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Staff Directory & Meet the Staff


Elizabeth McKoy
Founding Artistic Director

Elizabeth has directed many shows for the Berkeley Playhouse since founding the company in 2007, including for the Professional Season: Peter Pan, Cinderella, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, The Sound of Music, A Little Princess, Tarzan and James and the Giant Peach. She has also directed over 30 YouthStage shows including The Drowsy Chaperone, Hello, Dolly!, Pirates of Penzance, Zombie Prom, Narnia, Once on This Island, Into the Woods, 13, and many others. Over the years, Elizabeth has developed the vision and programming for the Berkeley Playhouse and helped grow the organization from a small youth theater camp to a thriving musical theater company and youth education program serving thousands of students and over 30,000 patrons per year. In addition to directing for the Berkeley Playhouse, she is currently working to develop and sustain the Playhouse’s unique vision for new musical works for inter-generational audiences and grow and deepen our programs with schools and the community. She has commissioned 8 new musicals, including the acclaimed new musical Bridges which had its world premiere at the Playhouse in 2016 and was recently seen again in New York. The Riffs, her newest school partnership program for Middle Schoolers, began at Emerson Elementary in Oakland and now is at Willard Middle School. She is also a proud mama of five amazing children.

Kimberly Dooley
Executive Director and Producer
Contact: kimberly@berkeleyplayhouse.org

Kimberly has been directing, choreographing, teaching theater and working in arts producing and administration in the Bay Area for over 15 years. She is a graduate of NYU's Tisch School of the Arts in the Experimental Theatre Wing. At the Berkeley Playhouse, she has directed and choreographed Once On This Island, Seussical, Mary Poppins, The Wiz, Lucky Duck, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Addams Family, Beauty and the Beast, Billy Elliot, and Grease, as well as several KidStage and TeenStage productions. She's grateful to call this her creative and professional home.

Mary K. Lins
General Manager
Contact: 510.845.8542 x360 or mary@berkeleyplayhouse.org

This is Mary’s first season at Berkeley Playhouse. She received her degree in theatre arts at Penn State University, and is a graduate of the Harrisburg Arts Magnet School in Pennsylvania and the Interlochen Center for the Arts musical theater program in Michigan. Prior to relocating to the Bay Area, Mary served on the board of directors for the Millbrook Playhouse in Mill Hall, PA. Mary is especially passionate about the ongoing development of Berkeley Playhouse’s educational outreach programs due to the invaluable tools and life skills children cultivate through introduction and engagement with the arts.

Casi Maggio Kristant
Producing Conservatory Director
Contact: 510.845.8542 x376 or casi@berkeleyplayhouse.org

Casi is a California Bay Area native who is delighted to return to the Bay Area after 6 years in Chicago's magical theater scene. While there, she received a Jeff Nomination for 'Best Actress in a Musical' for Kate Monster in Avenue Q, originated the role of Jackie O. in the musical Kennedy by Alan Jay Friedman and Leslie Bricusse and played Snow White in Boystown's longest running musical, Snow White & the 7 Drag Queens. She was a Lead Teaching Artist with Actors Training Center of Wilmette, NightBlue, Beverly Arts Center and Youth Company Chicago where she also played the title role in Mary Poppins with their main stage company. She is a graduate of the Second City Conservatory and 1/3 of the popular female cabaret trio Head Over Heels. She received her BA in Theatre from California State University East Bay and certification from the Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts and is happy to return to an artistic home with Berkeley Playhouse where she can pursue her passion for theater education. Prior to her time in Chicago, she was a Teaching Artist with California Shakespeare Theatre, StarStruck, SF Arts Education, Theatre of All Possibilities and Berkeley Playhouse where she performed with the professional stage in The BFG and Oliver. Casi's favorite role to date is mother to Wesley/wife to Chris and she can't wait for Wesley to be old enough for his first MakeBeliever class.

Michael Patrick Wiles
Casting Director and Resident Music Director
Contact: casting@berkeleyplayhouse.org

Michael has been a professional actor and musical director in the Bay Area and beyond for the last 20 years, and has been a proud member of Actor's Equity Association for the last 17 years. As an actor he has appeared in over 50 professional productions with the American Conservatory Theater, American Musical Theater, Aurora Theater Company, Berkeley Repertory Theater, California Shakespeare Festival, Capital Stage Company, Center Repertory Company, Magic Theater, Marin Shakespeare Company, Pacific Alliance Stage Company, Pacific Repertory Theater, San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, Shotgun Players, and Tacoma Actor's Guild. He has also served as Musical Director on over 80 productions with the Bay Area Children's Theater, Berkeley Playhouse, Capital Stage Company, Center Repertory Company, Contra Costa Civic Theater, Cornish College of the Arts, Pacific Repertory Theater, San Francisco Opera Guild, and the San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, among others. He is the Co-Founder, Co-Director, and Musical Director for Center Repertory Company's Young Rep Musical Theater Conservatory. Michael studied at the Idyllwild School of Music and the Arts and holds a BFA in Acting from Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle.

