Nina Meehan is a founding company member of Bay Area Children's Theatre where she has directed numerous productions including The Day the Crayons Quit, the Musical, James and the Giant Peach, Little Women, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, Pippi Longstocking. She is a proud champion of new works for TYA and has produced original adaptations of Where the Mountain Meets the Moon (TBA award-winning production), Ivy+Bean, Ladybug Girl and many others. She is an award winning Youth Theatre Director, most recently winning Outstanding Achievements in Acting at the Broadway Jr. Festival in Atlanta, GA for her youth production of Pirates of Penzance. Nina was recognized as one of the 35-faces of Theatre Bay Area and a “Mom who Rocks” by Red Tricycle. She has worked throughout the Bay Area as an actress, educator, storyteller, and director. Nina proudly sits on the Theatre Services Commitee for Theatre Bay Area and the Board of Directors for TYA/USA. Nina received her BS in Theatre from Northwestern University and her Masters in Nonprofit Administration from the University of San Francisco. She is mom to Toby (age 7) and Robby (age 4).
Becca Posamentier has 18 years of administrative, teaching, and performing experience in theaters throughout California. A founding member of Bay Area Children’s Theatre, Becca is the Director of the Youth Education Program (YEP!). As the Camp and Family programs Manager at the San Francisco JCC, she directed extensive summer and vacation camps for children ages 5-12 in addition to creating a musical theater program for youth. Becca has taught performing arts at UCLA Unicamp, East Bay School of the Arts, University High School in Los Angeles, Stage Dorr Conservator and the Berkeley and SF JCCs. She was the Academy Director at Playhouse West, and spent five years as an administrator and educator with Kaiser Permanente’s Education Theater Programs. She now a “Mom who Rocks” (recognized by Red Tricycle) to two children of her own, ages 7 and 4.
Originally from New Orleans, Catherine holds her master’s degree in opera performance from Wichita State University and her bachelor’s degree in voice from LSU. While finishing grad school, Catherine taught voice at a private music school and continues to teach in the bay area at The Ballet School in Walnut Creek. She teaches both voice and dance (youth and adult) at The Ballet School. Catherine also serves as dance teacher for My Spanish Village preschool and Park Meade Elementary. She has performed in the bay area with Center Rep, Contra Costa Musical Theatre, Contra Costa Civic Theatre, and Missouri Street Theatre. She was mostly recently seen as Nancy in Bay Area Children’s Theatre’s production of Fancy Nancy the Musical. She is also a proud Air Force wife!
Natalie Buck-Bauer has a Bachelor’s degree in Classical Vocal Music Performance from San Francisco State University. She loves to perform in operettas, operas, and musical theater productions. During the last school year Natalie has worked as a director of BACT’s the Little Performers class and assistant director of the Young and Next Stage Performer’s classes in El Cerrito. Her latest endeavor is playing Sister Sophia in Contra Costa Civic Theater’s production of The Sound of Music.
After receiving her BA in Dramatic Arts from University of California, Davis in June of 2011, Maria came back home to the East Bay to commence her career as a stage manager and production manager. Her first show with BACT was in the fall of 2011 stage managing the world premiere of The Magic School Bus: The Climate Challenge; Maria's been hooked on working with BACT ever since!
Annie is tickled pink to be working with BACT as a director, choreographer and music director. She spent 9 years in the Los Angeles Area working with children ages 2-18, teaching them how to dance, sing and act. Places you may have seen her are the Pasadena Musical Theatre Program, Washington Middle School, Camelot Preschool and Rose Scharlin Cooperative Nursery School. She has also been extremely blessed to work as an actress on Broadway (Hairspray, High Fidelity the Musical). Other favorites include Miss Dorothy in the 1st National Tour of Thoroughly Modern Millie, and Snow White in Snow White: An Enchanting New Musical (Fantasyland Theatre Disneyland, original cast). The best role she’s ever had is the one she currently plays: Mom to her awesome 6 year old! She holds a B.A. in Musical Theatre from UCLA.
