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Acting

Snapshot of Christopher Bange

Christopher Bange

Bio: Christopher Bange is an actor, clown, playwright, and magician from Seattle, WA. Chris first became interested in magic at age 9 when his aunt taught him how to break a match stick in half, then magically restore it. Since then, he has been hooked on magic and performing. Chris took acting classes in high school to be a better magician and caught the theater bug. Not long after he was cast in American Northwest Repertory Theater and discovered a love for touring theater as they traversed Poland and Mexico. After receiving his AA from Centralia College, he went to study theater at Western Washington University, receiving his BA in Acting and Directing. While at Western he began independently studying clown and decided to formalize his training by studying clown and other physical theater forms at Dell’Arte: International School of Physical Theater in Northern California. While at Dell’Arte he was introduced to the world of the actor as creator and poet.

Since then he has been acting, creating and producing original theater, and doing magic in the greater Seattle area. Chris’s clown theater company, The Baggy Pants, was formed in 2001. Chris has created and toured nationally and internationally, original plays such as: Is This Your Duck?, The Red Nose, Have You Seen My Dog?, The Case of the Vanishing Crown Jewel: A Ziplock Holmes Mystery, The Excursionist: An Aristocratic Adventure, The Medicine Show, More Bange for Your Buck!, The Excursionists 2: A Matter of Time, The Fat Guy Show, Sherlock Holmes and the Hansom Cab Killer!, Breaking Bange, and Damn Fine Magic! Chris has gone on to receive awards for his magic act, including The NW Magic Jamboree Best Comedy Magic Award, Comedy Magic PCAM 2015, and a special award in honor of the great vaudevillian, The Peter Rolston Comedy Award.


Snapshot of Julie Granata Hunicutt

Julie Granata Hunicutt

Bio: Julie is an educator and performer with 18 years of professional experience in regional theatres across the country, including Ensemble Theatre Company (Fallen Angels, The 39 Steps), Rubicon Theatre Company (Conviction, Private Lives), Laguna Playhouse (Private Lives), B Street Theatre (I am a Camera), Ark Theatre Company (Hedda Gabbler), and Boston Court (Futura) on the West Coast, and Goodman Theatre (Lobby Hero, Play About the Baby), Timeline Theatre Company, and Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago. She has worked in television (ABC, NBC), film (Paramount, Disney), radio (NPR’s Stories on Stage), and is a voiceover artist for interactive media. Julie holds a BFA in Acting from The Theatre School at DePaul University, and is a proud member of SAG - AFTRA & AEA.

Julie's interest in the interconnectedness of movement, text analysis, and unscripted collaboration sprang from her experiences as trained dancer and certified yoga instructor. Her deep interest in body mechanics, movement as meditation, mind-body connection, and the physical expression of self inevitably crossed paths with her acting work. Julie began to teach body awareness and creative movement for actors, to both young performers and working professionals, calling upon her diverse movement experience to provide students a safe and expansive place to explore their physical selves.

As a teaching artist, Julie is compelled by the exploration of different types of rehearsal process and the incorporation of creative movement, technology, and illusion into theatrical performance. She is passionate about ensemble-driven theatre, bringing together artists and collaborators with a range of backgrounds and experiences, and dedicated to the investigation of performance practice and performance education.


Sky Paley

Bio:


Snapshot of Lisa Pelikan

Lisa Pelikan

Bio: Lisa Pelikan was last seen on the NY stage in the world premiere of Mr. Toole for which she received the Best Actor Award in The EstroGenius Theater Festival. In Los Angeles she was seen recently in The Fountain Theatre’s production of The Normal Heart, Rogue Machine Theatre’s The New Electric Ballroom, and The Colony Theatre's production of The Glass Menagerie. World premieres include Arthur Miller's The American Clock, Jim Leonard's The Diviners, and the Off-Broadway hit-screwball comedy, Panache.

Lisa has received numerous awards, including an LA Drama Critics Circle Award for the West Coast Premiere of Craig Lucas' Blue Window and a Drama-Logue Award for creating the infamous Zelda Fitzgerald in the World Premiere of the one-woman show, Only a Broken String of Pearls, now titled Zelda. Since making her film debut in Fred Zinnemann's Julia, in which she shared the title role with Vanessa Redgrave, she has starred in dozens of films and television shows. She received a Best Actress Award for her work in the cult-horror film, Jennifer. As a director, she earned an ADA Best Director Award for directing Interact Theatre's production of 'Night, Mother; both her actors were nominated for the Best Actress Award, and one received it. She loves directing other actors!

