Check back often as offerings will be continually updated!

Click here to see our Professional Development Intensives with playwright Ken Ludwig, Dr. Jim Asaldo and Dr. Daphnie Sicre!

We are also offering Professional Development Units for attending the conference.

Sample Workshop Offerings

Donald Amerson: “Introduction to Forum Theatre”

This form is part of Augosto Boal’s “Theatre of the Oppressed”.  Audience members become “spectators” and are encouraged to suggest and enact solutions to the problem in a scene. It takes years to become a facilitator “joker”, but this fully interactive workshop will introduce this radically different form of theatre to attendees.

Jonas Basom:  “Rebuilding Community and Social-Emotional Skills in the Theatre Classroom”

The pandemic has eroded our student’s social skills, group awareness, motivation, and creative expression. Come experience fun and effective strategies and activities that will rebuild these skills through use of engaging routines & procedures, signals & cues, partnering & grouping, and space management for whole group participation. Enhance your teacher talk and skill dealing with challenging personalities and behaviors. Most of all, relight the spark of the joy of creative expression in yourself and your students!

Autumn Browne:  “Elementary/Middle School Theatre Symposium”

Join in this special session to connect with other K- 8 educators to share best practices.

Kye Brakett:  “Reveal The World/Heal The World” 

The power to change our communities is one that we possess, but rarely acknowledge.  Actively participating in and reflecting the world is a power we will take time to practice in pursuit of creating communities based in trust.

Gale Caswell & Desiree Hill:  “Regional Theatre Opportunities Round Table”

New to teaching theatre? New to California? Just want to expand opportunities for your students?  Join this special session hosted by CETA President-Elect Gale Caswell and HS Theatre Festival Chair Desiree Hill to learn about the many offerings provided by CETA and other organizations in California.

Jonathan Dorf : “First, Do No Harm: The Teacher’s Guide to Supporting Student Playwrights

You don’t have to be a playwright to help your students write better plays. Starting with the precept that we should “first, do no harm,” workshop participants will gain a clearer understanding of common playwriting problems and learn the right questions to ask on their way to guiding and empowering young writers.

Krista Carson Elhai: “Phoenix Rising: Rebuilding Your Program”

We will be focusing on how to rebuild your theatre program post-pandemic through practical tips and ideas for you and your students. This workshop will include suggestions to justify your program to your administration, families, and community. We will discuss the positive/negative perceptions of a theatre program and how to respond when people question your program. You will also receive some strategies to create a network of community members who can help advocate for your program.

Eric Engdahl & Jack Mitchell: “CA Theatre Credential Update!”

Eric Engdahl and Jack Mitchell will report out on the first Theatre Credential Program in California at Cal State East Bay. There will be information on potential programs elsewhere in the state and an update on the CSET and CBEST requirements. Your participation is needed to help the keep the pipeline flowing through recruitment and field placement sites. In addition, you will get to meet some of the next generation of California’s Theatre Teachers.

Oscar Gonzalez: “Strategic Choreography Through Social Emotional Awareness”

This workshop will give you tools to strategically teach choreography and help guide students in creating choreography in a collaborative and inclusive environment. This process will give students ownership and accountability in the creative and performance aspect.

Laura Hall: “Musical Improv with Rick & Laura Hall”

Rick & Laura create a lively, supportive environment where you can grow, explore, move out of your comfort zone, and work together as team. Together we’ll improvise songs that focus on creating a strong “who” and “where”, look at musical form and structure, rhyming, harmony singing and more.  All in a positive setting where you can explore, stretch out, and most importantly, have fun. Before you know it, you’ll be belting out your own great improvised songs!

Adam Harris:  “The Work Begins with Us: Using Theatre Tools to Build Inclusive Classrooms”            

Join H. Adam Harris for a workshop that encourages participants to investigate their own identity and its impact on their work and lives. Creating an anti-racist classroom and curriculum begins with incisive thinking about your own experience. With the tools of theater, we will discuss and practice ways to ensure harm reduction, harm prevention, and harm repair. Participants can expect to:

  • Investigate their own identity as a launching point to engaging with others.
  • Identify and discuss anti-racist ideas/practices to foster equitable classrooms.
  • Process strategies to navigate moments of harm.
  • Practice using tools to hold ourselves/others accountable with compassion and honesty.

