Megan Nicely is an artist/scholar whose teaching and research integrate theory and practice. Her scholarship brings together experimental choreography, critical dance and performance studies theory, philosophy, cultural studies, and physical practices including modern/contemporary dance, Japanese butoh, yoga, and other somatic approaches. Her group Megan Nicely/Dance has performed on both US coasts, in the UK, and in Europe, and her writing has appeared in TDR: The Drama Review, Performance...
- MA, PhD in Performance Studies, New York University
- MFA in Dance, Mills College
- BA in Art History, Reed College
Alexandra is a musicologist specializing in the Italian Renaissance, especially the madrigal, Italian opera, Feminist criticism, Romantic piano music, and German Baroque choral music. She holds a laurea (BA/MA equivalent) in Slavic Studies and Philology from the University of Pisa (Italy) and both a Masters and a PhD in musicology from Harvard University. She has published and read papers on Renaissance, operatic, and gender related topics in several journals and conferences. She is now working...
- Laurea (BA/MA equivalent) in Slavic Studies & Philology from the University of Pisa (Italy)
- Masters in Musicology from Harvard University
- PhD in Musicology from Harvard University
- Italian opera
- Feminist criticism
- Romantic piano music
- German Baroque choral music
Byron Au Yong (歐陽良仁) composes songs of dislocation, music for a changing world. Variety calls his work “claustrophobic and expansive, intimate and existential, personal and political all at once.” Highlights include Activist Songbook (Asian Arts Initiative, Hopkins Center for the Arts, International Festival of Arts & Ideas), Stuck Elevator (American Conservatory Theater, Long Wharf Theater, Nashville Opera), Kidnapping Water: Bottled Operas (Bumbershoot Festival of the Arts) and Piano Concerto...
- New York University, MFA in Musical Theatre Writing, 2005
- University of California, Los Angeles, MA in World Arts and Cultures/Dance, 2003
- University of Washington, BA/BM in Music Composition...
Amie Dowling creates dance and theater for the stage, for film and in community settings. For the past several years, her work has considered the politics and representation of mass incarceration. Well Contested Sites, a collaboration with Bay Area artists, some who were previously incarcerated, won the International Screendance film prize. Her most recent film, Separate Sentence, examines the intersection of gentrification and the generational impact of incarceration. She has presented work...
- MFA, Smith College
Roberto Gutiérrez Varea began his career in theater in his native Argentina. His research and creative work focuses on live performance as means of resistance and peacebuilding in the context of social conflict and state violence. Varea's stage work in the United States includes directing premieres of works by Migdalia Cruz, Ariel Dorfman, Cherríe Moraga, and José Rivera, among others. He is the founding artistic director of Soapstone Theatre Company, a collective of male ex-offenders and women...
Christine Young is Director of the Honors College. As a feminist theater practitioner, Professor Young’s research combines creative and scholarly work. She develops and directs plays about social issues affecting women’s lives, practices creative casting that seeks to put as many female performers onstage as possible, mentors young women theater artists, and promotes a world where women’s lives are understood not as special interest stories, but rather as essential human stories. Prior to...
- MFA, Theater Directing, University of Iowa
- BA, Religion, Princeton University
Graciela Acedo is a ballet teacher, choreographer, and a USF grant recipient. She trained in Caracas and at Boston Ballet with a government scholarship and a Harkness Ballet Internship. Professor Acedo performed the classics with Ballet Teresa Carreño sharing the stage with Rudolf Nureyev, Fernando Bujones and Julio Boca. She's a former principal dancer with Ballet Nuevo Mundo de Caracas and worked with choreographers Judith Jamison, Ulises Dove, John Butler, Elisa Monte, Dennis Nahat, Choo San...
- Methodology/Pedagogy Certificate of Cuban syllabus
- Dance teaching
- Curriculum creation
- Judging competition
- Dance somatics
Philip Amo Agyapong is a dance teacher and researcher. He holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance and Theater Arts and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Dance, specializing in African Dance Traditions and Contemporary African Dance from the University of Ghana. In the same University, he served as an assistant lecturer in the Department of Dance Studies and gained valuable experience in leading undergraduate and exchange students in theory and practical dance classes. Philip has extensive...
- MFA, Choreography, University of Ghana
- BFA, Theater and Dance, University of Ghana
- Teaching Ghanaian Traditional Dance
- Teaching Philosophies of Ghanaian Traditional Games
- Teaching West African Popular Dance
Cara Burgoyne is a vocalist, musical-theatre actress, and solo cabaret artist, performing Broadway, American Standards, country music and pop songs in the Bay Area. She enjoys helping new students find their voice and learn to express themselves through music. She also likes working with more advanced students as they improve their vocal technique and create believable and full-bodied characters. Also, Cara is a full-time Speech Language Pathologist with the San Francisco Unified School District...
