Graciela Acedo

Adjunct Instructor, Dance

Ballet teacher and choreographer. Has a BFA, and a Methodology /Pedagogy Certificate of Cuban syllabus, USF grant recipient. Trained in Caracas and at Boston Ballet with a government scholarship and a Harkness Ballet Internship. Performed the classics with Ballet Teresa Carreño sharing the stage with, Rudolf Nureyev, Fernando Bujones and Julio Boca. Ballet Nuevo Mundo de Caracas former principal dancer worked with choreographers Judith Jamison, Ulises Dove, John Butler, Elisa Monte, Dennis Nahat, Choo San Goh, Donald Mackayle, performed in South America, US, Europe and Asia. Former Oakland ballet dancer and teacher. Faculty member at USF, San Francisco School of the Arts, Ayako, Berkeley ballet, Diablo (pre-professional program). Created the ballet curriculum for Dance Attack. Western Ballet former Associated Director, Dance Theater of SF (summer programs Assistant director). Napoles Ballet mistress, guest teacher at America's Ballet in Florida, Ballet de las Americas in Venezuela. Has judged ballet competitions.


Alexandra Amati-Camperi

Music Program Coordinator, Professor, Music

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 on a book about the presentation and treatment of women in opera, as seen through a few settings of the Orpheus myth, tentatively titled Euridice: The Evolution of the Mythical and Musical Other. She has been, or is, on several committees of the American Musicological Society, and on several Boards of Directors such as the San Francisco Bach Choir, the Lycée Français de San Francisco, the Harvard Club of San Francisco, and others. She is a professional program annotator and pre-concert lecturer for many Bay Area organizations, including the San Francisco Symphony, the San Francisco Opera, the San Francisco Bach Choir, and others.


Naby Bangoura

Adjunct Instructor, Dance

Naby Bangoura learned traditional West African dance during village ceremonies and celebrations in Guinée, West Africa. At the young age of fifteen, Naby started dancing professionally with Les Merveilles de Guinée, founded by the late world-renowned dance choreographer and artistic director Kemoko Sano, with additional leadership by the Yamoussa Soumah and the late Moussa Camara. In 1998, Les Merveilles brought him to perform in major venues throughout the United States. Known for his energetic and fluid dance style and soaring spirit, master dance teacher Naby Bangoura has been performing and teaching high energy West African dance, Guinée style, in dance studios and dance workshops all over the United States, as well as Japan, Australia, and Guinée.


Carolyn Burgoyne

Adjunct Instructor, Music

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. She holds a Bachelor of Music in Musical Theatre from the Catholic University of America; a Master of Fine Arts in Acting from the University of California, Davis; and a Master of Science in Speech Language Pathology from California State University, East Bay.


Eugenie Chan

Adjunct Instructor, Theater

Eugenie Chan is a 5th generation San Franciscan and playwright. Theatres that have produced or developed her award-winning plays include Cutting Ball, Houston Grand Opera: HGOco, Magic Theatre, The Public, Playwrights Horizons, Ma-Yi, Crowded Fire, Thick Description, Northwest Asian American Theatre, Group Theatre, East West Players, Centenary Stage, and Perishable Theatre. Eugenie has received commissions from the Houston Grand Opera, Cutting Ball (3 plays), the San Francisco Arts Commission, Magic/Sloan Science Initiative, and the San Francisco Foundation. She has also written political satire for the San Francisco Mime Troupe and screenplays which have been semifinalists for Nicholl and Cinestory Fellowships. Eugenie is a Resident Playwright at New Dramatists and Playwright Emerita at Cutting Ball.


Brenton Cheng

Adjunct Instructor, Dance

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 awarenesses, as well as fostering a capacity for surrender. In addition to USF, he serves on the faculty at Moving On Center, in Oakland, and also teaches performance workshops in France and Russia.


Daria D'Andrea

Adjunct Instructor, Music

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 groups such as American Bach Soloists, Philharmonia Baroque, Magnificat and San Francisco Bach Choir. She has specialized in recitals with fortepiano, exploring repertoire of the 18th century. Since 2005 she has been a participant at the biannual Starling-Delay Symposium at the Juilliard School. Daria studied in Oxford, England with Kato Havas, and was a student of Isadore Tinkleman and Paul Hersh at San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and of Al Faruolo at Reed College.


