Who We Are

Teaching Artists!

SF Youth Theatre is proud of its fantastic teaching artists! 



Sally has worked as a theater director, musician and arts educator in San Francisco, Telluride, Colorado and around the globe. Her projects with children include: Circus Holus Bolus, Mudd Butt Mystery Theater Troupe, Moving Mountain Theater and Mudd Butt International with Telluride Academy, CO; Telluride Institute Watershed Puppet Shows, Just for Kids Foundation, (CO) Bay Area Discovery Museum; Children’s Storefront School, (Harlem, NY) the Ah Ahh School for the Arts, (Telluride, CO) Nizhoni Bridges, (Bluff, Utah) Stonington Opera House (Deer Isle, Maine) San Francisco Youth Theatre, Marsh Youth Theater (SF); and residencies public and private schools in the US and beyond. Sally’s adult performance work includes: San Francisco Trolley Dances, Sonic Luminescence and Heelomali with Epiphany Productions, Planet Protectors, How Clowns Got Their Red Noses and Field Trip with Telluride Repertory’s ACTion Tour, St. Adolf’s Ring with Terry Riley, and The Mission is Not Impossible with Peter Whitehead.  She is a recipient of the Telluride Institute Visionary Award.


Dyana Díaz , SFYT's Outreach Coordinator and Teaching Artist, is a Puerto Rican actress and teaching artist; she earned her B.A. in Performing Arts for the Theatrical Expression at the University of Guadalajara in Mexico, in 2012. There, she was co-founder of “Colectivo Transeunte” a theatre group dedicated to the creation of performances for young audiences. With Colective Transeunte, she worked as an actress, assistant director, stage manager and producer in numerous performances, locally and internationally. In 2014, she was co-founder of  INART, Institute of the Performing Arts, the first private acting school in Guadalajara, Mexico where she worked as a teaching artist and academic coordinator. In early 2017, she arrived in San Francisco and started working with SFYT staff team and as a teaching artist in various public schools.


Ai Ebashi (pen name: Ai Aida) is a Japanese-born writer and translator, who holds an M.A. in English Language and Literature from Istanbul Yeditepe University and an M.A. in English Literature from San Francisco State University, and who is currently an M.F.A. candidate in Creative Writing at San Francisco State University. Her plays have been seen in the Bay Area, California, and her poems, translations, short stories, non-fiction stories, and illustrations have appeared in New American Writing, National Geographic, Di-Vêrsé-City Anthology and Mainichi ga Hakken Japan, among other publications. She is a winner of the Leonard Isaacson Award Browning Monologue Contest and The Austin International Poetry Festival 2017. She has previously worked as a translator, journalist and children’s book author in Turkey, where she lived for seven years, and presently works as a Japanese language teacher and as a Creative Writing instructor at San Francisco State University.


Maica Folch is a movement theater educator and performance artist. She has been an energetic presence in the San Francisco arts education community for over twenty years. She has extensive experience teaching performance arts to children of all ages and backgrounds. Maica is most recognized for crafting children’s stories, both folk stories and those that come from the children themselves, into theatrical performances. In addition to her work with children, Maica has studied and practiced dance, theater, circus technique and aerial performance disciplines with master artists in her native Barcelona and the Bay Area.  She blends circus skills and street theater with contact improvisation and clowning. A lover of the Mexican ritual of Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), Maica has organized the Festival of Altars in San Francisco’s Mission District over the last two decades.  At SFYT since 2014. Watch Maica in action here


Gendell Hing-Hernandez was born in Havana, Cuba, and has been a Bay Area actor, director, combat choreographer and educator since 1997. He has worked as an actor for Berkeley Rep, Word for Word, Theaterworks, Shotgun Players, Campo Santo, San Jose Rep, Center Rep, New Pickle Circus, Teatro Vision and many others. Productions include Around The World In 80 Days, The Cook, Blood Wedding, Oil!, Food Stories, House on Mango Street and Romeo and Juliet to name a few. He has been a company member of Theater of Yugen, Red Ladder Company, and The Felonious Collective. He is currently a member of the Alphabet Rockers and an Associate Artist with Word for Word. As a director he has worked with Felonious, Quixotic Players, Teatro del Juglar, The NY Hip-Hop Theater Festival, Oakland Public Theatre, Berkeley Rep’s School of Theatre and the Pacific Alliance Stage Company. He recently choreographed the fights for Hamlet and Don Quixote at SF Youth Theatre. 