Sara Curran Ice:  “Costume Makeover – Interactive Theory”

This workshop goes through an exercise of how to tailor or adjust existing clothing items to fit a different character.  We will also cover how to incorporate this exercise in your classroom for a fun way for students to see the possibilities in all clothing items to create a character.

Gai Jones: “Social and Emotional Self-Care: An Experience for Delegates”

We as educators and professionals know how to provide SEL for our students. We are sometimes not careful about providing a safe space for ourselves. In our workshop we will create an ensemble of caring, empathetic-like professionals, assess where we are in our journeys of taking care of ourselves; create a vision statement of non-negotiables for having a busy professional life and taking care of ourselves; be silly,  laugh, and end with the best Tony award speech ever.

Allison Lowery:  “Creative and Diverse Character Design”

Learn different methods of teaching, creating, and inspiring diverse stage characters with a focus on hair and makeup.  The workshop will include discussions of hair textures, color and makeup techniques for all skin tones, design rendering, and researching historical diversity.

Erik Stein: “Audition with No Caution!”

This workshop empowers teachers to help their students create an audition that feels like an opening night performance. It is designed to help students prepare for university, college, and conservatory auditions. This step-by-step technique encourages actors to craft the audition they would want to see if they were the “decision maker” behind the table. It focuses on a preparation that will allow your students’ potential to shine, and it celebrates the passion that it takes to pursue a life in the theatre.

Sarah Tuft:  “Docu-drama Workshop with 110 Stories playwright Sarah Tuft”

Join playwright Sarah Tuft for a deep dive into “docu-drama” and the process of devising theatre from interviews and found text. Looking at the music of natural speech in plays such as The Laramie Project, Fires In The Mirror, and The Exonerated, we’ll devise our own “docu-monologues,” while also exploring how to best perform them. Tailored for theatre educators, this workshop can be a blueprint for turning your classroom into a lab for what Emily Mann calls “theater of testimony.”

Amanda Rose Villareal:  “Building a Consent-Based Space: Intro to Theatrical Intimacy Education”

This workshop introduces the basics of Theatrical Intimacy Education’s Best Practices for establishing a consent-based creative culture with youth. Participants will discuss the evolving definitions of intimacy and how power dynamics and lived experiences broaden our understandings of “intimacy” and applications of consent to personal boundaries beyond physical touch. Participants will be invited to participate in movement-based activities as we explore methods for teaching consent, self-care cues, and boundary establishment, and we will introduce a few useful ingredients of intimacy choreography.

and more!

 Presenter and Board Bios

Donald Amerson has attempted to change the world paradigm through the arts and public policy.  He achieved a Master of Fine Arts in Drama/Theatre for Young Audiences from Eastern Michigan University and a Master of Public Policy from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.  He worked with The Mayor’s Office of Detroit, Community Oriented Policing Services through the U.S. Department of Justice.  In D.C. he also worked for the Office of Budget Management through the Executive Office of the President of the United States.  His artistic career started in New York as an actor, writer and director of fringe projects.  Currently he teaches at Orange County School of the Arts (California) where he is the passionate Thespian Troupe Director.  He teaches Acting, Improvisation, Experimental Theatre, History of BIPOC Theatre and Theatre for Social Justice.  He is proud to have had an environmental justice play produced in London, studied Commedia Dell’Arte in Italy, created theatre curricula for several schools and privately coached many successful students.

James Thomas Bailey is director/producer of ComedySportz, LA’s longest running show (34 years). Additionally, he has produced more than fifty other professional productions in Los Angeles. Mr. Bailey is well known as a master teacher, with clients such as Google, Disney, ABC, and Microsoft. He serves as Cultural Specialist for the U.S. State Department and regularly teaches theatre techniques in Cyprus. His youth program, the ComedySportz High School League®, is the largest teen improvisational theatre program in the United States. Other improvisational productions include the all-female Shakespearean Chickspeare (which performed in Hollywood for 8 years, and for five years at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival), and U-sical, a full-length improvised musical based on the life of an audience member. He is Past-President of the CA Educational Theatre Association, and inducted into both the CA Thespian Hall of Fame and EdTA’s national Hall of Fame. He is a proud theatre educator at Justin-Siena HS (Napa).