Lisa is a certified Fitzmaurice Voicework® teacher and has done extensive work towards her CMA in Laban Movement Analysis. Please visit her website: www.lisapelikan.com



Snapshot of April Sigman-Marx

April Sigman-Marx

Bio: April, a southern California transplant, made her stage debut at three years old and was hooked! Favorite Stage Credits include: Ophelia in Hamlet, Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, Dancing Laurey in the “Dream Ballet” of Oklahoma, Lynette in the DC premier of Beastly Beauty, and Julie in the world premier Making up History: Searching for Annie Moore. One of April’s most memorable experiences with stage was seeing the creation of an original, one-woman show Permed from start to finish—writing, directing, and starring in the production, which ran in both the Miami and Washington DC metro areas.

At age twelve an interest in fashion lead April to begin modeling both on the runway and in print. By sixteen she was traveling the country modeling and made the transition into TV and Film acting. Favorite TV & Film Credits include: Annette Sanchez on America’s Most Wanted, modeling on Wheel of Fortune, Kelly in Open Door, Bobbie in Heaven Burns, Carly in For Carly, Cassandra in the internationally acclaimed film Sisters, and Co-Host of The Downhome Divas.

Although April spent her early life learning the ins and outs of performing, she was also interested in what made the industry work from behind the scenes. Following this inclination, April integrated herself in all aspects of the business working as a casting assistant, productions assistant, talent coach and assistant director on several projects across the country and organized a women’s film festival for a local non-profit. April was also the co-creator and an Executive Producer of The Downhome Divas, a web series helping women achieve “champagne style on a beer budget.”

April holds a BFA in Musical Theater from New World School of the Arts in Miami, Florida and is a proud member of SAG-AFTRA. Additionally, April has been teaching acting, dance, voice, public speaking, and body language for 15 years and absolutely loves it. Currently, April spends her days sharing her passion for the arts and innovative education as the proprietor and director of Take the Stage Productions—a mobile performing arts academy for elementary age children.

April is excited for the opportunity to work with the incredible faculty, staff and fellow MFA Candidates at CSULB’s Theatre Arts Department and hopes to utilize the skills garnered within it to teach at the university level.


Headshot of Jessica Soza

Jessica Soza

Bio: A Southern California native and half-Guatemalan, Soza’s most notable credits include performing Maria with the International tour of West Side Story. She had the pleasure of performing in 10 countries and 17 cities all over Europe in world-class venues such as the Teatro San Carlo in Naples Italy, Sadler’s Wells Theater in London's West End, and the Alte Oper in Frankfurt, Germany. Regionally, she has performed Maria at the California Theater and with San Diego Musical Theater Company.

Soza graduated from the American Musical & Dramatic Academy in Los Angeles and obtained her B.A. in music at CSU, San Bernardino where she studied classical voice. After graduation she lived in New York City for two years where she refined her technique as a singer, studying opera. She left New York to tour Europe with West Side Story and returned home to California after the tour closed.

Having focused on her singing technique for the last 10 years, she is now passionately pursuing her MFA in Acting at CSU, Long Beach to focus on pedagogical performance. She is thrilled to be understudying the brilliant Alexandra Billings in CSULB’s production of Stop the World! and can be heard singing every Sunday at Pilgrim Congregational Church in Pomona, where she has been a featured soloist and soprano section leader since 2007.


Snapshot of Thomas Trudgeon

Thomas Trudgeon

Bio: Tom Trudgeon recently appeared in Bent (Max) during Philly FringeArts Festival, The Sisterhood (Ariste) with Mauckingbird Theatre and understudied Private Lives (Elyot) and Good People (Mike) with Walnut St. Theater in Philadelphia. In Louisville, Tom directed The Normal Heart at Land of Tomorrow, and appeared in The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told (Adam), Southern Baptist Sissies (Mark), Ordinary People (Cal) and Arcadia (Septimus). Favorite New York credits include The Tempest and Romeo & Juliet (National Shakespeare Company), McBeth: Over 2 Million Slain (United Stages of America) and The All-Male Importance of Being Earnest (Wilde at Last Theatre Co.), Feeding the Dead (Accidental Theatre Co.), As You Like It and Mutiny on the Bounty. Memorable productions during Tom’s time studying at Hofstra University are The Rose Tattoo, The Imaginary Invalid, Lone Star and Bus Stop.

