-winning director, teacher, and theatre maker, Susannah has directed for Shotgun Players (where she is also a company member), TheatreFIRST, Aurora Theatre Company, Town Hall Theatre Company, Porchlight Theatre Company, Sonoma County Rep, Boxcar Theatre, and Mugwumpin, among others. She has taught for the California Shakespeare Theater for the past ten years and directed several Shakespeare productions for their 5-week summer conservatory. Susannah has also taught for UC Davis, Los Medanos College, Marin Theatre Company, and a variety of high schools throughout San Francisco and the East Bay. Susannah received her BFA from NYU and her MFA from UC Davis. Director Susannah Martin in rehearsal for Care of Trees at Shotgun Players (Berkeley) with actor Patrick Russell.
Dave Maier is a Senior Fight Director and Full Instructor with Dueling Arts International. He has over two hundred professional fight direction credits and has received several awards including five SF Bay Area Theatre Critics Awards and a Falstaff Award. He is the resident fight director with San Francisco Opera and California Shakespeare Theatre. His work has been seen at ACT, Berkeley Rep, La Jolla Playhouse, SF Playhouse, Berkeley Playhouse, Magic Theatre, Impact Theatre and Shotgun Players, among others. He has taught classes and workshops for St. Mary’s College of California, UC Santa Cruz, Stanford University, Cal State East Bay, Berkeley Rep School of Theatre, and Cal Shakes Summer Conservatory. Mr. Maier currently serves as Vice President of Dueling Arts International and is a founding member of Dueling Arts San Francisco. He is a member of Actors Equity Association and the American Guild of Musical Artists.
Nick Gabriel is an award winning theater artist and educator. At San Francisco's American Conservatory Theater, he is associate faculty of A.C.T.’s Master of Fine Arts program, and core faculty of the San Francisco Semester, an immersive, collegiate study-away program; he is also the Director of Studio A.C.T. (an extended learning program that serves a diverse adult student body). As an A.C.T. Resident Artist, Gabriel has played many principal roles in mainstage productions, including Clov in ENDGAME, opposite Bill Irwin. He has also played principal roles in mainstage productions at some of the country’s leading venues, including: Milwaukee Rep, the California Shakespeare Theater, the La Jolla Playhouse, New York’s Town Hall, South Coast Rep, and the Guthrie. Gabriel's many directing projects include productions at A.C.T. and at The Knitting Factory, Don't Tell Mama, The Regency Ballroom, the GLBT Historical Society, and elsewhere.
Gabriel is a certified instructor of the Michael Chekhov Technique, and a recipient of the Teachers 4 Social Justice Award. He has also received numerous Bay Area Critics Circle Awards. The Huffington Post named him one of the top three most valuable contributors to the Cultural Landscape of the San Francisco Bay Area. He earned his BFA in musical theater from the University of Michigan and his MFA in acting from A.C.T.
Deb Leamy has performed on Broadway in Never Gonna Dance, Sweet Smell of Success and the Tony-winning musical Fosse, for which she was an original cast member. She has played numerous roles in regional theatre and national / international tours, among them Roxie & Mona in Chicago, Rosie in Bye, Bye Birdie, Lois in Kiss Me Kate, and Maggie/Cassie in A Chorus Line. She has also served as choreographer/director for productions of the musicals Pippin, My Way and Grease as well as various cabarets, benefits and revues across the country. Most recently, she helmed the inaugural AIDS benefit, Broadway Bares SF: Tech Tails, in San Francisco.
Lisa Marie Rollins
Lisa Marie Rollins is playwright, poet, freelance director and dramaturg. Her acclaimed solo play, Ungrateful Daughter: One Black Girl’s Story of Being Adopted by a White Family…That Aren’t Celebrities has been performed in festivals, universities and academic conferences across the US. Most recently she co-directed Young Jean Lee’s The Shipment (Crowded Fire Theater) and a reading of Tearrance Chisholm’s Br’er Cotton (Playwrights Foundation).
As a poet, Lisa Marie's writing has been published in Other Tongues: Mixed-Race Women Speak Out, River, Blood, Corn Literary Journal, Line/Break, As/Us Literary Journal, The Pacific Review and others. She was Poet in Residence at June Jordan’s Poetry for the People at U.C. Berkeley, and a CALLALOO Journal London Writing Workshop Fellow. Her new collection of poems, Compass, received the 2016 Mary Tanenbaum Literary Award from SF Foundation. Lisa Marie is a Lecturer in San Francisco State's Department of Race and Resistance Studies, and a Resident Artist with Crowded Fire Theater. She holds degrees from The Claremont Graduate University and UC Berkeley.
Jesse Sanchez is an award-winning conductor, performer, and teaching artist. He was recently appointed Resident Music Director at West Valley Light Opera in Saratoga CA, where his credits include Footloose, Dames at Sea, Nice Work If You Can Get It, Irene, and The Boyfriend. Other Bay Area productions include Wild Goose Dreams (SF Playwrights), Singing In The Rain (WHS), My Fair Lady (BBB), In The Heights (SCU), and Footloose (SCU). He has also served as music director for the Santa Clara University Theatre and Dance Department.
As a professional musician, Jesse has shared the stage with Natalie Cole,Tower of Power, Brubeck Brothers Paquito D’Rivera, and Terrell Stafford, among others. Recent honors include 2017 Carnegie Hall Guest Conductor, 2016 NCBA Band Director of the Year, and 2015 Comcast Bay Area All-Star Teacher Of The Year finalist. Jesse trained at University of Idaho's Lionel Hampton School of Music, earning a BM in Music Education (vocal and instrumental pedagogy).