Faculty & Staff

Scott Barnhardt

Scott Barnhardt

Director, Musical Theatre Conservatory

scott.barnhardt@ocsarts.net

Scott Barnhardt is thrilled to be returning to his high school alma mater as the new Director of Musical Theatre at OCSA. He is a graduate of Orange County School of the Arts (MT '97), earned his BA in Theater/Speech from Wagner College and received his MFA in Playwriting from University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).  

His acting credits include the original Broadway cast of The Book of Mormon (Elder Harris/Elder Thomas, u/s Elder McKinley, Asst. Dance Captain) and the Deaf West Broadway Revival of Big River at Roundabout Theater Company. Other NYC: Yank! (The Old Globe Workshop), Bye Bye Birdie (City Center Encores!) and Behind the Limelight/Chaplin (NYMF). National tours: The Boy Friend directed by Julie Andrews, Big River, the Detroit company of White Christmas directed by Walter Bobbie and the Japanese tour of Disney on Classic with the Tokyo Philharmonic. Film/TV: Frozen (Troll), South ParkThe 2012 Tony Awards and commercials for Truth Campaign, Nike and Ocean Spray. He is a proud member of Actors' Equity Association and SAG/AFTRA. 

Regional theater credits include productions at Goodspeed Opera House, Paper Mill Playhouse, Cape Playhouse, Pioneer Theater Company, Gem Theater (Detroit), CT Repertory Theater and Hangar Theater. 

Writing credits: Gamers (2017 Hollywood Fringe Festival - Encore Award, 2017 O’Neill National Playwrights Festival semi-finalist, UCLA New Play Festival), [feel the difference] (Francis Ford Coppola One-Act Festival), The Gift (devised piece presented at UCLA’s The Ones), Home for the Feeble Minded Children, The Joan Crawford ProjectHappy Songs (cabaret performance at the Metropolitan Room), his one-person play Ye Bare and Ye Cubb—and the incurious battle of right and wrong from a Master of Fine Arts (Candidate, pending)Penelope-PCSA (digital web-series) and material for Transcendence Theater Company in Sonoma, CA. 

He has taught and directed for many educational institutions including UCLA (Teaching Fellowship with the LGBTQ Studies Department), Broadway Classroom, Theater Arts Center, Professional School for the Arts, Transcendence Theater Company, Wagner College, Hunter College Elementary, NY Film Academy, Wellesley Theater Project and Theater 360 Performing Arts Center. 

Awards and grants include the 2004 Tony Honor (Big River), Grammy Citation for Best Cast Album (The Book of Mormon), Tim Robbins Playwriting Award, Sono Osato Scholarship, Caroline H. Newhouse Scholarship and the George Burns & Gracie Allen Fellowship in Comedy.

 

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Karen Rymar

Karen Rymar

Assistant Director, Musical Theatre Conservatory

karen.rymar@ocsarts.net

Karen Rymar came to the Orange County School of the Arts with an extensive background in theatre and entertainment, both onstage and off.  As a performer, she appeared in over 60 shows. Over the years, her experience expanded to include producing, directing, business management, box office management, company management, personal assistance, and artist management/booking. Mrs. Rymar worked with such performers as Susan Egan, Georgia Stitt, Krysta Rodriquez, Alice Ripley, David Burnham, Malcolm Gets, Shirley Jones, and Paula Abdul.

Mrs. Rymar serves as producer of the Musical Theatre Conservatory’s productions, as well as overseeing the production and booking of the a cappella singing group, OCSA Unplugged. She’s directed Urinetown, Titanic, Changing Minds (West Coast Premiere), Once Upon A Mattress, Once on this Island, Honk!, Seussical, Babes in Arms, Rumors and Bigger than Life. Outside of the Musical Theatre Conservatory, she has directed for various one-act festivals, Quilters, Carousel, and Once Upon a Mattress.
 
As a guest artist liaison, she has booked various industry professionals for masterclasses, Q&A sessions, and collaborative performances with our students. She created and still produces and directs our Performing with the Pros program, which is an exciting performance series that gives students the opportunity to rehearse, collaborate, and perform side-by-side with entertainment industry professionals. Through this program, students have had the unique opportunity to share the stage with Broadway stars, such as Tony-nominated Broadway performers Susan Egan and Liz Callaway, Tony-Award winners Alice Ripley and Jason Robert Brown, as well as Eden Espinosa, Krysta Rodriguez, Danny Gurwin, Anne Runolfsson, David Burnham, Teri Bibb, Karen Culliver, and Lindsay Mendez.

