Nina Meehan is a founding company member of Bay Area Children's Theatre. She is also an award winning director of the Youth Theatre Company of Walnut Creek and the founder of Contra Costa Civic Theatre’s Musical Juniors program. 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.
Becca Posamentier has 14 years of administrative, teaching, and performing experience in theaters throughout California. A founding member of Bay Area Children's Theatre, Becca now serves as the Education Director for the Young Education Program. 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, Stage Door Conservatory, and the Berkeley and San Francisco JCCs. She was the Academy Director at Playhouse West, and spent five years as an administrator and educator with Kaiser Permanente's Educational Theater Programs.
A performer all of his life, Thomas Arndt grew up in Washington State and has found his true passion in teaching theater. His travels as a Teaching Artist have taken him to Burma, New Orleans, and New York, where he received a B.A. in Human Rights (Concentrating in Theater) from Bard College. Thomas joined BACT's Youth Education Program in 2011 as Assistant Director & Stage Manager. Thomas is now directing shows in Piedmont and Alameda and serves as the Resident Drama Teacher at YEP's exciting new in-school program at Montclair Elementary. He also runs classes at Destiny Arts and the East Bay Center for the Performing Arts, and directs Teatro Bahia, an after-school theater program he developed with the Bay Area Hispano Institute for Advancement. Over the past four years, he has also worked extensively with Power of Hope, an organization based in Washington and British Colombia that focuses on youth empowerment through the arts. He is a proud graduate of their Heart of Facilitation training program. Thomas has most recently been seen on stage in several shows and readings at Live Oaks Theater with the Actor’s Ensemble of Berkeley and is active in the East Bay music scene. He spends some days dreaming about his former life as a fire-breathing stilt-walker in the circus.
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.
Mindy Dillard has 10 years experience as a performing arts teaching artist for kids 2 – 18 years old. She has a BFA in Acting from the University of Utah and an MFA in Interdisciplinary Art from Goddard College. Before the Bay Area, Mindy lived in Portland, Oregon where she worked with Oregon Children's Theatre, Northwest Children's Theatre, Artist's Repertory Theatre and Sojourn Theatre as a teaching artist and actor. Also a musician and singer-songwriter, Mindy plays guitar, banjo, fiddle and ukulele in the nationally-touring Snail People family music duo and joyful Americana band, Heartroot. She loves helping her students take risks and become strong ensembles! http://www.mindydillard.com
Amber Dyson has built her career directing young people in theater and improv. Currently in her third year directing the Young Performers and Little Performers classes in San Ramon, Amber also directed and managed Summer Performers camps in all three BACT YEP locations. Amber is a teaching artist for the City of Pleasanton as well as a coach for Creatures of Impulse improve troupe. As the drama teacher at Contra Costa Jewish Day School, Amber works with K-8 classes and directs the all-school shows. Prior to teaching full time, she toured California in a health education assembly. Amber is currently performing in the Pure Moxie Players' production, "We Are Family."
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.
Min has directed several YEP teen productions including Once Upon a Mattress, Seussical Jr., Aladdin Jr. and the cabaret-style shows Cafe Broadway and Beasts of Broadway, which he also wrote. Min has also written the book, music and lyrics for two shows: Tales of Olympus had its world premiere with BACT in December 2012, and The Song of the Nightingale which will have its world premiere at Altarena Playhouse in 2013. He has worked as director and musical director for many local theatre productions including Shout! The Mod Musical (Tri-Valley Repertory Theatre) and Scrooge! The Musical (nominated twice for a Shellie, Town Hall Theatre). Favorite acting credits include: Joseph in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (TVRT) and Jimmy Smith in Thoroughly Modern Millie (TVRT) for which he was awarded the Pleasanton Playhouse award for Best Actor. Min worked in Marketing for Safeway Inc. prior to joining the BACT Marketing Team. www.minkahng.com
Christina received her BA in Drama: Production from University of Washington, where, among other things, she was Production Manager for the Undergraduate Theater Society. She has previously worked as Stage Manager for BACT’s Click Clack Moo, The True Story of the Three Little Pigs, and Pinkalicious. She has also worked at Town Hall Theatre (ASM, Sly Fox), TheatreFirst (SM, Hanging Georgia), and California Shakespeare Theatre (PA,Candida, Macbeth). She is a recipient of the Eric Landisman Fellowship for 2012.
Kristie fell in love with Bay Area Children’s Theatre when she stage managed their show The Little House on the Prairie 2 years ago. She went on to stage manage BACT's A Year with Frog and Toad before becoming a member of the team in 2011. Kristie strongly believes in the Mission of bringing imaginative and thought-provoking theatre with high production values to young audiences. Kristie has worked in theatre for over 15 years as a Stage Manager, a Lighting Designer, Props Artist and Technician. Her recent Stage Manager credits include Ragtime by Youth Musical Theater Company and Into the Woods by Berkeley Playhouse. She worked as Props Designer for Pinkalicious by BACT. Her recent Lighting Design credits include Spring Awakening by Altarena Playhouse. She will also be designing lights for the world premiere of Bay Area Children’s Theatre’s new, original work Tales of Olympus: A Greek Myth Musical. Kristie has been a technician with Berkeley Playhouse for 5 years. She as also worked with IATSE 107, Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center, Calvin Simmons Theater, Oakland Opera, Stagewerks, Oakland Asian Culture Center and Got Light to name a few.
Katie is a spunky actress and educator who was born and raised in the heartland. She received a BA in Theatre from Saint Louis University. This upcoming BACT season, she is tickled to be appearing as Pinkalicious (Pinkalicious) and Nancy (Ivy and Bean). As a process drama teacher for BACT, she enjoys leading students through rambunctious adventures and reminding them that boredom is a choice. BACT has truly been a welcoming catalyst for her to develop her career as an artist and educator.
Marena has been a member of the BACT team for the past few years. She has choreographed several YEP productions including Annie Jr., Seussical Jr., Aladdin Jr. and Sleeping Beauty Jr. Marena majored in musical theatre with a minor in music at California State University East Bay. She has worked as a director, choreographer and vocal coach for various companies throughout the Bay Area. She loves to play piano and guitar. Marena is thrilled to have the opportunity to combine her love of performing arts with her love of working with children.
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.
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!
Hanna is a recent graduate from University of California, Irvine with a BA in Drama. She grew up in the Bay Area and has been involved in theatre for about 15 years. She is excited to help keep the joy of theatre alive!
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