Derek Collard began his career in theatre as an actor at a young age. After years in NYC, he relocated to the Bay Area in 2009 to expand his interest in the arts. Since arriving here, he has worked with theatre companies such as TheatreWorks, ACT, Berkeley Rep, CenterREP, CCMT, Ray of Light, Bay Area Children’s Theatre, 42nd Street Moon to name a few. He has served as an Assistant/Associate Director with ACT, Berkeley Playhouse, McCarter Theatre and the Old Globe Theatre, as well as Director with the Arundel Playhouse, Gateway Playhouse, The Old Globe Theatre and Stars 2000. As an actor, he was recently seen as Lumiere in PCRT’s production of Beauty & The Beast. Prior to that, he has appeared in The Full Monty, Pinkalicious, A Year With Frog and Toad, A Christmas Carol, She Loves Me, Little Shop of Horrors (Shellie Award Winner – Best Supporting Actor in a Musical), Hairspray, Oliver!, Jubilee, Wildcat and High Spirits plus numerous readings and workshops. He has also worked with Disney, McCarter Theatre, The Old Globe Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, San Diego Repertory, LA Reprise, City Center Encores and on several National and International Tours. Other Regional credits: Angels (Pre-Broadway), Christmas Carol, Nunsense A-Men, Bye, Bye Birdie, The Gold Wuthakee, A Funny Thing Happened … Forum, You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, Funny, Pageant, Sweeney Todd, Rocky Horror Show, Drood!, Blood Brothers, My Favorite Year and Forever Plaid.
Amber Dyson is heading in her fourth year directing the classes in San Ramon. She has also led camps in all three BACT Education Program locations. Amber is a coach for the teen improv troupe, Creatures of Impulse in Pleasanton, and the drama teacher at Contra Costa Jewish Day School. She regularly improvises with The Super Dupers, Pure Moxie Players, and the Un-Scripted Theatre Company, and her improv format, "Choose Your Own Improv-Venture!", was recently selected to be performed at the upcoming San Francisco Improv Festival.
Laura Eglin's directing credits include 30 musicals for the Miami Children's Theater, such as Once Upon a Mattress, Honk, Cinderella, Grease, and 101 Dalmations. Most recently, she directed 204 young artists in Wizard of Oz for Children's Musical Theater of San Jose. She directed and designed El Retable de Maese Pedro for Michigan State University's Musique 21 and choreographed the world premiere opera, Sleepy Hollow. Laura is an acclaimed vocal teacher as well as a successful opera and musical theater performer herself, best known for her portrayal of Rose in the southern premiere of Caroline, or Change. She has a Bachelor's and a Master's of Music, both from Michigan State University.
Zach is North Carolina-born writer, performer, and educator who has been producing and stage managing dance, theatre, and live music productions since he was a teenager. After graduating from Wesleyan University in 2013, he relocated to San Francisco for a production management fellowship with CounterPULSE and became involved with the Bay Area's theatre and spoken word poetry communities. Zach has a wealth of experience working with children and teens, most recently at the Oxbow Summer Art Camp, where he helped youth cultivate their artistic talents, and he's excited to be joining BACT's Civic Arts program in Pleasanton.
Carlos Joachin is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Cruz with a B.A. in Theatre Arts and minor in Education. He most recently worked with Livermore Shakespeare Festival as a casting intern and front of house manager. Carlos is thrilled to be working with BACT as a performer and educator. He looks forward to learning and growing with the company and seeing what Bay Area theatre has to offer.
Min Kahng is a composer and playwright whose shows include Where the Mountain Meets the Moon: A Musical Adaptation, The Song of the Nightingale, and Tales of Olympus: A Greek Myth Musical. He is the recipient of the 2014 Theatre Bay Area Titan Award for Playwrights. Prior to his marketing work with BACT, he worked as a Marketing Manager for Safeway Inc. Min has also worked as director and musical director for many local theatre productions including the Youth Education Program productions of Beauty & the Beast Jr., Mulan Jr. and Aladdin Jr. www.minkahng.com
Christina received her BFA in Musical Theater at Brigham Young University and holds a California teaching credential. She is certified in the Kodaly method of teaching music from Holy Names University. Christina is a full-time music teacher for Orinda Schools and has directed and choreographed many youth musicals for various theatre companies in the Bay Area including Orinda Schools, Contra Costa Civic Theatre, Bay Area Children’s Theatre Co. and Piedmont High School. Christina’s philosophy for teaching the arts is to ensure that each child has a positive experience. As a director, my primary focus is to help students grow and improve as performers but most importantly develop a love for the art.