Cameron Pence
Production Manager
Contact: 510.845.8542 x383 or cameron@berkeleyplayhouse.org

Cameron is in his third season as Production Manager at Berkeley Playhouse! Originally from North Carolina, Cameron is happy to call Berkeley Playhouse his artistic home. In addition to production management of all Professional Season shows, lighting design credits include Sister Act. Prior to Berkeley Playhouse, Cameron was Conservatory Technical Director at the American Conservatory Theater. Lighting design credits at ACT include I’m Still Standing and Punk Rock for the Young Conservatory and The Big Meal and Rocky Horror for the MFA program. Before moving to the Bay Area, Cameron toured the world for six years with a variety of touring shows. In his spare time, Cameron enjoys sailing on San Francisco Bay.

Shannon Reilly
Resident Stage Manager & Associate Producer
Contact: shannon@berkeleyplayhouse.org

Shannon is thrilled to join the Berkeley Playhouse team full-time! She has been the Stage Manager for Grease, Ragtime, Sister Act, Beauty and the Beast, Peter and the Starcatcher, and Peter Pan. Prior to starting her position at Berkeley Playhouse, she worked for many companies around the Bay Area including American Conservatory Theater and Aurora Theatre Company. Some highlights include The Rocky Horror Show (A.C.T. Conservatory), The Cable Car Nymphomaniac (FOGG Theatre), and Love Sick (Jewish Circle Theatre).

Sean Griffin
Patron Services Manager
Contact: 510.845.8542 x396 or sean@berkeleyplayhouse.org

For Box Office matters, please contact boxoffice@berkeleyplayhouse.org for a faster response.


 

Christine Pepperdine
Marketing & Communications Manager

Megan McGrath
Youth Productions Manager
Contact: 510.845.8542 x303 or megan@berkeleyplayhouse.org

Megan is a theater artist who brings years of experience as choreographer, director, performer, and teacher to Berkeley Playhouse. She has recently collaborated with Quinan Street Project, Contra Costa Civic Theatre, New Conservatory Theatre-SF, and Tri-Valley Repertory. She studied Directing at California State University-Fullerton. At the Berkeley Playhouse, she has directed the Youth Productions Chicago, Willy Wonka, Annie, and Beauty and the Beast and choreographed Bye Bye Birdie, Tarzan, and Hello, Dolly!. Her Bay Area choreography credits include The Wizard of Oz (Berkeley Playhouse), Tenderly: The Rosemary Clooney Musical (Altarena Playhouse), The Taffetas (Altarena Playhouse), O'Neill: The Rhythms of His Soul (Eugene O'Neill Foundation), and The King and I (Tri-Valley Rep). She resides in and is dedicated to the promotion and preservation of quality arts education.

Lexi Diamond
Classes & Camps Manager
Contact: 510.845.8542 x323 or lexi@berkeleyplayhouse.org

Lexi is a writer, director, performer, and teaching artist with a BA in drama, music, and education from Vassar College. She came to the Bay Area after receiving the Peter F. Sloss Literary/Dramaturgy Fellowship at Berkeley Repertory Theatre, and stayed on after her fellowship to work with The Ground Floor, Berkeley Rep’s center for the development of new works, and with the Berkeley Rep School of Theatre as a teaching artist and outreach coordinator. Before moving to the Bay Area, Lexi worked in the literary office and education department at Trinity Repertory Company in Providence, RI, and as an assistant director with the Brown University/Trinity Rep MFA program. Lexi studied comedy at the Upright Citizens Brigade in Los Angeles, and she is a performer, coach, and producer at Endgames Improv in The Mission, where she plays weekly with house teams Chivalry Club and EOP. She also dramaturgs and directs at theaters around San Francisco and the East Bay.

Mary Cait Hogan
Classes & Camps Administrator
Contact: 510.845.8542 x379 or marycait@berkeleyplayhouse.org




 

Jason Ayestas
Management Associate
Contact: 510.845.8542 x301 or jason@berkeleyplayhouse.org




 

Santiago Hutchins
Facilities Manager
Contact: 510.845.8542 x319 or santiago@berkeleyplayhouse.org

For theater and studio rentals, please contact booking@berkeleyplayhouse.org.


 

Tara Vargo
Finance Manager
Contact: 510.845.8542 x306 or tara@berkeleyplayhouse.org




 

MaryAnna Alderete
Concessions & Volunteer Manager
Contact: maryanna@berkeleyplayhouse.org

If you are interested in volunteering, please contact volunteer@berkeleyplayhouse.org.