- Bachelor of Music in Musical Theatre from the Catholic University of America
- Master of Fine Arts in Acting from the University of California, Davis
- Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology...
- Music theatre
- Speech-language pathology
- Character creation
- Musical expression
Brenton Cheng (CLMA, CMT-SE, MSME) is a teacher, director, and performer of improvised and choreographed work, based in the San Francisco Bay Area. As a teacher, he empowers students to become sophisticated movers through a cultivation of somatic and poetic awareness, as well as fostering a capacity for surrender. In addition to USF, he serves on the faculty of Integrated Movement Studies (Laban/Bartenieff movement analysis certification), and also teaches performance workshops internationally....
- Movement education
- Contact improvisation & partnering
- Laban Movement Analysis
- Bartenieff Fundamentals
- Performance direction
Daria D'Andrea performs across stylistic boundaries from 17th century Italian to 21st century tango. Daria plays with the San Francisco Opera Center Orchestra and is a member of the California Symphony, Sacramento Opera / Philharmonic and Fremont Symphony. Her baroque specialist training was in Europe where she toured extensively with the European Baroque Orchestra and studied with leaders in early music: Roy Goodman, Ton Koopman and Jaap Ter Linden. Daria performs with outstanding early music...
- San Francisco Conservatory of Music
- Reed College
- 17th century Italian
- 18th century fortepiano
- 21st century tango
Kara Davis, co-artistic director of project agora, danced for Atlanta Ballet, Ohio Ballet, and Ballet Jörgen in Toronto, Ontario. She is a founding member of KUNST-STOFF and Janice Garrett & Dancers, both of which she danced with for ten years. She has performed choreography by Margaret Jenkins, Alex Ketley, Amy Raymond, Pearl Ubungen, Val Caniparoli (ACT), and Robert Moses. She has received multiple Isadora Duncan awards and nominations for her dancing and choreography. Her work has been...
- BA Performance Saint Mary's College, Moraga, California
- MFA Hollins University, Roanoke, VA
Poppea Dorsam, cellist, received Doctor of Musical Arts and Master of Music degrees from Boston University under Michael Reynolds and George Neikurg. She also received the Pi Kappa Lambda Music Honor Society award. Her Dissertation (UMI # 3214930) is on "Giovanni Battista Cirri." Undergraduate studies were with Andor Toth Jr. at Oberlin Conservatory. Dorsam also teaches at SF Community Music Center and GlenView Cello Camp, and runs a private studio. A member of the Sacramento Philharmonic, she...
- Doctor of Musical Arts, Boston University
- Master of Music, Boston University
- Bachelor of Music, Oberlin Conservatory
A street culture cognoscente, Professor Duller is a founding member of 8th Wonder (2000), the nation's premiere Pilipina/o performance poetry collective, and The Rhapsodistas, an all-women interdisciplinary hip hop group, performing throughout the U.S. and the Philippines.
Professor Duller's past performance projects include "Pinay Stories: Intersection of the Arts' Hybrid Project", "Kul Like That" at the SF Asian Art Museum, and "How to Skywalk" at both the Post-Modern Performance Project...
- MA in Asian American Studies/Ethnic Studies (focusing on Contemporary Women Artists, Critical Artistry & Cultural Theory), San Francisco State University
- Asian American studies
- Ethnic studies
- Critical artistry
- Cultural theory
Brian DuSell comes from upstate New York and began his work as Associate Director for Liturgy, Music and Interfaith programs at USF in August 2017. In his current position, Brian is privileged to work with a dedicated team who oversee not only Catholic liturgies on the USF campus but also coordinate with the ministries of our Interfaith partners (the Jewish Student Organization, the Muslim Student Association, the Orthodox Christian Fellowship, and the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship).
- Doctor of Musical Arts, Arizona State University
- Master of Music, University of Notre Dame
- BA, Music, University of Michigan
Italian-born guitarist and musicologist Giacomo Fiore has premiered more than two dozen new works for justly tuned, electric, and classical guitars, and released eight recordings for Cold Blue, Pinna, Spectropol, Paper Garden Records, and his own label. As a scholar, his research focuses on U.S. experimental music, intonation, and performance. He has published articles in Music Theory Spectrum, JSAM, and TEMPO, and writes regularly for Classical Guitar and SFCV. He lectures on historical topics...
