Trained theater professionals lead camps, residencies, and playshops
Bay Area Shakespeare Camps, Residencies, and Playshops are led by trained theater professionals, including members of our Education Workgroup and independent teaching artists
ANNE YUMI KOBORI
Anne Yumi Kobori is an actor, director, playwright, costume designer, and teaching artist. She adapted Chekhov’s The Seagull and played Nina in Utopia Theatre Project’s inaugural production in 2014. Her plays Seeds and Every Day Alice have premiered at Utopia. Her performance credits include the title role in Hamlet, Desdemona in Othello, Ariel in The Tempest (Silicon Valley Shakespeare), Ophelia in Hamlet on Tour (San Francisco Shakespeare Festival), Peggy Maruyama in Allegiance (CCCT), and numerous ShotzSF comedy shorts. Anne is the Education Program Manager of SF Shakes, and will be directing a Butoh-inspired Macbeth with their touring program this fall. AnneYumiKobori.com
Larissa is a conservatory trained performer who, when not performing, teaches singing and theatre arts, specializing in voice and bodywork pertaining to vocal production. She completed her PhD, titled “Investigating the role of Pilates in the posture and vocal production of singers,” in which she researched how vocal production can be supported by posture and strength. Alongside her artistry, she is passionate about performing arts research and teaching, believing that high quality research supports pedagogical practices, enhances student learning, and champions career longevity. By blending her diverse sources of knowledge, she provides artists with tools to enhance vocal production (in spoken word and singing voice), body use, prevent and/or maintain injuries, and optimize their instrument. Ph.D., B.Sc.(Hons.)Biochem, B.A. (Musical Theatre)
Cert IV Trainer & Assessor, Pilates Practitioner
Kunal Prasad is a Theatre Artist and SDCF Directing Fellow on ‘Wizard of Oz’ at American Conservatory Theater and has an interest in the intersection of poetry, gesture and social dance. They direct and lead workshops and residencies at San Francisco Shakespeare Festival. As an actor, they are featured in the indie film ‘Gone in the Night,’ starring Winona Ryder, and they perform in ‘Baloney’ at The Oasis nightclub. Other theater credits include: Wives, (Aurora Theatre Company) A Thousand Splendid Suns, (A.C.T.) Taylor Mac: A 24-Decade History of Popular Music, (SF Curran) and Hedda Gabler, (The Cutting Ball Theater.) On instagram follow @kunalized.
Bianca (she/her) is so excited to be joining SF Shakes as a Teaching Artist. Bianca began her TA experience in high school when she was part of a group that visited middle schools in the Santa Cruz County doing performances, Q&As, and workshops, and is so grateful to be continuing this work as part of the SF Shakes community! Along with teaching residencies, Bianca was part of the SF Shakes touring production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, alternating for the roles of Helena/Egeus/Snout/Peaseblossom. She is a recent graduate of New York University Tisch School of the Arts and the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, receiving her degrees in Drama and Classical Acting. Some of her recent credits include Juliet/Sampson in Romeo & Juliet and Olivia in Twelfth Night. BiancaChesnut.com
Al (they/he) has been an actor since a nativity play at 10, and an atheist since 13. With a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre from SF State University, they have had the privilege of training and gaining experience across mediums in both LA and the Bay Area. Al takes their passion and wit into every role and classroom. Equipped with an affinity for Shakespeare, the arts, and good timez, Al has made a home in several of SF Shakes’ education and community programs. Much of their professional journey prior to Shakes has been in youth education, theatrical arts, and outdoor recreation, with employers such as SF and Oakland USD, the GGNRA and MTC, as well as Americorps and the National Park Service. Al aims to cultivate a creative and welcoming space (cause that’s where the best stuff is made). They seek to make art, whether it be tender or laughable.
Henry Alper is a longtime member of the San Francisco Shakespeare Festival family, since joining as a camper in the first grade! The Festival is what sparked his love of Shakespeare and has kept him coming back ever since. He is currently on a gap year while pursuing his BFA in theater at Emerson College. He has taught previously with SFShakes, most recently As You Like It this past summer. As a performer, he most recently could be seen as the titular role in Hamlet with Pale Fire Theater, the Palo-Alto based community theater he founded. He’d like to thank SFShakes for sticking with him for over a decade.
Natalie (she/her) is ecstatic to be back as a teaching artist with SF Shakes after playing Luciana and Duke in The Comedy of Errors, as well as playing Juliet in Romeo and Juliet on tour. She was most recently seen in Plethos Productions as Yolanda in In The Heights. Other performances include Memoria del Silencio ( Elia) SF Shakes’ Hamlet (Voltemand/Player Sailor), Sweet Charity ( Hostess), and All In The Timing (Kafka). At San Francisco State University her credits include Shakespeare Goes To School Cabaret, Trifles (Mrs. Peters) and Immaculate (Gabriel.) When she is not acting, she is teaching drama/directing shows at many schools.
Isabelle (she/her) is thrilled to rejoin the San Francisco Shakespeare Festival this year as a Teaching Artist after teaching and interning for SF Shakes from 2015-2019! She recently completed her B.A. in Theatre at Northeastern University and currently splits her time between Boston, Massachusetts, and the San Francisco Bay Area. She appeared in a number of productions with the Northeastern Department of Theatre including She Kills Monsters, The Bacchae, and Problem Play, a new work adapted from Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure. She was also involved with the Northeastern Shakespeare Society, serving on the marketing team and appearing in their productions of King Henry IV, Part I, and The Merry Wives of Windsor. She is (and always will be) a huge fan of Shakespeare’s works and can’t wait to share them with this year’s students at the Bay Area Shakespeare Camps!
TEACHING ARTIST & AUTISM THEATRE SPECIALIST
Joseph Schmitz, founder of Eureka Street Learning, and our partner in the “Shakespeare’s Heartbeat” program for kids on the autism spectrum, feels fortunate to work in technology, education, and theater in the Bay Area — exciting fields in a wonderful place. When not making video, writing, or acting, he has the pleasure of teaching improv and videomaking in Bay Area classrooms. He is a co-founder of Special Focus, a performing arts program for special education students in Northern California.
Radhika Rao is an actor, improviser, storyteller, director, writer, and arts educator/consultant. She has performed theater in the United States and abroad. A post-graduate from Harvard Graduate School of Education, Radhika specializes in creating curriculum that integrates theater into diverse learning situations for various populations and organizations. Her work is steeped deeply in respect for life and social justice. She teaches in schools (K-12), universities, juvenile detention centers, corporations, theaters, and community centers. On any given day, she could be performing a Chekhov play, Shakespeare’s Sonnet or Improv Comedy!
Suzanne Halka is a San Francisco based director, costume designer, choreographer, writer, actor, dancer, and teaching artist. She joined the SF Shakes team as a teaching artist in 2012, and has also taught for San Francisco Recreation and Parks, Destination Art, New Conservatory Theatre Center, and The Jewish Community Center of San Francisco. Her favorite theatre role to date was as The Nurse in Romeo and Juliet: CSI, a deconstructionist version of the well-known play. Suzanne most recently performed in the Oakland-based sketch comedy group, Running With Glitter as The Plant Virus and as Carla, a dancing zombie. She also practices and performs with her all-women improv troupe, the HAMAZONS! Suzanne feels privileged to have interned with The American Shakespeare Center and to have studied theatre while abroad in London. Her most recent directing credit was a personal passion project: a contemporary dress version of Hamlet with the Harvey Milk Center for the Arts Junior Acting Troupe. Suzanne can’t wait to have fun with the Bard and all of our young actors at BASC this summer! Huzzah!