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Amelia Barron

Amelia Barron

Instructor

Teaches: Production & Design Overview; Theatre Overview; Contemporary Vocal Styles

amelia.barron@ocsarts.net

Amelia Barron (‘09) has been teaching dance and musical theatre in Los Angeles and Orange counties since 2003. She is currently a faculty member at Orange County School of the Arts, South Coast Conservatory and McCoy Rigby Academy of Performing Arts. She is an alumna of the Orange County School of the Arts and California State University, Fullerton.

Since 2007, Ms. Barron has been directing, choreographing and producing shows in Orange County at Orange Coast College, Orange County School of the Arts, Huntington Central Park and Grand Central Art Center. She is a part of the Artistic Team for esteemed company, Shakespeare Orange County and helped launch Temptation!, an original musical adaptation with Peter Uribe. Ms. Barron is an accomplished vocalist and has had the privilege to study and work with some of the top names in Musical Theatre and Jazz. Some of her favorites include Marvin Hamlisch (A Chorus Line), Matthew Morrison (Glee, Light in The Piazza), Susan Egan (Beauty and the Beast, Hercules), Danny Gurwin (A New Brain, The Scarlett Pimpernel) and Jeff Hamilton (The Jeff Hamilton Trio, Clayton-Hamilton Orchestra). Ms. Barron also has been featured on a number of award-winning albums and in music videos.

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Abby Carlson

Abby Carlson

Instructor

Teaches: Vocal Repertoire and Technique III

abby.carlson@ocsarts.net

Ms. Carlson holds a Bachelor of Music in Education and Vocal Jazz Performance and a K-12 Teaching Credential from the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music at California State University, Long Beach. She’s been teaching at OCSA since 2010, and loves the wonderful, supportive, and eclectic atmosphere on campus.

She’s a Disney Cast Member through 3DT’s a capella group, WestBeat. She also plays/sings in So Rad - 90’s Cover Band, and is active in the Southern California theatre scene. Highlights include The Last 5 Years (Cathy), Parade (Ovation winner, 3DT), Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer – National Tour (Mrs. Claus/Music Supervisor), Jekyll & Hyde (Emma), A Man of No Importance (Adele), Avenue Q (Kate), and Into the Woods (Baker’s Wife). She’s had the great pleasure of touring and singing in some of the world’s finest venues, including the Hollywood Bowl, the Vatican, and Carnegie Hall.

Ms. Carlson maintains a voice & piano studio in Fullerton and at the Palos Verdes Performing Arts Conservatory. In her spare time she runs with Team World Vision and fights for social justice. She lives in Redondo Beach with her husband, composer/musician Matt and cat/child Chloe, and is blessed to perform and teach the arts for a living

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Peter Marinaro

Peter Marinaro

Instructor

Teaches: Movement; History in the Making

peter.marinaro@ocsarts.net

Peter holds a Bachelor of the Arts degree from Wagner College where he studied Musical Theatre in New York City. Upon graduating, he performed across the country in the National Tour of Oklahoma! His career has taken him all over, performing at several regional houses. Most notably, he was nominated for an AriZoni Award for his portrayal of Tulsa in Phoenix Theatre's production of Gypsy.

In Los Angeles, Peter has performed with Musical Theatre West and continues to work extensively with the Walt Disney Company at Disney's California Adventure. Projects include: Aladdin in Aladdin: A Musical Spectacular and The Red Car Trolley Newsboys. More recently, Peter has directed and choreographed for The Norris Theatre in Palos Verdes, CA and The Little Theatre on The Square in Sullivan, IL. 

Terri Treas

Terri Treas

Instructor

Teaches: Acting for the Camera

terri.treas@ocsarts.net

Terri has one of the most well rounded careers of anyone teaching in Hollywood today.  From Broadway musicals to starring in television series and films to moving behind the camera as a writer/producer for hour television dramas to directing short films and web series, Terri has learned the skills necessary to be successful in each medium. Teaching has always been a passion for Terri.  Even while she was a working actress in film and TV, she taught for Jeff Corey, one of the most respected acting teachers in Hollywood. 