- University of California Santa Cruz, Ph. D. in Music, 2013
- San Francisco Conservatory of Music, MM in Music Performance, 2009
- Belmont University, BM in Performance, 2006
- Live Electronic Music
Mike Fiorentino is a Bay Area guitarist and violinist since moving from the east coast in 1999, and performs with Dear Liza and Viv. He has shared the stage with Merle Saunders, Blues Traveler, The Spin Doctors, Camper Van Beethoven, and John Hiatt. In addition to teaching music and rock ensemble to Woodside students, he teaches at the Blue Bear School of Music and is on the music board at the University of San Francisco. Most memorable musical experience: Playing "Imagine" on the guitar for His...
Suzanne Garramone has played piano as an accompanist and chamber musician for more than 40 years. She earned her Master's Degree in piano performance from the University of Iowa. Since then, Suzanne has musical-directed and performed hundreds of productions staged by middle schools, colleges and community theatre groups. She co-founded oboe/piano duo Classical Trash with Brenda Schuman-Post. Suzanne is also an original member of squeezebox rock band Those Darn Accordions. She has performed...
- Master's Degree in Piano Performance, University of Iowa
Natalie Greene is a multidisciplinary performing artist and artistic director of the award-winning devised theater ensemble Mugwumpin. Her work for the company has been produced by Z Space, Intersection for the Arts, San Francisco Airport, Children's Fairyland, and Pro Arts Gallery. As a choreographer and intimacy director, Natalie has worked with California Shakespeare Theater, Portland Center Stage, Custom Made Theater, Aurora Theater, Shotgun Players, Stanford University, and more. Her dance...
- Arizona State University, BFA in Dance (Choreography Concentration), Spanish Minor. 2003.
- Dance - Contemporary, Jazz, Musical Theater
- Theater - Original, Devised, Immersive
- Collaboration - Context, Consent, Closure
As a Core Member of the Bay Area theatre company, Word for Word, Stephanie has acted in numerous productions, including Upton Sinclair’s "Oil!" and Susan Glaspell’s "A Jury of her Peers." For Word for Word, she directed the long-running production of "Bullet in the Brain" and "Lady's Dream" by Tobias Wolff, which played at the Magic Theatre and toured France. Most recently for the company, she directed "All Aunt Hagar's Children" by Edward P. Jones. She has acted with Berkeley Repertory Theatre...
- MFA, American Conservatory Theater
- BA, San Francisco State University
- Associate Instructor of Fitzmaurice Voicework
- Voice work
- Adapting Literature for the stage
Professor Kamatani is a pianist with extensive teaching and accompanying experience. She is also a music historian, specializing in the music of Johann Sebastian Bach and the Baroque period in general. She has taught Music Appreciation, Introduction to Opera, and Music Theory and Musicianship at USF.
- UC Berkeley, PhD in Music History, 2005
Joseph Lares is the conductor and faculty advisor for the USF Don Marching Band, which he formed in 2009. Born and raised in Northern California, his areas of interests include student development, building community through musical performance, street photography, and media production. Joe is an alumnus of the University of California, Davis, where he studied new media and documentary film production as part of the Technocultural Studies program. His photographic work can be found at the...
- Technocultural Studies Program, University of California, Davis
Jeffrey Lee studied various forms of martial arts in his youth attaining mastery levels in later years. He has progressed to incorporate and apply his earlier disciplined and physical trainings to dance forms in Ballroom and Latin. Professor Lee has performed in various venues, taught and coached students of varying age groups, cultural backgrounds, and experience levels. His deep love for music, dance, connection and the importance of musicality imparts passion and sheer joy in those he works...
- Certificate of Dance and Social Performance
- Ballroom & Latin Dances
- Dance teaching
- Sports Competition
Michelle is an actress with over 20 years experience performing in traditional and experimental theater. She has appeared internationally, regionally and in NYC at numerous Off Broadway venues including Cherry Lane, Culture Project, INTAR and EST. She developed original work at HERE Arts Space and Richard Foreman's Ontological-Hysteric Theatre, as well as acting in developmental workshops and readings with New York Theatre Workshop, The Lark, and American Repertory Theatre. In the Bay Area, she...
- Master of Fine Arts, University of Tennessee
Judith May, educator, vocalist, and songwriter has been using music to promote community building, change, activism, and healing since 1985. An instructor and vocal coach, she teaches voice lessons, songwriting, and is an ensembles coach at the University of San Francisco and in her private studio. She has adapted psychotherapy principles, learned while earning her master’s degree in somatic psychology, to enhance the effectiveness of her teaching style and help performers overcome performance...
