Faculty

Geoff Bolt is a comedian, writer and actor. A Bay Area original, Geoff is renowned as an inspired improviser in the world of sketch comedy. Geoff got his start in the comedy world as a founding member of the critically acclaimed National Theatre of the Deranged, and soon after debuted his stand-up comedy to rave reviews at San Francisco’s Other Cafe. He continues to perform regularly to dedicated fans at a wide variety of comedy clubs. He has appeared in many feature films was featured in HBO’s Young Comedian’s Special, Showtime’s Comedy Channel, A&E’s Evening at the Improv, and KQED’s Comedy Tonight. Geoff has appeared in several plays at the SF Fringe Festival and has done hundreds of voice- overs for radio, television, and video games. He appears regularly on NPR’s West Coast Live as half of the comedy team of Karl and Carl, who offer their unconventional “Tips on Travel”.

Melissa Jones Briggs is an actor, director and teaching artist specializing in theater as a tool for social change. Jones Briggs is a Lecturer at Stanford University where she co-teaches the popular Acting with Power course in the Graduate School of Business. She has worked in professional theater and film in New York and San Francisco as well as mentoring with the 52nd Street Project, Williamstown Theatre Festival’s Greylock Theatre Project and New Conservatory Theatre Center. An honors graduate of Wake Forest University she also studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London and The Actor’s Center Conservatory in New York.

Amy Marie Haven is Director of Youth Theatre at Throckmorton and has a diverse theater background focusing on directing, acting, & community building. She received her B.A. from UC Santa Cruz in 2007 where she studied Literature and Theatre. Based in the Bay Area, she has directed for & acted with many award-winning local companies including Cal Shakes, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, The Quixote Project, We Players, Alter Theater and Sleepwalkers Theatre (voted best theatre company of 2009 SF weekly). Recently, she directed 23 Elephants’ The Unspeakable Act, a production awarded Best of Fringe 2016, & opened the world premiere of a new adaptation of The Oresteia in Oakland. Her international theatre experience includes Theatreof Heart and Four Larks Theater in Melbourne, Australia, as well as youth street theatre in Tulum, Mexico & educational program creation at San Jeronimo Bilingual School in Cofradia, Honduras. Amy Marie is a co-founder of Tomorrow Youth Repertory in Alameda and has spent the last two years as a full-time faculty member with Oakland School for the Arts’ School of Theatre.

Michaela Leslie-Rule is a digital media producer, storyteller and social scientist. As the owner of Fact Memory Testimony she has been fortunate to collaborate with changemakers in the United States, India and in Sub Saharan Africa. Embedded in Leslie-Rule’s approach to research, advocacy and communication is elevating constituent voices through the use of storytelling and multimedia. She is particularly interested in participatory methods for measuring and documenting social and organizational change, and has designed and implemented participatory projects on four continents. She frequently collaborates with other researchers, filmmakers and strategists to advance social impact.  Leslie-Rule holds Masters of Public Health and Public Administration from the University of Washington with a focus on advocacy and multimedia storytelling in global health. She also earned a BFA from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.

Michael O’Brien is an original member of the National Theatre of the Deranged, co-creator of “Tips on Travel” with Karl & Carl” and a master improviser whose credits include performances at The Moth, Porchlight SF, Marsh Theatre, Holy City Zoo and Throckmorton Theatre. Michael is also a teaching artist: Improv Open Workshop at Fort Mason Center, Voice One SF, Academy of Art University, San Francisco State University (guest instructor) and Stanford University (guest instructor).

 

Dan Saski has been a Director/Teaching Artist in and around The Bay Area for the past 14 years.  He led the Drama Departments at Sonoma County Repertory Theatre, Ursuline High School, Rincon Valley Charter School, and Sonoma Charter School; and currently teaches drama and directs productions at Cal Shakes, Bay Area Children’s Theatre, Berkeley Playhouse, Jefferson Elementary, and Del Mar Middle School.  As an actor, Dan is a proud member of The Reduced Shakespeare Company; and has performed in China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Qatar, and all over the U.S.

 

Annie Stanner Cooper has been building puppets since she was a child in San Diego County. There, she was raised in an active theatre community where kids were encouraged to participate in every aspect of production, from choreography to set design. Even though her grown-up jobs (first in the nonprofit sector with special needs children, and now as a freelance writer) take up lots of time, she continues studying and making puppets and costumes, and especially enjoys the challenge of using scraps and household objects in her creations. Now, she gets to share that fun with her husband and two little boys, who are only recently beginning to object to her ban on store-bought Halloween costumes.