Born in Kansas City, Kansas, Terri started her show biz career at 15 years old as a scholarship student at the Joffrey Ballet.  She appeared on Broadway in eight shows including “Pippin,” “Working,” “My Fair Lady” and “Dancin.’” The movie “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas” brought Terri to Los Angeles. She went on to star as the sexy alien love interest Cathy Frankel in the FOX hit television series “Alien Nation.”  The series was so loved by its fans that FOX make five “Alien Nation” movies of the week for the network. Her television credits include series regular roles in "DEA," "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers,” and "Santa Barbara," and many guest starring roles.   Some her feature films credits are "The Fabulous Baker Boys," "House 4," "The Nest," "Little Miss Millions," and "All That Jazz."

 

Always in search of more creative challenges she turned her attention to writing and moved behind the camera as a writer producer for hour television dramas.  She wrote and produced for “Silk Stalkings,” “Nash Bridges,” “Pacific Blue” and for “Felicity” and creator J.J. Abrams of  “Star Trek” & “Star Wars The Force Awakens” fame.

Terri has also taught at the Masters Writing Program at USC and directed their One Act Play Showcase.  Ms. Treas has been a lead teacher at The Playground, an on-camera conservatory for kids and teens, where she has taught the advanced and Professional Programs.  One of the graduation films from her Professional Programs, which Terri co-wrote and co-directed with Danielle Vernengo, was a finalist at the Broad Humor Film Festival. She has directed 6 short films for the Playground Professional Program. She has appeared on “Oprah,” “Good Morning America” and been interviewed by all of the major newspapers in the country.

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Erin Bartosch

Erin Bartosch

Instructor

Teaches: Vocal Repertoire and Technique III

erin.bartosch@ocsarts.net

Ms. Bartosch holds a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance and a Master of Music in Musicology from the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music at California State University, Long Beach. She is currently pursuing a Ph. D. in Ethnomusicology from the University of California, Riverside. She has presented her research at Musicology conferences across the United States and in Italy. Her true true passion is teaching voice and performance, and she has a private voice studio of high school and pre-professional students throughout Orange County. She has also served as a lecturer at the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music in the Musicology department. She studies voice with Timothy MacDougall, and has studied classical voice with Shigemi Matsumoto.

 

In addition to her teaching career, Ms. Bartosch has performed professionally with top musical theater and choral groups. She has sung as a soprano soloist throughout the United States and Europe, and can also be heard as a cantor and event soloist for the Catholic Diosece of Orange County. Most recent stage credits include Hunchback of Notre Dame (Esmeralda), The Great American Trailer Park Musical (Pippi), and Nunsense (Sister Amnesia). Other favorite roles include Carousel (Julie Jordan), Steel Magnolias (Annelle), Evita (The Mistress), La Clemenza di Tito (Vitellia), Candide (Cunegonde), Cosi fan tutte (Despina), The Mystery of Edwin Drood (Rosa Bud), and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (Milly).

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Trisha Rapier

Trisha Rapier

Instructor

Teaches: Business of the Biz; History in the Making

trisha.rapier@ocsarts.net

Trisha Rapier is thrilled to join the teaching staff of the Orange County School of the Arts.  Trisha recently relocated to Southern California from New York City where she worked as a professional actress, singer and dancer for nearly 20 years.  She appeared on Broadway acting opposite Hugh Jackman in The Boy From Oz (Liza Minnelli u/s and performed) and was the understudy for Victoria Clark and Carolee Carmello in Sister Act (Mary Martin of Tours, and Mother Superior u/s and performed.) She toured the nation in The Who’s Tommy (Mrs. Walker u/s and performed) and continues to tour perform with the Off-Broadway hit Forbidden Broadway where she impersonates Broadway Stars such as Barbra Streisand, Julie Andrews, Idina Menzel, Carol Channing, and Lin-Manuel Miranda. Some of her notable Off-Broadway credits are Forbidden Broadway, NEWSical, Her Song at Birdland, Shout! The Mod Musical, Nerds:// A Musical Software Satire (Myrtle), and Golf: The Musical.  Trisha has starred in numerous regional theater productions that include Diana Goodman in Next to Normal, Rose Stopnick in Caroline, or Change, Vicki Nichols in The Full Monty, Eva in Evita ,  Sally Bowles in Cabaret, Ellen in Miss Saigon,  Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors, Adelaide in Guys and Dolls , and Agnes in Agnes of God.  She can be seen on Cartoon Network’s Delocated

Trisha is a UCLA graduate and the recipient of the Carol Burnett Award and the Spotlight Award of the Los Angeles Music Center. Trisha began coaching young actors on their Broadway auditions several years ago through Broadway Kids Auditions in NYC. She has also taught Master Classes in Audition Technique for graduate students at UCI’s Claire Trevor School of the Arts. Trisha looks forward to bringing her experience and passion for teaching to the Musical Theater Conservatory students at the Orange County School of the Arts.