 

Jordan Battle
Lead House Manager

Melissa Martinez
Resident Teaching Artist

Melissa has worked as a performer, choreographer, director, and teaching artist in the Bay Area for the last 6 years. She received her BFA in acting from The University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Melissa is the Associate Director of Theater at Contra Costa School of Performing Arts as well as a resident teaching artist with The Quinan Street Project in Pinole, where she continues to teach theater and dance to students ranging from 2-18 years old. Her directing and choreography credits include Bye Bye Birdie, Shrek The Musical, The Drowsy Chaperone, and James and the Giant Peach with Berkeley Playhouse. Melissa is also a working actor and her favorite roles include Diana Morales from A Chorus Line with Solano College Theater, Hermia from Midsummer (Jon Tracy’s original adaptation of A Midsummer Nights Dream) with Solano Repertory Company, and a featured dancer in The Wiz with Berkeley Playhouse.

Weston Scott
Resident Teaching Artist

Weston is a playwright, director, and teaching artist from the Central Coast. After graduating from UC Berkeley, he completed a Directing Internship at PCPA and worked for several months in London theatre. At the Berkeley Playhouse, he has directed shows for YouthStage such as The Little Mermaid, Into the Woods, and Bye Bye Birdie, all while teaching several additional camps and classes. His writing has been produced by PianoFight, Custom Made Theatre Co., and FaultLine Theater, where he is a proud Associate Artist. His best-known work may be as the lyricist for the millennial musical Tinderella, for which he was named a TBA Finalist. Apart from the theater, Weston has written an album of original parody songs, contributed to several podcasts, and studied improv at the Groundlings and the Upright Citizens’ Brigade. He is ecstatic to be one of the first Resident Teaching Artists at the Berkeley Playhouse and looks forward to mentoring young artists for many years to come.

Tania Johnson
Resident YouthStage Musical Director

Tania is an accomplished singer/dancer/actor who loves helping young people develop their artistic voices. She has been working with Berkeley Playhouse Conservatory on a regular basis since 2013. KidStage music direction: Annie, Willy Wonka, Hello, Dolly!, Spamalot, Anything Goes, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Starmites, and Zombie Prom. TeenStage music direction: Rent, Drowsy Chaperone, and Grease. Tania also conducted Berkeley Playhouse's Professional Season production of Peter Pan. Tania earned her B.A. in Music from U.C. Berkeley and continued training with NDNU's Musical Theatre Conservatory. As an actor, she has performed with SF Playhouse, 42nd Street Moon, and TheatreWorks. Tania is the recipient of the Theatre Bay Area Award for Outstanding Music Direction for her work on Always...Patsy Cline! at Altarena Playhouse and was Shelly Nominated for her music direction of Town Hall's Smokey Joe's Cafe. Recent music direction credits include Ragtime and Cabaret at Contra Costa Civic Theatre. Tania has been active in the musical theatre classes at Alameda High and is entering her 5th year as a music specialist in the musical theatre classes at St. Joseph's High School in Alameda. Favorite onstage credits include Reno Sweeney (The Western Stage), Frl. Kost (SF Playhouse) and touring with The MeshugaNutcracker! (National Jewish Theatre Festival). Favorite musician experiences include playing keyboard for productions at Woodminster and stepping in as substitute conductor for productions at Bay Area Musicals.

Erika Oba
Resident YouthStage Musical Director

Erika is a composer, pianist/flutist, and educator based in the SF Bay Area. As a composer, she has written works for big band, small jazz ensembles, chamber groups, dance, and theater. As a performer, she is a member of the Montclair Women’s Big Band, Ends Meat’ Catastrophe Jazz Ensemble, electro-jazz duo Rice Kings, and The Sl(e)ight Ensemble. She is currently on faculty with the Jazzschool Community Music School’s youth program, as well as their annual Women’s Jazz and Blues camp and Girls’ Jazz and Blues camp. She has worked as a dance accompanist for Mills College and Berkeley Ballet Theater, and as a music director for Berkeley Playhouse’s YouthStage. As an artist, she is interested in exploring ritual, diasporic identities, and community through performance. She received her BM in Jazz Piano Performance from Oberlin Conservatory and her MA in Music Composition from Mills College.

Rachel Robinson
Resident YouthStage Director

Rachel is a versatile theatre artist, equally at home directing, music directing, and teaching. She has been working in the Berkeley Playhouse Conservatory since 2013 and is delighted to call it her artistic home. Her YouthStage credits include Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland, Legally Blonde, Anything Goes, Spamalot, and this past summer’s TeenStage Intensive of Grease. Rachel also frequently works on the Berkeley Playhouse mainstage shows. This season she will direct West Side Story and will music direct Big, The Musical. In addition to her directorial work, Rachel runs a thriving music studio where she teaches voice and piano to students of all ages. Rachel began performing as a child on the stages of Washington, D.C., she received her degree in Musical Theatre and Vocal Performance from New York University, and she continues to learn every day from her students here in the Bay Area. www.rachelrobinsonmusic.com

Laura Marlin
Resident YouthStage Director

 

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