Keynote Speaker


Eric Engdahl has a Ph.D. in Theater History & Criticism from the UCLA and a M.F.A. from the Professional Actor Training Program at Southern Methodist University. He has been an actor, circus ringmaster, director, and has taught acting in colleges across the country. He and his wife Tess Giannotti were Co-Artistic Directors of Actor’s Theater of Sonoma County and A Live Act!, a touring children’s theater. He has lead numerous professional development workshops for teachers and schools and worked to bring quality arts education to all students in California. In the coming year, he will be leading professional development on Social Emotional Learning and Arts Integration in rural schools in project managed by the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga and funded by the Tennessee Arts Commission. No doubt because of the organizational, communication, leadership, and collaboration skills that all theater people develop, he now finds himself as Chair of the Department of Teacher Education at CSU East Bay, as well as the Visual and Performing Arts Curriculum Specialist.   He has been working at the state level on the new California Arts Standards and Framework and (a great labor of love) for the re-institution the California teaching credential for theatre – soon to be a reality.