Chad Borden (Acting/Movement/Dance) is a graduate of Northwestern University’s School of Speech (Theatre), and he was an inaugural member of NU’s Musical Theatre Certificate Program. Some of Chad’s L.A. theatre credits include Molina in Kiss of the Spider Woman – The Musical (Ovation and LADCC Award noms for Lead Actor) and Alvin in The Story of My Life (Ovation nom for Lead Actor), both for Havok Theatre Company. Chad has performed at South Coast Rep, Pasadena Playhouse, Laguna Playhouse, Rubicon Theatre, La Mirada Theatre, South Bay CLO, Reprise!, Hollywood Bowl, Sacramento Music Circus, Musical Theatre West, Cabrillo Music Theatre, San Diego Music Theatre, Santa Barbara CLO, AMT of San Jose, and Elephant Theatre — where his favorite roles include Bobby in A Chorus Line, Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz, Motel in Fiddler on the Roof, Will Parker in Oklahoma!, and Larry in Burn This. Chad was a member of the Ovation Award-winning ensemble of The Laramie Project and was also Ovation-nominated as Bud Frump in How to Succeed in Business (Colony Theatre). Chad has done two National Tours (Mordred in Camelot and The Duke Ellington Songbook) and has performed regionally at Cincinnati Playhouse, Chicago’s Marriott Lincolnshire, and Boston’s Merrimack Repertory. His TV credits include “The Cape”, “General Hospital”, “Bold and the Beautiful”, and “Girls Behaving Badly”. Chad is also the Producing Director of Havok Theatre Company. He produced their first four productions: the L.A. premieres of Thrill Me: The Leopold and Loeb Story (Ovation nomination – Best Production of a Musical – Intimate Theatre), Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead (GLAAD Media Award nomination and LADCC Award nomination for Best Production), and The Story of My Life (Ovation nomination – Best Production of a Musical – Intimate Theatre), as well as producing L.A.’s only stage revival of Kiss of the Spider Woman for which Havok won the Ovation Award for Best Production of a Musical – Intimate Theatre.
Prior to training at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, Nicolette Chaffey (Speech/Dialect) studied Speech and Voice at the Guild Hall of Speech and Drama. She worked in film, theatre and television across England starring in HICKORY HOUSE, a long-running children’s television series, the National Theatre’s AS YOU LIKE IT tour of North America, and the Australian soap, CERTAIN WOMEN. In Los Angeles, she and her partner, Jeff Murray, created THEATRE/THEATER, which continues to present award winning plays. As a vocal coach Nicolette has worked on such films as Disney’s 1998 remake of THE PARENT TRAP.
Will Doughty (Improvisation) comes from the suburbs of Chicago. He has 15 years of Improvisation experience and produces a celebrated weekly show now Three years and running, Crashbar Improv. www.crashbarimprov.com. Mr. Doughty has performed at iO West, The Upright Citizens Brigade, and multiple other venues around the Los Angeles area. He has booked more than a dozen National Commercials and been a recurring performer on the “Tonight Show with Jay Leno”, appearing on several episodes doing video and live sketch with Jay Leno and Howie Mandel. You have also seen him on Comedy Central’s Jon Benjamin has a Van, and the Indie Rom-Com Screwed as a major supporting role. ”Love this art form and never get tired of it.”
Matthew Gudernatch (Film/Acting) graduated with a degree in English and Journalism form Stonehill College in 2007. After escaping the corporate trappings of his American Eagle summer job, Matt started a freelance writing career, writing and producing everything from commercials to short films to music videos. In 2010, a short film he wrote, Bloodsuckers, won best comedy at a New York short film festival as he was voted Best Actor. Matt moved out to Los Angeles shortly thereafter, appearing in multiple national commercials and writing for 20th Century Fox, before launching his own boutique production company in 2012.
Keith Harrison (Musical Audition Technique) is an Emmy Award-nominated composer and performer. Theater credits include MILION DOLLAR QUARTET (original Chicago cast), Whoopi Goldberg’s WHITE NOISE, THE BOYS FORM SYRACUSE (Jeff Award-nominated Best New Adaptation), and A SNOW WHITE CHRISTMAS at Pasadena Playhouse. His original music has been heard on ABC, NBC, CBS, CW, HDNet, several independent films, and dozens of national television and radio advertisements. He was recently seen as a featured composer and pianist on the Lifetime TV reality series, ABBY’S ULTIMATE DANCE COMPETITION. Keith holds a B.M. from the School of Music and Certificate in Musical Theatre from the School of Communications at Northwestern University, and is currently a resident music director and teaching artist at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in Los Angeles. Keith is also an active singer-songwriter. Visit www.frogandmoose.com and www.keithharrison.tv to learn more.
Henry Layton (Combat/Fencing) is a motion-capture stunt coordinator, actor, swordmaster, and weapon specialist. His resume includes motion capture in Saint’s Row (1,2,3,), Chronicles of Riddick, Enclave, Knights of the Temple, GTA 3, The Punisher, Ground Control 2, X-Files and Fight Director and Choreographer for the Kentucky Classical Theatre Conservatory. A New Orleans native, Henry was the second-youngest performer to be accepted into the Society of American Fight Directors’ teacher training program, where he had the privilege to work with Brian Byrnes, Drew Fracher and Daniel Boone and studied advanced level technique, teaching pedagogy, and choreography skills he passes on to this day as a SAFD Certified Teacher.
