James M. “Mike” McCullock, Technical Theatre Director - Mike’s background in theater spans over thirty years, as well as across the globe. He has worked theatrically up and down the west coast, in New York, Chicago, Canada and seven countries in Europe. He has done everything from acting and directing to set design and construction. He was directing intern for The Old Globe theater under the tutelage of such renowned directors as Crag Noel, Sheldon Epps and Tony Award Winner John Rando. He has directed at several local theaters, including The Coronado Playhouse. Most recently he worked as an electrician (stage lighting) for the San Diego REPertory Theater, Cygnet Theater and The Old Globe Theatre. He currently works as a scenic carpenter for The La Jolla Playhouse, is the new technical director for Scripps Ranch Theater and serves as Associate Artistic Director for OnStage Playhouse in Chula Vista.
Curtis Mueller, Lighting Designer: Curtis has worked around Southern Califonria at venues including The Intrepid Shakepeare Company, Rancho Buena Vista High School, and New Village Arts. Awards include "Outstanding Lighting Design" for Jesus Christ Superstar and "Lighting of the Year" for Legally Blonde The Musical. Curtis also works with the Greenway Arts Alliance in Los Angeles and is the resident lighting designer for the Pasadena Musical Theatre Program. His original Christmas light shows can be found at www.youtube.com/lights4321. Curtis holds a BFA in Lighting Design from California Institute of the Arts.
Valerie Henderson: Henderson consulted as Costume Designer for many of CoSA’s Musical Theatre productions. She earned her M.F.A. in Costume Design and Technology from San Diego State University, after receiving a B.A. from the University of Northern Iowa. In 2009, she was costume designer for the American Dance Festival in North Carolina, and has also designed several modern dance works in San Diego with companies including Joe Alter Dance Group, Malashock Dance Company, and Little Known Dance Company. Henderson consults for the North Coast Repertory Theatre, Moxie Theatre, and Diversionary Theatre, and San Diego State University’s theatre department.
Cara Tougas: Tougas, a M.F.A. degree candidate in Scenic Design at San Diego State University, consulted on CoSA Musical Theatre productions. She was scenic designer for SDSU’s Theatre Department’s productions of Symphony of Clouds (2011) and The Boyfriend (2011), and scenic assistant for The Magic Flute (2011), produced by SDSU’s Department of Music and Dance. Tougas spent a month in Moscow, Russia studying Scenic Design at the Moscow Art Theatre School in 2010.
Beth Kincaid Connelly (Costume Designer): Beth holds an M.F.A. in Acting from the University of Connecticut and a B.F.A. from Cornish College of the Arts. Recent costuming works include: Grapes of Wrath and Pirates of Penzance for CoSA; Shrek, Bye Bye Birdie and Hairspray with ACT-San Diego; Willy Wonka at Clairemont High School; Spelling Bee, Ragtime, Spring Awakening, Big River and Les Miserables with California Youth Conservatory Theatre; The Boyfriend, Pirates of Penzance and Hairspray with OLP Thespians; and Master Harold and the Boys with Leading Light Theatre.
Betzi Roe: Betzi Roe apprenticed with the San Francisco Ballet and then joined the Hartford Ballet Company in 1969. After receiving a Master’s Degree in Dance (contemporary dance and world dance forms) from University of California, Los Angeles, she co-founded San Diego’s highly visible dance company, 3’s Co. & Dancers. From 1987 – 2002, she toured a one-woman concert of works by regional and national artists, and choreographed pieces for the California Ballet, San Diego Dance Theatre, Mojalet Dance Collective and others.
Roe’s honors and awards include: U.S. Information Agency Cultural Specialist in both Russia and China; U.S. representative at the first Bi-National Encounter of Contemporary Dance in Mexico (1993), California Dance Educators Association Dance Educator of the Year (1993); San Diego Dance Alliance “Honoree” for her work in public education (1997); CAHPERD (California Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance) Dance Educator of the Year (2002) and Surdna Foundation Grantee (2005). She has been with CoSA since its beginning, and is now Chair of the Classical & Contemporary Dance Department, while simultaneously serving as Artistic Director for Nations of San Diego International Dance Festival, now in its 18th year.
