Nina Meehan is a founding company member of Bay Area Children's Theatre where she has directed James and the Giant Peach, Little Women, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, Pippi Longstocking 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 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 5) and Robby (age 2).
Becca Posamentier has 16 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 5 and 2.
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!
DerekTravis 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.
Ashley has choreographed for children and teens throughout the Bay Area for several years, as well as teaches master classes in Musical Theatre and Tap. She recently choreographed her first YEP! production of 101 Dalmations in Piedmont, Alameda, and San Ramon. As a young performer she danced with Michael Smuin's company in San Francisco and feels privileged to have continued working with other great artists in the industry since. She is a graduate of the American Musical and Dramatic Academy with a B.F.A. in Musical Theatre and has performed for audiences in London, New York, LA, and of course here in the Bay Area. Favorite credits include multiple companies of CATS (Demeter, Bombalurina), West Side Story (Rosalia, Anita), Little Shop of Horrors (Audrey), and the Los Angeles intimate premier of Kiss of the Spider Woman (standby for Marta).
Amber Dyson is heading into her third year directing the Young Performers and Little Performers classes in San Ramon. She has also led camps in all three BACT YEP 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.
Melissa has been working in both theatre and theatre education in the Bay Area for almost two decades. She is currently the Artistic Director of Impact Theatre in Berkeley. She teaches filmmakers about casting and working with actors at the Berkeley Digital Film Institute, and is on faculty at the Berkeley Rep School of Theatre and the CSU East Bay Theatre Arts Department. Melissa holds a PhD in Dramatic Art from UC Berkeley, where she was twice awarded the Mark Goodson Prize for Distinguished Theatrical Talent. Melissa also writes for Theatre Bay Area Magazine and for TBA's blog, Chatterbox, as well as her own blog bittergertrude.com.
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.
Megan is a teaching artist who has collaborated with many Bay Area companies including StartingArts, Playful People Productions, California Shakes, CMTSJ, Diablo Theatre Company, and San Francisco Playhouse. She began working with BACT by choreographing Civic Arts Stage Company’s inaugural season(School House Rock Jr., Willy Wonka Jr., The Secret Garden). She holds a BA in Theatre Arts with an emphasis in directing from CSUF and is currently directing/choreographing youth all over the east bay with Kids N’ Dance. Megan is also the choreographer for Disney’s Peter Pan Jr. at Orinda Intermediate School and an instructor for YEP’s Summer Programs. She resides in Oakland and is dedicated to the promotion and preservation of quality arts education.
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 YEP! Instructor, Marena has had the pleasure of working at a variety of BACT 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.
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 designed posters and postcards advertising several YEP shows, taken publicity photos for 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 .
As a recent transplant to the Bay Area from the East coast, Amy is very excited to be working with BACT. Amy graduated from Fordham University in NYC with a B.A. in acting. After working in NYC for a few years, Amy spent the last year teaching in Spain and traveling throughout Europe. Amy is excited to combine her love of theatre and working with young children while exploring the Bay Area!
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 next year.
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.
Rachel is a director, music director, actress, and teaching artist with a commitment to cultivating potential and artistry in young actors. Rachel holds a degree in music from NYU, and spent many years as a theatre artist in New York before relocating to the Bay Area in 2010. BACT credits include School House Rock Jr., Willy Wonka Jr., and The Trial of Robin Hood. Rachel has worked extensively as both a director and music director across the Bay Area at companies such as Berkeley Playhouse, Boxcar Theatre, the Willows Theatre, and the Sonoma Theatre Alliance. Additionally, Rachel runs her own private voice and piano studio and has also served as a teaching artist at the Willows Theatre Conservatory, San Francisco Friends School, ViBo Music, Village Music School, and Greenwood School. www.rachelrobinsonmusic.com.
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.
Deedra Wong has been teaching dance and choreographing musical theatre for children and teenagers throughout the Bay Area since 1998. She has choreographed over 33 musical theatre productions and is very excited to be on board with BACT. Deedra is also a recording artist and electronic music producer. Her first album, Pisces Dream is available on iTunes. www.deedrawong.com
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. He is in a bluegrass band. He is learning to juggle. He graduated from Stanford with a BA in Human Biology.