Poppea Dorsam

Adjunct Instructor, Music

Poppea Dorsam, cellist, received Doctor of Musical Arts and Master of Music degrees from Boston University, under Michael Reynolds and George Neikurg and 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, GlenView Cello Camp and runs a private studio. A member of the Sacramento Philharmonic, she performs with most Bay Area orchestras and Clover Heights Ensemble. She has participated in Kent Blossom, Apple Hill, and Tahoe festivals.  Dorsam received CMC Partnership and Shenson grants. Recordings on Stillwater Sound label, as well as Piedmont East Bay Children's Choir and Lamplighter's Musical Theater (2014).

Tel:415-422-4888 / 5374

Amie Dowling

Chair, Dance Program Coordinator

Amie Dowling is the Chair of the Performing Arts and Social Justice Department at the University of San Francisco, and an artist in residence at the San Francisco Jails and San Quentin Prison. As a member of the Liz Lerman/Dance Exchange, she performed throughout the United States and Europe. Her own choreography has been presented at Jacob's Pillow, American Dance Festival, The Kennedy Center, Dance Place and The Painted Bride. Amie's project Well Contested Sites, a dance/theater film that examines the impact of incarceration on the body, received the 2013 International Screendance Film Festival Jury Prize. Amie has recently received funding from Kenneth Rainin Foundation, Fonds Soziokultur, the US Consulate in Leipzig, the Haymarket Foundation, and a choreography fellowship from the Massachusetts Cultural Council.


Jerry Duke

Adjunct Instructor, Dance

Jerry Duke (M.A., M.M., Ph.D.) is Professor Emeritus of Dance Ethnology and History and former Chair of the Dance Faculty at San Francisco State University where he also lectured in the Anthropology, Theatre, and Music Departments.  He's been teaching International and American folk dance for over 45 years at workshops throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Taiwan, and in several European countries.  He was a dancer and ballet master for the AMAN International Music and Dance Company of Los Angeles, artistic and managing director of Khadra of San Francisco, and was director of the SF Kolo Festival, SF Ethnic Dance Festival, and the annual World Cultures Dance and Music Concert at SFSU.  Jerry was on the board and served as President of the international Congress on Research in Dance (CORD) for 6 years and recently received the "Preserving Our Legacy Award for Lifetime Achievement in Dance and Folk Arts" from the National Folk Organization. has taught ballroom and folk dance at USF since 1988.


Irene Duller

Adjunct Instructor, Dance

Irene Faye Duller has both undergraduate and graduate degrees in Asian American Studies with foci in Pinays, Critical Artistry and Decolonization. A community-based political organizer for over 10 years in LA and SF with League of Filipino Students, Babae-USA, and the International League of Peoples Struggles. A performance-lit artist (Bindlestiff/ 8th wonder/ Rhapsodistas), Irene teaches Filipino American Cultural Production and History at USF and Asian American Pop Culture at SFSU.


Katie Faulkner

Adjunct Instructor, Dance

Katie Faulkner is a choreographer, performer, filmmaker, and teacher. Since graduating with her MFA in Dance from Mills College, Faulkner has performed the works of Bill T. Jones, Randee Paufve, Stephen Petronio,June Watanabe, Victoria Marks, Kim Epifano, Susan Rethorst, and Ann Carlson. She worked with several of these choreographers as a dancer with AXIS Dance Company, with whom she performed from 2003-2007. In 2006 she founded the little seismic dance company. Since its inception, Faulkner has received support in the form of numerous commissions, residencies, and awards. She has been artist-in-residence at ODC Theater, the Marin Headlands Center for the Arts, the Djerassi Resident Artist Program, and MANCC.  She has received Isadora Duncan Dance Awards in the categories of Choreography, Performance, and for her 2008 dance film, LOOM. She received the top prize in the 2011 Joyce Theater A.W.A.R.D. Show! competition as well as the SF Bay Guardian GOLDIE Award for dance.


Giacomo Fiore

Adjunct Instructor, Music

Italian guitarist and musicologist Giacomo Fiore has performed across the United States, Brazil, Canada, and Europe, premiering works by Larry Polansky, Ron Nagorcka, Agustin Castilla-Avila, Kenji Oh, and many others. A Ph.D. graduate from UCSC, Giacomo's research focuses on U.S. experimental music, tunings, and performance. He has published articles in TEMPO and the Journal of the Society for American Music, presented at regional and international conferences, and released four solo recordings. In 2011 he co-founded Tangents Guitar Series, an annual series dedicated to recent and contemporary music for guitar. He has taught a broad range of historical, theoretical, and practical courses at the San Francisco Conservatory, the University of San Francisco, California State University Monterey Bay, and UCSC.


