Important Links, Dates, and More Below

Stagebridge is currently experiencing technical difficulties with our website – we are aware of the issues and we’re working on them. In the meantime, please take a look below for important links and dates. If you have any questions or need assistance, or if you can’t find what you’re looking for below, you can always give us a call at 510-444-4755 or email Continue reading for more detailed staff descriptions.

Important Links:

YOUR SUPPORT MATTERS! Please click the button below to donate. And, if you’d like your donation matched, write “Marcia Grossman” in the memo. Stagebridge is a 501(c)3 non-profit; your donation will be tax deductible.

You can also donate at our office at 2501 Harrison St. Oakland, CA, Monday-Friday, 10:00AM-4:00PM.

ONLINE REGISTRATION: We update our online registration forms when class registration is open. Currently, you can find our Fall Workshop, Intensive, and Short course registration form by CLICKING HERE. Our Winter 2017 registration form will be available on Thursday, December 1 at 9:30AM.

LIKE AND FOLLOW US: Find us on Facebook by following the link below:

SIGN UP FOR OUR MAILING LIST: Stay up-to-date about performances, showcases, class registrations, and more! Click the button below to sign up for our mailing list.

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GET IN TOUCH: For information about classes and registration, as well as bringing Stagebridge performers or classes to your community or organization, contact Sadie Harmon, Director of our Performing Arts Institute at

For information about our Storybridge program, Grandparent’s Tales Contest, or if you’d like to bring Stagebridge Storytellers to your classroom or school, contact School Programs Coordinator Barbara Johnson at

For information about payroll or office administration, contact Administrative Assistant Shari James at

For information about our Storytelling program, contact Storytelling Director Kirk Waller at

You can reach our Grantwriter Michael Stephens at

You can reach our Executive Director, José Rivera at

To reach us by phone, call us at 510-444-4755 and select the extension of the person you’re trying to reach.

Important Dates:

Friday, October 21, 10:00AM-3:00PM: CLICK HERE to register for The Actor’s Voice with Jeri Lynn Cohen

Sunday, October 23, 7:00PM: Playback Theater Public Performance at Strawberry Creek Lodge, 1320 Addison St., Berkeley CA.

Monday, October 24, 12:00PM-1:00PM: All Levels Tap Short Course with Lucia Fanelli begins (6-week course).

Tuesday, October 25, 12:30PM-3:30PM: Take a Walk in my Shoes: Monologue Writing with Alison Luterman. Rescheduled! CLICK HERE to register.

Tuesday, October 25, 6:00PM-7:30PM: Movement and Percussion Improv with Greacian Goeke begins (6-week course). CLICK HERE to register.

Tuesday, October 25, 7:00PM: Tell It On Tuesday at The Marsh Berkeley, for more information or tickets, CLICK HERE.

Thursday, October 27, 10:30AM: Movement & Expressive Arts Workshop with Kaye Anderson. CLICK HERE to register.

Monday, November 21-Friday, November 25: No Classes except for make-ups.

Monday, November 28: Winter Schedule available via email and online.

Thursday, December 1, 9:30AM: Registration for Winter Session begins. Watch our newsletter for information about winter registration!

Monday, December 5-Friday, December 9: Last week of fall classes – check back soon or watch our newsletter for a schedule of our in-class showcases.

December 12-16: Make-up week.

December 19-January 1: Stagebridge office closed.

Monday, January 2: Stagebridge office open!

Monday, January 9: Winter classes begin.

Wednesday, March 1: Registration for Spring classes begins

March 20-24:  Last week of winter classes.

March 27-31: Make-up week.

Monday, April 3: Spring classes begin.

June 12-16: Last week of spring classes.

Performing Arts Camp for Older Adults

Our next Performing Arts Camp will take place Summer 2017. In the meantime, check out our Fall 2016 classes!

For the last 10 years, we’ve offered a full week of some of our most-loved regular session classes together with brand new courses available only during summer camp! When you register for summer camp, you get the following:

  • Either a full day including 4 one hour and 15 minute long classes OR
  • A half day including 2 one hour and 15 minute long classes
  • Complimentary breakfast, coffee, and snacks
  • Stagebridge 2016 CAMP t-shirt
  • A chance to work with some of the best performers in the Bay Area
  • A full week of learning, laughing, and collaborating with a great community of continuing and brand new Stagebridge students
  • An opportunity to try something new in a supportive environment.