Gina Bolles Sorensen: One part dance educator, one part choreographer and one part Registered Yoga Teacher, Gina Bolles Sorensen has the supreme pleasure of talking about movement and the body all day long. She and her husband, Kyle Sorensen, are the Artistic Directors of somebodies dance theater, a contemporary modern dance company that endeavors to wed the arts of dance and theatre. Her choreography has been produced in festivals and concert programs throughout the United States and abroad. Recently her work "left Field" in collaboration with Kyle Sorensen and violinist Kristopher Apple, was awarded the San Diego Young Choreographers Prize. (somebodiesdancetheater.com).
Gina received a 2013 National Artist Teacher Fellowship to attend the MELT Intensive in New York City from the Center for Arts Education at the Boston Arts Academy for her work with somebodies dance theatre and for her work as a dance teacher and choreographer at CoSA. In 2007, she was awarded a Gary E. Smith Summer Research Grant and a Center for Study of Women in Society Research Grant to study the classical Indian dance form Bharatanatyam in Bangalore, India. In 2009 an excerpt of her MFA thesis on imagery in dance education was published in the Journal of Dance Education. She has a MFA in Dance from the University of Oregon and a BA in Mass Media Communication Studies and Political Science from UCLA. Gina currently teaches dance and related subjects at San Diego State University, San Diego City College, San Diego Dance Theatre and CoSA, in addition to yoga classes online through her project Yoga Natyam (yoganatyamonline.com).
Matt Carney: Matt Carney is thankful for this thing called dance and for all of the teachers who have helped him along the way. He began dancing professionally with the Modern American Dance Company (MADCO) in his hometown of St. Louis, MO and later joined the Wylliams/Henry Contemporary Dance Company based in Kansas City. Mr. Carney has had the privilege to perform works by dance luminaries Sir Fredrick Ashton, George Balanchine, Erick Hawkins, Doris Humphrey, Robert Cohen and Donald McKayle, and looks forward to passing this folklore down to any students who will listen. A resident of San Diego since 2008, Matt is currently a company member with San Diego Dance Theater and the San Diego Ballet, and in his fifth year teaching at Coronado School of the Arts. Matt holds a B.F.A. in Dance Performance from the Conservatory of Music and Dance at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, and received his Masters in Public Administration from the School of Public Affairs at San Diego State University.
Sadie Weinberg: Dancer and choreographer Sadie Weinberg graduated with a B.F.A. from SUNY Purchase and earned her M.F.A. in Dance from UC Irvine. Weinberg, who has danced the works of Doug Varone, Brenda Way, and Kevin Winn, has also choreographed and produced her own concerts and had the honor of representing the United States in the Solo Dance Festival in Stuttgart, Germany. Locally she has been a performer for the McCaleb Dance, Malashock Dance and San Diego Dance Theatre. In addition to teaching at CoSA, she is on the adjunct faculties of Mira Costa College and Palomar College and UCSD.
Kyle Sorensen: Kyle Sorensen graduated with a B.A. in Dance from the University of Oregon, where he was honored with the Dance Achievement Award in Recognition of Undergraduate Excellence as a Developing Artist. He earned his M.F. A. in Dance Theatre from UC San Diego, where he was awarded the Achievement Award in Teaching.
Sorensen has danced professionally in Los Angeles, Oregon, Washington and San Diego, as well as performed in works by Tere O’Connor, Susan Marshall, Jean Isaacs, and Gabe Masson. Sorensen has taught full courses in contemporary dance and hip hop at UC San Diego and San Diego City College, and master classes at Sam Houston State University (Texas), Winthrop University and Johnson C. Smith University (South Carolina) and Southwestern Community College.
