Classes

Theatre Classes and Camps - New Conservatory Theatre Center - Theatre Education - San Francisco v ---
teaching artists

Our professional Teaching Artists are just that—artists who teach. We look for educators and actors who love to work with children, hold college or conservatory degrees in Theatre or Education and have experience in the classroom. NCTC offers ongoing teacher development workshops to make sure our Teaching Artists have the skills they need to bring out the very best in their students.

 

We focus on the process of theatre training rather than the product. And although we work hard to create a cohesive performance piece by the end of class, the journey and skills learned on the way are really what matters most. Our concentration is on the “whole kid” and helping them develop life skills that guide them in and out of the theatre world.  Ensemble-based work is at the heart of our training at NCTC.

 

Interested in joining our teaching team?

 

Please submit a cover letter stating your teaching philosophy and a resume reflecting experience working with youth and/or a professional theatre resume & headshot to Stephanie Temple, Conservatory Director, at stephanie@nctcsf.org.


Stephanie Temple, Conservatory Director

Stephanie Temple (Conservatory Director)

Stephanie Temple, a Central California native, has been at NCTC since 2002, working as an teacher, director and Children’s Playwright-in-Residence. Ms. Temple specializes in curriculum development and creating devised works, and she enjoys mentoring both students and teaching artists. With a Master's in Drama from SFSU and a B.A. from the University of Southern California’s School of Theatre, Ms. Temple is also an actor, puppeteer (most recently seen as Kate Monster in NCTC’s Avenue Q,) and a director/choreographer. Over the past twenty years, she has taught acting, improvisation, dance and musical theatre at NCTC, SFSU, CSU Stanislaus, Merced College, PCPA Theatrefest and currently runs the drama program at Live Oak School in Potrero Hill. As director of the Family Matinee program, Ms. Temple has adapted and developed original plays such as Goldi Locks and the Three Aliens, Sock Puppet Jamboree, Bollywood Sleeping Beauty, The Odyssey, and Rock ‘n Roll Cinderella.


Kathleen Lee, Conservatory Programs Manager

Kathleen Lee (Conservatory Programs Manager)

Kathleen is first and foremost a teaching artist with a passion to foster cross-cultural understanding and collaboration by demonstrating shared values and aspirations through dramatic art. Kathleen hopes to break down barriers and build bridges between different communities through the art she creates with her students. She’s lead workshops in cities near and far including New York City, Miami Florida, Mexico City, Stockholm Sweden and most recently Havana Cuba. Through her work teaching around the world, she’s uncovered a love of travel and teaching and believes being a global citizen promotes a greater appreciation of our similarities and differences. Kathleen’s a San Francisco transplant from Santa Monica California with degrees in drama and education from San Francisco State University. A techie turned teacher Kathleen has experience in stage management, producing, creative writing, and directing. Here at New Conservatory Theatre Center, Kathleen hopes to further develop new practices that build a compassionate theatre community, while inspiring new artist and challenging social norms!


Stephen McFarland, Conservatory Programs Advisor

Stephen McFarland (Conservatory Programs Advisor)

Stephen McFarland grew up in Northeastern Pennsylvania and did his first show at the age of 5. Theater has been a part of his life ever since. Upon graduating with a BA in Theater from Marywood University Stephen toured the United States with Missoula Children's Theater and American Family Theater before moving to NYC. While in NYC Stephen worked as an actor, director, choreographer, dance teacher and yoga instructor. He was also fortunate enough to work at the  Lincoln Center Theater where he got to work on Broadway shows such as The Light in the Piazza, South Pacific and War Horse. Since moving to San Francisco in 2012 he has primarily worked as an actor, florist and yoga instructor. He could not be more thrilled to join the team of extremely talented artists at NCTC.


 Kenji Higashihama (Music Director)

Kenji Higashihama (Music Director)

Kenji Higashihama is a Music Director and Vocal Coach. Throughout his career, he has had the privilege of working with a number of soloists, groups, and shows across the country including assistant music directing a national tour of The Music Man. Some of his vocal students have gone on to perform in regional and touring productions such as Mamma Mia and PJ Masks Live. Here in the Bay Area, Kenji has been seen working with companies such as Transcendence Theatre Company, Piedmont Children’s Choirs, Town Hall Theatre, Berkeley Playhouse, Broadway By the Bay, and right here at New Conservatory Theatre Center!