Here are a few highlights from satisfied participants of previous Performing Arts Camps:

  • Learning and stretching my brain
  • Meeting people who are going through similar life experiences
  • The variety of class options and excellent teachers
  • Fabulous instruction and meeting and working with a great group of people


If you’re interested in Summer Camp or our other programs, please join our mailing list to make sure you get regular updates.

Sign Up Now


FALL 2016 Workshops

Our Fall schedule of workshops, intensives, and other events will be available the first week of classes—September 19.

Workshops: You can look forward to workshops on Auditioning, The Actor’s Voice, Clowning, and more! We use workshops as opportunities to test out new ideas, new instructors, or to focus on intensive skill building. 2-3 hour one-day workshops are affordable, ranging from $35-$50.

Intensives: Want an opportunity to dig into a subject or to build your skills quickly? Consider an intensive course. Past intensives offered by Stagebridge have focused on Musical Theater, Acting for Film, the Meisner Technique, and the Actor’s Process. Registration for intensives ranges from $100-$300

Open Mic Nights and other drop-in events: No registration required! We periodically hold Open Mic Nights, Lunchtime Storytelling Sessions, Lectures, and open-to-the-public showcases. These are great for current students or for those who haven’t taken a class with us yet but want to see what it’s all about. Many of these events are free, and all are affordable!

Upcoming Events

August 14 Join Stagebridge, A Senior Theatre Company for a special Storytelling and Musical Review performance on SUNDAY, AUG.14 at 2:30pm at The Villages Golf and Country Club’s Cribari Auditorium in San Jose. Featuring Stagebridge Storytellers Clara Kamunde and Olga Loya and performances from Stagebridge’s touring musical troupe Never Too Late, the show promises to be a lively mix of everything from ancient story to modern song, laughter and life lessons! For open-seating tix and more info, contact The Villages’ Victor Clifford at: (408) 223-6444 or

August 22-26 The Actor’s Process Intensive with Michael French *Please note that the start date of this class has changed*

Monday, August 1 – Friday, September 23 Registration for Fall Classes

Monday, September 19 Fall Class Session begins. Click here for a full schedule.

Stay up-to-date about performances, showcases, class registrations, and more! Click the button below to sign up for our mailing list.

Sign Up Now


Bequest Program

Support Stagebridge now and in the future with a charitable bequest

This method of giving is flexible, easy to implement, and can reduce taxes for you and your family. When you leave a bequest, you are helping to ensure the longevity of Stagebridge’s programs.

In its simplest form, a bequest can be some version of the following language inserted into your will or trust:

“I bequeath to Stagebridge, 2501 Harrison Street, Oakland, CA 94612 ____________.” (Insert the desired dollar amount or percentage, along with any special instructions.)

With the help of an attorney, you can adapt this language to leave Stagebridge…

  • A specific sum of money
  • A percentage of your estate
  • A particular asset or piece of property
  • A conditional gift
  • A gift that is designated to fund a particular program

Your gift will help Stagebridge to transform the lives of older adults and their communities through the performing arts.

If you have questions about what kinds of gifts would be most helpful, or about how to word your bequest, please call our Executive Director at 510-444-4755 ext. 117, or email

If you leave a bequest to Stagebridge, we hope that you will let us know about your generosity so that we can acknowledge your support!

The Antic Witties

The Antic Witties is a popular improv troupe featuring eight women ages 65 to 80.  It is based at Stagebridge Senior Theatre in Oakland, the longest-running senior theater company in the US.

The Antic Witties perform at luncheons, conferences, fundraisers, senior residences, and private parties, with performances from 20 minutes to one hour. One popular portion of the longer program is a spoof of the Antiques Roadshow. Audience members bring random items and The Witties improvise unique descriptions and appraisals.

