School of Drama Teaching Artists

Brittany Caine

Brittany Caine is an artist, an educator, a writer, a researcher, and above all, a passionate advocate for community connection. Her work focuses on using drama-based techniques to engage young people in creative learning of various subjects, ranging from literacy to sports to performing. She has worked and trained with theatre companies on the East and West Coasts, Minnesota, and the UK. Highlights include Oily Cart, Theatreworks Silicon Valley, and Orlando Repertory Theatre. Most recently, Brittany directed an entirely virtual production of James and the Giant Peach Jr. for San Carlos Children’s Theater. She holds a B.A. from Smith College and an M.F.A. in Theatre for Young Audiences from the University of Central Florida.

Lennie Dean

Lennie Dean received an M.F.A. in acting from the Temple University Advanced Actor Training Program in Philadelphia and has been part of the Sonoma County theatre scene for forty years. She has taught, acted, directed, worked as a dramaturge, and produced for several theater companies and schools in New York and San Francisco, as well as locally in Santa Rosa, Petaluma and Sonoma. She is authorized by master acting teacher Eric Morris to teach his technique, The Eric Morris System. At 6th Street, Lennie has directed several productions including The Revolutionists, Equus, Silent Sky, The Children’s Hour, and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. UpcomingLennie is slated to direct Fully Committed opening December 13, 2019 in the Monroe Theatre.

Joseph Favalora

Joseph Favalora originally trained in dance on the East Coast, studying various eclectic styles from many of the top dance instructors in the greater Boston area and New York City. In his early years, he taught tap, jazz, ballet, ballroom, and acrobatics, throughout the greater Boston area. When he went professional as a musical theatre dancer, he taught at New Dance Group on Broadway in New Your City. His focus was musical theatre dance, which allowed him to incorporate many of the dance styles in which he was formally trained.

Heather Gibeson

Heather graduated with a B.S. in theatre with an emphasis in classical acting from Southern Utah University. She trained with TJ and Wendy Penrod, the founders of Off the Cuff and the Red Rocks Improv Festival. Having 14 years of improv experience, she practices both short and long form. Heather is currently a the co-director of Sonoma County's premier improv troupe, The Natural Disasters, formerly The Gentlemen Bastards and was last seen in The Book Club Play at the Playhouse. 

Jessica Headington

Jess Headington has a B.F.A. in theatre arts from Stephens College and has worked as a professional theatre artist in Sonoma County since 2009. She has been an instructor at the 6th Street School of Drama since 2013. Her instructional and directorial approach is actor-centered and rooted in truthful, honest storytelling. Her approach to movement is heavily influenced by yoga and a study of the mind-body connection through meditation. At 6th Street she recently directed The Book Club Play and starred in The 12 Dates of Christmas, Comedy Of Errors, and Silent Sky.

Margaret Hee

Margaret Grace Hee holds a B.F.A. in acting from the Santa Fe University of Art and Design, and an M.F.A. in directing from the New School for Drama in New York. Margaret is the Theatre Program Director for Convent and Stuart Hall, Sacred SF, and works as a freelance actor and director around the Bay Area. Prior to settling in sunny California, Margaret worked as an actress and director in New York and Chicago where she founded Baby Crow Productions, whose work has been produced across the U.S. and in Scotland. For more info please visit:

Eric Jackson

Eric Jackson's New York City performing credits include stage, television, film, and commercial work. On Broadway, he was seen in the production of Thoroughly Modern Millie and was also an original cast member of Mel Brook’s musical Young Frankenstein and in the original cast recording. He traveled nationally and internationally with touring companies of The Book of Mormon, Dreamgirls, Ragtime, Chicago, The Scottsboro Boys, and The Radio City Christmas Spectacular. Off-Broadway, he was seen in Finian's Rainbow at the Irish Repertory Theater and can be heard on their cast recording. He made his Carnegie Hall debut with the concert version of Show Boat. He was a longtime performer with Lincoln Center’s The Little Orchestra Society and their young theater series Lollipops. He also played regionally in theaters including Westchester Broadway Theater, Paper Mill Playhouse, Mains State Music Theatre, Weston Playhouse, and Pioneer Theatre. Eric's television appearances include As the World Turns, Sex and the City, The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and numerous commercial spots. He can also been seen in John Turturro’s film, Romance and Cigarettes and acted as a stand-in in Sandra Bullock's movie Two Week’s Notice.

Al Kaplan

A seasoned performer, Al has been acting since childhood.He was selected by Viola Spolin’s son, Paul Sills, to perform in Sills’s story theater in 1967-1969. The actors created the shows using Spolin’s game theater techniques. Al has since acted as coach/director for two classes in game theater in Boulder, Colorado and in Ukiah. Al was the recipient of the Marquee award for best lead performance in a drama for his work in Visiting Mr. Green at 6th Street and was recently seen in To Kill a Mockingbird and West Side Story.