Anna Woerman, Graphic Design: Anna is an alumna of Coronado School of the Arts, 1997. In 2002, she graduated from San Diego State University with a B.A. in Art with Emphasis in Painting and Printmaking. She also minored in Italian and studied abroad for a year at the Scuola Libera del Nudo all’Accademia di Belle Arti Di Firenze, in Florence Italy. Now in her seventh year teaching CoSA’s Digital Media Visual Communications strand, she also teaches Digital Media Foundations and Yearbook at Coronado High School. Anna is a K-12 Adobe Education Leader.
Anna is also a professional artist, photographer and graphic designer, specializing in portrait and landscape painting, wedding photography and creating branding and marketing materials including logos, brochures and invitations. You can view her work at www.annawoerman.com.
Riana Bucceri, Animation: Bucceri, CoSA’s Digital Arts Department Chair and head of the Animation strand, confesses that she still loves to watch cartoons on Saturday morning. Bucceri graduated with a B.F.A. in Animation and Digital Media from the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, Michigan. The Michigan native moved to Southern California and began her teaching career at the San Pasqual Academy, a Court and Community School for foster teenagers, where she started a new technology program for the school. Bucceri joined CoSA in 2003 and has been instrumental in developing CoSA’s Digital Media program, which is now one of CoSA’s fastest growing conservatories.
Carlos Pelayo, Filmmaking: Carlos Pelayo believes in moving pictures as not only entertainment, but also a powerful tool to explore and delve into untold stories. Carlos has had the chance to show his work both locally and internationally in festivals such as the Havana Film Festival in Cuba, Cinefestival in Texas, Media Arts Center San Diego and Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. He is a Rockefeller grant finalist and IFP (iffm) fellowship recipient. He also continues to work with youth and adults in developing their understanding for the media and how to work within it. He’s been an instructor at the Media Arts Center San Diego, Museum of Photographic Arts, Platt College and San Diego State University.
Carlos has also worked at NBC 7/39 as a news editor where he edited the nightly news. He has also done freelance work for Cox Channel 4, UCSD-TV and ITV as a camera operator. He has also lectured at both Southwestern Community College and San Diego City College. Carlos wants to continue being part of a collaboration that strives to create work that both promote and challenges popular thought.
Carlos has written several screenplays and short stories. He was a semi finalist for the San Antonio Cinefestival Screenplay competition. He received good praise for his writing and was urged to apply to the Sundance Screenwriters lab. He is currently working on a novel and short film scripts.
Education is an important part of Carlos’s life and he uses it to empower people. He completed his Multiple Subject BCLAD teaching credential at SDSU, has a B.A. in Visual Arts with an emphasis in media from UCSD and holds an M.A. in Television, Film and New Media from SDSU. Carlos continues to pry open the doors of perception through visual media.
Matt Heinecke: Third-generation Coronado resident and CoSA alum Matt Heinecke continued his music education with a B.M. in Music Industry and a M.A. in Music Education, both from the University of Southern California. Heinecke has been teaching at CoSA since 2007, except for a brief stint in Colorado, and now serves as CoSA’s Instrumental Music Director. In addition to building award winning concert bands at CHS and jazz ensembles in CoSA, Heinecke has been a professional guitarist, vocalist, sideman, songwriter and session player in Los Angeles and Nashville. He currently performs with a variety of entertainment companies around San Diego and is a member of the San Diego Master Chorale, Southern California Band and Orchestra Association and California Music Educators Association.
Kathyrn Hatmaker, Strings: “Classical music is much more than just music. It’s a record of the way people have thought about their lives. And in this music we can learn such powerful lessons about humanity and inspiration.”* Thus begins Hatmaker’s instruction to her students. Hatmaker has been a violinist with the San Diego Symphony since 2006, in addition to being the co-founder and Artistic Director for Art of Elan (www.artofelan.org), a San Diego-based chamber music organization committed to bringing classical music to diverse audiences.After receiving undergraduate training at both the University of Iowa and the Sorbonne University in Paris, Hatmaker completed her Master of Music degree at Carnegie Mellon University. She has played with a variety of orchestras, including the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the New World Symphony and the Pittsburgh “Live Chamber Orchestra,” where she helped to attract younger audiences to classical music. She has been an instructor at CoSA since 2007.