Our director, Barbara Scott,  has been improvising for 35 years with Bay Area groups and has been a member of the BATS (Bay Area Theater Sports) Company and coaching staff since its first year.  She is a founding member of True Fiction Magazine Improvisational Theater, with whom she’s performed internationally. Barbara teaches improv at BATS, American Conservatory Theater, the San Francisco Opera Center, Bay Area high    schools and Stagebridge Senior Theater (where she directs the improv group Antic Witties).  She has led master improv classes at Stanford University, Dell’Arte School of Physical Theater, the Funny Women Fest in Chicago, ImproLabo in Tokyo, and at international improv festivals. In 2010 Barbara received the 2010 Outstanding Contribution to the Improv Community award from the SF Improv Festival.

Our accompanist, Daniel Savio, is a pianist-composer-lyricist who has accompanied several improv troupes. He is a musical director for Berkeley Playhouse and San Rafael Young Performers, has toured with the SF Mime Troupe and co-wrote music and lyrics for a recent play with music about Berkeley’s Free Speech Movement that was produced by Stagebridge and performed at Berkeley Rep.

“The troupe was a smash hit!” – Jenefer Duane, Founder & CEO, Elder Financial Protection Network

What an astonishing, spunky, feisty performance! Quick thinking, a great sense of humor!”  –Francine Toder, Huffington Post

Your performance was very entertaining, funny and unique.  The attendees really enjoyed themselves and thought your group was amazing and very talented. –Jen Tibbetts Hayward Area Recreation and Park District

For questions and bookings, please contact the Stagebridge office at 510-444-4755 or




Career Opportunities


We have no open positions at the moment, however if you are interested in working for or with Stagebridge please feel free to send your resume to

Grandparent Tales Book Faire

Join the winners of Stagebridge’s 20th Annual Grandparent Tales Writing Contest as they tell their award winning stories about their grandparents, parents or elder friends.

When: Saturday, June 7, 2014, 1:30pm

Where: Books Inc. 1344 Park Street, Alameda CA 94501

Who: Free and open to the public! Support our children, community and Stagebridge. A percentage of each book purchased from Books Inc. during the faire will be donated to Stagebridge.

Book signing with local children’s author Madeleine Dunphy!

Sponsors: Philanthropic Ventures, Books Inc., City of Oakland Cultural Arts, California Arts Council, Oakland Fund for the Arts, Sam Mazza Foundation, Thomas J. Long Foundation, Clorox Co. Foundation, Banks Family Foundation


Current Instructors

Past Instructors

  • Marge Betley
  • Joy Carlin
  • Nancy Carlin
  • Fred Casto
  • Patricia Cotter
  • Donna Davis
  • Matt Deegan
  • Lina del Roble
  • Amy Gorman
  • Terrance Kelly
  • Joan Mankin
  • Jeannie McKenzie
  • Sara Moore
  • Dyan McBride
  • Ray Reinhardt
  • Grace Renaud
  • Andy Sarouhan
  • Charles Shaw Robinson
  • Jeremiah Selvey
  • Meryl Shaw
  • Debbie Sternbach
  • Jesse Vail
  • Helen Vaughn
  • Valerie Weak
  • Larry Wright



Kaye AndersonKaye Anderson

Kaye Anderson is a certified Hoop-Dance teacher and the founder of Hoop Power. A life long student of music and yoga and lover of dance, Kaye discovered hooping in 2007. She has been teaching Hoop-Dance classes and workshops for both adults and children in a variety of settings since 2008. Combining Hoop-Dance with her work as child and family therapist (LCSW), Kaye also uses the hoop as a therapeutic tool with her clients, and has led workshops both locally and nationally about its psycho-social and emotional benefit. She experiences and teaches hoop-dance as a powerful form of mind/body connection through authentic movement, as well as an invigorating path to wellness.



Bruce Bierman

Bruce Bierman has been a member of the Stagebridge company since 2007–serving as teacher, director and choreographer. Most recently, he directed and choreographed Grandfather’s Journey. Other productions with Stagebridge include: Sylvia starring Joan Mankin with original music by Scrumbly Koldwyn, Chicken Sunday and City Green. Bruce wrote and directed the award winning gender bending flamenco musical; Passion of Carmen at the Celebration Theater and wrote and performed his first solo show, The Blue Dress, for the New Conservatory Theater in San Francisco (Dean Goodman Award). Acting credits include: St. Joan (South Coast Repertory), Titus Andronicus (Shakespeare Santa Cruz), Madwoman of Chaillot (Odyssey Theatre Ensemble), Richard in Richard II (Powerhouse), Fortune and Men’s Eyes (Coast Playhouse) The Snow Maiden and The Nightingale and the Rose (24 St. Theatre).