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B.J. Dodge

B.J. Dodge

Instructor

Teaches: Theatre in Action

Ms. Dodge is a teaching artist who works primarily as a coordinator and lead instructor for California Institute of the Arts’ Community Arts Partnership, where she has been in residence at Plaza de la Raza, and has overseen the work of CAP’s Youth Theater Workshop for 26 years. CAP creates an original play with a playwright, and the youth ensemble, over the course of 4 months, in the Fall and Winter, and produces a play in the Spring.

In addition, she works with California State Summer School for the Arts, as a acting, movement, and mask instructor since 1989, and has been the chair of the theater area since 2011. She works with Shakespeare Center Los Angeles as a teaching artist, in collaboration with East Los Angeles Performing Arts Academy, a small learning community which is part of Esteban Torres High School. This collaboration is part of a partnership with the Huntington Library and Gardens. She has been on the faculty of CalArts since 1984, and has also served as an adjunct, on the faculties of USC, California State University at Long Beach, and as part of the Education Program at the Center Theatre Group.

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Anne Dugaw

Anne Dugaw

Instructor

Teaches: Introduction to Operetta, Musical Theatre History, Musical Theatre Voice Technique I

anne.dugaw@ocsarts.net

Anne Dugaw has been with OCSA in the Music and Theatre department since 1996.  Ms. Dugaw has training and experience in a variety of musical styles. She studied at the Wesley Balk Opera/Music Theatre Institute of Minnesota Opera, received her Master’s degree on scholarship and with honors in vocal performance from California State University and a Bachelor’s degree on scholarship in vocal performance, graduating summa cum laude from Arizona State University.  In addition, she is certified in commercial vocal techniques through the Voiceworks® program in Los Angeles.  She has taught at the University of California, Irvine, Cypress College, Santa Ana College and Coastline College.

Her singing experience has included classical and musical theatre performances as well as jazz and commercial music styles.  She has appeared in principle and supporting roles with San Diego Opero, Opera Pacific, Long Beach Opera and Guild Opera.  Other performances have included choral works, cabaret performances and a jazz trio. She is a member of the Music Teacher’s Association of California and the National Association of Teachers of Singing and is a certified Voiceworks® teacher. Ms. Dugaw has voice students at OCSA in the Music and Theatre, Classical Voice, Integrated and Commerical Music Conservatories.  In addition to her work at OCSA, she maintains a private piano and voice studio in Costa Mesa where she teaches students age five to seventy-five in varied styles ranging from pop, rock, R&B and jazz to musical theatre and classical.

 

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Amy Harwell

Amy Harwell

Instructor

Teaches: Introduction to Music Theory, Musical Theatre Audition, Musical Theatre Studio, Musical Theatre Voice IV

amy.harwell@ocsarts.net

Amy Harwell holds a Bachelor of Music in Musical Studies from the University of Redlands and a Master of Arts in Vocal Performance from New York University, so she is knowledgeable about what it takes to be a performer on either coast. She has appeared throughout the country in musicals, operas, and concert performances. She has made it her mission to perfect the art of training singers and has built a busy and successful studio of voice students, preparing them for a professional career in the arts.

Casey Garritano

Casey Garritano

Instructor

Teaches: Stage Combat

casey.garritano@ocsarts.net

Casey Garritano graduated from University of California, Los Angeles with a bachelor’s degree in musical theater. His directing and choreographing credits include The Producers (Tibbies Center Stage - Fontana), Oklahoma (DCLO), Tintypes (DCLO), Barely a Bear, written by Paul Jury (Santa Monica Playhouse), Alice in Concert (Redondo Beach Playhouse).

Mr. Garritano’s performance credits include: Will Parker in Oklahoma! (Welk Resort Theater, Performance Riverside, DCLO), Cosmo in Singin’ in The Rain (Candlelight Pavilion, Performance Riverside), Tommy Djilas in The Music Man (Merry-Go-Round Playhouse, NY), Sam in Crazy For You (Musical Theater West), Benny in Guys and Dolls (Performance Riverside), Gus in Babes in Arms (SCLO), The Drowsy Chaperone (3D Theatricals), Annie Get Your Gun (CLOSBC), On Your Toes (Reprise! Broadways Best), 42nd Street (FCLO), Pajama Game (Musical Theater West), and as a dancer for The Los Angeles Opera’s Idomeneo.

