Skip to main content

About the School

Berkeley Rep creates ambitious theatre that entertains and challenges its audiences, provokes civic engagement, and inspires people to experience the world in new and surprising ways. The School of Theatre supports this mission through meaningful connections between audiences and our mainstage work, creative entry points for new audiences, tools for artists and students to harness their imaginative power, and immersive training for future theatre makers.

Having first opened its doors in 2001, the School of Theatre offers programming as eclectic as the productions onstage at Berkeley Rep, reaching some 20,000 people in the Bay Area each year. Driven by an expanding community of inspired, curious, and creative theatre lovers, the School’s programming provides opportunities for engagement on a variety of levels.

Since its inception, the School has

  • Served over 321,340 people;
  • Collaborated with 565 professional teaching artists;
  • Led workshops in 3,630 classrooms in nine counties in the Bay Area;
  • Produced 142 original plays created by youth and teen students;
  • Mentored 359 young professionals through our Fellowship program (since 1985).



Anthony Jackson | DIRECTOR

Anthony is a director, deviser, educator, and arts administrator. He currently serves as the director of the Berkeley Rep School of Theatre where he oversees the Teen Council and fellowship programs, among other projects. Duties include programming the annual Teen One-Acts Festival and the Young Writers of Color Collective workshops and final presentation at Berkeley Rep’s acclaimed new play development program, The Ground Floor. He also serves as a mentor for 15 teens that are part of the Core Council teen leadership program. Previously Anthony was at Arena Stage in Washington, DC where he taught in all of the Community Engagement department’s programming as the Training Programs Manager and previously as the Partnership Manager. Anthony has traveled to India and Croatia as a guest artist with the U.S. Department of State, devising original plays with Arena Stage’s Voices of Now program. Anthony has also presented workshops at the American Alliance for Theatre and Education, Theatre Communications Group Conference, as well as the Southeastern Theatre Conference. In 2019 he was selected to be a member of the artEquity cohort. As an actor he has toured the U.S. and has performed with the Shakespeare Theatre Company, Olney Theatre, Arena Stage, and other regional theatres.


Dylan is a director, teaching artist, new play developer and community engagement specialist. Dylan has directed productions at American Conservatory Theatre Conservatory, TheatreFirst, New Conservatory Theatre, and Actors Lab Arizona. Most recently, Dylan was the Director of Education and Community Engagement at Laguna Playhouse. Dylan envisioned and created the OUR STORIES program at Laguna Playhouse, which utilizes generative theatre practices to create awareness about mental health and amplify the voices of youth and young adults ages 16-25. Dylan created the Drama Department at Jewish Community High School of the Bay, which was recognized as one of the top high school theatre programs in America by Stage Directions Magazine and twice performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Scotland. She has taught at Laguna Playhouse, California Shakespeare Theatre, Northwestern University's National High School Institute, Marin Theatre Company and New Conservatory Theatre Center.

MaryBeth Cavanaugh

MaryBeth recently received her continuing appointment in the Department of Theatre and Dance at UC Davis, where she has taught for 15 years in the MFA and BFA programs. She also teaches at Academy of Art University. She is a member of Stage Directors and Choreographers Society and a few of her choreography credits include resident choreographer at California Shakespeare Theater for 20 seasons, where she also served as associate artist. She also choreographed for Oregon Shakespeare Festival for five seasons, Shakespeare Santa Cruz for nine seasons, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, The New Victory Theater, Yale Repertory Theatre, Brisbane Arts Festival—Powerhouse, Black Swan Theatre Company in Western Australia, Cincinnati Playhouse, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Mills College Repertory, and Summerfest Dance. Directing credits: Following the Wrong God Home, Theatre 212; Possession, United Solo Theatre Festival, New York City; Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, TheatreFIRST; Twelfth Night, North Bay Shakespeare Company; and Measure for Measure, Shakespeare at Stinson. Ms. Cavanaugh was invited (all expenses paid) by the Norwegian Consulate in San Francisco to attend the Ibsen Festival in Oslo, Norway and to finish a new English translation of A Doll’s House from Ibsen’s original manuscript with an Ibsen scholar and a documentary film maker.


