Faculty & Staff

John Walcutt

John Walcutt

Director, Acting Conservatory

Teaches: Acting for the Camera I, Voice and Movement

john.walcutt@ocsarts.net

John Walcutt earned an MFA from the University of Southern California Professional Actor Training Program; he also studied at The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London and The Lee Strasberg School in Los Angeles. He has more than 35 years of experience as a professional actor and director on stage and screen, a film and theatre producer, and a screenwriter. 

Mr. Walcutt is a Screen Actor’s Guild award winner, and he also received Best Actor awards from multiple film festivals, as well as Best Director: Feature awards at the Indie Fest and the Las Vegas Film Festival. He has worked on nearly 200 film and TV projects with more than 100 guest-starring roles on films and televisions shows including Titanic, Mulan, Little Miss Sunshine, Lost, Criminal Minds, and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. On stage, he has played all the great roles in Shakespeare and much more. He is also currently the artistic director of Shakespeare Orange County, a professional summer company. He was named by The Orange County Register as one of the Most Influential People in the Arts for 2014.

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Stephanie Dorian Smith

Stephanie Dorian Smith

Assistant Director, Acting Conservatory

Teaches: Acting Fundamentals I, Acting Techniques IV, Movement II

stephanie.dorian@ocsarts.net

Stephanie is a professional actor, who has worked in New York and regionally for over 20 years. She holds a bachelor’s degree in theatre from San Diego State University and an MFA in acting from Brandeis University. In 2014, she was one of 16 artists in the country to receive the National Artist Teacher Fellowship Award, a national grant that supported the development and performance of her one-person play, Above Water, under the mentorship of critically acclaimed actress and playwright, Anna Deavere Smith. The play premiered in 2015 and she continues to perform the piece in performance, educational, and advocacy capacities. 

Donald Amerson

Donald Amerson

Instructor

Teaches: Movement IV, Shakespeare I, Shakespeare II

donald.amerson@ocsarts.net

Donald Amerson holds an master’s degree in theatre for young audiences from Eastern Michigan University. He has acted in both New York and Los Angeles. Mr. Amerson also serves as a resident youth acting teacher at South Coast Repertory Theatre.

Shannon Cutler

Shannon Cutler

Instructor

Teaches: Dance for Actors

shannon.cutler@ocsarts.net

Shannon Cutler graduated from American Musical and Dramatics Academy in New York. In addition to teaching in the Acting Conservatory at the Orange County School of the Arts, she continues to train and perform.

Brenda Smith

Brenda Smith

Instructor

brenda.smith@ocsarts.net

Brenda Smith holds a BA in dance/theater and an MFA in acting from California State University, Fullerton. She also attended the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco. As an actor, Ms. Smith has appeared in numerous shows in the Los Angeles area. She created the Met Theater workshop in Los Angeles, which included Holly Hunter, Ed Harris, Alfre Woodard, and Amy Madigan. This group developed new plays by playwrights like Beth Henley and nurtured now critically acclaimed actors, including Angelina Jolie and Lucy Liu. 

Ms. Smith spent 10 years in Taos, New Mexico producing, performing, and directing at the Taos Center for the Arts and the Metta Theater. She has also taught classes at Taos Filmmakers Initiative, Goldenwest College, and California State University, Fullerton, among others.

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B.J. Dodge

B.J. Dodge

Instructor

Ms. Dodge holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theater Arts from California State University, Long Beach, and an M.F.A. in Speech and Dramatic Arts from the University of Iowa. Ms. Dodge has been a faculty mentor and director for California Institute of the Arts’ Community Arts Partnership (CAP) Plaza Youth Theater Workshop at Plaza de la Raza in Lincoln Heights since 1990, and has taught at CalArts since 1984. She is retiring this year, and looking forward to some new adventures.

She is the theater chair for California State Summer School for the Arts, and is a Teaching Artist with Shakservatory, USC, American Academy of Dramatic Arts, and in residence at several public schools, with Center Theatre Group Education. She most recently collaborated with students and faculty at Cal Poly Pomona, and began teaching for Orange County School for the Arts in 2016. espeare Center Los Angeles. She has taught at CSULB, South Coast Repertory's Young Con.

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Michael Fountain

Michael Fountain

Instructor

Teaches: Playreading I, Understanding Production

michael.fountain@ocsarts.net

Michael Fountain earned his bachelor’s degree in theatre technology from Chapman University. Since 1998, he has acted in, written, directed, and designed for professional theatres all around the world.

Cynthia Karim

Cynthia Karim

Instructor

Teaches: Makeup

cynthia.karim@ocsarts.net

Cynthia Karim has worked as a professional makeup artist and licensed Aesthetician since 1975 and began her tenure at the Orange County School of the Arts as a designer and teacher in Special Effects Makeup, Hair, and Wig Design in 2001. She also works at the university level and in the industry, including SNL and MadTV. Mrs. Karim also earned her special effects makeup certification from Paramount Studios, Hollywood.

Richard Kinsey

Richard Kinsey

Instructor

Teaches: Acting Techniques IV, Actor’s Forum, Singing for Actors

richard.kinsey@ocsarts.net

Richard Kinsey performed on Broadway for several years as Javert in Les Miserables and is the recipient of the Joseph Jefferson Award. Mr. Kinsey continues to work professionally as an actor and singer, along with his teaching at the Orange County School of the Arts.

Liz Lang

Liz Lang

Instructor

Teaches: Business of the Biz, Acting/Cameo/Demo Reel

liz.lang@ocsarts.net

Liz Lang holds a bachelor’s degree in theatre from University of California, Los Angeles and has more than 20 years of experience as a casting director in Hollywood, specializing in nationwide teen searches for such projects as School of Rock, American Girl, McKenna Shoots for the Stars, and Disney Channel’s Avalon High.

