Our Educators

Lindsey and the Rose by Nacho Solis

Lindsey Chester

Executive & Artistic Director

Lindsey has been working for the past two decades years with performers aged 3 through adults, here in Santa Cruz County. A graduate of The University of Edinburgh, Scotland, UK. She holds a BSc. in Neuroscience, with a focus in Child Psychology, Learning & Memory. Lindsey is also an avid performer and has been seen on the Cabrillo Stage in Beehive the Musical, as Janis Joplin, Mary Poppins as Ms. Andrew, Kiss Me Kate; as a Bianca Girl, as General Mathilda Cartwright; in Guys and Dolls and as a Pick-A-Little Lady in The Music Man. She finds time to give private voice & acting lessons to about a dozen students, children through adults and enjoys spending time her husband and daughter.

All About Theatre was founded in 2003. We are honored to bring together amazing theatrical talent from around the United States, including local talent, as part of our educators. Here’s a snapshot of some of our most recent talent.

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Maritza Pozzi-Loyola

Gymnastics

Maritza began gymnastics at the age of 4 when her parents realized they needed to place her in a padded environment where she could tumble freely and safely; thus began a lifetime passion for the sport. She partnered gymnastics with dance until she transitioned to competitive cheerleading in her teens. Maritza has been coaching gymnastics and competitive cheerleading for over 20 years, and now spends her days as a Kindergarten teacher at Watsonville Charter School of the Arts where she integrates her knowledge of children's movement into her classroom. In her free time she enjoys hiking all over Northern CA with her husband and two children and watching live theatre and documentary films. She has a degree from UCSC in Sociology, a Master's from USF in Sport Management, and a teaching credential from Cal State TEACH.

Ashley Rae Little

Ashley Rae Little

Equity - Director, Choreographer

Ashley is a California native, born and raised in the Bay Area.  After working as an international performer and choreographer she is thrilled to be back in the Bay and teaching the local talent.  Having been trained as a triple threat Ashley uses her well-rounded skills with various companies from operas to ballets and everything in between.  Ms Little is an alumnus of Perry-Mansfield, TAI and TSA at AMTSJ, SJSU’s Company One, and has been proudly collaborating with professional companies since 2006.  Favourite past musical theatre roles: Fantine in Les Miserables, DuBarry in Du Barry Was a Lady, Luisa in The Fantasticks, and Cinderella in Into The Woods.

Kara Dorsey

Kara Dorsey

DIRECTOR

Kara is a senior studying at CSU Stanislaus and has appeared on stage multiple times at Stan. Some roles include: Madame Loyal (Tartuffe), Molly (Sincerity Forever), and Judy (Balm In Gilead). Some past favorite roles include: Graziella (West Side Story at All About Theatre) and Cece/Whitney (Legally Blonde at SVS). She also has an abundance of Stage Managing experience. Past credits include: Of Mice and Men (Stan), Mary Poppins (AAT), and Fiddler On The Roof with Cabrillo Stage Professional. Kara has been on stage since she was seven in various capacities and would like to thank her AAT family for their support and opportunities.
Colleen Doermann

Colleen Doermann

Director

Colleen grew up in the Bay Area. She started dancing when she was 5, did her first musical when she was 8, and started performing professionally when she was 15. She has performed with CMTSJ as well as San Jose Civic Light Opera. Some her of fondest memories are performing at Marriott’s Great America for 4 years in her teens and working on cruise ships as a Magician’s Assistant and Singer/Dancer. She was most recently seen on stage in CMTSJ's, Sweeney Todd and Cabrillo Stage’s Mary Poppins and Fiddler on the Roof. During the day, Colleen is a Teacher of the Blind and Visually Impaired. She has a BA in Special Education, specialized in area of Visually Impaired Program, from the University of Utah, and MA in Special Education in Orientation and Mobility from San Francisco State University. She is grateful for the opportunity to work with the amazing children involved with All About Theatre and share her love for the theater. She is thrilled for all the things she is learning from the kids and to be involved in children’s theater. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and daughters. She has 2 beautiful, talented and strong daughters.

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Samantha Rawls

Vocal Coach & Choreographer

Samantha is currently finishing up her education at West Valley College and starting at the Institute of American Musical Theatre in the Fall. She started dancing when she was 7 and has over 10 years of private voice experience. She grew up doing All About Theatre From the age of 11 to 17. Even when she wasn't on stage she was always involved in theatre with stage managing, building sets, lighting and costuming.She is so excited to return to working and teaching at  AAT for the summer. She most recently co-choreographed for Beauty and the Beast Jr for All About Theatre. Samantha also teaches private voice lessons and is dedicated to teaching healthy and sustainable vocal techniques for musical theatre.