Amanda is thrilled to join the BACT team after many years working in Professional and Educational Theatre on the East Coast. She most recently resided in New York City where she taught for the New York Kids Club and Broadway Bound Kids. In 2013 Amanda joined the Regional Touring cast of Hansel and Gretel, bringing the magic of theater to rural communities all throughout the southern U.S. Originally from South Florida, she will always hold a special place in her heart for the Fort Lauderdale Children's Theatre, who first opened the door to her love for theater and education! Amanda holds a BFA in Musical Theatre from the University of Central Florida.
Marena has worked as a director, choreographer and vocal coach for various companies throughout the Bay Area. She has been a member of the BACT team since 2010. As a Theatre Educator for bACT, Marena has had the pleasure of working at a variety of locations. Some of her BACT credits include directing and choreographing 101 Dalmatians in Pleasanton, choreographing Cinderella, Winnie the Pooh and Annie in San Ramon, Alameda and Piedmont, and many others. Marena also directs various After School Enrichment productions for BACT. She has also helped facilitate a variety of YEP! summer camps including Broadway Dance Camp, Improvised Shakespeare Camp among others. Marena received her Bachelor of Arts in Musical Theatre from Cal State Easy Bay where she also minored in music. She also teaches private voice, piano and guitar lessons. Marena is thrilled to have the opportunity to combine her love of performing arts with her love of working with children of all ages.
Eden moved to the Bay Area in 2010 where she served as an Artistic Intern, then as the first and only, Artistic Fellow, and finally as the Artistic Coordinator at California Shakespeare Theater. Before then, she studied acting at the University of Northern Iowa and earned her B.A. in Theatre Performance in 2009. Since moving, Eden has acted in over 15 productions and staged readings with companies all over the Bay Area and still continues to keep her evenings busy with acting jobs.
Kaleena has come to the Bay Area from her home state of Arizona where she is an Ensemble member at Childsplay. She is going into her sixth season as an actor with Childsplay, where some of her roles include Finoa in The Giver, Meta in With Two Wings (statewide tour), and May in Junie B. Jones. Kaleena has worked as an assistant stage manager, stage manager, and assistant director throughout Arizona. She has been a Teaching Artist with Childsplay for six years, teaching lessons, directing, and stage managing camp and school residency programs. Kaleena holds a B.A. in Theatre from Arizona State University, and she spent a semester in Washington DC studying American Sign Language.
Melissa is thrilled to work with BACT's Marketing Team. After receiving her B.A. in English and Studio Art from Kenyon College, Melissa decided to combine her linguistic and visual talents by becoming a graphic designer and production photographer. A recent arrival to the Bay Area, Melissa worked as an intern for the Berkeley Rep's Summer Residency Lab before joining BACT in the summer of 2013. Since then she has illustrated logos for several shows, designed posters and postcards advertising the Main Stage productions, and set up BACT's first commercial photography account. Melissa also does freelance design-- look for her work at mkndesigns.com .
Alexis Oparah is a graduate of Duke University with a B.S in Neuroscience and Philosophy. While at Duke, Alexis developed a passion for music and the arts that culminated in her taking on the roles of house manager and head student administrator for Duke's Music Department. She came to the Bay Area in 2013 and put her administrative skills and love for working with children and music to work by directing Camp Doodles: San Francisco and joining the BACT team. Alexis is excited to learn more about the world of theater and continue growing her involvement in youth recreation and enrichment with Bay Area Children's Theatre!