imgresLauren Carley

Lauren Carley, (Master in Musical Arts from New York University) is a music educator and choral instructor for UC Berkeley’s Life Long Learning Department. She leads community choruses, world-wide singing retreats and choral workshops at colleges, conservatories, and music festivals and Academies. Her teaching is informed by Feldenkrais, Alexander Technique, Interplay, mime, acting and Orff training. She is a classical singer and recording artist in oratorio, opera, recital, cabaret, music theatre and film.



Anthony Clarvoe

Anthony Clarvoe is a veteran playwright and his plays include the award-winning Pick Up Ax, The Living, Let’s Play Two, The Brothers Karamazov, Ambition Facing West, Ctrl+Alt+Delete and The Art of Sacrifice. He has received a dozen commissions as well as fellowships from the Guggenheim, McKnight, Jerome, and Irvine Foundations, and the National Endowment for the Arts.




Jeri Lynn Cohen

Jeri Lynn Cohen

Jeri Lynn Cohen has been a Charter Member of Word for Word Performing Arts Company for 18 years, originating roles in over a dozen of their productions. She has appeared throughout the Bay Area at A.C.T., Aurora Theatre, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Campo Santo, Marin Theatre Company, Magic Theatre, San Jose Stage Company, and she has toured internationally with both the San Francisco Mime Troupe and Word for Word Performing Arts Company.






Lucia Fanelli

Lucia Fanelli is a professional dancer who studied tap extensively with San Francisco tap master Stan Kahn and his protege, tap virtuoso Sam Weber. Lucia studied ballet at Peninsula Ballet Theatre School under its founding director, Anne Bena, and jazz dance with Dancer Synectics Studio in San Francisco. Her performance career is highlighted by shows with Mason-Kahn, Peninsula Ballet Theatre, Fascinating Rhythm Productions and industrial shows, backing up such performers as Bing Crosby, Phil Harris and Julio Iglesias. Her teaching experience includes teaching tap to children and adults at Mason-Kahn Dance Studios and Peninsula Ballet Theatre School. She currently assists with movement classes for people diagnosed with Parkinson’s. Lucia loves working with the students teaching tap at Stagebridge and is excited to be a part of this program!



  Michael French

Mr. French is originally from London, England where he studied acting at the Drama School. At twenty-two years old he founded the infamous Glasshouse Theatre Company where he wrote and directed many of his own plays. This included the award winning ” The Rainy Season” and the much acclaimed, “Bellyache”. In 1992 he arrived in New York City to study at the Acting Studio. While in New York he directed over thirty-five Off and Off-Off Broadway productions, including “The Inner Workings of a Man” for Eva Minemar, founder and Artistic Director of the internationally celebrated Angry Jellow Bubbles theatre company, and “And On” for multi-award winning writer Franco D’Alessandro. In 2003 he relocated to Boulder, Colorado where he co-founded the influential theatre company Theatre13, and co-wrote and co-produced “The Buddha Prince”, a play about the life of the Dalai Lama, which has toured the U.S. extensively and was performed in Central Park in New York City during the summers of 2005 and 2008. In 2011 Mr. French moved to the Bay Area where he is a resident director at PlayGround and the Artistic Director of The Aluminous Collective.



GreacianGreacian Goeke

Greacian Goeke is a performance artist and writer trained in improvisation, percussion, modern and folk dance, and choral singing. She is a certified Orff Schulwerk movement and music educator. She teaches PreK and college students at the Mills College Children’s School, and elders in numerous settings in the Bay Area. She received her M.F.A. in Performance from California College of Arts and Crafts (now CCA). Greacian dances with the intergenerational company, Dance Generators, based at University of San Francisco. She is founder and artistic director of Impromptu No Tutu elder creative movement ensemble and co-director of the community dance project, Walking in Witness, at Mountain View Cemetery.
Greacian also sings with the San Francisco Threshold Choir and practices and teaches T’ai Chi Ch’uan (Yang style, short form) which she has studied since 1989. From 2009 to 2012 she directed the Storybridge and Stories and Music United programs at Stagebridge, developing new creative partnerships for storytelling and music in the schools.