Si Mon' (she/her) is a San Francisco based theater educator, director, producer, filmmaker and arts activist. She currently holds the Curriculum & Educational Programs Manager position at Berkeley Repertory Theatre. Her work outside of The School of Theatre spans from directing theatre to producing and assistant directing film.

Originally from Dallas, TX, Si Mon’ has established herself as a Bay Area artist embarking on projects with organizations outside of Berkeley Rep such as Playwrights Foundation, Campo Santo, and SFSU’s Black Film Connect. She graduated from The University of Texas at Austin in 2018 with a BFA in Theatre Education and a K-12 teacher certification, then began filmmaking when she moved to the Bay Area that same year. In 2020 she received the B. Iden Payne Award for Outstanding Digital Direction on a livestream performance of amendment: the making of an american myth, or the slow sipping of a peacock tea

Through her work in arts organizations across the country -- from Dallas Children's Theatre (Dallas), Victory Gardens (Chicago), Teatro Vivo and Salvage Vanguard Theatre (Austin), to Milagro Theatre (Portland) and Berkeley Repertory Theatre (Bay Area) -- she has committed her energy to amplifying BIPOC, queer, and youth voices, working to dismantle all forces that attempt to silence them.


Ashley is the classes and communications administrator at the Berkeley Rep School of Theatre, where she manages all marketing and communications, as well as provides administrative support for classes. Born and raised in the Bay Area, she fell in love with the vibrant and diverse theatre scene here in California at a young age. She has since gone on to combine her passions for theatre and communications at Willamette University in Salem, OR, where she earned a degree in Civic Communications and Media Rhetoric along with a minor in Theatre. Previously, she has worked with organizations such as the San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, Pleasanton Civic Arts Stage Company, and most recently, the Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, DC.


Teaching Artists

Jennifer Leblanc | Playwright

Jennifer Le Blanc is an actor, director, playwright/adaptor, and teaching artist. Jennifer has acted regionally and internationally. Her plays and adaptations have been produced in the U.S. and Canada. Jennifer has taught for Perspective Theatre Company’s and Livermore Shakespeare Festival’s education programs, taught workshops at Cerimon House, and coached style and movement for productions at several local companies. Jennifer has an MFA from the National Theatre Conservatory and a BA in English Literature from UC Berkeley.


Kate Cherry & Kenny Ransom | Playwright/Director Team

Kate Cherry is an internationally acclaimed artistic director and director of theatre and opera. As artistic director of both Australia’s Black Swan State Theatre Company and NIDA, and associate director at Melbourne Theatre Company, Kate has directed over 50 professional productions for various notable performance institutions, including Seattle Opera, New Zealand Opera, Melbourne Theatre Company, Sydney’s Belvoir Street Theatre, and many other theatre and opera companies throughout Australia. She has commissioned over 30 new works, and created labs to explore new ways of creating work. Kate has an MFA from UCLA where she assisted Oskar Eustis and Tony Taccone and studied with Martha Clarke and Peter Sellars. She is a Drama League Alumnae and has received numerous awards for her directing. She has listened to over 1000 pitches, and advocated for work like The Sapphires, by Tony Briggs, ensuring the story skyrocketed from a conversation in a Melbourne pub to an acclaimed Hollywood movie. Kate has directed numerous screen and theatre luminaries, including multi-award winners Ben Mendelssohn (Emmy Award), Guy Pearce (Golden Globes and SAG Award), and Greta Scaachi (Emmy Award). She has also produced work by Judy Davis (BAFTAs, Golden Globes, Emmys) as a director, and studied with Oskar Eustis (artistic director of New York’s Public Theater, dramaturg of Angels in America, and producer of Hamilton).