Mike Fiorentino

Adjunct Instructor, 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 Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama in 2003.


Suzanne Garramone

Adjunct Instructor, Music

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 internationally with the group, and has appeared on the American Music Awards telecast, The Today Show, Penn &Teller's Sin City Spectacular and other television shows.


Josephine Gray

Adjunct Instructor, Music

Josephine Gray originates from New Zealand where she graduated with a Bachelors of Music Performance (Violin) from the University of Auckland. She certified as an Alexander Technique teacher in 1998. Other than the violin, which she plays professionally in many Bay Area regional orchestras, she plays piano, guitar and sings. She has taught Alexander technique at American Conservatory Theater, at Chevron and at the Opera Academy of California.She has recently certified in Jessica Wolf’s Art of Breathing. Josephine developed a debilitating tendonitis while completing her Bachelor’s degree and stopped playing for many years. Through studying the Alexander Technique she was able to resume her professional career without flare ups and is therefore inspired to teach young musicians how to play and sing with less tension.


Natalie Greene

Adjunct Instructor, Dance

Natalie Greene is a performer, teacher, creator and collaborator working in dance and theater. Since 2003, she has worked as an Artist-in-Residence with the San Francisco Arts Education Project, and is currently the Associate Director of the SFArtsED Players. As Adjunct Faculty in the USF Dance Program, Natalie leads a service-learning summer program in southern Peru and co-directs the intergenerational performance company, Dance Generators. Natalie has also taught through ODC School, SF School of the Arts High School and San Francisco State University. Natalie has created performances featuring youth, elders, incarcerated adults, families, pregnant women and professional artists of various disciplines. Her site-specific performance work ranges from flash mobs to intimate duets and miniature operas.  As a performer, Natalie has worked with Deborah Slater, Emily Keeler, Erin Mei-Ling Stuart, Kelly Kemp, Kim Epifano, Leyya Tawil, Mary Armentrout and collaborates as a member of the innovative devised theater ensemble, Mugwumpin.


Roberto Gutiérrez Varea

Theater Program Coordnator

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, Cherrié Moraga, and José Rivera, among others. He is the founding artistic director of  Soapstone Theatre Company , a collective of male ex-offenders and women survivors of violent crime, and  El Teatro Jornalero! , a performance company that brings the voice of Latin American immigrant workers to the stage. Varea is a member of the Steering Committee of Theater Without Borders, and a member of the Artists in Distress Services of freeDimensional. He is a regular contributor to journals in performance and peacebuilding, and is co-editor and co-author of the two-volume anthology "Acting Together: Performance and the Creative Transformation of Conflict" (New Village Press). Varea is a founding faculty of the Department of Performing Arts, and the Performing Arts and Social Justice Major at USF.


Angela Hayes

Adjunct Instructor, Music

Angela is interested in and maintains a career in performing jazz, folk, pop, broadway, opera, and sacred music. She is passionate about performance, music outreach programs, and composing opera for young people. She is equally passionate about helping students nurture and enjoy their own unique voices. In addition to opera performances, Angela can be seen performing with the New World Jazz Ensemble, and as cantor for Saint Ignatius Church.


Pattie Hsu

Adjunct Instructor, Music

Pattie Hsu holds a B.A. in Music Humanities and a B.S. in Biology from the University of California, San Diego, and a Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology from the University of California, Berkeley. She arrived at USF in 2009 as adjunct faculty. She teaches musicianship/music theory, popular music, music of the Americas, and music of Asia. Her musical research interests include cultural intersections, community engagement through music, and the interaction of socioeconomics and professionalism.