Joanne GrimmJoanne Grimm

Joanne Grimm has been a Stagebridge cast member for 16 years and the director of Never Too Late for the last two years. She also performs with Generation Theatre, a Bay Area based repertory company. She started out as a story teller and keeps her hand in telling tales at assisted living facilities. She has appeared in six Grandparent Tales plays, productions produced by Stagebridge. Joanne’s background includes training in radio, public speaking, oral interpretation, improv , acting and children’s theater. She’s been acting in one venue or another since elementary school and enjoys introducing others to the thrill of applause!



b21b1c8e41e28e7f24210be64f64cb0cJoanna G. Harris

Joanna Gewertz Harris, Ph.D, is a dancer, choreographer, teacher, therapist, and dance historian and dance writer. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin (BS, 1955), Mills College (MA, 1959) and UC Berkeley (Ph.D. 1975), she has taught at UC Berkeley, UC Santa Cruz, (where she founded the department of dance/theater and taught dance and dance history), Carnegie-Mellon University (where she taught and studied in the drama department),Cal. State Hayward and Sonoma State, Lone Mountain and Antioch College.  Her early dance training in NYC including work with the Duncan Dance Guild, with Pearl Primus, at the New Dance Group, at the Martha Graham studio and especially, since 1957, with Merce Cunningham.  She spent two summers at Colorado College for Women with Hanya Holm and in New London, at the American Dance Festival with Humphrey and Limón. At Berkeley, she choreographed and performed for productions of the Department of Drama and Music, 1959-69. She has been on the faculty of the Osher Life Long Learning Institute, Berkeley, is an instructor at the Modern Dance Center, Berkeley, and a teacher of unique dance and exercise classes for seniors. She is the author of “Beyond Isadora: Bay Area Dancing, 1915-1965,” and regularly reviews dance performances for and



Jeanne HaynesJeanne Haynes

Inspired by a Stagebridge storytelling seminar 16 years ago, Haynes abandoned her media relations consulting business to become a full time performer and teacher. Theater venues include SF Theater Festival, Bay Area Storytelling Festival, SF and Berkeley Marsh, Brava! in San Francisco; Julia Morgan Theatre and Ashby Stage in Berkeley, regional Telebrations, KPFA FM Berkeley Public Radio. A former news reporter with a degree in Journalism, she draws from her communication background to tell personal and traditional tales. She has taught more than 300 adults in ongoing weekly classes at Stagebridge and conducts senior workshops. As an artist in residence she has taught some 3,000 students in 20+ Bay Area schools.



Ellen PR PhotoEllen Hoffman

Ellen Hoffman was founding Music Director of Jazz Camp West, and Berkeley Broadway Singers. She was co-founder/pianist for Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir. She writes music for the Oakland Symphony and performs her own music at the Paramount Theater. She has worked  with Rita Moreno, Frederika von Stade, Bobby McFerrin, the late great singer/actor Ronnie Gilbert, Linda Ronstadt, and the late great jazz vocalist Mark Murphy. Ellen performs at the Great Dickens Christmas Fair each December, where she is music director of the Grand Music Hall Revue. Ellen has directed hundreds of Open Mics throughout the East Bay – including Berkeley City Club, Mr. E’s Club, Anna’s Jazz Island, Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse. She is a member of The Modulations, the Bay Area’s newest English County Dance music ensemble. The trio (violin, accordion & piano) plays for live dances in Berkeley. (If you enjoy dancing to wonderful music that might be as much as 400 years old, come check it out!) Ellen has taught music at Laney College and Contra Costa College, and has a Master’s Degree in Music from Mills College. Little known fact: Ellen occasionally does comedy at the piano.



Martin HoltzMartin Holtz

Martin Holtz is a veteran of more than 30 years as a performer, award winning writer and artist-as-educator, in both South Florida and the San Francisco Bay Area. Over this span of time he has managed to interweave his love of teaching with the performing arts. He was a featured performer in the South Florida Shakespeare Festival, Miami Beach Art Deco Festival, the New World Festival, as well as creative director of Unexpected Company. He was associate artistic director of the Coconut Grove Children’s Theatre and creator of the highly successful “Wizard of Words” language arts enhancement program. He is a trainer and creative consultant for the Center for Domestic Peace dealing with domestic violence and founding member of the Bay Area Playback Theatre.