Kenneth Ransom is a professional actor, teacher, and coach who has worked consistently in the industry for over 30 years in the US and Australia and has himself secured most of his recent work through self-tests. Most recently, on the Untitled Amazon Project and The Wilds, starring Rachel Griffiths, both shot in New Zealand this year. Kenneth’s acting credits include over 35 films and television productions, including Gods of Egypt with Geoffrey Rush, Gerard Butler, and Chadwick Boseman; China Beach with Dana Delaney and Michael Boatman; Equal Justice with Sarah Jessica Parker and Joe Morton; and Fame with Debbie Allen and Gene Anthony Ray. Kenneth has taught acting at most of the major actor training institutions in Australia, where he lives, and did a successful two-course stint at the Berkeley Rep School of Theatre last year.


Dylan Russell | Director

Dylan Russell is a director, teaching artist, new play developer and community engagement specialist. Dylan has directed productions at American Conservatory Theatre Conservatory, TheatreFirst, New Conservatory Theatre, and Actors Lab Arizona. Most recently, Dylan was the Director of Education and Community Engagement at Laguna Playhouse. Dylan envisioned and created the OUR STORIES program at Laguna Playhouse, which utilizes generative theatre practices to create awareness about mental health and amplify the voices of youth and young adults ages 16-25. Dylan created the Drama Department at Jewish Community High School of the Bay, which was recognized as one of the top high school theatre programs in America by Stage Directions Magazine and twice performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Scotland. She has taught at Laguna Playhouse, California Shakespeare Theatre, Northwestern University's National High School Institute, Marin Theatre Company and New Conservatory Theatre Center.


William Thomas Hodgson | Director/Acting Teacher

William Thomas Hodgson’s regional credits include Romeo (Oregon Shakespeare Festival), It Can’t Happen Here (Berkeley Rep), Calligraphy (TheatreWorks), Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame (La Jolla Playhouse), An Octoroon (Mixed Blood Theatre), Trufaldino Says No (Shotgun Players), Seussical the Musical (Berkeley Playhouse), and I Am My Own Wife (Oakland Theater Project). He received his MFA from UC San Diego, and he is co-artistic director of the Oakland Theater Project. He has taught for Berkeley Rep School of Theatre, Berkeley Playhouse, ACT, UCSD, OSF, Park Day Middle School, Chatauqua Center, Roads Scholars, and more.


Annie Obermeyer | Acting Teacher

Annie Obermeyer has taught acting at Berkeley Rep School of Theatre and The Bay School of San Francisco’s Shakespeare Immersive. She worked at The Public Theater, True Colors Theater, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, the National Playwrights Conference at The Eugene O’Neill Theater, and assisted at ACT. Annie received her BA from Oberlin College, attended The National Theatre Institute, and has a coaching certification from New Ventures West. Her experience studying Zen Buddhism, living monastically, and teaching mindfulness deeply informs her work as an actor, director, and teaching artist. 


Ben Hartley | Musical Theatre Director

Ben Hartley is a writer, director, choreographer, filmmaker, educator & Broadway professional. He is the co-creator, book writer, & choreographer of A Second Chance, a new musical. He wrote, directed, & choreographed the multi-award-winning short films Free & Early Mourning, distributed by ShortsTV & Amazon Prime.


Ben recently directed & choreographed Let the Right One In for The Neighborhood Playhouse, NYC, alongside Another Hundred People & By the River. He served as Movement Director and/or Choreographer for twelve full-scale productions for "The Fame School" NYC & a tribute to Broadway legend Ben Vereen. He choreographed Held Momentarilyfor NYMF, Gypsy in Houston, TX, Hairspray in Stamford, CT, & Ballet Central UK. Ben served as the Assistant Choreographer on the Broadway production ofEnron & the reading of Robin & The Seven Hoods.


