James Warwick was born in England and trained at London University/Central School of Speech and Drama. He graduated with the Spotlight award for the most promising actor of the year and spent much of his early career in regional theatre learning his craft. Subsequently, he played many leading roles in London’s West End theatre including The Rocky Horror Show, Pride and Prejudice, On The Spot, The Real Thing, And Then Were None and The Secret Lives of Cartoons. On national tour, Dr. Faustus, The Rivals, A Winter’s Tale, Arms and The Man and Lady Chatterley’s Lover. Mr. Warwick starred in many filmed series for BBC Television and PBS Masterpiece Theatre including Partners in Crime, Lillie, Edward VII, The Bell, Rock Follies, Dr. Who, and The Nightmare Man. In 1995, Mr. Warwick toured America as Arthur in Camelot,followed by Sir Robert Chiltern in An Ideal Husband on Broadway, directed by Sir Peter Hall. James’ American TV credits include guest star roles in Alias, Murder She Wrote, Babylon 5, Hart to Hart, Civil Wars, in addition to many character commercials and radio plays for LA Theatre Works. He then started directing theatre on a freelance basis; now over 30 productions in US regional theatres. He was associate artistic director at both the Chester Theatre Company and the Berkshire Theatre Festival in MA, and artistic director of the Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield. In 2003, Mr. Warwick began his association with The American Academy of Dramatic Arts, directing dozens of productions for the Academy Company, and between 2007/2008 served as Interim President of the Los Angeles Campus. During this period, James was awarded The Dramalogue award for outstanding achievement in theatre, the Showcaseaward for best director and for several years running was named one of the top ten directors in New England. In October 2009, Mr. Warwick was nominated President of Theatre of Arts in Hollywood, where he has found a new passion…. to pass on the great traditions in the skill and craft of theatre, television and film to a new generation of actors and directors.
Having a love of the arts and being born into an artistic family, Liz Martinez has always desired to play a role in the development of artists in the entertainment field. Upon earning a bachelor degree in 2002 from Woodbury University in Humanities and Management, Liz set out to the east coast to begin her career in the entertainment industry. Prior to joining Theatre of Arts, Liz was the director of The Black Lily: A Women in Music Series – a non-profit weekly event in Philadelphia that served to give female artists the opportunity to hone their artistic development. Started at The Wetlands in New York’s Village in April of 1999 before moving to the permanent venue at The Five Spot in Philadelphia, the acclaimed series has featured performances by several of today’s most celebrated artists. Alicia Keys, Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, and Macy Gray are among the many artists that have graced the Lily stage. As Managing Director for Theatre of Arts since November 2006, Liz oversees curriculum development, faculty management and general school operations. Throughout her time at TOA she has overseen the acquisition of our permanent theatre space, The Arena Stage, and our recent membership of The National Association of Schools of Theatre, the highly regarded national accreditation agency.
A native of Denver, Colorado, Judi Davidson studied and surrounded herself with many performing art forms, including classical piano, flute, voice, music composition, marching band, and drama. Prior to moving to Los Angeles, Judi earned two Bachelor of Arts in Music and Psychology from Fort Lewis College. Other accomplishments include performing with the Denver City Opera Company, working on small independent live productions as well as student productions of Theatre of Arts, and nominated interim Music Director of the A Cappella group, Shir BaIr. She has worked in Customer and Administrative services in various offices, including Legal, Financial, Education, and Food Manufacturing, before joining the Theatre of Arts Admissions Department in October, 2006. Judi is also an active volunteer within the Jewish Communities of the San Fernando Valley and West Hollywood.
DIRECTOR OF ADMISSIONS
Colin Trahan is thrilled to be joining the team at Theater of Arts in Hollywood! Colin, a native of New Orleans, comes to Southern California by way of New York City and Las Vegas. Colin has performed regionally at the Granbury Opera House, the North Country Center of the Arts’ Papermill Theatre, The Smokey Mountain Shakespeare Festival, The Flat Rock Playhouse, and The Fireside Theater. Some favorite experiences at these theaters include West Side Story, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Singin’ in the Rain, Anything Goes,Cyrano De Bergerac, and She Loves Me. He spent years touring the United States and Canada with George M! (Sam), Oklahoma! (Ali Hakim), The Will Rogers Follies (Wiley Post), and The Producers (Mr. Marks). After leaving the road to return to New York City, Colin was cast in the worldwide hit Jersey Boys, which he performed first in San Francisco and then for years at the Palazzo in Las Vegas. He now travels the world performing hits from the show with other Jersey Boys alumni. Colin can currently be seen on improv comedy stages all around Los Angeles and occasionally on General Hospital on ABC.
Emma Sleath joined the staff of Theatre of Arts in February of 2013. A native of Marin County, California, she attended the University of California, Santa Barbara where she earned a bachelor’s degree in History. She spent her junior year abroad in Spain where she attended la Universidad de Granada, studying history and languages. However, she knew that her true passion lay in acting and upon graduating, she immediately moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career. She has never looked back! She has been fortunate enough to work in both theatre and film and is very excited to be working in an environment surrounded by fellow actors and artists.
