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Advisory Board

Elisa Carlson

Elisa Carlson was on the Artistic Staff of the Guthrie Theater for eight years where she coached voice, speech and text for 31 productions. Other coaching credits include multiple productions Off-Broadway and at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, The Children?s Theater, Alliance Theatre and Georgia Shakespeare. Elisa has a special interest in new plays, having coached world premieres of plays by Tony Kushner, Kia Corthron and Ellen McLaughlin, among many others, and the premiere of the Michael Korie/Ricky Ian Gordon opera The Grapes of Wrath. Her acting credits include the Guthrie, The Shakespeare Theater and the Alliance. She has performed internationally with companies in Finland, Germany, Greece and The National Theatre of Cyprus. Film credits include acting in and coaching text for Campbell Scott?s film of Hamlet starring Blair Brown. She was dialect and foreign language coach for the feature film Sweet Land starring Alan Cumming, winner of the 2006 Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature, and created language for the multiple award-winning short Ana?s Playground. Elisa has B.F.A. in acting from Florida State and an M.F.A in acting from the University of Delaware's Professional Theatre Training Program. She recently moved home to Atlanta and is a Resident Director and Associate Professor at the Gainesville Theatre Alliance.

David Chambers, Yale School of Drama

David Chambers, a South Coast Rep Associate Artist, is a director, teacher, writer and producer whose work has been seen On and Off-Broadway and at major theatres throughout the United States. He directed Broadway premieres of Christopher Durang?s A History of the American Film and Howard Korder?s Search and Destroy, a play which originated at South Coast Rep and for which Mr. Chambers received a New York Drama Desk nomination for best director. Mr. Chambers has served as director at such theatres as The New York Shakespeare Festival, Washington?s Arena Stage (Producer 1979-81 seasons), the Yale Repertory Theatre and the Guthrie, among others. He is currently a professor of acting and directing at the Yale School of Drama where among other duties he produced The Meyerhold Project, a collaboration with the Saint Petersburg Academy of Theatre Arts in Russia which has performed in Europe and the U.S. He also directed South Coast Rep?s Bosoms and Neglect, The Hollow Lands, Tartuffe, Private Lives, Old Times, A Mess of Plays by Chris Durang, The Misanthrope, Hedda Gabler, The Miser, Going for Gold, Kiss of the Spider Woman and Twelfth Night, productions which have won numerous Drama-Logue and L.A. Drama Critics Circle Awards. He lives in Portland and Vinalhaven, Maine with his wife Christine Vincent and son Dima. His daughter Jessica lives and works in the Bay Area.

Dr. Amir Eshel, Stanford University

Amir Eshel is Charles Michael Chair in Jewish History and Culture, a Professor of German Studies and Comparative Literature, and Director of The Europe Center at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University. His research focuses on German culture, comparative literature, and German-Jewish history and culture from the Enlightenment to the present. He is currently working on a book about the poetic figuration of historical narratives, and he is also involved in an interdisciplinary project on urban space in Berlin. At Stanford, he has taught courses on German Jewish literature, literature of the Holocaust, modern German poetry and the contemporary German novel.

Before joining the Stanford faculty in 1998 as an assistant professor of German studies, he taught at the Universitat Hamburg (Germany). He is a member of the American Comparative Literature Association, the Association of Jewish studies, the German Studies Association and the Modern Language Association. In 2002 he received the Award for Distinguished Teaching from Stanford University's dean of the School of Humanities and Sciences. He received an MA and PhD in German literature, both from the Universitat Hamburg. He speaks Hebrew, German and English, and has a good knowledge of Yiddish and French.

Kerry Farmer

Kerry Farmer recently joined Rio Hondo College as Instructor of Theatre Technology. His extensive career in live performance includes work in Direction, Design, Technical Direction, Stage Management and Production Management. From 2005 to 2010, Kerry was Production Manager and Technical Director for Cornerstone Theater Company, a Community based non-profit theater ensemble located in Los Angeles. At Cornerstone, Kerry supervised technical elements for productions in 25 different theatrical and site-specific venues, ranging from REDCAT Theater at the Walt Disney Concert Hall to the Blue Ox Mill sawmill in Eureka, Ca. Previous experience in Production and Company Management includes the national tour of Broadway On Ice starring Dorothy Hamill and Davis Gaines, ?Festival On Ice? in Villahermosa, Mexico, Hot Ice at Six Flags Magic Mountain, the US/Canada tour of Camelot for Encore Attractions, and UFO Encounters, an interactive walk-through attraction for Renaissance Entertainment. Kerry's experience in Stage Management includes Disney Cruise Lines, the US/Mexico tour of Cirque Ingenieux for NETworks Productions, and over 200 productions at the Japan America Theater in downtown Los Angeles. Kerry spent two years in Bochum, Germany as Resident Artistic Director for the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Starlight Express. His design experience includes productions for Heidi Duckler Dance Theater, Cornerstone, the Santa Paula Theater Center, Cal Arts and numerous community and educational organizations. Kerry received a degree in Directing from Brigham Young University.

Elena Faro

Elena Faro is a native New Yorker and has been a tax accountant for over twenty years. She has run her own business for the last thirteen years and serves a clientele who work as freelancers in the Arts and film industry. Ms. Faro has a bachelor's degree in literature and classics from Hunter College of the City University of New York. In her spare time, she is the mother of two beautiful children.