Cheryl King
Cheryl King has been working in the performing arts since 1978, as a mime, comedian, actor, writer, and director. Since 1999 she has taught writing, improvisation, and acting to students of all ages in NYC, LA, Seattle, and Chicago. Cheryl’s unique approach involves helping students get fully into the mind and body of the character via improv exercises and games, and writing exercises crafted to bring out the imagination. She moderates feedback sessions that encourage students not only to listen and watch effectively, but to articulate their impressions and use them to improve their performance, both as writers and actors. Cheryl created and ran her own theatre, Stage Left Studio, in NYC from 2005-2015, and has acted in and directed dozens of productions across the US. She studied for over a decade in NYC and LA with acclaimed teachers Carol Fox Prescott, Gary Austin, Michael Gellman, Rod Menzies, and Jeffrey Sweet.

Ariana LaMark

Ariana is delighted to be vocal directing Singin' In The Rain Jr. at 6th Street Playhouse. She is currently working towards becoming a certified vocal coach through MVT and a Kindermusik instructor—so she has always been passionate about arts education! Singin' In The Rain is also one of her favorite musicals! Ariana was last seen at 6th Street Playhouse as Rita in White Christmas, she also assistant vocal directed Hairspray Jr. Ariana recently had the honor of playing her dream role, Maria Rainer, in the SRJC production of The Sound of Music. When not doing theatre, Ariana performs semi-regularly with The Wednesday Night Big Band, a 17 piece jazz orchestra!

Sarah Maliarik

Sarah is so excited to work with the 6th Street Playhouse youth community. She is a (soon to be) graduate of Wheaton College where she earned a B.A. in theatre studies and hispanic studies, with an additional concentration in education. A Bay Area native, she graduated from Sonoma Academy in 2016. In addition to being a trained vocalist, Sarah has experience with directing, music directing, stage managing, acting, and designing, as well as extensive experience working with kids of all ages. She believes that theatre teaches empathy, a characteristic much needed in the world today. When working with kids, Sarah’s first priority is to create a supportive environment where everyone feels comfortable taking healthy risks, expressing themselves, and, most importantly, having fun!

Tina Lloyd Meals

Tina Lloyd Meals graduated cum laude from Northern Illinois University  with a bachelor’s degree in voice performance and then studied opera at the University of Southern California. She has been teaching and coaching voice privately for over 20 years. Tina is certified Instructor with the Institute for Vocal Advancement. She has worked as pianist and music director for Broadway Bound Kids Children's Musical Theater and music directed numerous shows at the Playhouse. She has performed with the San Francisco Opera Chorus, Pocket Opera, North Bay Lyric Opera, and Sonoma City Opera. Her acting credits include lead roles in Hello Dolly and A Little Night Music.  

Alexandra Moore

Alexandra has performed in school plays, community theatre, and college as a theatre major at Western Michigan University, where she directed and performed in peer education theatre. She has created, directed, and performed People with the Puppets, mentoring teen performers and scriptwriters to bring health education to school children in a way they can understand. She toured Europe with her young family for 15 years as a street performer, learning the arts of circus and theatre-in-the-round. Alexandra teaches theater, juggling, and social emotional learning in local schools.

Sammie Moore

Sammie has been teaching art, music, violin, and dance at since 2018 and is thrilled to finally have the chance to share her love of theatre with inspired young artists. As an instructor, she encourages all of her students to reach their goals by working hard, yet still having fun. Sammie has participated in a variety of local theatre productions with companies such as Sprekels, Santa Rosa Junior College, Roustabout, and The Raven. She is currently in the process of completing an Acting Certificate and an Associate Degree in theater arts from Santa Rosa Junior College.

Amanda Morando

Amanda has been working with children since graduating from UC Santa Barbara with a B.A. in music, vocal performance.  She teaches music, movement and drama to grade schoolers, acting and broadway classes at a performing arts school, and works with toddlers teaching music classes. Amanda had produced, directed, and music directed children's musicals and been a choral youth program director. At 6th Street, she has performed in A Little Night Music and The Rocky Horror Show. Amanda received SFBATCC and Theatre Bay Area nominations as Music Director and Lead Female in a Musical. 

Lillian Myers

Lillian is a professional teacher, actor, activist, and theatre designer. She holds B.F.A. in performance and ECE from Naropa University. Lillian’s focus is on improvisational theater and clowning. She has taught theatre internationally and locally for over a dozen years; is a touring company member with Performers Without Borders, a social circus non-profit; and teaches theatre at an adult day program for differently abled adults that nurtures the creative expression of individuals with disabilities as a vehicle for personal growth and accomplishment. She was recently seen in Gypsy at 6th Street Playhouse.