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Donald Amerson

Donald Amerson

Instructor

Teaches: Mask

donald.amerson@ocsarts.net

Mr. Amerson has an MFA in Drama and Theatre for Young Audiences from Eastern Michigan University and a MPP in non-profit management from the University of Michigan. He has acted in both New York City and Los Angeles favoring original works. In addition to teaching at OCSA, Mr. Amerson serves as the Director of the International Thespian Honor Society and the Coordinator for CSArts Academy Summer theatre classes. He has directed a wide variety of plays from the Lion King Jr. to his adaptation of Ibsen's An Enemy of the People which was performed in London.

Gemma Hebson

Gemma Hebson

Instructor

Teaches: Acting Technique I; History in the Making; MT Studio

gemma.hebson@ocsarts.net

Gemma Hebson has been teaching Acting and Musical Theatre at OCSA since 2002. She earned her Bachelor's degree in Theatre Arts from California State University, Fullerton and is a third generation drama teacher. OCSA choreography credits include Seussical the Musical, Guys and Dolls, Cinderella, Babes In Arms, Little Women, Chess, Once On This Island, Broadway’s New Millennium, All Shook Up (2011 JRAY Award for Choreography), and The Wiz.

She has coordinated the acting and singing classes for nationally recognized community outreach program, Camp OCSA. She has performed, directed and choreographed at many theatres and schools throughout Southern California including South Coast Conservatory, Saddleback College and Civic Light Opera, Pacific Symphony’s Arts-x-press and OCSA’s elective dance department and summer program, Best of Broadway. Ms. Hebson also serves as member of Dance Discovery Foundation, a non-profit organization supporting the performing arts.

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Callie Prendiville Johnson

Callie Prendiville Johnson

Instructor

Teaches: Acting Technique II

callie.johnson@ocsarts.net

Callie Prendiville Johnson earned a bachelor’s degree in theatre arts from the University of San Diego, as well as an MFA in acting in theatre, television, and film from California State University, Los Angeles. She also attended conservatory intensives at South Coast Repertory, American Conservatory Theater (San Francisco), Queen Mary College (London), and Upright Citizen's Brigade. Mrs. Prendiville Johnson also teaches at the University of San Diego, Concordia University Irvine and the La Habra High School Theater Guild. She is the Associate Artistic Director of MOXIE Theatre in San Diego. 

Her professional acting credits include: The Car Plays, The Car Plays Interchange (La Jolla Playhouse), Tartuffe, u/s Pride and Prejudice (South Coast Repertory), The Odd Couple (North Coast Repertory), Lucia di Lammermoor (LA Opera), To Kill a Mockingbird (Long Beach Playhouse), The Crucible (MOXIE), Pirates of Penzance (Lyric Opera San Diego), and Blamed: An Established Fiction, which she also wrote and directed. Blamed has been performed in San Diego, Tijuana, Hollywood, and will have a brief Off-Broadway run in September 2017.

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Kenneth Johnson

Kenneth Johnson

Instructor

Teaches: Music Theory; Score Study; Director, UNPLUGGED

ken.johnson@ocsarts.net

Ken Johnson holds a master’s degree and worked as a music director for churches and musical theaters, prior to teaching at OCSA in 2001. Mr. Johnson has served as a festival clinician, choral and vocal coach. Mr. Johnson has also taught choir, vocal jazz, music theory, musicianship at university. Currently, he plays in a jazz band and teaches piano. He conducted choirs and taught many courses, including music theory, musicianship, songwriting, and voice.

Cynthia Karim

Cynthia Karim

Instructor

Teaches: Stage Makeup

cynthia.karim@ocsarts.net

Cynthia Karim has worked as a professional makeup artist and licensed Aesthetician since 1975. She began her tenure at the OCSA 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.

Ron Kobayashi

Ron Kobayashi

Instructor

Teaches: Beginning Keyboard

ron.kobayashi@ocsarts.net

Ron Kobayashi is a graduate of California State University, Fullerton and has taught since the 1980s both privately and in the classroom. Mr. Kobayashi was recognized as a Role Model and Inspiration for Asians in the Field of Music by the Orange County Asian Business Association in 2005.

