Faculty & Staff

Kelly Marie Pate

Kelly Marie Pate

Director, Production & Design Conservatory

kelly.pate@ocsarts.net

Ms. Kelly Marie Pate comes to OCSA after spending nearly 20 years as a stage manager working in professional theatre. Her career includes touring on the first national tours of Cameron Mackintosh’s Oliver, the 25th Anniversary Tour of Annie, Cameron Mackintosh’s My Fair Lady, RENT: The Broadway Tour, Lincoln Center’s South Pacific, and Dreamwork Theatrical’s production of Shrek, the Musical. Ms. Pate also served as stage manager on Cirque du Soleil’s resident production of IRIS: a Journey Through the World of Cinema, at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. Locally, she has stage managed over 20 productions at Musical Theatre West in Long Beach. Passionate about hands-on education, she implemented the first stage management program at California School of the Arts – San Gabriel Valley in Duarte and built a K-grade 3 music and theatre program for younger students in Glendale, California. Ms. Pate holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in musical theatre from East Carolina University and a Master of Fine Arts in theatre education from the University of Mississippi for Women.

Victoria Hoyt-Heydon

Victoria Hoyt-Heydon

Assistant Director, Production & Design Conservatory

Teaches: 7th Grade Intro to P&D

victoria.hoyt-heydon@ocsarts.net

Ms. Victoria Hoyt-Heydon is a graduate of USC’s Thornton School of Music and OCSA’s Production & Design program. Ms. Hoyt-Heydon has worked for Live Nation, Sennheiser, and Sumerian Records. She has designed sound for USC theatrical productions such as Crimes of the Heart and Taming of the Shrew, been A1 for Fullerton College’s productions of American Idiot, Parade and Twelfth Night, and was resident A2 for all Musical Theater West shows at the Carpenter Performing Arts Center, including Nice Work if You Can Get It, White Christmas, and In the Heights. She has worked tech crew for Bigger Hammer, been a Production Runner for The Mill, and was Assistant to the Costume Designer for Atelier Mela (including 3D Theatrical’s Beauty and the Beast). She was also a freelance entertainment technician for Southern California. She is excited to “come back to her roots” and have the opportunity to give back to the school that started her in her profe­ssional journey.

Jeremy Sewell

Jeremy Sewell

Technical Theater Operations Technician

jeremy.sewell@ocsarts.net

Mr. Jeremy Sewell is a 20-year veteran of the entertainment industry. Mr. Sewell began his career working for his high school as an audio engineer and flyman for outside productions. Looking to expand his knowledge, he applied and was accepted to an internship program with the California Center for the Arts, Escondido. After completing his two year internship, Mr. Sewell was offered a house position as a Union Audio Engineer. Mr. Sewell served in the audio department for three years before being promoted to Technical Coordinator, managing The Center Theater and Technical Theater Internship Program. During his two year stint working with interns, Mr. Sewell caught the teaching bug and decided to shift into public education. He served for seven years at Canyon Crest Academy and a year and a half at Oceanside High School as a Technical Director running the school’s performing arts centers, and teaching live production. In 2019, Mr. Sewell once again wanted to expand his knowledge so he left education and went into the private sector. During this time, he served as a project manager, technical director, lighting programmer, Video Technician, and Audio Engineer.

Gina Cowley

Gina Cowley

Instructor

Teaches: Co-Lab, Pattern Making, Costume Design, Theater Crafts, Intro to Stage Technology I

virginia.cowley@ocsarts.net

Ms. Virginia "Gina" Cowley is an accomplished costume designer and seamstress, with over 20 years of experience designing and creating costumes for dance, skating competitions, and theatrical performances in Southern California.

Ms. Cowley is passionate about her work and has had the opportunity to costume a wide-variety of different shows and performances, from classical ballet and traditional Irish dance to well-known musicals and modern interpretations of popular plays and operas to haunted movie palaces.

She is experienced in advanced costume crafts, including millinery, rhinestone application, dying and distressing as well as working with stretch fabrics and complex construction techniques. She earned her bachelor’s degree at the University of California, Irvine and attended Fullerton College, where she earned certificates in Fashion Design and Costume Design.

She currently serves on the board of directors for Costumer’s Guild West and regularly teaches classes and workshops on different costuming techniques.

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Cat Elrod

Cat Elrod

Instructor

Teaches: Makeup Fundamentals, Intermediate Makeup, Advanced Makeup

catherine.elrod@ocsarts.net

Ms. Cat Elrod is a Special FX Makeup Artist from Long Beach, CA, specializing in Beauty, Glamour and Prosthetic Makeup. She is a personal Makeup Artist to legendary musician "Uncle" CHARLIE WILSON. When not making movies, she designs costumes and directs shows for The Garage Theatre in downtown Long Beach, for which she is a Board & Company Member.  She is also Department Head Makeup & Costume for the live show Delusion: Haunted Play, a one-of-a-kind immersive theatre experience in Los Angeles. She is lucky to share her wealth of skills and experience with students at the Orange County School of the Arts teaching the Fundamental, Intermediate and Advanced Makeup.