Mara Frey

Mara Frey

Choreographer

A native to Santa Cruz, Mara Frey grew up dancing and taking classes of all styles around town. At age 6 she started with tap and ballet until she found Synergy Studios at age 11 and began to train with Joy Smith in Jazz, Hip Hop and Street Jazz. Mara found her love for choreography during her involvement with Harbor High's dance team, Escapades. She began to focus more on contemporary jazz and choreographed several numbers for the team. Dance has always been a part of Mara's life weather it was on a team or doing Zumba at the gym. There is this beautiful self-connection one finds within themselves through dance. Mara has always been drawn to the freedom of dance and they way movement gives her the confidence to be her wonderful creative self. Now working on her second musical production at All About Theatre, she has found a new passion teaching youth to express themselves and find their own creative power; no matter how goofy movement can be.

Melanie Camras

Melanie Camras

Music Director

Miss Melanie has been singing since 1988, playing piano since 1992, acting since 1996, and performing/teaching music/theatre with various children’s theatre groups across North America since 2001. She has a B.A. in drama from Washington University in St. Louis, and musical theatre has long been one of her greatest passions. She started with All About Theatre in June 2015, and really enjoys the kids, families, and her fellow teachers. Miss Melanie also teaches private piano and voice lessons, and provides childcare.

Emily Schneiderman

Emily Schneidermann

Director

Emily is a recent UCSC Theater Arts graduate who grew up acting, singing, and dancing with youth theatre programs such as Starting Arts (Santa Clara/San Jose) and the Wilcox Stage Company (Wilcox High School, Santa Clara.) Since graduating, she has done work for the City of Santa Clara's youth theatre programs RJJT and FACE, primarily as an acting instructor, assistant stage manager, and playwright. Recently, Emily has co-directed Footloose the Musical and is currently working on 13 the Musical. Thank you for supporting young people in the arts!

Mandy Modic

Mandy Modic

Director, Choreographer

Mandy is a professional actress based in
Chicago. Favorite credits include: the National Tour of 42nd Street, Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland, A Chorus Line, Beauty and the Beast, Hairspray, and shows at the Paramount theater Aurora, Chicago Shakespeare theater, and Marriott Lincolnshire Theater. She also enjoys working in film/tv. Mandy is a lover of travel, laughing, photography, sports, BBQ, and her Texas roots.In Chicago, Mandy not only received her BFA, but also discovered a love for snowfall, sushi, and city lights.  Also, Chicago being an artistic town, she picked up more creative hobbies such as baking, photography, painting, and writing.

@mandyinmotion www.mandymodic.com

Brie Buxton

Brie Buxton

Director

Brie is a local professional performer-turned-domestic engineer, having appeared in such productions as Oliver!, Anything Goes, Cabaret at Cabrillo Stage, and other works on stage and film, including Pigtail Production’s Frog & Wombat. She returns to All About Theatre in this directorial role after having directed productions such as Sweeney Todd, Les Miserables and West Side Story. She is a UCSC cum laude alum and currently works as a birth doula in Santa Cruz.

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Marina Hallin

Music Director

Marina attends Oklahoma City University where she is pursuing a degree in BFA Acting/Minor in Broadcasting studying under the voice direction of Larry Wade Keller. Marina got her passion for theatre at a young age performing in All About Theatre shows as well as professional shows in and around Santa Cruz County.  Marina was most recently seen as Hodel in Cabrillo Stage's "Fiddler on the Roof" and as Carrie in "Carrie the Musical" at Cabrillo College. Marina is delighted to be back at AAT and has a passion for teaching and working with students in all areas of voice and acting. She most recently musically directed AAT youth camps including: "Legally Blonde" "James and the Giant Peach Jr.", “Wizard of Oz”, "The Little Mermaid" and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”.

Brad Roades

Brad Roades

Director

Brad is delighted to be working with Next Stage on this inaugural product of Bingo the Winning Musical. Locally Brad has directed, Batboy and Addams Family for All About Theatre. His work for AAT also includes the productions of Spring Awakening, Billy Elliot, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Matilda the Musical at the Rio Theatre. Brad won the Mimi Steinberg playwriting award at Brandeis University where he studied writing and directing with Martin Halpern, David Wheeler, Michael Murray and Edward Albee, Jayne Anne Phillips, Geoffrey Wolff and others. He has had his plays produced off Broadway and in Boston and is principal investor in the Whitefire Theater in Sherman Oaks California. His day job is as a provider of learning and information tools to Academic Libraries working for ProQuest.

 

Mercedes Johnson

Mercedes Johnson

Choreographer

Mercedes has a BA in Dance from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and has also studied Advanced Classical Ballet, Lyrical Jazz, Tap & Gymnastics in Kauai. . She is elated to use her dance training to enrich lives and guide students in the exploration of movement and choreography, utilizing her 25 years of dancing, 7 years of teaching and her BA. Multifaceted in a wide variety of movement genres including Ballet, Jazz, Contemporary, Modern, Partnering, Gymnastics, and Creative Movement and more. Theater was a huge part of my upbringing and personally changed my life. Students should be educated with many movement genres, styles, and empowered to express themselves through theater. She was elated to have joined the All About Theatre community last summer as is eager to return again to continue what inspires her most - leading youth with a dynamic group of experts in dance, music, and acting.