Eileen Nagle

Eileen has taught theatre, musical theatre workshops, playwriting, and directed summer theater camps for nearly 20 years. She holds a M.Ed. in Elementary Education from the University of Phoenix, a B.A. in Interpersonal Communication, and an A.A. in theatre arts from Brigham Young University. As Outreach Coordinator for Noorda Regional Theatre Center for Children and Youth in Orem, Utah, Eileen taught playwriting and directed plays for tours, co-directed the theatre summer camps, and staged her signature Musical-in-a-Week theatre program. In 2013, Eileen was a National Dramaturg Winner with Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. 

Juliet Noonan

Juliet is the former Director of Education, and has taught a range of classes at the Playhouse over the last six years. She trained at The American Conservatory Theatre, earned a B.A. in theatre from Idaho State University and a master's degree in education from Sonoma State University. Her graduate work focused on the design of theatre curriculum that utilizes improvisation and storytelling to support social and emotional learning in public education. Juliet is an accomplished actor having played Blanche in A Streetcar Named Desire, the mother in Equus, and Margret in Silent Sky, some of the Playhouse's most acclaimed productions. Other roles include Gillian in Fault Line starring Olympia Dukakis, Regan in King Lear, Maria in School for Scandal, Belle in A Christmas Carol, and Toni in Avatara.

Mike Schaeffer

Mike is a professional actor and an experienced acting coach. He received a B.F.A. in drama from Carnegie Mellon University, a four year acting conservatory in Pittsburgh. He currently has a major role in the critically acclaimed independent feature Donovan Reid, now streaming on Amazon Prime. Other film/tv roles include The Silence of the Lambs, Collisions, Wheels of Fortune, Wicked Attractions, Ice Cold Killers, FBI Criminal Pursuit, and The Last Hit. His local stage credits include A Steady Rain, Disgraced, Beyond Therapy, Annie, Bonnie and Clyde, Arsenic and Old Lace, Funny Girl, and his most recent production Between Riverside and Crazy. 

Caitlin Strom-Martin

Caitlin is a graduate of the Meisner Technique Studio, where she trained as an actor for two years. Caitlin has directed and acted professionally in the Bay Area for five years, as well as running a business with her husband. Caitlin recently directed a short play for the Women’s Theatre Festival at 6th Street Playhouse, Time Stands Still at The Raven Performing Arts Theater, and was seen as Mayella Ewell in 6th Street Playhouse’s production of To Kill A Mockingbird, for which she received a Broadway World Regional Acting Award nomination for Best Featured Actress. She has acted in, and directed, several staged reads, encompassing the many formats that are produced, including, Top Girls, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, The Smell of the Kill, and The Women of Lockerbie. She originated the role of Mya in the world premiere staged read of JoAnneh Nagler’s Ruby and George in Love at Sonoma Arts Live, and also originated the role of Poppy in The Ferryman staged read at Ross Valley Players’ RAW Festival. She is excited to share this special form of theatre, as it opens up many more creative possibilities for actors, and helps to develop underutilized acting muscles. Her philosophy about acting is best summarized by the Sanford Meisner rule: Don’t do anything unless you’re made to do it.

Rachel Wynne

Rachel Wynne is a choreographer, dancer, teacher, improviser, and performer having taught and performed extensively in Europe and now the U.S. She holds a Joint B.A. Honors in contemporary dance and theatre from De Montfort University, U.K., and has trained at DNA (formerly Dance Space Center), New York City; Tanz Atelier Wein, Austria; Magnet Theater, New York City; among others. Rachel has choreographed for the Dublin Youth Dance Company, the Irish National Youth Dance Company, for arts festivals and for filmmakers in Ireland. She is the recipient of an Arts Council Professional Development award and individual Irish National Dance Award for her solo choreography. 

Matlock Zumsteg

Matlock Zumsteg is the founder of Sonoma County's premier improv troupe The Natural Disasters, as well as The World's BIGGEST Comedy Duo, The Evil Comedy Council, and The Gentlemen Bastards improv groups that have performed in theatre sports competitions, North Bay Cabaret, and multiple venues throughout Sonoma County and the North Bay. Matlock was recently featured in a role in the game Mafia III, and played the lead in an episode of Investigation Discovery's I (Almost) Got Away With It. He has starred in local musical productions including as Max Bialystock in 6th Street Playhouse's production of Mel Brooks' The Producers and as Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar at SRJC. Matlock has a deep appreciation for the importance of improv in developing the ability to react honestly on stage, as well as off.