Marjo-Riikka Makela (Film/Movement/Mask) is a director, master teacher, acting coach, and a professional actress. She has specialized in a variety of different acting techniques, is a long-standing member of the Michael Chekhov Association, and has worked extensively with the M. Chekhov Technique both as an actress and director. Ms. Makela received her training at the Russian Academy of Dramatic Arts (GITIS) and holds an MFA in Acting from CSULB. She was a company member of the groundbreaking theatre group The Actors’ Gang, and has extensive stage credits from Europe. Here in USA some of Marjo-Riikka’s favorite roles include Medea in direction of David Bridel, Yelena in Uncle Vanya at the Classic Stage Company in NYC, and her work with Sarah Kane and Andrei Malaev-Babel at the Stanislavsky Theatre Studio in Washington DC. Her directing credits include Shakespeare, Chekhov, Schiller, and devised work. Recently, Ms. Makela has taught at the Stanislavsky Institute, California State University LB, Acting Corps Studios, ActorFest, Chapman University, Loyola Marymount University, The Insurgo Theater Movement, The Actor’s Movement Studio (NYC), the INTAR Theater (NYC), The Actors’ Gang, University of Southern California, and CalArts MFA programs. Marjo-Riikka does weekly private coaching for many successful TV and film actors and actresses. She has clients around the world, and she has been featured in Back Stage, the Los Angeles Times, American Theater Magazine and several major European publications.
“Being allowed to teach, learn, share, play, discover, and create each day, is a true blessing. THANK YOU all my students, clients and friends. YOU are highly appreciated!” ~ Marjo-Riikka
Rob Nagle (Acting) is a proud member of the Antaeus Company, as well as the Troubadour Theater Company. Recent productions include The Liar, Coyote on a Fence, A Midsummer Saturday Night’s Fever Dream, I Love to Eat, The Bellflower Sessions, and Macbeth. Rob’s regional theatre credits include productions at Portland Center Stage, Denver Center Theatre Company, Mark Taper Forum, South Coast Repertory, Old Globe Theatre, Centerstage, San Jose Repertory, and the Shakespeare Theatre Company. In Los Angeles, he has worked with Odyssey Theatre Ensemble, Road Theatre Company, Open Fist Theatre Company, Black Dahlia Theatre, Lost Angels Theatre Company, L.A. Theatre Works, Circle X Theatre Company, Falcon Theatre, Theatre East, and Shakespeare Festival/LA. Rob’s film credits include Fishing Naked, New Year’s Eve, Life As We Know It, The Soloist, Fun with Dick and Jane, Cellular, and American Wedding. His television credits include recurring roles on Lincoln Heights, Eli Stone, and Dawson’s Creek, as well as appearances on Mistresses, Criminal Minds, Touch, Castle, Major Crimes, NCIS, Harry’s Law, Mad Men, Cold Case, Without a Trace, The Middleman, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, Everwood, The Guardian, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. www.robnagle.com
Cooper Sivara (Acting) graduated from UCLA’s School of Theater with a B.A. in acting. He has worked with both the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Shakespeare Santa Cruz. He is also currently the Associate Artistic Director of Ark Theatre Company in Los Angeles. Past directing credits include Bill Cain’s Equivocation, Martin McDonagh’s The Pillowman, Shakespeare’s The Tempest, and Marlowe’s Edward II.
Paul Wagar (Speech/Dialect) has leant his talents as a voice coach, speech instructor, and dialect coach to such institutions as UCLA,British American Drama Academy, Incubator Television, Legendary Pictures, Warner Speciality Productions, andNBC Television. He has taught acting and directed productions for the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Area Repertory Theatre, the University of Pennsylvania, Delaware Technical College, and Walnut Street Theatre, as well as counseling underprivileged inner-city youth. Paul has worked closely with Cicely Berry and Joe Olivieri, and has written several adaptations of works by Shakespeare and Henrik Ibsen. He has also acted in film and on stage ensembles with Justin Ritter, Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, Maggie Smith, and Jeremy Irons.
Jason Weiss (Acting/Theatre History) has appeared on stages all around NYC, including, The Ford Center, 2nd Stage, The Cherry Lane, The Lamb, La MaMa ETC, The Greenwich Street Theatre, 29th Street Rep, Minetta Lane Theatre, Abingdon Theatre, and The Looking glass among many others. Regionally, Jason has performed at The Hippodrome Theatre, Virginia Shakespeare Festival, Princeton Rep, and Flat Rock Playhouse. He has worked directly with such theatrical luminaries as Harold Pinter, John Patrick Shanley, Charles Strouse, and Jerry Herman. Jason Spent 5 years playing the role of Evan Nander on ABC’s One Life to Live. Other TV and film Credits include, Jake Squared, All My Children, Trackers, Crib Crashers, Shipwreck, Nina, The Book of Me. He has been seen in many nation commercials and his voice can be heard in over a dozen voice-overs.
Aside from his many acting credits, Jason is a producer at The Blank Theatre Company and is a member of their Artistic Committee. He was the Artistic Director of the off-Broadway theatre company Legend Productions in NYC for 8 years. Jason has taught at the University of Florida, University of Miami, SUNY Purchase and The T. Schreiber Studio. Jason is the CEO of Dog House Films LLC, a film and TV production company here in Los Angeles.Jason holds an MFA degree from the University of Florida, and a BFA degree from the University of Miami. He is a proud member of SAG-AFTRA, Actors Equity Association, and the Society of American Fight Directors.