Jonas Basom is a Bravo Award winner for Outstanding Arts Educator of Southern California. He is the author of Drama Works! Teaching System (formerly known as The Drama Game File), aligned to the new CA Arts Framework, and adopted as the new theatre arts textbook by the state of Texas. Mr. Basom has trained thousands of teachers as a national consultant presenter for staff development in arts and literacy. He has also trained teachers in drama and arts integration pedagogy as an adjunct professor at Pepperdine University, University of Phoenix, and Cal State LA. His classroom teaching experience includes 9 years as a K-5 traveling theatre teacher for LAUSD, and 7 years creating the K-8 drama program for the prestigious Buckley School.

Jerald Bolden is a teaching artist and choreographer, serving his second term as a CETA Board Member. Jerald assists on CETA’s Middle Stage Festival, CETA’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee, and is responsible for creating CETA’s new annual BIPOC Youth Scholarship. He is currently working towards receiving a teaching credential in Theatre from CSUEB.  He holds a MA in Theatre and is a proud member of Actors Equity.

Kye Brackett has most recently been seen in Las Vegas and on Broadway as a backing vocalist for Barry Manilow, while also having been known for his roles in both Los Angeles and on London’s West End. He won an NAACP Image Award for his role in the musical Five Guys Named Moe and reprised the role in the internationally acclaimed command performance for the Queen of England called, “Hey, Mr. Producer”. In the off-Broadway production of Could It Be Magic, he was nominated for a Jeff Award for choreography while also having starred in it. As part of his performing career, Kye has choreographed for The Miss America Pageant, Walt Disney World and Holland America Cruise Lines. Kye is also a composer and has written an Urban Opera called The Family for The Silence Is Broken.

Autumn Browne: “Make Your Fingers Look Hungry!” That was one of the many requests Autumn Browne received as a model and actress. She began her career as a journalist, reporting news and weather for a local station. Upon moving to Hollywood, she established herself as a television actress, filming many national commercials, and a few forgettable film appearances. She has been a Screen Actors Guild member for 39 years. She worked in major nightclubs as a stand-up comedienne, including regularly appearing with the improvisation troupe The Comedy Store Players at the famous club on Sunset Boulevard. She received her teaching credential from Chapman University and has just retired after 25 years teaching Drama at Brookhurst Junior High School in Anaheim. In 2005 she received a Masters in Theatre Production from Central Washington University. For 16 years she led a drama weekend to Hollywood and has produced three award-winning movies filmed on these student trips. The Orange County Music and Arts Administrators honored her in 2001 and 2015 as Orange County Theatre Teacher of the Year. She was a semi-finalist for 2016 Orange County Teacher of the Year. In 2021 she received the first ever Jim Thomas Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Theatre.

Michael Despars is the Theatrical Arts Director at Fullerton Union High School and the President of the California Educational Theatre Association. Michael has been teaching theatre for sixteen years after graduating from the University of Southern California with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) in Acting and his first Masters Degree in Education from Azusa Pacific University. He completed his Masters in Theatre Education at the University of Northern Colorado in 2015. Michael was named Fullerton Union High School’s “2017 Teacher of the Year,” the Fullerton Joint Union High School District “2017 Teacher of the Year” and a semi-finalist for Orange County “2017 Teacher of the Year”. He was the recipient of the California Educational Theatre Association’s Theatre Leadership Award for his work on the CETA High School Theatre Festival and for being the director of the Orange County CAPPIES Critics Program. In 2010 he received the New Teacher Award from CETA, an honor awarded to a teacher who has made an impact in Educational Theatre in less than five years of teaching. He served as the Vice President of Public High Schools on the CETA Board and the Director of the Orange County CAPPIES Critics Program. Michael participates in many Educational Theatre Organizations including, The Drama Teachers Association of Southern California (DTASC), the California Educational Theatre Association (CETA), and The Educational Theatre Association (EdTA). Michael is currently working on the implementation of the California Theatre Credential.