Kim Jones

Kim Jones

Instructor

Teaches: Costume Fundamentals, Intermediate Costumes, Advanced Costumes

kim.jones@ocsarts.net

Ms. Kim Jones began her costuming career as the supervisor for Long Beach Civic Light Opera working with such celebrities as Carol Burnett, George Burns, Sammy Davis Jr., and Dom Deluise. She went on to do commercials, corporate shows, the Opening Ceremonies of the Special Olympics in Alaska and three Super Bowl Halftime shows staring Prince, Diana Ross, Smokey Robinson and Queen Latifah. She currently works at the Honda Center on shows starring Pink, Ariana Grande, Ricky Martin, Enrique Iglesias, and Disney on Ice. She teaches the Beginning, Intermediate and Advanced Costume Design classes, as well as two Fashion Elective classes. Her greatest joy is applauding the successes of her students.

Amanda Linhardt

Amanda Linhardt

Instructor

Teaches: Drawing for Design A, Drawing for Design B, Scenic Painting, Adv Scenic Design

amanda.linhardt@ocsarts.net

Ms. Amanda Linhardt is a graduate of Concordia University Irvine earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts in technical theater with a focus in production and design and a graduate of California Institute of the Arts (CalARTS) receiving a Master of Fine Arts in theatre. She has designed, built, and painted various productions from the high school to college level.

Crystal Shomph

Crystal Shomph

Instructor

Teaches: Lighting Fundamentals, Intermediate Lighting, Advanced Lighting

crystal.shomph@ocsarts.net

Ms. Crystal Shomph is a graduate of University of California, Irvine, receiving a Bachelor of Arts with an emphasis in drama, and a Master of Education degree from Hope International University. She began her theater career back in high school working and performing on stage. Ms. Shomph began her lighting career in 1996 working on student projects at Cypress College and has been designing lighting for various community colleges, local theater, and other groups for more than 20 years.

Ms. Shomph previously served as adjunct faculty at Cypress College and is currently at Irvine Valley College, having taught various introduction to theater classes. She had her first regional show at International City Theatre, previously worked as lighting designer for Golden West College, and is also an active volunteer as a lighting consultant for a local community theater group.

Arlene Somers

Arlene Somers

Staff Assistant

arlene.somers@ocsarts.net

Mrs. Arlene Somers received a Bachelor of Arts in Fine Art from Chapman University. She previously worked as an artist and designer in the video game industry, working for a couple of well-known companies on what are now classic games. She currently freelances in graphics and administrative assisting, as well as being an entrepreneur.

Mrs. Somers became involved with the Production & Design Conservatory when her daughter Claire became a student in 2011. First serving as a parent volunteer, she quickly transitioned into a lead Parent Rep and assisted in developing the P&D PAC. Though Claire has long since graduated, Mrs. Somers continues to assist Mr. Cook and Miss V in the communications to parents, creates the Conservatory newsletters, designs and maintains the Production & Design Arts Announcements webpage on the school website and the P&D website at pdocsashowcase.com, as well as curates P&D student works displays in Symphony Hall and the Webb Theatre.

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Ashley Strain

Ashley Strain

Instructor

Teaches: Advanced Stagecraft and Scenic Design

ashley.strain@ocsarts.net

Ms. Ashley M. Strain is very excited to be a part of this wonderful educational opportunity for young artists. Born and raised in California, she attended Eastern Sierra Academy, California State University, Stanislaus where she earned a bachelor’s degree in theatre arts, and California State University, Fullerton where she earned her Master of Fine Arts degree in theatre arts. She has been fortunate enough to travel around the country seeing new places, meeting new people, and doing what she loves. Ms. Strain’s scenic design credits include Picasso at the Lapin Agile (CSUS), Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (Bigfork Summer Playhouse), Anne Frank and Me (Lexington Children's Theatre), Always... Patsy Cline (Allenberry Playhouse) and many more. Every day is a new adventure, and she wouldn't be able to do it without the continuous love and support from her family, friends!

Cynthia Wilson

Cynthia Wilson

Instructor

Teaches: PD Theatre A, Intro to Stagecraft Technology II

cynthia.wilson@ocsarts.net

Ms. Cynthia Wilson is a graduate of Chapman University, receiving a Bachelor of Arts in communications, with an emphasis in theatre. Ms. Wilson enjoys teaching, directing, designing, and performing. During the past nine years as a member of OCSA’s Production and Design Conservatory, she has been teaching the 8th grade Intro to Stagecraft Technology II, as well as instructing the 7th grade Theatre A class.

