San Francisco Youth Theatre
Who We Are

Teaching Artists!

SF Youth Theatre is proud of its fantastic teaching artists! 

 

 
photo BIANCA CATALAN
Bianca Catalan is a native an San Franciscan and former SFYT student since age 9. She is currently one of the Homegrown One Act teachers with SFYT and also works with SF University High School as the Instructor of Community Engagement and 9th Grade Mentor. She utilizes her training the Theatre of the Oppressed to inform community building in educational and artistic settings. She is thrilled to continue her work with SFYT as an instructor and performer.
     
photo SALLY DAVIS

Sally works as a musician, theater director, and arts educator in Telluride, Colorado and in children’s theater residencies around the world including: Telluride Institute Watershed Puppet Shows, The Children’s Storefront School, Harlem, N.Y. Bay Area Discovery Museum, Marsh Youth Theater and Mudd Butt International. Sally conducts Story Theater workshops at the Ah Haa School, The Mudd Butt Mystery Theater Troupe, Circus Holus Bolus and Moving Mountain Theater in Telluride. Sally’s adult performance work includes: San Francisco Trolley Dances, Sonic Luminescence (Epiphany Productions), Planet Protectors and How Clowns Got Their Red Nose, Field Trip (Telluride Repertory’s ACTion Tour), St. Adolf’s Ring (Terry Riley) and The Mission is Not Impossible (Peter Whitehead.)  She is a recipient of the Telluride Institute Visionary Award.

     
photo DYANA DIAZ

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.

     
photo MAICA FOLCH

Maica is a movement artist and educator from Barcelona, Spain who teaches aerial dance, trapeze and clowning. She has performed in theater and dance projects directed by Moshe Cohen, Rhodessa Jones, Kim Epifano, Theresa Dickinson and Lizz Roman. Maica is a lover of the Day of the Dead celebration. Along with other members of the Marigold Project, she organizes the Day of the Dead festival of altars at Garfield Park. Maica has worked with home-schooled children and also with students at many local schools, such as Sanchez Elementary School, James Lick Middle School, Buena Vista Elementary School and The San Francisco School.

     
photo LINDA MARIA GIRÓN

A Guatemalan-American actor and playwright from Los Angeles, CA, Linda currently resides in the Bay Area where she obtained a BA in Theater and Performance Studies at UC Berkeley. During her time at Cal, Linda was awarded both the Roselyn Schneider Eisner Prize for Acting and Playwriting and Michael Mansfield and Randy Sweringen Social Justice Award for her play Memoria del Silencio en el País de la Eterna Primavera. Her second play, white iris, premiered at Pianofight's Shortlived VI and is currently being developed into a full-length. Post-graduation, Linda has worked with a number of Bay Area theaters including NCTC, SFBATCO, Brava Theater Center, Utopia Theatre, FaultLine Theater and Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts where she is playwright in residence.

     
photo GENDELL HING-HERNANDEZ

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. 

     
photo MICHELLE JORDAN

 

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.

 

     
photo NICOLE JOST

Nicole Jost is a playwright and educator. Her plays have been staged and read at San Francisco Playhouse, Z Space, PlayGround, ReproRights! Theater, and the SF Olympians Festival (among others) here in San Francisco; at 20% Theatre Company and Gadfly Theatre Productions in Minneapolis; and at Rorschach Theatre, The Inkwell, and the Capital Fringe Festival in Washington, DC. Nicole is a two-time winner of the James Milton Highsmith Playwriting Award for queer theater. Her short plays have also been published in Fourteen Hills and Transfer Magazine. Nicole holds an M.F.A. in Playwriting and an M.A. in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University. She has been teaching playwriting to youth since 2008.

     
photo JOHN LITTEN

John is an accomplished playwright, actor and co-founder of the Los Angeles based acting program The Young Actors Project. John has produced over 90 plays, written 33 original scripts, most notably Bonnie and Clyde and Spurs of Love, and has adapted dozens of stories from classic literature for young actors. While earning his B.A.in theatre at San Diego State University, John created a traveling theatre company that toured throughout California. John has also performed in Mexico, Russia and at South Africa’s Grahamstown National Arts Festival, the second largest theatre festival in the world. As an actor, John works in film, television, and theatre. As an acting teacher and director, John believes in the powers of positivity, creativity, and inspiration. His goal is to elevate youth theatre to its highest potential and offer his actors and audience alike an experience they will remember for a lifetime.

 

     
photo CLIFF MAYOTTE

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 WaveTruthtopia, and Gary Soto’s In and Out of Shadows, which has become a touring production for SFYTHe 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. 

     
photo LESLIE PRICE

Leslie Price, SFYT's Program Coordinator, is a theatre educator, director, and writer who is currently serving as San Francisco Youth Theatre's Program Coordinator. She's spent much of her career as a teaching artist specializing in work by and for young people. Most recently, she served as the Children's Director for a large non-profit youth theatre in the Chicagoland area creating curriculum and producing a variety of plays and musicals including an original adaptation of Al Capone Does My Shirts by San Francisco's Gennifer Choldenko. In addition to her work at SFYT, Leslie works as the Production Manager at Ragged Wing Ensemble in Oakland and as a writer for Clef Notes Journal, an arts magazine in Chicago. 

     
photo JOHN RAMIREZ

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, Ramirez has freelanced as a professional space designer, prop master, and muralist for business 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, Marsh Youth Theater and Mission High School. Ramirez has a fine art studio in San Francisco Mission District.

     
photo LAUREN UNBEKANT

Lauren Unbekant is a movement artist, writer, director and educator. As a movement artist Lauren has performed her original work nationally and internationally at such festivals as the Humorologie Festival in Belgium, The International Festival of Clown in Barcelona, Fira Tàrrega in Spain, The International Movement Festival in London, The International Buskers Festival in NYC, The Festival of International Art in Leon and Puebla, Mexico and Festival of Laughter in Singapore. For more than a decade she was the Director of Educational Outreach for Syracuse Stage, as well as Professional Practice Faculty for Syracuse University Department of Drama where she taught devising, playwriting, clown, and applied theatre. Lauren is a master teaching artist with a BFA in Musical Theatre from Syracuse University. She has had the great fortune of working and training with some of the world’s great masters in movement and clown. Lauren is Co-Artistic Director of Moveink, a multi-arts based touring performance company.

     
photo EMMETT VAN SLYKE

Emmett Van Slyke is a composer, musician, producer and digital media artist. As a composer Emmett has scored various feature length films and shorts. His theatre compositions include, Reflecting PoeThe Crucible – for which he received a  ACTF Kennedy Center Award, Telling The Truth, for The National Whistle Blowers Symposium, Wolfskinder and Gemini Vanishing with Moveink at the Sargent Theatre in NYC. He has toured regionally and internationally as a multi-instrumentalist, and has worked with Mike Stoller, Jerry Lieber and William Kotzwinkle, screen writer of ET. Emmett holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music and Literature from SUNY at Oswego. Emmett was an Artist in Residence and Master Teaching Artist for Syracuse Stage Education Department working with Syracuse Stage’s progressive programs Arts Emerging and the summer devising program Random Acts.