Tom has worked administratively as a producer, programmer, presenter, event planner and manager for many esteemed arts institutions such as Joe’s Pub at The Public Theater, The Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts, The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, The Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival, The Prince Theater, The National Shakespeare Company, Robert Isabell, Inc. and MTV.

Through the years, Tom has studied with Susan Batson, Louis Scheeder, Gloria Foster, Charles Repole, Carol Kastendieck, Greg Wood and Estelle Aden. This summer Tom had an awesome opportunity to participate in a Wilma Theater Hothouse Intensive workshop, studying the physical and vocal methodologies behind Theodoros Terzopoulos and Jean-René Toussaint’s work, and the “Thinking Body” methodology of the Wilma Hothouse Company with Blanka Zizka and Jered McLenigan.



Design


Snapshot of Kit Baumer

Kit Baumer (Lighting)

Bio: Kit Baumer is a recent graduate from Gustavus Adolphus Colleg in St. Peter, MN. She graduated with a BFA in Theatre Honors with an emphasis in Lighting Design. For her Honors Project she designed the lighting for In The Next Room or The Vibrator Play. Kit has also done the lighting designs for Berlin at the Space theatre in London, Trojan Barbie, Edge of Our Bodies, and a couple of dance pieces for the Gustavus Dance Company. This past summer Kit had the opportunity to work as the second Assistant Lighting Designer to David Jacques at the Central City Opera House in Central City, Colorado.


Snapshot of Ulyana Chava

Ulyana Chava (Scenic)

Bio: I am originally from Ukraine. I have received my BFA and MFA Degree in Costume Design from Lviv National Academy of Arts (Ukraine). My CSULB education will be my second round to expand and explore a creative road.

Since I remember myself I was always curious in a novel and challenging experience. I was a participant of many design competitions in Ukraine and beyond. In 2005 I become a winner of the National Competition of Young Designers of Ukraine which gave me an opportunity to show my designs on wide catwalks and Fashion Weeks, to work with professional photographers, stylists and scene design professionals.

Through 10 years of work experience, in diverse environment of fashion industry, I was able to work and live in many countries (China, Turkey, Poland, Italy), and to collaborate on design projects with designers from different schools, backgrounds and professional fields. My personal designs were selling in Poland, UAE, Kuwait, Bahraini and my native Ukraine.

I always thought that the most interesting part of design work is to tell a story through colors, fabrics, lightings and a variety of technical expressions. I hope my study at CSULB in Scenic Design will help me to expand my vision of storytelling and implement the knowledge I have in a new and interesting plane. Basically, I am looking forward to experiencing a new creative community in the Theatre Arts of Long Beach.


Snapshot of Merve Caydere Dobai

Merve Caydere Dobai (Scenic)

Bio: Merve is from Republic of Turkey. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Interior Architecture and Environmental Design from Hacettepe University. While pursuing her undergraduate degree she worked part time at an architectural model shop. After her graduation, she worked at corporate furniture and design companies. She volunteered for European Union in Kaposvar, Hungary, helping disadvantaged youth, children, women in shelters and elders with artistic projects. She also volunteered at Csiky Gergely Theatre of Hungary. Merve is currently in the second year of her MFA in Scenic Design at California State University Long Beach. www.designmcd.com.



Snapshot of Maria Huber

Maria Huber (Costumes)

Bio: Maria Huber is from Peoria, Arizona and is a first year MFA student with an emphasis in costume design. She graduated from Arizona State University in 2012 with a Bachelor of Music degree in music education with her primary instrument being the French Horn. She has been individually pursuing costume construction since graduating high school in 2008 and since then has won various awards at local pop culture convention costume contests for her craftsmanship. Her experience in costume design began at Scottsdale Community College in 2014, where she designed several shows for theatre and film projects. Her most recent accomplishments are receiving a Meritorious Award for her design of SCC’s production of Kill Will in the fall of 2015 and an Honorary Mention at the KCACTF Region VIII conference for a non-realized design of The Thwarting of Baron Bolligrew in the spring of 2016.