*Michel Tilson Thomas, Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony and the New World Symphony
April Leslie, Wind: San Diego native Leslie attended CoSA in its first year, and returned as its woodwind coach in 2010. After graduating with a Masters in Music with an emphasis in Clarinet Performance from Azusa Pacific University, Leslie was an original cast member and featured clarinet soloist for Blast II, touring the U.S., Japan and England. She has also toured with Michael Bolton, playing tenor sax and singing background vocals.
In addition to teaching at CoSA, Leslie is also a free-lance musician for the San Diego Symphony, Orchestra Nova and the California Chamber Orchestra, Principal Clarinetist with the San Diego Classics Philharmonic and member of the JAMB bass clarinet quartet.
Devin Burnworth, Brass: When Devin Burnworth met the trombone in 5th grade, he fell in love with the slide. His first private teacher, in addition to showcasing the various colors and capabilities of the instrument, showed him the importance of having a musical role model. After earning his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in trombone performance at Wheaton College and Penn State University respectively, Devin moved to NYC where he continued to study and perform with members of the New York Philharmonic.
Having recently returned to San Diego, Devin has performed with the San Diego Symphony, the San Diego Opera, the La Jolla Symphony, and other orchestras in town. He has played with numerous chamber ensembles, pit orchestras, brass quartets, and quintets throughout San Diego. Beyond performing, Devin believes it is vital to spread the joy of music through teaching and mentoring. His enthusiasm for music and his empathy for his students have enabled them to win top positions and accomplish their dreams. Devin teaches all instruments of the brass family.
Danny Green, Jazz: Pianist and composer Danny Green has garnered a reputation in the jazz community as an emerging artist whose music sounds simultaneously seasoned and fresh. Showcasing a brilliant blend of jazz, Brazilian, Latin, and classical elements, Green’s music engages listeners with evocative melodies and infectious rhythms. According to JazzReview.com,“Danny Green is what evolution in jazz is all about, expressing the traits of those thatcame before him, with a style and panache that is all his own...an individual whoexpresses what is inside of him.” Green revealed his unique talents on his 2009 debut recording With You In Mind. The album received extensive airplay around the globe, rose to #18 on the Jazz Week Charts, and won “Best Jazz Album” at the 2009 San Diego Music Awards. In 2012, Green teamed up with Tapestry Records to release A Thousand Ways Home, featuring Justin Grinnell onbass, Julien Cantelm on drums, and Tripp Sprague (CoSA Guest Artist) on sax, as well as a talented cast of guest artists inducing guitarists Chico Pinheiro, Peter Sprague, and Dusty Brough, Brazilian vocalist Claudia Villela, and mandolinist Eva Scow. A Thousand Ways Home received numerous rave reviews nationwide, rose to #17 on the Jazz Week Charts, was voted into KSDS Jazz 88.3’s “Top Ten Jazz Releases of 2012,” and was nominated “Best Jazz Album” at the 2013 San Diego Music Awards. The Danny Green Trio released it’s latest recording, After The Calm, in November 2014 on OA2 Records. Featuring ten of Green’s compositions, the album received much praise from the press and nationwide radio play. JazzWax described the album as “A highly impressive album that will knock you out,” and the San Diego Troubadour called it, “Unconditionally recommended to anyone who appreciates good jazz, instrumental music or soundtracks.”