Clara KamundeClara Kamunde

Clara Kamunde is a tinkerer, a maker, an actor, storyteller and creativity development specialist – for real – she actually has Master of Science in Creativity Studies – who knew you could study creativity – right? Clara is an experienced facilitator and has developed and lead creativity workshops for a variety of organizations including The Children’s Creativity Museum of San Francisco, Cal Shakes Summer Conservatory, Performing Arts Workshop, Reading Partners, Mission Learning Center and the San Francisco Department of Children and Youth. In her capacity as a performing artist Ms.Kamunde has worked with Stagebridge, Cal Shakes (where she also a presenter on the Grove Talk Series), Berkeley Rep, Ross Valley Players, Virago Theatre, amongst others. She is a former recipient of the COLA Artist-in-The-Community grant from the City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department, and enjoyed a year of creating fun and fostering creativity in venues all over Greater Los Angeles.


Scrumbly KoldewynScrumbly Koldewyn

Scrumbly is an accomplished composer who has performed with the Cockettes, the Distractions and the Jesters Vocal Trio, touring throughout Europe. He has been musical director at many Bay Area theatres including Berkeley Rep and 42nd Street Moon. His awards include the Bay Area Critic’s Circle and Bay Area Cabaret Gold Awards. Revivals of his shows with the Cockettes have been playing at Thrillpeddlers in SF for 4 years. For Stagebridge he has been musical director for Comedy Tonight and currently co-directs the touring show Never Too Late. He also created the music for Stagebridge’s world premiere musical Sylvia’s Advice on How to Age Gracefully on the Planet Denial based on the works of Nicole Hollander.



LeopoldLindsay Leopold

Lindsay Leopold is an award winning actress, director, and theatre educator. She earned her BFA in musical theatre from The Boston Conservatory and MFA in Acting from The Theatre School at DePaul University. Lindsay has performed professionally and coached actors all over the country, and is so excited to be working with the Stagebridge community!




Olga LoyaOlga Loya

Latina storyteller, performance artist, writer and teacher, Olga Loya performs a mix of Spanish and English to share traditional tales from Latin America, as well as stories from her own varied and colorful life growing up in East Los Angeles.  She performs and teaches workshops at a wide variety of locations, including schools, businesses, museums and festivals, such as the Guadalajara, Mexico Festival and the Jonesborough National Storytelling Festival. Olga was the recent recipient of the  National Network  of Storytellers 2013 Oracle Award in The Circle of Excellence.





Marijo, Actor, Storyteller, Writer, & Arts Educator. She has been performing for 20-plus years, & has toured her solo shows throughout the US, London, Germany, & Zimbabwe, Africa. Marijo has taught drama & storytelling at schools in the Bay Area and many states throughout the country. She was the storyteller for the California Governor’s conference on Arts in Education and the California Arts Council Artists-in-Schools.



7167855Christie Maturo

Christie Maturo holds a BS in theatre and sign language from Towson University, a teaching credential from CSUB, spent a summer studying with the Moscow Art Theatre in Russia, and holds a Master’s Degree in Fine Arts from NIU. Christie is also a proud member of Actor’s Equity Association. Christie specializes in character acting, physical comedy, and improvisation, and has performed in musicals, classic and dramatic works in theatres across the country. As a Meisner trained actor, Christie strives to live truthfully in each moment of performance.



  Benjamin Pither

Benjamin is a professional actor and theatre educator. He currently teaches Musical Theatre and Acting at both the New Conservatory Theatre Center and at Berkeley Playhouse. He has worked as a drama teacher at several schools in the Bay area, including Park Day School in Oakland and SF School of the Arts. He served as the Theatre Arts Director for three years at Camp Swig and Camp Newman. Benjamin was trained as a theatre educator when he was selected as a Stephen Spielberg Fellow in 2001 and he has performed with Center Rep, Berkeley Playhouse, Willows Theatre, 42nd St Moon, Custom Made Theatre, Altarena Playhouse, Berkeley Rep, Cal Shakes, the Playwrights’ Foundation, and the Playwrights’ Center of SF.