Ben was on the theater dance faculty at Broadway Dance Center NYC & has guest taught at all other major NYC dance studios. In addition, he has been invited to guest teach for various companies, schools, & studios in the UK, across Europe, Japan, & the USA. Ben was the Artistic Director of Broadway Arts Factory, a 501(c)3 musical theatre school based in NYC. He was the founder and director of The Broadway Experience from 2008 - 2021.


He performed in Broadway & West End productions of The Little Mermaid, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Fiddler on the Roof, Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake, Cinderella, & The Carman, Follies, Cats, & Fosse as well as regional productions of Hello Dolly, Pirates of Penzance, & The Most Happy Fella. He danced in the Met Opera Ballet, Santa Fe Opera, and English National Ballet. He has been featured in American Vogue & New Yorker magazine.



Samuel Tomfohr | Film Intensive Director

Samuel Tomfohr is a filmmaker and actor who holds a BA in Film from UC Berkeley and an MFA in Film Directing from Columbia University. He is also a former Fulbright Scholarship recipient in filmmaking to Brazil.  His past short films have screened in film festivals throughout the US. He has taught courses and workshops in screenwriting and filmmaking in New York and Brazil. More recently Sam has been acting in Bay Area theatre and short films. Sam loves the collaborative nature of film and continues to write scripts and stories for future work. He lives in Oakland.

Bobby August Jr. 

Diana Brown

Ron Campbell

Rebecca Castelli

Catherine Castellanos

Jiwon Chung

Iu-Hui Chua

Deborah Eubanks

Jim Edgar

Maria Frangos

Nancy Gold

Gary Graves

Marvin Greene

Jennifer Le Blanc

Dave Maier

James Wagner

Hans Probst

Reach us

510 647-2972
2071 Addison St, Berkeley CA 94704


School policies


All registrations are processed in the order they are received. Registrations will be accepted until the class is full or until the end of the first week of class, whichever comes first.

Class confirmations: After your order is processed, you will receive an email from confirming your registration.

We reserve the right to cancel a class if enrollment is insufficient. In this instance, any tuition paid will be refunded in full.

Returned checks: A $25 service charge will be attached to any check returned by the bank due to insufficient funds.

Class cancellation policy:

  • If you cancel 48 hours or more before the first class meeting begins, we will refund tuition less a $50 processing fee per class. If you cancel within 48 hours before the first class meeting begins, we will refund tuition less a $75 processing fee. If you cancel within 24 hours after the first class meeting, we will refund half the tuition amount. And 24 hours or more after the first class meeting, no refund will be given.
  • Refunds will not be given for the following classes: Advanced Acting; On-Camera Acting; Playwriting Residency Workshop; Improv Performance Lab; Actor’s Process: From Auditioning to Rehearsing to Performing; Masterclass Workshop in Audiobook Narration: for Emerging and Professional Working Narrators

Berkeley Repertory Theatre is not responsible for any lost, damaged, or stolen personal belongings.

Disruptive or disrespectful behavior is not tolerated and will result in immediate expulsion from the Berkeley Rep School of Theatre with no refund.

Students are expected to attend all scheduled classes and scene partner rehearsals on time and ready to work. Repeated non-compliance without notification may result in dismissal from class without refund.

All dates, times, and programming subject to change.

Vaccination policy

The Berkeley Rep School of Theatre requires all students taking in-person classes to be fully vaccinated against COVID.

Berkeley Rep School of Theatre’s youth and teen programming is limited to children who are up-to-date with those vaccinations recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and required by California Education Code Section 48980.5, unless a medical exception applies. For children with medical exemptions, the School must be notified and a physician’s written statement supporting the medical exemption must be submitted prior to participation.

View Berkeley Rep's health and safety guidelines

View a schedule of the CDC’s vaccine recommendations

View the vaccines required by California law


Lead education funders

California Arts CouncilJonathan Logan Family Foundation

Gisele & Kenneth F. Miller

The Woodlawn Foundation

Executive education funders

Koret FoundationWells Fargo

By using this site, you agree to our privacy policy, which describes our use cookies.