- Master's Degree, Music, Juilliard School, New York City
- Bachelor's Degree, Music, Juilliard School, New York City
- Master's Degree in Somatic Psychology
Paul G. McCurdy has worked as a teacher, coach, or pianist for a number of organizations throughout the Bay Area. This includes A.C.T. Young Conservatory, Chabot College, the Hamlin School, the Lesbian/Gay Chorus of San Francisco, Lamplighters Musical Theatre, Lick-Wilmerding High School, the Oakland Gay Men’s Chorus, Sacred and Profane, the Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, the San Francisco Girls Chorus, and Volti.
In 2014 he recorded Mozart KLAR...
- University of Georgia, BA in German and Anthropology, 1998
Joshua McDermott has been working in the Bay Area as a Designer and Technical Director since 2005 and joined the Performing Arts Department at the University of San Francisco in 2010, where he founded and directs the Tech and Design Certificate program.
- University of Hawai'i, MA in Theater, 2005
- Brown University, MS in Physics, 1998
- Asian Performance
Florentina Mocanu-Schendel was born and raised in Romania. She studied at the People's School of Art in Bucharest and University of Theater Arts in Targu Mures graduating with Diploma in Acting/MFA for theatre and film. She performed for the National Theatre, Comedy Theatre of Bucharest, Romania Film and won several awards for her work. Since moving to the United States, she has worked in theatre and film while completing her education with an MA in Drama from San Francisco State University and...
- MFA for Theatre and Film, University of Theater Arts in Targu Mures
- Diploma in Acting, People's School of Art in Bucharest
- MA in Drama, San Francisco State University
- PhD in Drama/Theatre and...
Born and raised in New York, "D" began dancing professionally at 14 and began instructing dance classes one year later. His work has appeared in numerous music videos, television shows, and international venues and he has appeared on the MTV, BET, Telemundo and Fox networks. As a dance educator, "D" has taught at many schools including SUNY Purchase College, Dominican University, SOTA, LINES Ballet and ODC Dance Commons. After obtaining his BFA in Dance from SUNY Purchase College, he was offered...
- BFA in Dance, SUNY Purchase College
After receiving a bachelor's degree in composition and choreography from the University of California, Riverside, Eli danced with Heidi Duckler's Collage Dance Theater, Stephanie Gilliland and Dancers, and Lizz Roman and Dancers. An excellent musician and composer, Eli has enhanced the Conservatory's ballet and modern technique classes as a musical accompanist since 2005. He has also composed dance music for a number of works created by Summer Lee Rhatigan on the Conservatory's students, as well...
- Bachelor's Degree in Composition & Choreography, University of California, Riverside
Dr. Manuel Alejandro Pérez received his EdD in international and multicultural education from the University of San Francisco. He is one of the original founders and co-director for Grupo Folklórico Los Alteños, a traditional Mexican folklórico company in Sacramento.
With 25 years of experience in traditional danza, Manuel enjoys connecting his research on identity, artful resistance, and radical imagination to social justice spaces of performance. In recent years, he has traveled to various...
- University of San Francisco, EdD in International & Multicultural Education, 2017
- San Diego State University, MA in Communication Studies, 2006
- Santa Clara University, BA in Communication Studies...
- Traditional Mexican Folklórico
- Queer People of Color
- Community Organizing
Jennifer danced ballet professionally for over ten years, with the Miami City Ballet, the Alabama Ballet, and the Washington Ballet. Throughout her career she experienced mind-body techniques as an important and valuable measure for preventing injuries. In addition to a career in ballet, Polyocan is also a graduate of New College of California with a degree in arts and social change. She has taught ballet for over 20 years to both children and adults at ODC, UC Berkeley, and the University of...
- Degree, Arts and Social Change, New College of California
- Repertoire classes
- Alexander Technique
- Mind Body therapies
Mark Rafael (aka. Truitt) has been a professional actor for the past 25 years. His Bay Area appearances include Ted Kaczinski Killed People with Bombs, Schrodinger's Girlfriend, and Joe Goode's Body Familiar for the Magic Theatre, The Best of Playgrounds 9 & 11, Jihad Jones and the Kalashnikov Babes, ReOrient Festival, and the Bay Area Playwrights' Festival. He has also appeared regionally at Yale Repertory, American Stage, Wisdom Bridge, and Northlight Theatre, among others. Film and Television...
Rick has over 30 years of experience as an educator in academic and professional contexts. He has served as an Adjunct Professor at the University of San Francisco since 1993. During that time he has been recognized for his teaching, including receiving USF’s Outstanding Lecturer Award and for his other work for the University and its students, the College of Arts and Sciences Service Award, and Student Organization Advisor of the Year. Additionally, he has provided workshops and seminars...