Christian Meoli is a Los Angeles based actor/writer/producer/director/promoter and honored to be associated with the prestigious Theatre of Arts school. His OCTOMOM THE MUSICAL ran for 10 sold-out weeks at The Fake Gallery. Meoli’s had major roles in the films LOOKING FOR JIMMY directed by Julie Delpy, PERSONS UNKNOWN with Naomi Watts, THE LOW LIFE opposite Rory Cochrane and Ron Livingston and made his screen debut in ALIVE directed by Frank Marshall. Since then, Chris has guest-starred on over fifty episodic television shows recently on DOLLHOUSE, ELI STONE, LIFE, COLD CASE, WITHOUT A TRACE, EVERYBODY HATES CHRIS and for four seasons played the role of Boz Bishop opposite Cheech Marin and Don Johnson on NASH BRIDGES.Soon after Chris began the production company Cabaret Voltaire, which held residence at The Steve Allen Theater for three years and has continued to produce over 100 live events, featuring the best of LA’s performers over the past six years.
DIRECTOR, 12 ANGRY MEN
Jennifer Chambers is the co-founder of Green Beetle Productions and the founder of Wilder Theatrics LLC. With Green Beetle she developed and produced the world premiere of The Muscles in Our Toes By Stephen Belber and Sam Wolfson’s Playdates. Her directing credits include the world premier of Stephen Belber’s The Muscles in Our Toes at the El Portal, Yog Sothoth, The Third Best Debater and Here to Serve You at San Pedro’s Little Fish Theatre, Suzan Lori Park’s 365 Play/365 Days at Berkeley Repertory Theatre, The Land of the Blacks by Michael Shaw Fischer, the world premiere of Sam Wolfson’s Playdates at the Elephant Theatre and Theatre Asylum and the west coast premier of Andrea Kuchlewska’s Complete at the Matrix Theatre. She has assisted Jonathan Moscone on Cal Shakespeare’s production of Man and Superman and Liz Diamond on Catherine Treischman’s Crooked at the Women’s Project Theatre. She has worked as a teaching artist and drama therapist for Theatreworks and The Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital, Alta Bates Hospital, VDay, Theatre Unlimited, The Living Arts Counseling Center, The Young Storytellers Project and The Virginia Avenue Project. She has a BA in theatre arts from Northwestern University and an MA in drama therapy from The California Institute of Integral Studies. She is a member of the Director’s Lab West 2010 and an Associate Member of SDC.
Joel Bishoff (Guest Director) directed the original production of I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change which ran for 12 years and 5,003 performances, making it the second longest running musical in off-Broadway history. He also directed I Love You . . . in several cities across North America, London’s West End, Tokyo, and the Mandarin language production in Shanghai and Beijing. Joel also directed the original production of Over the River and Through the Woods at off-Broadway’s John Houseman Theatre. Other directing credits include a Japanese language production of Annie in Tokyo and throughout Japan (now in its 12th year), The Kiss at City Hall at Pasadena Playhouse, The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife at Laguna Playhouse, Sylvia (starring Cathy Rigby) and Too Old for the Chorus at La Mirada Center for the Performing Arts, Fully Committed at Coyote Stage Works, and Ken Hill’s Phantom of the Opera which played at The Opera Comique in Paris as part of a European tour. Mr. Bishoff also did the musical staging for the national tour of The Sound of Music starring Marie Osmond (which also toured Singapore and Korea) as well as the New York City Opera production starring Debby Boone. He has directed at the Long Wharf Theatre, Berkshire Theatre Festival, the New Yorker Theatre (Toronto), Gem Theatre (Detroit), Coronet Theatre (Los Angeles), Helen Hayes Performing Arts Center (Nyack), Stuart St. Playhouse (Boston), the Broward Center for Performing Arts (Miami), the Royal George Theatre (Chicago), Theatre at Old Towne (San Diego) among others. He has also taught at the Graduate Acting Program at UCLA, AmericanAcademy of Dramatic Art, Theatre of Arts and teaches an ongoing scene study class with Hank Azaria. An MFA graduate of ColumbiaUniversity, he is a member of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers.
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
Adam Mondschein (Acting) was born in North Hampton, Massachusetts. and raised in upstate New York. He received his BFA in Acting from University of Maryland Baltimore County. He attended the British American Dramatic Academy’s Midsummer in Oxford program as a full scholarship winner in 2010, was a member of the 15th a Guthrie Experience for Actor’s in training in 2011 and received his MFA in Acting from UCLA in 2012.
Adam is passionate about bringing the words of the Bard to life and has played significant roles with several Shakespeare companies including Baltimore Shakespeare Festival, Chesapeake Shakespeare Company, Shakespeare Santa Barbara and the Uprising Theatre Company.
Rob Nagle (Acting) is a proud member of the Antaeus Company, as well as Pacific Stages. His regional theatre credits include productions at Denver Center Theatre Company, Mark Taper Forum, South Coast Repertory, Old Globe, Goodman Theatre, Centerstage, San Jose Repertory, Connecticut Repertory Theatre, and the Shakespeare Theatre in Washington, DC. In Los Angeles, he has worked with the Troubadour Theater Company, Green Beetle Productions, 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 New Year’s Eve, Fishing Naked, 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 Mad Men, The Middleman, Cold Case, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, Without a Trace, Everwood, The Guardian, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Rob recently finished work on two upcoming features: an independent film shooting in Colorado called Fishing Naked, as well as Garry Marshall’s next film, New Year’s Eve. 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.