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Brance Souza

Choreographer & Instructor

Brance William Souza is a freelance dancer in the Los Angeles community. He holds a BFA in Dance Choreography and Performance from California Institute of the Arts and has trained in ballet, contemporary, and modern techniques. Brance yearns to bridge "more classically" codified and stylized movement and incorporate that vocabulary with musical theater while living in the concert dance world. Brance is so very excited to step away and get back to his roots returning to AAT to teach and also for a second season on the artistic staff with Cabrillo Stage. Los Angeles credits include music videos: "You're Gonna Miss Me When I'm Gone" by Rev. Shawn Amos, as well as America's Got Talent Finalist Butterscotch in her music video "Accept Who I Am". He currently freelances with companies in the LA area as a principle dancer for B. Dunn Movement, under the direction of Brigette Dunn Korpela, as well as fabe, under the direction of Mallory Fabian.

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Nick Roberto

musical director

Nick is excited to be joining AAT for their 2021 summer productions! Nick holds an M.M. in Choral Conducting and a B.M. in Music Composition from San Jose State University. He has been a part of multiple touring ensembles including the San Jose State Choraliers, The School for Music Vocations' Harmonic Convergence and his competitive Barbershop Quartet, Seaside. Nick's music career started in Musical Theatre, but he continued to master his craft through his study of multiple genres including: Opera, Art Song, Oratorio, Barbershop, and Jazz. Nick is also an avid composer of vocal music and has had his music performed by the SJSU Choraliers, the Cabrillo College Jazz Ensembles, and Resounding Acchord of San Jose. Nick is currently the professor of Vocal Jazz at San Jose State University and the music director of the Gold Standard Chorus of Santa Cruz.
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Mazera Cox-Goulter

Music Director

Mazera Cox-Goulter has worked as a pianist and musical director in Santa Cruz County over the past 13 years, holding an AA and Bachelor's in Music from UCSC. She accompanies high school musicals and choirs, colleges, community groups, elementary and high school theater, to professional musical theater, opera, vocal recitals, churches, and individual vocalists and instrumentalists. Mazera is the pianist for jazz singers at Cabrillo College, a music instructor at Good Shepherd Catholic School, a music director for community to professional theater in the County, and the main pianist at Resurrection Catholic Church in Aptos. She also teaches piano, coaches theory, and works miscellaneous jobs in the County. Her most recent endeavors were musically directing Cabrillo Stage's Chicago & Beauty & The Beast, the past 2 summers. Mazera is happy to be here, and has been a pianist and musical director with AAT since the beginning of the company, 15 years ago.

Ginger Hurley with All About Theatre

Ginger Hurley

Choreographer

Ginger started right here with All About Theatre at the age of 6! Ginger believes that AAT helped cultivate her initial desire and aim for Broadway. Since that time, she has trained extensively to become a “triple threat” singing, acting and dancing. Ginger has performed with most of the theater companies in Santa Cruz and the South Bay. Her roles have included everything from Tiny Tim at Cabrillo Stage’s production of “Scrooge” and Polly Baker in CMTSJs production of “Crazy for You” to Cassie in Starting Arts production of “A Chorus Line.” Ginger received West Valley Light Opera’s “Actress of the Year” award for her lead role in “Annie” in 2013 and “Rising Star of 2016” at Children’s Musical Theater of San Jose. Last year, Ginger attended Rutgers University Summer Acting Conservatory where she studied the Meisner technique with the renowned Kevin Kittle. As someone who herself trains five days a week, Ginger loves the opportunity to pass on what she has learned to all the aspiring AAT actors.

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Kiana Hamzehi

VOcal Instructor

Kiana Hamzehi is currently attending California State University, Fullerton to obtain a BA in Theatre Arts and a BM in Vocal Performance. She got her theatrical start right here at All About Theatre in Santa Cruz, beginning at age 10 with Mulan, Jr and finally appearing as Reno Sweeney in AAT’s 2016 production of Anything Goes. Kiana began to appear on stage at the Cabrillo Summer Musical Festival in her mid-teens. Her most notable roles with the company are Dina (Schoolhouse Rock!), Mimi (RENT) and her most recent appearance in Beehive! The 60’s Musical.  Outside of her studies, Kiana teaches private voice students in her (currently Zoom) studio, leads the soprano section at an Orange County church, and records musical compositions and arrangements. Besides releasing her own music, her voice can be heard alongside Philasifer's on his upcoming album: Comma. Kiana is beyond thrilled to return to her performing home to inspire the next generation of performers.

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