  Ellen Robinson

Jazz vocalist, composer and educator Ellen Robinson has worked with literally thousands of students throughout her life. Her musical journey has led her through many genres: folk, rock, Blue Grass, Cabaret, musical theater, a cappella and finally jazz. Her third and latest CD “Don’t Wait Too long” was released in 2011. Ellen is a member of National Association of Teachers of Singing and is a gifted and dedicated vocal coach. In addition to her own jazz performance dates and recording projects, Ellen has been a Vocal Instructor for adults at U.C. Berkeley Extension, a Choral Director for teenagers in the Oakland Youth Chorus and a Music Instructor for children at Walden Center and School in Berkeley and Beacon Day School in Oakland, CA. Currently, Ellen teaches a beginning singing class for women called Swingshift Singers and she is the director of the Anything Goes Chorus, a community chorus that gives public concerts and also free performances at retirement homes and homeless shelters since the early 1980s. In 2011 Ellen was honored with a prestigious Jefferson Award for her community work.



Daniel SavioDaniel Savio

Daniel Savio has been creating music for twenty five years and has been working in theatre since he was a young teen. Daniel is writing lyrics and music, with Bruce Barthol, for a new musical with book by Joan Holden about the Berkeley Free Speech Movement, commissioned by Stagebridge for the 2014 Fall season. He is also the composer of four musicals for young audiences, all commissioned by Stagebridge, including City Green and Grandfather’s Journey. Daniel is the musical director of Sharon Boucher’s children’s theatre companies in San Rafael where he has put on such productions as West Side Story, RENT, A Chorus Line, Les Miserables, and many others. He is a member of The 808 Band, winner of the 2011 North Bay Bohemian Award for Best Hip Hop Band. He is a graduate of the Music Department of the University of California at Santa Cruz, Class of 2004, and is currently a student of Bay Area composer Michael Kaulkin.



cover_photoSuzanne Schmidt

Suzanne Schmidt is currently nominated as Best Actress (along with Melissa Leo) for her role in the web series Hey You, It’s Me. She has graced theatrical stages throughout California and her television credits include Sons Of Anarchy, Days of Our Lives, and Hillbrook Gardens (2016). Suzanne’s film credits include Lilin’s Brood, Apt 123, The Dark Mirror, Mr. Maples, Mechanic and watch for her in Dark Sky Picture’s upcoming graphic novel film, Monster School. Suzanne holds a BA in Theater from USC and an MFA in Acting from Northern Illinois University and has also studied extensively at Stella Adler LA and The Moscow Art Theatre (MXAT) in Russia. She now resides in Los Angles and works as an Actress, Acting Teacher/Coach, Content Creator/Writer/Producer and Voice Over Artist.



  Barbara Scott

Barbara Scott has been teaching and performing improv for 30 years. She’s a company member and coach with BATS Improv and a founding member of True Fiction Magazine Improvisational Theatre, with whom she has performed internationally. She also teaches at American Conservatory Theatre, the San Francisco Opera Center, Bay Area high schools, and has led master classes in song improv in Finland, Canada, New Zealand and Japan.



Trish TillmanTrish Tillman

Trish Tillman was most recently the Director of Artistic Learning at California Shakespeare Theater for five years and has been a working actor, improvisor and theater arts teacher for 25 years.  She has a Masters in Dramatic Performance and Teaching Theater from Antioch University, and a B.S. in Performance Studies from Northwestern University. In addition to acting regularly at theaters throughout the Bay Area, she’s created teaching artist training programs for both classroom teachers and college education students, brought the world of Shakespeare to literally thousands of children through productions and classes, founded two improvisational theater companies in San Francisco and is currently on staff and in the ensemble of Un-Scripted Theater.