Ms. Wilson is also a Head Director, Makeup Designer and Costumer, collaborating on three musicals a year for TMR, in which she has been a part of for 27 years. Some of Ms. Wilson’s other notable teaching positions have been 20 years as Theatrical Makeup instructor for Chapman University, 19 years as Theatre teacher for Fullerton School District’s All The Arts For All The Kids program, and Theatre instructor for Cal State Fullerton Children’s Summer Arts Camp. Ms. Wilson had the opportunity to work as a performer and/or designer for Disneyland, Knott’s Berry Farm, Curtain Call Dinner Theatre, 3D Theatricals, Reel to Reel Productions, Chapman University, and a variety of other community theaters throughout the area. Ms. Wilson finds much enjoyment working with student and sharing her love of the arts.

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David Zahacewski

David Zahacewski

Instructor

Teaches: Intro to Props, Scenic Design

david.zahacewski@ocsarts.net

David Zahacewski, a Connecticut native, moved to Southern California in 2017 to receive his MFA in Lighting Design from CSU Long Beach. After receiving his MFA in 2020 he opened his own entertainment design business (Cewski Designs, LLC). He has been working in the Los Angeles Theatrical, Opera, Dance, Film, and Concert industry for the past 5 years. Mr. Zahacewski is the resident designer for Jaxx Theatricals, San Pedro City Ballet, Golden State Pop Orchestra, Bob Cole Conservatory of Music, House of Bards, and Cray Project. Mr. Zahacewski is elated to join OCSA’s team of fantastic faculty and staff and looks forward to spreading and receiving as much knowledge as he possibly can. He teaches the P&D Intro to Props and Scenic Design classes.  

Advisory Board

Greg Christy

Greg Christy

Co-Founder and Owner

Brite Ideas, Inc.

Greg Christy is a 1984 graduate of the California State University, Fullerton, with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Theatrical Lighting Design and a Minor in Sound Design techniques.

In 1987, Greg garnered the first of many accolades from Special Events magazine as the Gala Award winner of “Most Imaginative Use of Lighting.” His innovative design for illumination of 70,000 square feet of tented party space, hosting the Inaugural Opening of the Orange County Performing Arts Center, landed him in the forefront of the Southern California special events market place.

Greg has achieved an unsurpassed reputation in this field, as the creator of dynamic solutions for corporate meeting planners, theatrical performance producers, and live television broadcast coordinators, on an international scale. Event Solutions magazine recognized Greg in ‘03 and ‘04 for lighting design, stage design, and technical direction endeavors. In 2005, SRO magazine named him one of the TOP 50 Technical Directors in the US. High praise continued with the nomination for the Technical Director of the Year and the 2006 award for Technical Supplier of the Year from Event Solutions Magazine, as well as, the prestigious VISION & VISIONARIES award for his career achievements in business and his philanthropic endeavors to the community from California State University, Fullerton. Coming full circle, in 2007 Greg received his third Special Events Magazine Gala award for the opening of the concert hall at the Orange County Performing Arts Center. Once again, Greg broke new ground by illuminating the tent strictly with video content delivered through several types of LED fixtures. In 2008, Special Event Magazine awarded Greg with Best Achievement in Technical Support for the opening of the Broad gallery at the LA County Museum of Art. This event included flying stages with live performers, 70,000lbs of chandeliers flying over the guests' heads, and one of the largest Kabuki drops ever attempted.

Greg’s lighting design credits are all encompassing including: Republican National Convention, Media Press appearances for Bush, Reagan, and Dole, NFL Super Bowls for over ten years, broadcast lighting for the dedication ceremony of the Nixon Presidential Library, and the televised State Funeral; numerous charitable events including: Fire & Ice Ball, Hollywood Alzheimer Benefit, Louis Vuitton’s United Cancer Fund. Movie / Theatre premiers: Mama Mia, Rent, Aida, Austin Powers, Lord of the Rings. Corporate Events: Grand Opening of the Venetian Resort - Las Vegas, Cisco, Sun Microsystems, WAMU, Kawasaki.

Internationally, he has successfully coordinated technical productions for Option One and ING Corporation in Canada; Thermo King in Cabo San Lucas; ASTA in Glasgow, Scotland; American Express in Cancun; Jumex in Mexico City, and Media Asia in Cannes, France. Personally served as TD for name acts: Maroon 5, Goo Goo Dolls, Black Eyed Peas, Santana, Jay Leno, Michael Bolton, Bonnie Raitt, Tony Bennett, Don Henley, Earth, Wind, and Fire, Kenny Loggins and Sir Elton John.

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Susan Hallman

Susan Hallman

Retired Chairperson

Theater Department

California State University, Fullerton

Information coming soon.

John Oliphant

John Oliphant

Head Carpenter and Technical Director

Segerstrom Center for the Arts

Information coming soon.