Betsy has been working in musical theatre and educational youth theatre in the Central Valley and Bay Area for the last ten years. Betsy has been the assistant director/choreographer and Program Coordinator for the Youth Entertainment Stage (Y.E.S.) Company of Stanislaus County and also a performer/educator for Kaiser Permanente's Educational Theatre. She's had the privilege of performing with various Bay Area theatre companies including Rough and Tumble, Berkeley Playhouse and BACT. Betsy holds a degree in Theatre Arts from the University of the Pacific, and will be pursing her graduate degree in Theatre for Young Audiences in London in Fall 2015.
Salim is an actor, director, improvisor, stage manager, and more. He is currently in the BFA program at Academy of Arts University in San Francisco in which he plans to pursue his degree in acting. Having been involved in over 30 theatrical productions, Salim is no stranger to the theatre. Salim has been a member of BACT since 2011 when he started working with the teens in Aladdin Jr in San Ramon and was in the cast of Emil of Lonneberga as one of the puppeteers. Salim is thrilled to work with BACT's new partnership of Pleasanton Civic Arts.
As an educator, Heather has been teaching for over 22 years and is delighted to join BACT. As a professional actress, her credits include: Broadway/Off Broadway: Romeo & Juliet, The New Victory and Love’s Fire, The Public Theatre/TAC, Collected Stories with Uta Hagen(US). Regional Theatres include: Oregon Shakespeare Festival; Arena Stage; The Guthrie; The Alliance; Rep. Theatre of St. Louis; Missouri Rep; Alabama Shakespeare Festival; The Acting Company; Syracuse Stage. T.V./Film/Commercial: “Law & Order”, guest star, John Deere, McDonald's Education/Training: MFA from NYU Graduate Acting Program. And most importantly, she's also mama to Grady(8) and Liam(4)
Jaimee Semsky is proud and exited to be working with BACT as director and music director. She received her MA in Educational Theatre from NYU, and her BFA from the University of Tennessee in Theatre and Music Performance. Jaimee worked as an actor and singer while living in New York, but her true passion is teaching. As a theatre educator, she has taught classes in acting, musical theatre, understanding and creating characters, creative improvisation and physical theatre. She has also directed plays and musicals at community college, private acting schools, middle schools, high schools, and summer camps. Her past work in children’s theatre includes Honk, Winnie The Pooh, 101 Dalmations, Doo Wop Wed Widing Hood, Peter Pan, Dinosaurs Before Dark and Alice in Wonderland. She has also worked as an actor and singer in New York.
Sandy Small is an audio engineer and sound designer. He holds a BAS in Sound Arts from Ex’pression College and has worked as a theater audio tech since 2009. He began working for Bay Area Children’s Theatre in the fall of 2011 as a crew member and has since contributed to their Youth Education Program as lighting designer and technical director, as well as to their production of Lyle the Crocodile as sound designer. He is also the co-progenitor and steward of BACT’s beloved Tapeball. Sandy records and very rarely performs experimental rock music under the monicker the Nondescript.
Kari is thrilled to be a part of Bay Area Children’s Theatre as their Business Manager. Her daughter Christine was the test subject for the first show that BACT produced back in 2003. Kari has a diverse working background, which serves her well as a business manager in the theatre world. She was most recently the Marketing/Events Coordinator for a local private school. Kari also worked as the Outreach Coordinator at Children’s Fairyland. Her first job out of college was working for Kaiser Permanente’s Educational Theatre Programs which is where she met the amazing group of people that started Bay Area Children’s Theatre. Kari received her BA in Speech Communication with a concentration in Voice and Performance from San Francisco State University.
Austin joined Bay Area Children's Theatre in 2009 as a box office representative and is thrilled to continue on as the Patron Services Manager. He writes, performs, and teaches classes all around the Bay Area. For the Bay Area Children's Theatre main stage, Austin wrote and composed The Day the Crayons Quit - the Musical, and wrote Rudolph the Ugly Duckling. He was also the author and composer The Gold Rush Musical, Labcoats and Scapegoats: A Science Musicalamity, and Rock the Block: A Walk 'n' Roll Musical–all of which toured to schools throughout the Bay Area. He is in a bluegrass band. He is learning to juggle. He graduated from Stanford with a BA in Human Biology.