As a pianist and composer, Mr. Kobayashi has performed and recorded in a variety of musical settings. He has performed with Mel Torme, Peter Frampton, Margaret Whiting, Tom Scott, Kenny Burrell, Peter White, Jerry Van Dyke, comedian Bob Saget, and Paula Kelly Jr., as well as the Modernaires. Additionally, Ron and his band have shared the stage with David Sanborn, the rock group Berlin, Eddie Palmieri, David Benoit, Cirque Du Soleil, and The Fabulous Thunderbirds.

Mr. Kobayashi’s jazz trio has recorded five CDs and one DVD to date, receiving airplay around the world. In 1992, he performed for President Bill Clinton. Additionally, in 1996 his jazz trio was awarded Outstanding Jazz Group in Orange County by the Orange County Weekly. And in 2012, they were nominated for Best Jazz by the Orange County Music Awards. Over the past 30 years, Mr. Kobayashi's television appearances have included: featured performer on The Johnny Yune Television Show, the Jerry Lewis Telethon, and several appearances on the TVONE series Life After. For five years, he served as Music Director for the Annual Hollywood Diversity Awards, where stars, including Chris Rock, Rosario Dawson, and George Lopez were honored. Several cuts from his Trio’s discs were used in the Gary Busey movie, Sam and Janet.

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Charna Lopez

Charna Lopez

Instructor

Teaches: Vocal Repertoire and Technique II

charna.lopez@ocsarts.net

Charna Lopez currently teaches at OCSA in the Integrated Arts and Musical Theater Conservatories.  She is also the Artistic Director at Yorba Linda Spotlight Theater Co.  Some of Charna’s favorite directorial/choreography projects are; “Once Upon a Mattress”, “School of Rock”, “Footloose”, “Legally Blonde”, “Once on This Island”, “How to Succeed…”, “Barnum”, “Little Shop of Horrors”, “Children of Eden”, “You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown”, “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee”, “Bye Bye Birdie”, “42nd Street”, “Annie” and “Honk!” She received her BFA in Film and TV from Chapman University with an emphasis in Broadcast Journalism and holds her Master’s degree in Cross-Cultural Education.  Charna recently won The Spirit of the Macy Award for Best Choreography for the production of Footloose at OCSA.  .

Charna has a passion for the arts and a genuine love of teaching.  She enjoys helping students along their journey while celebrating their strengths and improving weaknesses.  In the classroom, Mrs. Lopez focuses on respect among peers, supporting one another and working together to create a safe place to learn and grow.  By offering a challenging curriculum and expecting quality work, Charna hopes to instill self-discipline in her students and turn them into life-long learners while advancing them in their artistic abilities. 

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Lupe McDonald

Lupe McDonald

Instructor

Teaches: Acting Fundamentals I

lupe.mcdonald@ocsarts.net

Lupe McDonald began working at OCSA in 2015, beginning with choreographing the show, A New Brain, and then moving into teaching the Acting Fundamentals Class for MT Middle School in the Fall of 2015. Last year she also was given the opportunity to direct and choreograph the Holidaze Show. She appreciates the enthusiasm, willingness, kindness, and of course the talent these fabulous OCSA kids have!

 

 

She began seriously studying acting in her teens at ACT’s Young Conservatory, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, and the Ensemble Theater Co. at Tam High. During these early years she also began working professionally in commercials. She then earned her BFA in Theater from California Institute of the Arts. After graduating she went to work in Los Angeles, doing more commercials, Television, Theater, and even a fun stint in a Billy Joel music video. Eventually she decided to take a hiatus from the business, move to the mountains of Lake Arrowhead and raise a family with her  husband, actor Christopher McDonald.

While in Lake Arrowhead she was able to keep busy, (besides raising their 4 kids), by running a school wide art program at Lake Arrowhead Elementary and co- directing and choreographing their show choir. For three years she taught Jazz, Tap, and Musical Theater classes at Lake Arrowhead School of Dance. She also was able to choreograph and co-direct many shows for Rim of the World High School. In 2012 she moved with her family off the mountain to reside primarily in OC. Since then she has begun to pursue her acting career again, signing with a new agency, and working professionally once more.  She is looking forward to the joys and challenges that this new school year will bring!