Jonathan Dorf has authored more than 60 plays, including 4 A.M., Declaration, After Math, Dear Chuck and Me, My Selfie & I, with over 2000 productions worldwide. He co-founded publisher YouthPLAYS and is chair emeritus of the Alliance of LA Playwrights. He taught in the Playwright’s Lab at Hollins University, served as US Cultural Envoy to Barbados, created and authored the book Young Playwrights 101. He’s been a teaching artist at ITF, the EdTA National Conference, and at festivals and schools from Alabama to Singapore. He serves as a script consultant for writers worldwide, and he’s a proud member of The Dramatists Guild (where he serves on the Education Committee) and the Teaching Artist Alliance. BA in Dramatic Writing and Literature, Harvard University; MFA in Playwriting, UCLA.

Krista Carson Elhai has taught theatre for 37 years and directed over 275 productions as Theatre Director at Claremont HS where she had 530 students are involved in eleven sections of theatre. She retired from CHS as of last month. She has taken 13 productions to the ITF and the CA State Thespian Festival. She is co-creator of Theatre Teacher Bootcamp, was the CETA CA Theatre Teacher of the Year, and is in the EdTA Hall of Fame. She sits on The College Board’s Pre-AP Arts Committee, the CA State Thespian Board, is Past President of the CA Educational Theatre Association, and serves on the EdTA national board as Vice President. In her role on the CETA board she is working on creating the 5014c Stand Up for Theatre so our organization can continue to advocate for theatre education.

Gale Caswell – In the early 1980’s, after teaching a wide variety of subjects, Gale reinvented herself as a Theatre teacher, knowing that she had discovered her true passion. And what a joyful, rugged, fulfilling passion it has been! Gale has taught drama to elementary students, middle school students, and high school students, racking up hundreds of productions and huge measures of agony and ecstasy. Even got to do a little acting, herself. Gale has served on the CETA Board for a decade as Member-at-Large and has served as Adjudication Coordinator for the High School Theatre Festival for several years. She is currently the CETA Board President-Elect. Gale’s hope for our future is that we see our membership grow, and her goals as a leader are to build inclusion and to establish a teacher mentor program.

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 led 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 (you know we do) 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. Eric serves as the Credential Liaison between higher education pre-service credential programs and the CTC and is teaching the first cohort of theatre and dance candidates for receiving the very first single-subject Theatre Credentials issued in virtually 50 years!

Oscar Gonzalez was born & raised in Orange County, California. Oscar trained at the Anaheim Ballet School, American Ballet Theater & the Joffrey Ballet School. Gonzalez has been a soloist with the Anaheim Ballet, Festival Ballet, & was a resident member/instructor for Diavolo. He has successfully trained & inspired dozens of dancers that have been accepted into college dance programs. He was last seen in Aladdin “A Musical Spectacular”. Oscar has performed in professional musical theatre productions, his favorites include, West Side Story, A Chorus Line, & Evita. Oscar performed for the grand opening of the King Abdulah University of Science & Technology in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, & has taught a dance intensive in Capetown, South Africa. Gonzalez was the ballet director at McCoy Rigby Conservatory of the Arts, under direction of Broadway star & former Olympic athlete, Cathy Rigby. Oscar was also living in Omaha creating & developing a ballet program for Smitty’s Performing Arts Center. Oscar recently received his BA in Liberal Arts Education from St. Mary’s College & is currently finishing his Master’s in Education. Oscar has been teaching for over 15 years & is committed to educating and inspiring others.

Cambria Graff is the Director of Theatre Arts at San Juan Hills High School and has been teaching there for the past nine years. She has her BA in Drama from UC Irvine, her teaching credential and Education Masters from the same institution, and a Masters in Theatrical Production and Design from Southern Oregon University Center for Theatre Studies. This is her second year as a CETA Board Member, and is also an Orange County Cappies Steering Member, ITS Troupe Director, and USITT Charter Sponsor.