Casey Robbins (Teen Ensemble)

Casey Robbins (Teen Ensemble)

Casey Robbins is a Bay Area director, composer, actor and teaching artist.   Upon receiving his BA in drama from San Francisco State University, Mr. Robbins set out into the world and found his passions a home in several community and educational theaters throughout the bay area including Pied Piper Players, The Spindrift School of Performing Arts, and Bay Area Children's Theater, where he has taught theater classes of all kinds and directed shows including Seussical the Musical, Peter Pan, and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.  Mr. Robbins is excited to share his zeal for the craft with the teens in NCTC's education program.   He composed the music for the smash-hit GRAVEDIGGER! THE MUSICAL and is a proud member of The Idiot String Co. (A.K.A. The Samuel Peaches Peripatetic Players) a tour-based community theater.  Mr. Robbins was born and raised in the sleepy and gentrified hamlet of Ojai in Southern California where he returns on occasion to visit with his parents, poodle and mountain trails. 


Miia Ashley (After-School Drama, Resident Artist, Youth Ensemble)

Miia Ashley (After-School Drama, Resident Artist, Youth Ensemble)

Miia Ashley is a California-raised Teaching Artist and Actor. After receiving her Bachelors in Musical Theatre from Chico State, she moved to New York City where she received her MFA from The Actors Studio Drama School. She is thrilled to be a part of NCTC’s inspiring and passionate family.


Jenny Rosen (Resident Artist)

Jenny Rosen (Resident Artist)

 A company member at BATS Improv since 2003 Jenny served as Dean of the BATS School of Improv for four years.  She regularly performs long and short form improvisational theater at Fort Mason Center. As a teacher and coach, Jenny has worked with students from ages 2 to 102.  She has taught for StageWrite, Live Oak, Haight Ashbury Cooperative Nursery School and dozens of other schools up and down the Bay Area.  She enjoys using theater games to inspire collaboration, positivity, and creativity in and out of the classroom.  A specialty is the incorporation of classroom curricula into theater training! Jenny has performed in Aspen, Improv Olympic (LA), The MET theater (NYC), The Moth and at the SF Fringe Festival.  She has created original musicals for 64 4th graders at the Cathedral School for Boys, and can make up full length musicals on the spot. Born and raised in the Bay Area, Jenny Rosen lives in Potrero Hill with her husband and two children, Henry and Magnolia.


Lauren Kivowitz (Resident Artist)

Lauren Kivowitz (Resident Artist)

Lauren Kivowitz is a performer, a teaching artist, and an inclusive arts consultant with a strong background in theatre, improv, and music. She has a Master’s degree in Applied Theatre from CUNY School of Professional Studies and has facilitated classes for folks of all ages and abilities, using combinations of music, role-play, improv, story-telling, and play-building. Lauren is a passionate advocate for increasing accessible and inclusive creative arts practices, and is excited to contribute to the growth of this field in the Bay Area!


Sophie Iribarren (Summer Youth Ensemble)

Sophie Iribarren (Summer Youth Ensemble)

Sophie Iribarren is an NCTC alum who now teaches acting to the next generation of students. As a student, Ms. Iribarren participated in Teen Summerstock, High School Performance Ensemble, Musical Theatre and performed in several Family Matinee productions including, The Wizard of Oz, Anansi, the Clever Spider and the title role in Rock ‘n Roll Cinderella. She is currently a 7th grade Special Education teacher with a BA from UC Santa Cruz and a Master’s in Education from SFSU.


Mikah Johnson (Summer Youth Ensemble, After-School Drama)

Mikah Johnson (Summer Youth Ensemble, After-School Drama)

Mikah Johnson (billed as Mikah Kavita) is a teaching artist and actor. She received her BFA in Acting for the Screen and Stage from Azusa Pacific University. Apart from acting, Mikah is passionate about stoking the creative flame in others so they might be empowered to boldly create and live. 


Ali Toia (After-School drama)

Ali Toia (After-School Drama)

Ali Toia is a Los Angeles native who grew up with a passion for theater and music. In 2015, Ali moved up to the Bay Area where she received her bachelor's degree in Theater and Performance Studies at UC Berkeley. At Cal, she explored acting, directing, and costume design. Ali is also an alum of the Summer Training Congress at The American Conservatory Theater in SF. She is thrilled to be joining the NCTC team and explore the magic of performance with her students!