Snapshot of Sara Lindsey

Sara Lindsey (Costumes)

Bio: Sara Lindsey is a second year graduate student pursuing her MFA with an emphasis in costume design. She graduated from Wake Forest University in May 2013 with a BA in Theater. Sara spent the following summer working with the San Francisco Mime Troupe, only to return to her alma mater as a guest designer that fall. Sara was a costume intern at Riverside Theatre in Vero Beach, Florida for the 2013-2014 season. Sara also worked as the stitcher at Creede Repertory Theatre in Colorado. She was a costume apprentice at Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia, PA for the 2014-2015 season, and had the opportunity to design for a number of productions for young audiences. During the current academic year, Sara worked in the costume shop in various capacities including cutter/draper and milliner. Her most recent design was the University Players’ production of Bird in the Hand.




Snapshot of Princess Pi

Princess Π (Lighting)

Bio: Paria Izadmehr is pursuing her MFA Lighting Design program at California State University, Long Beach. She completed her bachelor’s degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering in 2011. In addition to her education Paria is an avid photographer, passionate about nature and the potential of light and design and their application to enhance and elaborate a work of art to create extraordinary results. Paria strives to combine her diverse background, powerful imagination and influential creativity with structure and education to create a unique and avant-garde approach to lighting design.



Snapshot of Szu-Yun Wang

Szu-Yun Celine Wang (Lighting)

Bio: Szu-Yun is originally from Kaohsiung, Taiwan. She received a BFA degree in Theatre Arts from National Sun Yat-sen University in 2016. She went on her first tour by designing the light for The Toy Cart in the same year. And she is currently pursuing her MFA degree in Lighting Design at California State University, Long Beach.


Snapshot of Lin Xiyu

Lin Xiyu (Scenic)

Bio: Bachelor: China Academy of Art



Management

Snapshot of Jay Ballard

Jay Ballard

Bio: Jay is a recent graduate of Rutgers University-Camden where he earned a bachelor's degree in Theater Arts with a minor in Management. His background in theater dates back to high school where he was involved in Stage Crew. During his undergraduate career, Jay widened his proficiency in theater with roles in Properties Management, Stage Management, Lighting design, Acting and Dramaturgy.

Jay's love for theater comes from the display of emotion and that can only be seen at a live production. In addition, he enjoys working as a team to complete a live work. After working on many productions including A Doll's House, You Can't Take It With You, The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, The Importance of Being Earnest, and The Glass Menagerie, his passion only grows. Jay is excited to enter a management-focused theater environment because, just like other aspects of theater, curtains rise and fall due to management and their work.


Snapshot of Kevin Johnson

Kevin Johnson

Bio: Kevin Johnson recently graduated from Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in 2016, with a B.A. in Theatre: focus Acting/Directing. He has been acting, writing and producing theatre from the living room to the stage since he was 10. While pursuing his B.A. Kevin, along with his closest friends, started a student run theatre production company, Flickering Light. At TAMUCC Kevin taught movement workshops, sound designed, acted, and directed for a diverse array of productions. Immediately after graduation Kevin took a summer position as Sound Designer at Timber Lake Playhouse. In pursuing additional education at Long Beach he hopes to advance the impact and scope of theatre.


Snapshot of Nicole Koenig

Nicole Koenig

Bio: Nicole is a graduate from the University of California, Irvine where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Drama. During her time there, she was involved in several projects where her positions ranged from stage crew member to performer to playwright to director. She also took part in the New York Satellite Program, where she performed Off-Broadway in the 4@15 musical “Hesitation Waltz”. Before college, she studied at the Young REP Theater Workshop and The Ballet School as well as performing in several teen and community theater productions. She spent three summers at Lamorinda Theatre Academy, where she moved from an intern to an instructor for their theater summer camps. She has just concluded her internship at the Disneyland Resort through the Disney College Program. Nicole hopes to combine her varied theater experience into a theater manager position in the Walt Disney Company.