For more information visit www.dannygreen.net
Barbara Wolf, Ph.D.: Dr. Wolf serves as Chair of CoSA’s award-winning Musical Theatre & Drama conservatory. Recent shows include The Wedding Singer, 42nd Street, Spelling Bee, All Shook Up, Pirates of Penzance, Legally Blonde The Musical, Singin' in the Rain, Thoroughly Modern Millie; and Into the Woods for CoSA. She has also directed for Southwestern Community College, Bowling Green State University, San Diego State University and The Huron Playhouse. Barbara received her Master of Arts from San Diego State University and her Ph.D. from Bowling Green State University.
Kim Strassburger: Kim Strassburger, who teaches acting at CoSA and spearheads the ESU Shakespeare competition at CHS, most recently directed CoSA’s productions of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged), The Grapes of Wrath, Metamorphoses and The Laramie Project, receiving Bravissimo Awards in 2010 and 2011 from the San Diego Educational Theatre Association. Kim is also the Associate Artistic Director and a Founding Company Member of Ion Theatre, now celebrating its 10th year in San Diego. Most recently, Kim received a 2014 San Diego Craig Noel Award nomination for Outstanding Direction of a Musical for her production of Passion at Ion Theatre. In 2011, she received “Best Director” from San Diego City Beat for Ion Theatre's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. This was followed in 2012 by a Craig Noel Award Nominee with co-director Claudio Raygoza for Best Direction of a Musical for Ion Theatre's Gypsy. Other directing credits include Grey Gardens and Passion at Ion Theatre and Edward Albee's Seascape at New Village Arts. Kim has also worked with Sledgehammer Theatre (Associate Artist) and Cygnet Theatre among other San Diego theatres. Strassburger was the recipient of a 2013 National Artist Teacher Fellowship that funded her study at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA). In 2014, Kim also became a member of Lincoln Center Theater's Directors Lab. Upcoming directing projects include the musical A New Brain at Diversionary Theatre and Sunday in the Park with George at Ion Theatre.
Gina Sorensen: One part dance educator, one part choreographer and one part Registered Yoga Teacher, Gina Bolles Sorensen has the supreme pleasure of talking about movement and the body all day long. She and her husband Kyle Sorensen are the Artistic Directors of somebodies dance theater (somebodiesdancetheater.com), a contemporary modern dance company that endeavors to wed the arts of dance and theatre. Recently her work "left Field," in collaboration with Kyle Sorensen and violinist Kristopher Apple, was awarded the San Diego Young Choreographers Prize.
Gina received a 2013 National Artist Teacher Fellowship to attend the MELT Intensive in New York City, from the Center for Arts Education at the Boston Arts Academy, for her work with somebodies dance theatre and for her work as a dance teacher and choreographer at CoSA. In 2009 an excerpt of her M.F.A. thesis on imagery in dance education was published in the Journal of Dance Education. In 2007, she was awarded a Gary E. Smith Summer Research Grant and a Center for Study of Women in Society Research Grant to study the classical Indian dance form Bharatanatyam in Bangalore, India. She has a M.F.A. in Dance from the University of Oregon and a B.A. in Mass Media Communication Studies and Political Science from UCLA. Gina currently teaches dance and related subjects at San Diego State University, San Diego City College, San Diego Dance Theatre, and CoSA, in addition to yoga classes online through her project Yoga Natyam (yoganatyamonline.com).
Karrie Jackson: Ms. Jackson, a CoSA graduate, completed her undergraduate training at California College of the Arts, San Francisco and obtained a Masters of Education, Curriculum & Instruction - Integrated Teaching through the Arts, from Lesley University in San Diego. She has been a professional artist and art educator since 2003, and joined CoSA’s permanent staff in 2012.In both the San Francisco Bay Area and San Diego County, she has worked on community arts projects, including murals, large scale arts commissions, exhibitions and galleries. In addition to giving private art lessons, Jackson worked at the Alzheimer Unit at Sharp Hospital Villa in Coronado.She instills in her students this quote from William Dobell “A sincere artist is not one who makes a faithful attempt to put onto canvas what is in front of him, but one who tries to create something which is, in itself, a living thing.”