Laura Hall is best known as the Musical Director and Improvisational Pianist on the long running TV show, “Whose Line Is It Anyway?”. Rick Hall is an actor improvisor who has performed on The Second City Chicago mainstage, as well as in improv-based television shows “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and “The Factory”.  Together they have taught music improv workshops all over the world at conferences, festivals, comedy clubs, high schools, and universities. Learn more at

Daniel Hernandez is currently the drama director at San Marino High School. He has been an adjudicator for CETA for ten years where he has reviewed close to 200 productions. His enthusiasm has led him to work as a teaching artist at high schools and colleges, workshop instructor for The Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, and guest director at community theatres. Daniel has been a member of Screen Actors Guild for 16 years and is thrilled to part of CETA’s Board of Directors and brings his boundless passion to his newest endeavor. During his short time serving on the board, Daniel has helped craft the DEI statement while also looking at formalizing adjudicator training standards.

Desiree Hill currently teaches theatre at Montclair High School. She holds a BA in Theatre from CSU Fullerton, a CTE credential in Arts, Media Entertainment, and is currently working on her Master of Theatre Design and Production from Southern Oregon University. She is the Coordinator for the CETA High School Theatre Festival and assists with Senior Scholarships.

Sarah Ice

Arlene Hood has served on the board of the California Educational Theatre Association since 2002, including two terms as President. She holds a degree in Theatre Arts and a single-subject teaching credential in English. She has been teaching theatre at Moreau Catholic High School since 1987. Arlene has also taught choir, musical theatre, stagecraft, Shakespeare, and public speaking at both secondary and college levels. Her students have received numerous awards and recognition for their exceptional achievements in theatre and music. Ms. Hood is also a freelance director in the Bay Area. Her educational and professional productions have performed in Japan, Scotland, and Egypt.

Carol Hovey has taught theatre at Livermore High School for 36 years, directing over 130 shows there, and another 40+ shows for regional theatre companies in the Bay Area. She is proud to serve on the board of CETA as the current Treasurer, a Past-President and recipient of the CETA Medallion. Carol has worked many years in arts advocacy, always towards reinstatement of the Theatre & Dance Credentials (finally achieved!), plus serving on the CA Arts Standards and Framework committees for the first-ever VAPA standards adopted in 2001 and the recently adopted standards in 2019. She has the distinction of being the only person to serve on both teams and considers that a great honor. She loves all things CETA and especially enjoys working with James Thomas Bailey on the conferences each year.

Sara Curran Ice is the Conservatory Director of Technical Theatre and Resident Costume Designer at PCPA – Pacific Conservatory Theatre.  She received her BA from Illinois State University with an emphasis in Stage Management and Costume Design.   She then went on to receive her MFA in Costume Design from the University of California, Irvine.  After graduation, she was a freelance costumer in Film and Television where she became a Member of IATSE Local 705 The Motion Picture Costumers Union in Los Angeles.  She also did freelance as a projectionist, camera operator, and graphics operator for conventions and concert tours across the US.  She has worked at various companies such as The Pasadena Playhouse, The Black Hills Playhouse, Illinois Shakespeare Festival, and the Will Geer Theatre.  Before taking the job at PCPA she was a Senior Lecturer at the University of Nebraska, Kearney, where she taught costume design and construction, designed costumes for up to 4 productions a year, and managed the costume shop.  Sara is also a member of the United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT).

Gai Laing Jones was the first woman to complete a MA in Theatre at CSU Fullerton. She taught Theatre at El Dorado High School for thirty-four years. Upon her retirement, the Black Box Theater was named The Gai Jones Theater.  She has served on the boards of CETA and DTASC; she is proud to serve on the EdTA Board of Directors as Past-President, and a recipient of the EdTA President’s Award.  She writes Theatre education books, directs, and is a guest artist and inspirational speaker at various conferences, and is a SAG-AFTRA member. Ms. Jones has taught elementary, middle, high school, and college level educational Theatre, along with Professional Developments for Theatre Educators and senior actors and she directs Theatre for Youth productions.