Stephanie Hunt

Adjunct Instructor, Theater

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. She has acted with Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Campo Santo, Aurora Theatre, Berkeley Shakespeare, the One Act Theater, and in New York at La Mama. For two years with Pulp Playhouse, Stephanie performed late-night comedy improv with O-Lan Jones and Micheal McShane. Her training includes an MFA from the American Conservatory and certification as an Associate Teacher of Fitzmaurice Voicework®. With her teaching, directing, and acting Stephanie seeks to affect social awareness and change using theater as joyous activism. Also, she is committed to creating and teaching ensemble-based theater with a focus on heightened language. www.stephaniejanehunt.com


Joseph Lares

Adjunct Instructor, Music

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 www.laresphotography.com, and the USF Don Marching Band can be found at www.usfdonsband.com


Sharonjean Leeds

Adjunct Instructor, Dance

Sharonjean Leeds has taught Ballet, Modern, Dance Exploration, Choreography & Tap at USF since 1973. She has choreographed for USF's Dance Ensemble and the USF College Players. She received the College of Arts & Sciences Service Award in 1993 and USF's Distinguished Lecturer Award in 1995. She has a B.A. in Theater & Dance from Smith College and an M.A. in Dance from UCLA, danced with the Wuppertal (Germany) Opera Ballet, taught ballet & modern dance throughout the Bay Area for 35 years and founded her own dance company, DANSFRANCISCO, in the 1980's. In the 1990's she choreographed & performed with New Shoes, Old Souls, a company of dancers over 40, which also worked with Mark Morris & Michael Smuin. She guest-performed with Smuin Ballet in 1999. With her husband she established the Sharonjean & Richard Leeds Dance Scholarship for graduating seniors at San Francisco's School of the Arts and established an endowment to benefit the Dance Department at Smith College, where one of the rehearsal studios was dedicated in her name in 2002.


Jay Loyola

Adjunct Instructor, Dance

Jay Loyola toured internationally as a principal dancer of the Bayanihan Philippine National Folk Dance Company and considered a protégé of choreographer Lucrecia Reyes- Urtula, Philippine's National Artist for Folk Dance, Loyola is the founding artistic director for American Center of Philippine Arts, and consultant for Philippine Cultural Night at various universities, including UC Berkeley, CSU East Bay, UC Merced, UC Irvine and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His awards include "Young Alumni Achiever in Arts and Humanities" by Holy Trinity University, and the nomination for an Isadora Duncan Award for his 2008 collaboration with Rudi Soriano, Kadayawan. He taught Philippine folk dance workshops for Singapore Arts Festival; Kaliningrad International Dance Festival in Russia, Konnichiwa Festival in Japan, Macau Arts Festival in China and the Philippine International Dance Festival and World Folklore Festival under the auspices of Conseil International des Organisations de Festivals de Folklore et d'Arts Traditionnels in France, Italy, Switzerland, Germany and the Philippines. Website: (www.jayloyoladance.org)


Ellen G. Maloney Ruhe

Department Program Assistant

Ellen has graced the stage as an actor, singer, and dancer since she was a wee girl being in the chorus of too many musicals to mention. Later on she earned B. A. from UC Berkeley in Dramatic Arts with an emphasis in Stage Management, and an M.F.A. from Columbia U. in Theatrical Management and Producing.  She worked in marketing and development for many theater companies on both coasts including Ensemble Studio Theater, Manhattan Theatre Club, Robert V. Straus Productions.  She's also been a member of the Front of House team at Berkeley Repertory Theater.  Ellen was asked to return to the stage in 2006 in two productions at USF; John Fisher's revival of The AIDS Play  and in The College Player's annual production of The Vagina Monologues.   When not on campus Ellen is a devoted fan of all things comedy and has been a storyteller at The Shout in the east bay.


Gabe Maxson

Production Manager, Asst. Prof., Theater

Gabe Maxson teaches courses in Production and Design and Cabaret Production (PASJ's student-generated work series) in addition to serving as the department's production manager and resident lighting designer. PASJ Theater designs include: Woyzeck, Dust, The Learned Ladies, Rift, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Loose Knit, and Heroes and Saints. PASJ Dance designs include: Traces, In/House, Kinetic Reality, and the Fall '12 Dance Concert. Prior to joining PASJ, Maxson was a full-time artistic associate at The Wooster Group in New York, with whom he toured internationally for over six years. He has designed professionally for local companies including A.C.T., Magic Theatre, Marin Theatre Co., Z-Space, PaufveDance, Shotgun Players, Porchlight Theater and Strange Angels. MFA,  University of Tennessee.  Portfolio: www.gabemaxson.com


Michelle Maxson

Adjunct Instructor, Theater

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 was a resident artist at the Climate Theater, where she was awarded a TBA CA$H Grant to develop the original piece They Are Bad People in 2009. From 2008-'11, Michelle taught creative writing in the SF County Jail and was the program director of Rising Voices, a writing and performance internship program for formerly incarcerated women. She is a member of Actors Equity and holds an MFA from the University of Tennessee.