Paul Collins (After-School Drama)

Paul Collins (After-School Drama)

Paul Collins is an actor, director, and teaching artist. He earned his M.F.A. in Acting at CSU, Fullerton in 2011 and a B.A. in Theatre Performance at Middle Tennessee State University in 2002. While working on his B.A., Paul taught children’s drama classes after school, during the summer and co-founded the V.O.I.C.E.S. Arts Institute for Youth. He has worked as a teaching artist with Star Education and STRIVE in Los Angeles and with Stage Write and Kids on Camera in San Francisco. He has directed several productions for SF Youth Theatre and led classes for their 415 Teen Ensemble. Paul has been invited several times to teach Children’s Drama at CSU, East Bay. He is also a member of Idiot String which tours the Bay Area in the summers presenting productions for youth.


Sophie Nelson: (After-School Drama)

Sophie Nelson: (After-School Drama)

Sophie Nelson grew up in Southern California but is happy to call the Bay her home! She just recently graduated from UC Berkeley with a BA in Theatre and Performance Studies and a minor in Education and is excited to put her learning into practice. An actor as well as a teaching artist, she has been lucky to assist some incredible teaching artists in the Bay Area, including at the California Shakespeare Theater and Berkeley Playhouse. Having studied commedia dell’arte at the Accademia dell’Arte in Italy, Sophie hopes to bring to the classroom the same spirit of silliness, fun, and creativity that she garnered there! More than anything, she hopes to continuously work toward creating classrooms that engage students’ own knowledge and lived experiences. She would like to act as a facilitator in the classroom, helping to guide students toward their own unique understandings of dramatic expression! She is so happy to be joining this incredible and passionate group of artists and absolutely cannot wait to see what her students will create together!


Marie Cartier: (After-School Drama)

Marie Cartier: (After-School Drama)

Marie Cartier is a multidisciplinary artist born and raised, living and working in San Francisco. A trained actor, her work in theater also spans everything from light and sound operation to props design and education. She recently completed an artist in residency with the San Francisco Mime Troupe and created the original show, Yesterday is Tomorrow in collaboration with her sister and performance partner, Genie. Marie also goes on biking adventures to add to her Plein Air SF painting series, celebrating the natural beauty of San Francisco and Northern California. She holds BA's in Theater and Peace and Conflict Studies from UC Berkeley. (Check out the wide variety of her work at mariecartier.weebly.com)


Maya Herbsman (After-School Drama)

Maya Herbsman (After-School Drama)

Maya Herbsman is a Bay Area-raised director, playwright, and teaching artist. She is a recent graduate of Wesleyan University, where she received a B.A. in Theater. Maya has worked with children of all ages in hospitals, summer camps, on the softball field, and of course, in theater classes, and she has loved every second. She is honored and excited to be joining the amazing NCTC team! 


Samantha Aper (After-School Drama)

Samantha Aper (After-School Drama)

Samantha Aper is an actor, dancer, and writer. She began her performance career as a dancer at the age of two. She fell in love with the stage and began participating in plays, musical theater, and independent films. She has a BA in creative writing from San Francisco State University and specializes in writing for the screen.  


April Deutschle (After-School Drama)

April Deutschle (After-School Drama)

April Deutschle holds a BFA in Acting from the Academy of Art University. She has a passion for physical comedy and clown. Having written and performed in her own one-woman show she has a zest for creating and devising interactive work. Having been in NCTC's world premiere of Everything That's Beautiful she is excited to be back and share her knowledge and experiences with the community. 

  • I always find myself looking forward to going to NCTC.

      – Maya W.
  • NCTC is one of the happiest places on the planet.

      – Julian H.
  • Participating in theater at NCTC has been positively transformative for our child. I can't think of a better and more enriching way for him to spend his time!

      – Eve L.
  • NCTC has inspired me to open my mind to an array of different perspectives. Every time I walk into that theatre, I walk out learning something new about my own capabilities.

      – Regina L.
  • When I'm at NCTC with my friends I can completely be myself.

      – Masha S.
  • NCTC is one of the most welcoming and supportive communities I've been a part of, because they created an environment where I could freely express myself and have fun with some amazing friends.

      – Jemma F.