Allison Lowery (she/her) is the Hair and Makeup Supervisor for South Coast Repertory theater.  She has also served as a wig and makeup lecturer at the University of Texas, and created wigs and makeup for the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Zilker Theatre Productions, American Players Theatre, and Zach Scott Theatre, among others.  She has authored three textbooks—Wig Making and Styling: A Complete Guide for Theatre and Film, and Historical Wig Styling, Volumes 1 and 2.  She holds an MFA in Wig and Makeup Design from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.  www.the

Jack Mitchell has been involved in Arts, Media and Entertainment and Education for the past 35 years. After earning a B.A. from the University of Washington in 1972, Jack continued his theater studies at California Institute of the Arts earning an MFA in Theater in 1974. Jack worked in the television industry as an actor for the next 12 years appearing in over 40 productions in both guest star and recurring roles. He began his teaching career at Manual Arts High School where he taught Theater, Stagecraft, and was the Drop-out Prevention Counselor. In 1996 Jack moved to University High in Los Angeles where he was instrumental in creating one of LAUSD’s first Performing Arts Departments, founding the cross-curricular Bilingual Theater Program, and directing 35 productions in both English and Spanish. After spending 13 Years at the CA Department of Education focusing on Standards based Arts education, Jack retired and was brought on By Dr. Eric Engdahl as a Theatre Methods instructor at Cal State East Bay to work with the first cohort of Theatre Credential candidates in 45 years.

Adam Michael Rose is a Los Angeles-based dialect coach and teaching artist. Adam has worked with actors from Bridgerton, Game of Thrones, and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. He was also the production dialect coach for ABC’s American Crime Season 3 starring Regina King. On stage, he’s coached productions throughout North America including Newsies, The 39 Steps, and Mary Poppins. He’s been a guest artist at various conferences and festivals for almost 10 years. Adam is a certified teacher of Knight-Thompson Speechwork, a graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, and a member of VASTA, EdTA, and AEA. He’s also a board member of CETA and a founding member of the Teaching Artist Alliance.

Samantha Sanford has been teaching theatre for ten years in Orange County. She currently teaches at Portola High School. She believes that all students deserve access to arts education, and ensures that performers and technicians will be challenged, supported, engaged, and dedicated to the theatre arts and visual and performing arts programs on campus. Samantha has her Master’s in Education from Concordia University, Portland; and Bachelor’s in Theatre from CSU, Fullerton with an emphasis in Directing and Theatre Education. She also holds an AME CTE Credential. She serves as the Program Chair for Orange County Cappies and has been a board member for CETA since 2018. She volunteers as website maintenance/social media updates, along with other board members, and enjoys supporting CETA events in many capacities.

Annie Simons, as the CETA board secretary, she enjoys collaborating with fellow board members on the Board Nominations and Membership committees and is the scholarship coordinator for the High School Theatre Festival. Annie taught middle and high school theatre for 17 years in the Chicago and Los Angeles public school systems. For 12 of those years, she proudly served as Theatre Department head at the Los Angeles High School of the Arts (LAHSA) on the Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools Campus, collaborating with theatre department faculty to create a rigorous conservatory-style program in which all students participate in grade-level dedicated theatre arts classes during all four years of their high school tenure. Annie incorporated Friends of LAHSA (FoL) in 2018 in order to better support LAHSA’s unique program. Currently on a short leave from teaching, she continues to support arts education in her work at FoL and CETA.

Erik Stein is the Casting Director for PCPA Pacific Conservatory Theatre and the Recruitment Coordinator for Pacific Conservatory Theatre’s Professional Actor Training Program. On Broadway, Erik performed with Roddy McDowall, Hal Linden, Jim Dale, and Frank Langella. He appeared as the Ghost of Christmas Present opposite Tim Curry in the Broadway production of A Christmas Carol directed by Susan Stroman. Off-Broadway, Erik created the role of Stephens in Manhattan Theatre Club’s production of Captains Courageous starring Treat Williams and Norm Lewis. Erik is a founding member of The Alaska Shakespeare Festival and The California Cabaret Theatre. He has had the fortune to work across the country with more than 30 Regional Theaters, including several award-winning theaters such as The York Theatre Company, Goodspeed Opera House, The Utah Shakespeare Festival, Pioneer Theatre Company, North Shore Music Theatre, Geva Theatre, Theatre Under the Stars, and PCPA. Erik teaches Audition Techniques and the Business of Being an Actor for Pacific Conservatory Theatre, he has directed for several training programs and regional theaters, and he has led Audition and Acting the Song workshops all over the country. Erik is the author of No Caution! A Step-by-Step Guide to Preparing Auditions for Universities, Colleges, Conservatories, and Beyond. He lives with his beautiful wife Jax on the Central Coast of California.