  Kirk Waller

With a lifelong love of story, literature and the performing arts, Kirk Waller has been immersed in these art forms for over 20 years. He has garnered national recognition for his storytelling, including being awarded the J.J. Reneaux Emerging Artist Grant by the National Storytelling Network, receiving a Parent’s Choice Foundation GOLD award for his CD, “But Why? Stories, Music and Songs” and being a storyteller at the Exchange Place at the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, Tenn. In addition to being the Director of Storytelling at Stagebridge, he is current chair of the Storytelling Association of California and is on the advisory board of Tell It On Tuesday at the Marsh in Berkeley. Kirk received his bachelor’s degree in English and his Master’s in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University.



Sam WeberSam Weber

Sam Weber is professional tap dancer who works internationally as a performer, master teacher and choreographer. A protégé of San Francisco tap master Stan Kahn, Sam is the winner of numerous awards, including the New York Dance Critics’ Bessie.




Carlos ZialcitaCarlos Zialcita

Carlos Zialcita is a veteran blues and jazz harmonica player and instructor with many years of experience performing, recording, and as an educator. He has studied jazz harmonica at the California Jazz Conservatory with Damien Masterson, and has taken private lessons with Robert Bonfiglio, who has recorded with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, and with the late Donald “Duck” Bailey, jazz master on the drums and harmonica.

Meet Our Funders

“When you told stories, I felt like jumping and clapping.”

– Matt S., M.L. King School


Stagebridge is a 501(c)3 non-profit; your donation will be tax deductible

Student Showcase - Copywright Stagebridge, Stuart Kandell 06.15-56Let’s look at the year in review and find out exactly why it matters to support Stagebridge:

  • Our award-winning Storybridge program continues to change the lives of Bay Area elementary school students. We inspired over 5000 kids in 11 schools, held over 15 story-telling sessions in schools, senior facilities and other inter-generational venues this year.  Throughout our history, we have done more than any other entity in this field.
  • Our Seniors Reaching out program continues to bring our touring performance groups to places which provide services for seniors. We held over 100 performances this year at near cost or below. That’s almost 3 performances per week that primarily reach those without regular access to performing arts programming.
  • We continue to offer a fabulous variety of professionally taught classes at some of the lowest prices around! And we continue to innovate. This year we held 22 new workshops and courses. Not to mention, 9 showcases at professional theaters.

How can you help in all of these efforts?

  • A one-time tax-deductible donation before June 30th, the end of our fiscal year. Open the checkbook the second you finish this letter, send it in and you’ll be done with it! Think how good you will feel…
  • Become a monthly sustainer. You can pledge to write a monthly check or set up a direct deposit from your checking account to ours. Stop by our offices to find out how. No amount is too small.
  • As you’re planning your estate, consider including a bequest to Stagebridge. Or leave it all to us if the kids were not good to you!
  • An often overlooked option: Get your inner circle of family and friends to contribute to Stagebridge. They see how wonderful you look and sound after taking our classes.

Thanks for your continued involvement with and support of Stagebridge – we couldn’t do it without you!

  • Online through PayPal
  • By mail: 2501 Harrison St., Oakland, CA 94612 (Make checks payable to Stagebridge.)
  • Planned giving, stock donations or bequests: Call 510-444-4755 x117
  • Join our bequest program. More information here.

Your donation makes a dramatic difference in the lives of countless seniors and elementary school students across the Bay Area. By supporting Stagebridge, you’re helping to:

  • Engage active seniors
    Stagebridge helps keep seniors active and involved by offering them classes in the theater arts and performance opportunities. Rehearsing and performing with others helps provide purpose, stimulation and a sense of camaraderie. It also provides an opportunity for seniors to give back through community outreach to school children and vulnerable elders.
  • Serve at-risk school children in the Bay Area
    Stagebridge sends older volunteers to provide at-risk students in under-performing elementary schools with a rich, multicultural, intergenerational storytelling and writing experience.
  • Reach out to forgotten elders
    Stagebridge sends senior actors and musicians to retirement homes, hospitals, senior centers, and Alzheimer’s centers to offer workshops and to perform. The residents especially appreciate the unique songs, monologues, and sketches that speak to their generation.

STAGEBRIDGE programs are made possible through the generous support of the following organizations . . . and supporters like you!

  • Aroha-Logo-2X
  • acac_logo

  • th
  • LesherFoundation
  • East Bay Community Logo
  • Lowell Berry Logo
  • The Moca Foundation

  • San Francisco Foundation Logo
  • West Davis & Bergard Foundation