Snapshot of Carly Neil

Carly Neil

Bio: Carly Neil is a first-year Theatre Management candidate. She received her BA in Theatre Arts from Western Connecticut State University.

As an undergrad, Carly’s love of theatre brought her around the country and even the globe, working as the Assistant Company Manager for an original musical adaptation of Lysistrata at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland. Carly also served as the Non-Equity Deputy for A Dream Play in New York City. Beyond school, she has worked in several professional venues, including the Ridgefield Playhouse and Ives Concert Park.

Outside of the management world, Carly is also a performer and has appeared in a variety of shows, including Chicago, Spring Awakening, The Green Bird, A Dream Play, and the world premiere of The Events, also at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.


Snapshot of Christina Ramos

Christina Ramos

Bio: Christina is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre and Dance with a focus in Costume Design and Technology. She has worked as a costume technician and manager with Celestino Couture in New York City, the Ohio Light Opera, and the University of Central Missouri. During her spare time in grad school she has worked with Bard SummerScape in New York, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and The Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles' Will Power to Youth program.


Snapshot of Olivia Sather

Olivia Sather

Bio: Olivia Diane Sather is a first year graduate student at CSULB in the MBA/MFA Theatre Management program. Growing up in a military family she lived all over the United States and Europe. Olivia has a BA in International Studies with a minor in Theatre Arts from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. While pursuing her undergraduate degree Olivia worked as Managing Director for Red Theatre Omaha helping to produce 8 independent shows, one of which performed at the Kansas City Fringe Festival in 2012, and studied Arabic language abroad in Meknes, Morocco. After graduation, Olivia began work at RESPECT as an Actor/ Educator and later as the Site Liaison. RESPECT, a nonprofit educational theatre company, teaches children, teens, and adults about the dangers of bullying and how to build healthy relationships. During that time, she also worked as an actor/trainer for Project Harmony, a child advocacy center, using theatre techniques to train police and social workers in child abuse investigations. Volunteer work includes serving as board member on the Theatre Arts Guild Omaha’s Membership and Fundraising committees, and volunteering for several local theatres. Olivia also enjoys acting, her credits include theatre, film, and commercial work, some favorites include Jean in August: Osage County, Anne Shirley in Recommended Reading for Girls, and performing for the past 5 years at the Great Plains Theatre Conference.


Caitlin Swan

Bio: Caitlin Swan holds a Bachelor of Arts in Drama, Concentration in Directing from The Colorado College. She is an Equity Membership Candidate, having completed internships in stage management with Shakespeare Santa Cruz and the Children’s Theatre Company in Minneapolis. She worked at the historic Barter Theatre in Abingdon, Virginia for over 2 years as a Production Assistant and Company Stage Manager of the Barter Players, a troupe of professional artists who perform world-class theatre for young audiences, reaching over 30,000 young people annually. In her third year as an MBA/MFA Theatre Management student, Caitlin is the General Manager of California Repertory Company and the Graduate Production Manager.


Rebecca Swartz

Bio: Rebecca Swartz is from Bettendorf, Iowa and earned her Bachelor’s degree in vocal music from Cornell College in 2010. She worked for three years as the Education and Youth Ensemble Coordinator for the Quad City Symphony Orchestra before moving to Long Beach to pursue her Master’s degree. When she’s not studying, Becca enjoys working with the youth group at her church, singing in the church band, going to Disneyland, and hanging out at the beach.


Snapshot of Elena Valladolid Tovar

Elena Valladolid Tovar

Bio: Elena is a first year graduate student at CSULB in the Theater Management program. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Theater, Dance and Performance Studies from the University of California, Berkeley. While at Cal, she stage-managed four main stage productions. She also took part in the Lighting Design program at Cal and was the Assistant Lighting Designer in two main stages and was the lead designer for a workshop production. For three years, Elena worked as an Assistant Stage Manager with World Arts West. World Arts West is a non-profit organization that supports over 450 Bay Area dance companies that celebrate the world’s cultural legacy. Each June WAW hosts the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival where companies come together to share their cultural dances.

Elena recently stepped down as the Stage Manager at Santa Ana Unified School District to return to school and is excited to grow in her career at CSULB.