Judith May

Adjunct Instructor, Music

Judith May, educator, vocalist and songwriter has been using music to promote community building, change, activism and healing since 1980. She has helped hundreds of students develop a seamless vocal technique and expressive, evocative performances. Judith trained at The Juilliard School, in New York City, where she earned both a Bachelors and Masters Degree in Music. Complimentary to her music, Judith earned a Masters Degree in Somatic Psychology and is an active member of the San Francisco Psychotherapy Research Group.


Joshua McDermott

Technical Director

Joshua McDermott was graduated from the University of Hawai'i with a M.A. in Asian Theatre and Brown University with an M.S. in Physics. He has been working in the Bay Area as a Designer and Technical Director since 2005 and joined the Performing Arts Department at USF in 2010.


Paul McWilliams

Adjunct Instructor, Music

Paul McWilliams comes from Coatbridge, Scotland and moved to California in October 2000. Prior to joining the USF University Ministry staff in 2008, he was the choral director at Carondolet High School in Concord, CA. Prior to that he served as a music teacher at St. Agnes Elementary School and director of music for St. Bonaventure Parish, in Concord, CA. Paul was educated at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (RSAMD) and Napier College. He was choral director for the British Federation of Young Voices and accompanist for the Royal Scottish Ballet. Having been involved as a church musician since he was very young, he became organist at his local parish when he was 13 years old. Paul serves as associate director for liturgy and music at USF. In this capacity he organizes all major University liturgies, directs the liturgical choir, and oversees interfaith programs and the University Ministry Interfaith Meditation Room Paul is also Director of Music at St. Augustine's Parish in Oakland.


Maureen Miner

Adjunct Instructor, Dance

Mo Miner teaches, performs, and choreographs modern dance in the Bay Area. She received her BS in Psychology at Western Illinois University and her MFA in Dance Performance at the University of Iowa. In the Bay Area she has performed with Katie Faulkner's little seismic dance company, Nina Haft Company, Paufve Dance, Fog Beast, and Bandaloop. Throughout this year Mo will be teaching at USF, Shawl-Anderson Dance Center, Sonoma State University, UC Berkeley, and LINES Dance Center. Her choreography has been seen at Bare Bones, the Dance IS Festival, Watchword Press presents The Whole Story, and Shotwell Studios, and has been commissioned by College Preparatory School, University of San Francisco, and the Shawl-Anderson Youth Ensemble.


Florentina Mocanu-Schendel

Adjunct Instructor, Theater

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 she moved to the United States she worked in theatre and film while completing her education with an MA in Drama from San Francisco State University and a PhD in Drama/Theatre and Performance Studies from Stanford University. She taught acting, directing, dramaturgy, improvisation, and writing for performance at SFSU and Stanford University. Currently she teaches Classical Dramatic Literature at University of San Francisco, while freelancing as an actor, writer, director, choreographer, curator, scholar, and producer. She is co-founder of theatre company Collected Works, and has several projects in development with the independent film company Blue Collar Films. She is a member of the Sag-Aftra union.


Dexandro Montalvo

Adjunct Instructor, Dance

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 & ODC Dance Commons. After obtaining his BFA in Dance from SUNY Purchase College, he was offered a contract with Liss Fain Dance Company in San Francisco. Since then, "D" has had the pleasure of working with many talented choreographers and is currently a dancer with Robert Moses' Kin. He is currently Co-Artistic Director of Concept o4.


Eli Nelson

Adjunct Instructor, Theater

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 as for Trapeze World, Rapt Productions, Company Chaddick, and KT Nelson. As a choreographer, he has created works for the dance department at the University of San Francisco and for the younger dancers in the Conservatory's summer intensive program. He frequently travels and performs with the band Notorious, and has performed with: Thomas Dolby, Sugar Hill Gang, Tiffany, Tone Loc, Howard Jones, George Clinton; and Singers from: Tears for Fears, Motley Crue, English Beat, Living Colour, Dee-Lite, Naked Eyes, Digital Underground, and Twisted Sister.


Megan Nicely

Dance Program Coordinator

Megan Nicely is an artist/scholar whose research on choreographic experimentation through the medium of the body combines critical dance and performance studies theory, philosophy, cultural histories of the avant-garde, and physical practice in contemporary dance, butoh, yoga, and the Alexander Technique. She received her MFA in dance from Mills and her PhD in performance studies from New York University. 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 Research Journal, InDance, and others. She has served as managing editor of TDR and as a board member and facilitator for The Field SF. An adjunct professor at USF from 2000-06, she became Assistant Professor in 2010.