Ren Lescault

Ren Lescault

Instructor

Teaches: Dance for Actors, Stage Combat I - Hand to Hand, Stage Combat II - Weapons

ren.lescault@ocsaarts.net

Ren Lescault is an alumnus of the Orange County School of the Arts (OCSA). In addition to teaching at OCSA, he works as a production assistant and performer at Disneyland. Mr. Lescault brings his extensive stage combat training to the Acting Conservatory.

Tess Lina

Tess Lina

Instructor

Teaches: Acting Fundamentals II, Shakespeare I, Shakespeare II

tess.lina@ocsarts.net

Tess Lina is a graduate of the Juilliard School in New York. She has worked in television and regional theatres across the country, including the Mark Taper Forum and La Jolla Playhouse. She also toured with the Royal Shakespeare Company in a co-production with The Denver Center for the Performing Arts. Ms. Lina also serves on the board of Shakespeare Orange County.

Colin Martin

Colin Martin

Instructor

Teaches: Movement I

colin.martin@ocsarts.net

Colin Martin studied with the American Russian Theatre Group in Los Angeles with a focus on Shakespeare and the classics. He has performed many of the great roles in theatres all over the west coast, including Hamlet, Macbeth and Iago. Mr. Martin was most recently seen as Orlando in Shakespeare Orange County’s production of As You Like It.

Wendy Moulton-Tate

Wendy Moulton-Tate

Instructor

Teaches: Acting Techniques I, Playreading II

wendy.tate@ocsarts.net

Wendy Moulton-Tate studied theatre arts at the University of California, Los Angeles and also received her master’s degree in educational theatre at New York University. She is an Emmy award-winning producer and director, who has worked with PBS SoCal and Coastline Community College. As a freelance writer/producer, she has worked on several documentary, educational, and promotional videos.

Bodie Newcomb

Bodie Newcomb

Instructor

Teaches: Acting Techniques I, Acting for the Camera I, Playreading I, Shakespeare III

bodie.newcomb@ocsarts.net

Bodie Newcomb has been acting for many years in theatre, television, and film, working alongside talent like Clint Eastwood, Sean Penn, Russell Crowe, Alan Arkin, and Julia Louis Dreyfus. He also works extensively in commercials, including two recent national campaigns.

Pete Uribe

Pete Uribe

Instructor

Teaches: Acting Techniques III, Acting/Cameo/Demo Reel, Audition Prep, Theatre History I, Theatre History II

pete.uribe@ocsarts.net

Pete Uribe has taught theatre at California State University, Long Beach, Orange Coast College, and California Polytechnic University, Pomona. Along with his teaching at the Orange County School of the Arts, he has directed several main stage productions. As a resident director of Shakespeare Orange County, Mr. Uribe most recently directed As You Like It and The Pirates of Penzance. He also conceived, adapted, and directed a musical adaptation of Arthur Miller's Creation of the World and Other Business called Temptation!

Duck Soon Walcutt

Duck Soon Walcutt

Instructor

Teaches: Voice and Movement, Movement II

duck.walcutt@ocsarts.net

Duck Soon Walcutt is a certified dance instructor and a yoga master, and gymnast. She specializes in yoga therapy and its application to voice and movement.

Casey Garritano

Casey Garritano

Instructor

casey.garritano@ocsarts.net

Bio comig soon!

Cora Riley

Cora Riley

Instructor

cora.riley@ocsarts.net

Cora Riley recently earned her bachelor’s degree with honours in acting with an emphasis on musical theatre from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London, England. During her time in London, Miss Riley made her West End debut at the Fortune Theatre. Some of her other credits include West End Cares at St. Paul's (the Actor's Church) in Covent Garden, Ensemble in The Pacifists Guide to the War on Cancer at The National Theatre Studios, and Belinda in the London/ Derby Tour of The Man of Mode directed by Philip Franks. She is incredibly grateful for her time at Central, which gave her the chance to work with Hofesh Schecter, David Grindrod, and other professionals from The RSC and The Globe. An OCSA alumni herself, Miss Riley is pleased to return to OCSA as a teacher for the Acting Conservatory. She is excited to share her love of Shakespeare and all things acting, while continuing to pursue her own acting career.

Christopher Sullivan

Christopher Sullivan

Instructor

christopher.sullivan@ocsarts.net

Bio coming soon!

Christopher Vened

Christopher Vened

Instructor

christopher.vened@ocsarts.net

  

Christopher Vened is a writer/director/performer based in LA. He was born in Poland in 1952. In the 1970s and 1980s, he was an actor in the Wroclaw Pantomime Theater. At the end of 1981, he defected to the West while on tour with the company in Germany because martial law was declared in Poland. He was the founder/director of Impulse-Movement Theatre in Berlin and Drama Studio in Seattle. Recently he performs the one-man show “Human Identity.”

He is the author of In Character: An Actor’s Workbook for Character Development, which he uses as a textbook in his acting and movement classes.

Advisory Board

 Michael Nehring

Michael Nehring

Professor

Theatre Department, College of Performing Arts

Chapman University

Bio coming soon!

Mary Joan Negro

Mary Joan Negro

Director of BA Acting

School of Dramatic Arts

University of Southern California

Bio coming soon!

 Kevin Kuhlke

Kevin Kuhlke

Senior Faculty & Former Chair

School of Acting, Tisch School of the Arts

New York University

Bio coming soon!