Amanda Swann, a CETA Medallion recipient, is a past-president of CETA and DTASC. Amanda is the chair of the Stand Up 4 Arts Education annual advocacy event at the State Capitol and co-chairs the CETA Scholarship committee. She has her B.A. in Theatre from Point Park University, Pittsburgh, PA and her teaching credential from CA State University Northridge. Amanda has been a theatre educator in LAUSD for 30 years, having directed numerous productions as well as sponsoring a Thespian troupe, and taking students to the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland in 2004 and 2011. She is currently the co-sponsor of Thespian Troupe #3192 at Verdugo Hills High School in Tujunga, CA. Amanda is also a member of EdTA, AATE and the English-Speaking Union.

Kathleen Switzer is entering her 20th year as the theatre teacher at El Dorado High School in Placentia, where she is thrilled to carry on the legacy of her theatre teacher, Gai Jones. She is a 2015 Orange County Teacher of the Year and finalist for California Teacher of the Year.  Kathleen is the CETA High School Theatre Festival workshop coordinator and also serves as the Awards committee chair.

Sarah Tuft is a bicoastal Gemini ADHD womxn playwright who came to theatre from painting, photography, video art, and filmmaking. Her plays include ABIGAIL (2021 O’Neill finalist, Ashland finalist, Princess Grace Award, Athena Projects and New American Voices semi-finalist, workshopped at Inkwell Theater and San Antonio Public Theatre), MARVEL-OUS MONICA; IN WHICH MONICA LEWINSKY IS A SUPERHERO HELL-BENT ON REVENGE (O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, Valdez Last Frontier, BAPF semi-finalist, NAP semi-finalist, workshopped at IAMA Theatre Company), and 110 STORIES (published by Playscripts, produced in nearly 100 academic and community theaters worldwide, developed/read at Geffen Playhouse, Public Theater, and Vineyard Theatre with actors including Billy Crudup, Edie Falco, James Gandolfini, Samuel L. Jackson, Cynthia Nixon, Tonya Pinkins, Jay O. Sanders, Tony Shalhoub, and Kathleen Turner). Her full-lengths have been directed by Giovanna Sardelli, Gregory Mosher, Jessica Hanna, Rachel Dart, and Thomas Sadoski. Sarah’s 24HourPlays audio play was developed/read at BAM. Awards include the Ground Floor Summer Residency at Berkeley Rep second rounder, Humanitas PlayLA Workshop finalist, and a NYFA Fellowship. Sarah is a member of the Dramatists Guild, Playwrights’ Center, Antaeus Playwrights Lab, and an Executive Committee member of Honor Roll! Sarah has an MFA from Pratt Institute and is a teaching artist at SF Creative Writing Institute. For more, go to or NPX.

Amanda Rose Villarreal is an educator, an intimacy choreographer, and an immersive content creator. They serve as Assistant Faculty of Theatre Education at California State University Fullerton; she is also Assistant Faculty with Theatrical Intimacy Education. They have taught theatre in K-12 settings for over a decade, teaching in Texas and Colorado. Notably, she facilitated and directed the devised performance “The One Voice Project,” which was created by refugee youth and performed at the Denver Center for Performing Arts, and the devised “UndocuAmerica” performances which were featured during the ACLU’s 100th Anniversary National Tour.

Nigel Williams studied and trained in England. He holds degrees in Theatre, Drama in Education, and a Teaching Diploma in physical theatre and European ensemble building. He also trained in Mime at the City Literary Institute in London. He’s been teaching and directing since 1981 and taught in inner-city schools, colleges, universities, and worked with the Royal Shakespeare Company and Royal National Theatre. He’s directed Off-Broadway, and toured all over the world with youth theatres and has had work showcased in festivals in London, Edinburgh, France, Germany, New York, Prague, and Tokyo. He’s also worked as a trainer of theatre teachers with the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, as an examiner for A-Levels in the UK, and was the author of the theatre textbooks for students studying A-Level Theatre. His dark secrets are that he played tennis at Junior Wimbledon represented Great Britain in fencing, and taught and directed John Oliver when he was a student. He is currently Director of Theatre at Chadwick School in LA. He has come to realize that CETA is a community where young people can find like or different minds, but still be embraced, and relate through the language and love of theatre.