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teaching artists

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 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.

Henry Alper headshotHENRY ALPER
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.

Joe Schmitz headshotJOSEPH SCHMITZ
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.

Kunal Prasad headshotKUNAL PRASAD
Kunal Prasad is an actor, artist, and educator. He studied theatre at the American Repertory Theater and the Moscow Art Theatre and also studied advanced long-form improv at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in NYC. He is featured in the indie feature film Gone in the Night starring Winona Ryder, which premiered at SXSW in Austin and will be in wide release this Fall. Kunal has been seen on stage in Baloney at The Oasis Nightclub, A Thousand Splendid Suns at the American Conservatory Theater and Wisdom from Everything directed by Seema Sueko at Local Theater Company in Colorado. Other theater credits include: Taylor Mac: A 24-Decade History of Popular Music (SF Curran), Vignettes on Love (Playground SF), Hedda Gabler (The Cutting Ball Theater), Our Enemies: Lively Scenes of Love and Combat (Golden Thread Productions), and A Dreamplay (The Cutting Ball Theater). He has worked at California Shakespeare Theater, San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, Magic Theatre, and Berkeley Repertory Theatre.

Natalie Ayala headshotNATALIE AYALA
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.

Radhika Rao headshotRADHIKA RAO
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 headshotSUZANNE HALKA
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!