- Alumnus, University of San Francisco
- Alumnus, San Francisco State University
Christopher "Kit" Ruscoe, originally from Louisville KY, studied Classical Composition at the University of Louisville and Jazz Performance and Improvisation at the University of North Texas. He has over 25 years of experience in composing, performing, recording, and teaching music and guitar and is a member of ASCAP. Kit is currently working on film scoring and compositions for TV and documentaries as well as playing in several recognized Bay Area bands.
- Classical Composition, University of Louisville
- Jazz Performance and Improvisation, University of North Texas
Liv Schaffer received her bachelor’s degree from Alonzo King LINES Ballet BFA program at Dominican University of California in 2013, and has spent subsequent seasons performing with AXIS Dance Company, DanceWorks Chicago, The Dance Exchange, and Robert Moses’ Kin.
Liv is a community engagement artist with Jacob’s Pillow Curriculum in Motion®, and a lead artist with the Pillow's Medicine in Motion program, investigating ways in which dance is a tool for medical practitioners to enhance humane...
- Dominican University of California
Rebecca has been a member of the music faculty at University of San Francisco since 2001, where she conducts the University Classical Choral Ensembles, teaches Music Appreciation, Musicianship & Principles of Tonal Theory, and Private Voice. In addition to her work at USF, Rebecca directs Sacred and Profane Chamber Chorus in Oakland. She holds Bachelors and Masters degrees in Voice and Conducting from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a Doctor of Musical Arts in Choral Conducting and...
- Bachelor's degree, Voice & Conducting, University of California, Santa Cruz
- Master's degree, Voice & Conducting, University of California, Santa Cruz
- Doctor of Musical Arts in Choral Conducting &...
Ken Sonkin is an actor/director who has worked at American Conservatory Theater, Berkeley Rep, SF Playhouse, Magic Theater, Center REP, 42nd Street Moon, Z Space, Sonoma Rep, Broadway by the Bay, San Jose Stage Company, Pacific Resident Theater (LA), Grove Shakespeare Festival (LA), Seacoast Rep (NH), Denver Center, and Pennsylvania Centre Stage. He is a member of PlayGround, Actors’ Equity Association, and the Screen Actors Guild.
Ken was a member of A.C.T.’s acting company and core...
- MFA, American Conservatory Theater
- BFA, Acting, Ohio State University
- Performing Arts
Paul S. Flores creates plays and oral narratives that spur and support societal movements that lead to change. Flores last play “On The Hill: I Am Alex Nieto” brought San Francisco communities together divided by gentrification and police violence. Flores’ ability to paint a vivid picture of bi-cultural Latino experience is shaped by growing up near the Mexican border.
Flores’ performance projects have taken him from HBO's Def Poetry to Cuba, Mexico, and El Salvador. His comprehensive body of...
- UC San Diego, BA
- San Francisco State Univeristy, MFA
- Latino Cultural Aesthetics
Pascal Bokar Thiam has earned his undergrad at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, a Master's Degree from Cambridge College, in Cambridge, MA, and a Doctorate Degree in Education with honors from the University of San Francisco, CA. Born in Paris, France, and raised in West Africa Mali/Senegal, Pascal Bokar is listed in the "Great Jazz Guitarists" book by Scott Yanov published by Hal Leonard. His CD "Guitar Balafonics" received Stars in 4 Downbeat Magazine and was selected as "One of the...
- University of San Francisco, Ed.D. in Education, 2006
- Cambridge College, MA in Education/Music, 1999
- Berklee College of Music, 1985
- National Conservatory of Nice, 1983
- African Studies
- African American Studies
- Music and cultures of Africa and the African diaspora
Kumiko Uyeda has been performing and teaching music all her adult life. Professor Uyeda was a recipient of the University of California Pacific Rim Research Fellowship and the Eugene-Cota Robles Doctoral Fellowship in 2012. Her research centers on Ainu music, indigenous musics, and acoustemology (incorporating sounding and ecology).
Professor Uyeda co-created the panels “Performing Indigenous Sound Ecologies” for the American Musicological Society’s annual conference and “Sounding Indigeneity...
- UC Santa Cruz, Ph.D. in Cultural Musicology, 2015
- UC Santa Cruz, MA in Performance Practice, 2009
- Manhattan School of Music, MM in Piano Performance, 1985
- University of the Pacific, BM in Piano...
- World Music
- Music of Asia
- Western Art Music
Beth Hersh is a designer and play write who has worked extensively in dance and theater in the Bay Area.
- San Fransisco State University, MFA in Creative Writing emphasis in play writing, 2013
- Cornish College of the Arts, BFA in Performance Production 2006
- Lightning Design
- Sound Design
- Ensemble Generated Creation
- Play Writing