Michelle Jordan is an extraordinary singer, musician, actress, storyteller and muse. She is also known for being a spiritual counselor, teacher, facilitator, and role model.For more than twenty years, Ms. Jordan has performed in theaters around the Bay Area including Theatreworks, A.C.T. and the Lorraine Hansberry Theater. She is a member of the performance ensemble WINGIT! and was a star in the hit musical “Crowns”, produced by Theatreworks. Ms. Jordan’s theatrical appearances include the Oakland Ensemble Theater Company's production of “Ain't Misbehavin” , the San Francisco production of “Cole”, TheatreWorks productions of “Hi Hat Hattie”, “Go Down Garvey” and “Dreamgirls”, for which she won a Critic's Circle Award for her portrayal of the character Effie.


Cliff is an award-winning educator and director with over twenty five years of experience in the field. He currently serves as the Education Program Director for Voice of Witness, an oral history book series and education program that highlights contemporary social justice issues. For Marsh Youth Theater, Cliff directed world premiere productions of The Wave, Truthtopia, and Gary Soto’s In and Out of Shadows, which has become a touring production for SFYT. He recently directed the SFYT production of Hamlet at Red Poppy Art House and Hayes Valley Art Works. From 1997-2000, Cliffserved as the Education Director for the Berkeley Repertory Theatre. He has staged plays for such notable local theatres as Aurora Theatre Company, Shotgun Players, Marin Shakespeare Company, Rough and Tumble and The Marsh. Cliff has received awards from the Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle, Drama-Logue, SF Weekly and the Beverly Kees Educator Award from the Northern California Chapter of The Society of Professional Journalists. 


Leslie Price, SFYT's Special Projects Manager and Teaching Artist, is a theatre educator, director, and writer. From 2005-2016 she served as the Children's Director for The Theatre of Western Springs in the Chicago area, creating curriculum and producing a variety of plays and musicals including the premiere adaptation of Al Capone Does My Shirts by San Francisco's Gennifer Choldenko. In addition to her work at SFYT, Leslie is a consultant with the Black Arts Movement Business District Fest in Oakland, and is a writer for Clef Notes Journal, an arts magazine in Chicago. Leslie has worked at SFYT since 2017.



John Ramirez, fine artist and art instructor grew up in the farmlands outside of Sacramento. He studied studio art at Sacramento State University and UC Davis with Mel Ramos, Darrell Forney, Wayne Thiebault and Greg Kondos. For the past twenty-five years, he has been a professional space designer, prop master, and muralist for businesses throughout the United States. Ramirez produces set designs for Jean Shelton Theater Productions and continually explores his artistic vision in works in oil, acrylic and charcoal. His teaching experience includes studio art, murals and set design Mission Cultural Center, SF Youth Theatre, Marsh Youth Theater and Mission High School. Ramirez has a fine art studio in San Francisco Mission District. You can see some of John's work here.


Julia Santha is a theater director, producer, and educator. Julia studied theater and political science at the University of Chicago and is interested in the ways that the stories we tell about ourselves affect who we can become. In Chicago, Julia directed and produced work ranging from opera to interactive performances to puppetry to Shakespeare. Now, she is excited to be making theater with students here in San Francisco.



Joshua Waterstone is an award winning director, actor, fight choreographer and educator. Joshua is a teaching artist with LEAP, San Francisco Youth Theatre, Cal Shakes and Berkeley Repertory School of Theatre as well as guest lecturer at Guilford College Theatre Studies. Joshua holds a Master of Fine Arts in Directing for Stage and Screen from the Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film. He has served as Producing-Artistic Director of The Center for Creative and Performing Arts Theatre at Guilford Technical Community College and as Artistic Director of Theatrix at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where received the Rex Mcgraw Theatrix service award, Best Director Theatrix 2012-2013 season.. Joshua is an Actor/Combatant and member of the Society of American Fight Directors, an Associate-Member of the Society of Directors and Choreographers. He teaches acting, improvisation, audition technique, stage combat, directing, devising, and play production. www.waterstonejoshua.wix.com/director