Tel:(415) 422-6251

Peter Novak

Vice Provost for Student Life, Professor, Theater Program

Peter's artistic and scholarly work focuses on the intersections of language and performance, identity and culture. He teaches a wide range of courses in dramatic literature, acting, and voice and speech, as well as gender, sexuality, and theater. He founded the ASL Shakespeare project and his work on translating Twelfth Night into American Sign Language is published by Cambridge University Press, Gallaudet University Press, and is documented with a grant from the US Department of Education at: www.aslshakespeare.com. He holds an MA in English, an MFA in Acting from the American Conservatory Theater, and a doctorate in Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism from the Yale School of Drama. Peter is proud to be a founding faculty member of the Performing Arts Department and the Performing Arts and Social Justice major.


David Pangaro

Director, Presentation Theater, Adjunct Instructor, Theater

David has been employed by USF since 1984. Longtime Technical Director for the USF College Players and transferring in that position to Performing Arts & Social Justice after it's inception, David has been involved in hundreds of productions and events over many years. David has taught technical courses and currently has an Appreciation of Theater core course as an offering. In 2008, David left the Tech Director position and moved down the hill to run Presentation Theater. On the outside, David has worked in lighting and set design and other technical capacities for A.C.T., Asian American Theater Company, Phoebus Lighting, Duck's Breath Mystery Theater, and others. Currently, he plays bass, guitar and sings with MYTHYX, a classic rock trio in Marin and lives on a houseboat in Sausalito. He holds a B.A. in Communications & Theater from UVM and an M.F.A. in Theater Design from SFSU.


Jennifer Polyocan

Adjunct Instructor, Dance

Jennifer received her training at the School of American Ballet and with Nancy Bielski. She has danced with Miami City Ballet, Alabama Ballet and the Washington Ballet. She has performed title roles in Coppelia and Giselle and has performed principal and soloist roles in works by Antony Tudor, Nacho Duato, Septime Webre, Kirk Peterson and Dwight Rhoden. She has been the ballet mistress for Massachusetts Youth Ballet and American Academy of Ballet. She has taught ballet at ODC and has been on the faculty at University of California, Berkeley. Jennifer is a graduate of New College of California with a degree in Arts and Social Change, and is an Alexander Technique practitioner with a private practice in San Francisco.


Rashad Pridgen

Adjunct Instruction, Dance

Rashad Pridgen is a dance artist, somatic educator (CMT-SE) and teaching practitioner & performer. His recent works include: selected artist with The Future Soul Think Tank: "What Will Soul Look Like in 2038?" presented at Yerba Beuna Center For The Arts as the creative director of Translating Global Street Dance: A Media & Dance Presentation, performer in The Ed Mock Project conceptualized by Amara Tabor-Smith, choreographer for singer Sila (2010 NAACP Winner of The Outstanding World Music Award) music video "Super African", theatrical dance work with Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company "Chapel Chapter" San Francisco, Ronald Brown/EVIDENCE and Nick Caves "Soundsuites", teaching artist & performer with The Rennie Harris Illadelph Legends Festival, appearance at The Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival 2010 with Jacinta Vlach/Liberation Dance Theater and commissioned choreographer with The Question Bridge Project: Black Males to create a dance installation at the Oakland Museum 2012. Rashad teaches his unique dance style www.afrohousehop.com in the bay area and beyond.


Mark Rafael

Adjunct Instructor, Theater

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, and 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 credits include Titanic, Trauma, Star Trek: Voyager, The Practice, Babylon 5, and Wings. He has taught at USF for the past ten years and is also on faculty at the American Conservatory Theatre and the Academy of Art University. His book, Telling Stories, A Grand Unifying Theory of Acting Techniques, a primer and history of modern acting theories, is published by Smith and Kraus.


Francesca Rivera

Music Program Coordinator

Francesca is an ethnomusicologist, teaching courses in PASJ, Music, Cultural Anthropology and Latin American Studies. Research areas include: genre labeling in expressive cultures, culture bearers, post-colonial nationalist movements, mestiz@/mixed-race identity formations, and alternative music pedagogies that maximize the agency of young musicians. She received her B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College, M.A. from UC Berkeley, and is a Ph.D. candidate at UC Berkeley completing a dissertation about Panamanian music and community-based conjuntos de proyecciones folkloricas. She has been teaching at USF since 2005.