 

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Christopher W. Smith

Christopher W. Smith

Instructor

christopher.smith@ocsarts.net

   information coming soon

Sarah McGuire

Sarah McGuire

Instructor

Teaches: Acting Technique III and History in the Making

sarah.mcguire@ocsarts.net

Information coming soon. 

Miguel Torres

Miguel Torres

Instructor

Teaches: Acting Fundamentals I and II

Information coming soon. 

Jessica Lee Patty

Jessica Lee Patty

Instructor

Teaches: Mind/Body/Voice

Information coming soon. 

Advisory Board

Danny Gurwin

Danny Gurwin

Assistant Professor

School of Theatre, Film and Television

University of Arizona

Danny Gurwin is currently the head of musical theatre at the University of Arizona, Tucson. He is a MAC and Arty-Award winning director, as well as a Broadway World, Eddon, and Barrymore award-winning actor and singer. He holds a BFA in musical theatre from the University of Michigan; his Broadway credits include The Scarlet Pimpernel, The Full Monty, Urinetown, Little Women, Kismet, A Little Night Music, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Off-Broadway, he starred in Forbidden B’way, The Thing About Men, Kuni-Leml, R & J, and many, many others, as well as numerous television and regional shows, concert work, and cast recordings.

As a renowned director, teacher, and guest artist, Mr. Gurwin has coordinated and taught at University of Michigan, University of California, Los Angeles, Western Michigan University, Youngstown University, Clark College, American Musical and Dance Academy – Los Angeles, Las Vegas School of the Arts, Professional School for the Arts, Showchoir Camps of America, Making It On Broadway Intensives, and the Segerstrom Center for the Performing Arts. 

“OCSA is graduating some of the country’s finest, upcoming students in Musical Theatre.  Any college or university is lucky to have them joining their ranks!”

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Dr. Ivan Fuller

Dr. Ivan Fuller

Professor of Theatre

Chair, Theatre & Dance Department; Associate Dean, School of Fine and Performing Arts

Rider University

Dr. Ivan Fuller serves Rider University’s Westminster College of the Arts as a professor of theatre, chair of the Theatre and Dance Department, and associate dean of the School of Fine & Performing Arts. He teaches courses in Theatre History, Script Analysis, and Dramatic Literature.

Prior to coming to Rider University, Dr. Fuller was a professor of theatre at Augustana College in Sioux Falls, South Dakota over twenty years, where he served as chair of the Performing & Visual Arts Department. He was the founder and artistic director of the Bare Bodkins Theatre Company, which produced summer performances of Shakespeare in Sioux Falls. In addition to his work as a director, actor, theatre educator, and poet, he is a playwright. Dr. Fuller received his undergraduate degree in theatre from Butler University and his master’s and doctorate from Bowling Green State University.

 

"OSCA's commitment to creating the best possible training program for musical theatre is very impressive. They not only studied what higher education institutions require of their students, they sent team members to my school to observe first-hand. This is compelling evidence of how seriously OSCA cares about developing a program of study that will best prepare their students for the next level of education on their way to becoming exceptional artists."

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JV Mercanti

JV Mercanti

Head of Acting for the Musical Theatre Program

Pace University School of the Arts

JV Mercanti most recently directed the critically-acclaimed premier of Songbird at the 59E59 Theater, as well as the premier of World Famous at Theater for a New City. He is currently the head of acting for the Musical Theater program at Pace University’s School of the Arts, and previously, he spent two years teaching Acting and Directing at the University of Miami. He served as the casting and associate director on the recent Broadway revival of Romeo & Juliet with Orlando Bloom. He cast the Kevin Kline revival of Cyrano de Bergerac, co-starring Jennifer Garner. He also spent many years as a casting associate for Roundabout Theatre Company, working on numerous Broadway, off-Broadway, and West End productions.

He has many regional and university credits, including: Floyd Collins, Odile’s Ordeal, Icarus, and The True History of the Tragic Life and Triumphant Death of Julia Pastrana, the Ugliest Woman in the World, a play that took place almost entirely in the dark. Mr. Mercanti holds an MFA from Rutgers University and a bachelor’s degree New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Studies. He is the author of the monologue book series In Performance, which is published by Applause Books. www.jvmercanti.com

"In my time at Pace I've been fortunate enough to audition, teach, and conduct Master Classes with OCSA students. They are receiving some of the best theatrical training, not just in the Los Angeles area, but in the country. The faculty and the facilities are unparalleled. I hope that we at Pace continue this long-term collaboration.”

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