Alex Fishkin

Alex Fishkin is an intellectual property attorney at Google. He holds an MS in electrical engineering and an MA in Slavic languages and literatures from Stanford University, a JD from Northwestern University, and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management. With his diverse background, Alex has advised countless entrepreneurs, small companies, non-profit organizations, and Fortune 100 companies on a variety of engineering, legal and business matters. A native of Latvia, Alex spent most of his life in Chicago and is now living in San Francisco.



Karim Javeri

Karim Javeri is based in Toronto, Canada and is an Economist with the Ontario Financing Authority. His work focuses on financial and economic analysis in the electricity sector. In the past, he was Director and Project Manager at Public Value Consulting Limited, where he provided consultancy and advisory services to the nonprofit and social enterprise sector. He has also conducted research for the Bank of England through the London School of Economics and completed a dissertation in 2010 on performance measurement in the public sector. He holds a Masters of Public Administration from the London School of Economics in Public and Economic Policy. Karim also holds a Bachelor of Social Work degree from McGill University and a BA from the University of Pennsylvania.



Matthew McCray

Matthew McCray is the Founding Artistic Director of Son of Semele Ensemble. A multi-faceted artist in many theatrical disciplines, Matthew enjoys working professionally throughout the year as a producer, director, performer, musical director, composer and teacher of theatre. Originally from Fort Collins, Colorado, he moved to California in 1994 to attend Chapman University. After earning a BFA in Theatre Performance and a minor in Vocal Music from Chapman in 1998, he moved to Los Angeles. He currently resides in Eagle Rock, California.

In 2004, Matthew was featured on the cover of American Theatre Magazine for his work with SOSE. As a director Matthew's work includes both original and published work. Most recently, his 2006 production of Iphigenia (A Rave Fable) received six LA Weekly Award nominations and Matthew received an award for his work as the Video Deisgner. Other directing work includes his own original plays A Few Moments Behind The Mask, Earthlings and Amended which premiered in REDCAT's Studio Festival, as well as Animal Farm, the west coast premiere of Back Story, a workshop production of What The Moon Saw by Stephanie Fleischmann and most recently a workshop production at CalArts of Lear's Wild Rose by Sibyl Oâ??Malley. Matthew is currently collaborating with Center Theatre Group to assist in producing the yearlong festival of work by Suzan-Lori Parks called 365 Days / 365 Plays.

In 1999 Matthew created a theatre program for children in Newport Beach called Musical Theatre Playground (MTP) that produces reduced musicals and Shakespearean plays with child actors (K-6). As the program's sole producer, adaptor and director, Matthew has presented over 30 productions, inspiring countless children to become theatre-goers and theatre-makers. Now in his 8th year of producing and directing for MTP, Matthew's earlier MTP cast members have gone on to specialty high schools for the performing arts to continue their studies in the theatre.

Matthew has appeared on the stage, as well as in film, television and commercials. His credits include the experimental stage of REDCAT as well as nationally-recognized musical theatre organizations REPRISE! and Musical Theatre West. For Son of Semele Ensemble his acting credits include the role of Abraham in The Mysteries, the role of Boxer in the Los Angeles Stage Alliance Ovation Award-nominated cast of Animal Farm, Jacob in the NAACP Theatre Award nominated cast of The Tower and Paul Antonelli in Film is Evil: Radio is Good. His television work includes the recurring role of Jasper on the Emmy Award-winning television show Will & Grace, Boston Legal and, most recently, a pilot called The Cure. He has also been seen and heard singing in a Discover Card commercial, and in 2003 he carried a supporting role in the independent film The Commission, starring Martin Sheen, Edward Asner and Martin Landau. Matthew is a member of Actors' Equity Association and the Screen Actors Guild.

Matthew has authored three plays: Amended which premiered at REDCAT's Studio Festival in 2004; Earthlings which Son of Semele Ensemble premiered in Los Angeles in 2001; and, A Few Moments Behind The Mask which premiered in 1998 at Chapman University. His musical writing includes choral work, musical scores and incidental music for the theatre. His two published choral works for voice and piano are When We Two Parted, published in 1995 with Twin Elm Publishing, and The Paper Reeds By The Brooks, published in 1998 with National Music Publishing. When We Two Parted was performed by The Choral Project in Santa Cruz and San Jose in 2004. In 1996 his musical anthology of Lewis Carroll poetry was added into a theatre work about Alice Liddell, subsequently performed at Chapman University. Additionally, in 1998 he directed a complete evening of his choral compositions, also at Chapman.

Matthew currently teaches Musical Theatre at Chapman University. Other teaching credits include a performance workshop at California Lutheran University, as well as private singing instruction at Pacific School of Music and the Arts. Last year Matthew was asked to join a panel at California Institute of the Arts to speak with students about the formation of ensemble theatre companies.

Per Urlaub, Educational Outreach Advisor

Per Urlaub (Ph.D. in German Studies, Stanford) is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Germanic Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. He also serves as his department’s language program coordinator and teaches language and culture at the undergraduate level as well as graduate seminars in transcultural language studies and curriculum development. His research interests include reading research, specifically the development of literary reading, critical theory, and the development of transcultural competences. For the UM's production of Brecht's "A Man's A Man", he and his graduate students at UT-Austin are developing an education outreach strategy and materials.










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