Tel:415-422-2862 / 2721

Rick Roberts

Adjunct Instructor, Music; Rhetoric and Language

Rick Roberts is now approaching his 22nd season of conducting both Voices and Voices sub-groups (Men's, Women's, Jazz, and Six). Roberts is an alumni of both USF and SF State.


Christopher Ruscoe

Adjunct Instructor, Music

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.


Rebecca Seeman

Adjunct Instructor, Music

Rebecca has been a member of the music faculty at USF 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 Pedagogy from the University of Iowa. A strong proponent of Swedish choral music, Rebecca has written extensively on Swedish music for women’s choir and the music of Karin Rehnqvist. Her conducting teachers have included Eric Ericson, Nicole Paiement, Timothy Stalter, and William Hatcher. In addition to her work with classical music, Rebecca is co-producer of a documentary film about folk music impresario Izzy Young. She performs regularly with her wineglass organ.


Sigrid Sheie

Adjunct Instructor, Music

Sigrid Sheie recieved a Masters degree in piano performance from Notre Dame de Namur University in Belmont, CA in 2009. In addition to teaching piano lessons, Sigrid is the USF resident accompanist.


Ken Sonkin

Adjunct Instructor, Theater

Ken Sonkin is an actor/director whose work has been seen locally at American Conservatory Theater, Berkeley Rep, SF Playhouse, Marin Shakespeare Company, and The Magic Theater as well as at The Denver Center Theatre Company, The Grove Shakespeare Festival (LA), Seacoast Rep (NH), and Pennsylvania Centre Stage. He holds a BFA in acting from Ohio State University, an MFA from A.C.T. Ken was a member of A.C.T.'s acting company and core conservatory faculty and has taught and directed for The National Theatre Conservatory, Stanford University, Northwestern University, Cornell College, Solano College, and The San Francisco Ballet School. He was the founding director for The Theatre Artists Institute for American Musical Theater of San Jose, and served as artistic director for The Regency Center. Voted #1 Street Performer in SF, Ken has also performed for Queen Elizabeth II. At USF, he has taught Acting II, Acting III, Personal Clown Technique, Cabaret, and Careers in Theater. He has directed main stage productions of Angels in America: Perestroika, Metamorphoses, and Wild Boy (Bay area premiere). He has served as the faculty advisor for The College Players and is a recipient of a Jesuit Foundation Grant for his work with USF's School of Nursing.


Paul Stojsavljevic Flores

Adjunct Instructor, Theater

Paul S. Flores is a writer and performer whose work has been featured on hundreds of stages and universities across the hemisphere. He appeared on Season 3 and 4 of HBO Def Poetry and he was named the San Francisco Weekly 2011 Most Politically Active Hip-Hop Performance Artist. His recent plays Placas, You're Gonna Cry and REPRESENTA! have impacted youth and Latino audiences across the United States. He is the co-founder of Youth Speaks, and he currently works as program manager for Latino Men and Boys mentorship program at the Unity Council in Oakland.


Pascal Thiam

Adjunct Instructor, Music Program

Pascal Bokar Thiam has earned a Master's Degree from Cambridge College, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and a Doctorate Degree in Education with honors from the University of San Francisco, CA. Born in Paris, France, and raised in France and in Senegal, his music invites the listener to a musical banquet from around the world from his native France to his Senegalese and Malian roots. Along the way, one samples bits of Jazz, R&B and Afro Pop, Bebop mixed with African harmonies and infectious West African rhythms. 1983 Recipient of the Jim Hall Jazz Master Incentive Award for Guitarist of the Berklee College of Music; 1984 Outstanding Jazz Soloist Award.


Christine Young

Theater Program Coordinator

Christine Young is an Assistant Professor in the Performing Arts Department and the Theater Program Coordinator. Prior to joining USF, Christine spent fifteen years working as a non-profit arts administrator, a K-12 teaching artist, and a free-lance theater director specializing in new plays about social areas that affect women's lives. Her areas of research interest include feminist theater practice, feminist pedagogy, new play development, and theater and social change. Current projects include: Works by Women San Francisco, a website that documents the work of women theater artists in the San Francisco/Bay Area; and an adaptation of Shakespeare's Hamlet featuring gender-reversed casting.