Faculty In Review

Theater Arts Department

photo of Berman Abra Lynn

Abra Lynn Berman

Theater Arts Department

MFA Theatre Arts, UCLA
BFA Fashion Design and Merchandising, Louise Salinger Academy of Fashion

Prof. Berman has been teaching at CCSF since 2015

A Bay Area based theatrical costume designer, Ms Berman has been working in the industry for over twenty five years. She has extensive experience in drama, dance, opera, and musicals. Some of her collaborators include San Jose Stage, San Francisco Playhouse, West Bay Opera, Alonzo King Lines Ballet, Marin Shakespeare, Cinnabar Theatre, and Marin Theatre Company, among others. She is also a Costume Conservator, working with the De Young Museum and the Museum of Performance and Design. Ms. Berman has taught theatre, costume and fashion design for over a decade at Art Institute San Francisco, San Francisco Art Institute, and California College of Art.

I regard theatre as a universal application of skills, a religion, and a source of remarkable artistic expression. It relies heavily upon an open, generous exchange of ideas with a group of creative storytellers whom keep their collective eyes on the prize of presenting an outstanding journey of humanity.

Costume Design and make-up combines a sartorial three dimensional art with psychology, collaboration, and human expression. Through a combination of lecture and lab activities, students learn about the history and psychology of costume, its place in the defining of human history from an anthropological perspective, and develop skills in script and character analysis, design, sewing, patterning, draping, and theatrical production practices.

Improv is the exploration of thinking outside the box, or climbing out of the many incarnations that society has manufactured. Through games, observational exercises, art projects, and experimentation, students learn to notice and pay attention to the absurd, celebrate the commonplace, listen to and trust their expressive inner voices, and find the humor in our everyday lives. Students learn to apply all of these skills to develop mastery of public speaking, collaboration, project development, comedy, script writing, and presentation.

Theatre Arts Department Hiring Committee

Wardrobe Union IATSE Local 784
Theatre Bay Area Member
Theatre Bay Area Adjudicator
Shakespearience! Advisory Board Member

photo of English Lauren E

Lauren E English

Theater Arts Department

Foothill Theatre Conservatory, MFA from NYU’sGraduate Acting Program.

Prof. English has been teaching at CCSF since 2015

Lauren English is a founding member and Artistic Associate at The San Francisco Playhouse where she also serves as Associate Artist and Casting Director; Casting all main stage and Sandbox productions. Most recently she directed The World Premiere of 1 2 3 by Lila Rose Kaplan in The SF Playhouse's Sandbox Series. Some of her favorite Playhouse onstage roles include: Kate in Seminar (TBA Award Nomination), Pilot in Grounded, Steph In reasons to be pretty, Sally in Cabaret, Emily in Our Town and Lisa in The Glory of Living. Other recent performance credits include: Sally in Talley's Folly directed by Joy Carlin at The Aurora Theatre and Helena in A Mid Summer Night's Dream at California Shakespeare Festival. Selected New York Theater performance credits: TACT's Off Broadway Production of The Cocktail Party, Hamlet at the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, and The Idealist at The New York Times Theatre. She has also worked at the Public Theater, Ensemble Studio Theater, Lark Theatre and Playwrights Realm. Locally, she has with The California Shakespeare Festival, Word for Word, Marin Theatre Company, Marin Shakespeare Company, PlayGround and The Magic Theatre among others. She is a two-time BATCC award winner and three-time Dean Goodman award recipient. Lauren teaches acting at San Francisco State University, City College of San Francisco, San Jose State University and coaches privately.

photo of Miller Patricia Elise

Patricia Elise Miller

Theater Arts Department

MFA Theatre Directing UC Davis, MA Theatre and Media Studies Hull university UK, BA English, Drama and American Studies Manchester University UK

Prof. Miller has been teaching at CCSF since 2015

Director for "The Government Inspector"
U.S.-born, raised and trained in the U.K., Patricia Miller brings a diversity of experience to theatre directing, teaching and acting. She creates a strong dynamic between text work and physical theatre techniques across many genres, ranging from classics with strong text work integrated with physical theatre techniques, to new play development, modern works and live arts genres including circus, opera and interactive ritual.

Her work has been seen all over the U.K., including Edinburgh premieres, as well as in Europe and California. She has an MFA in directing from UC Davis. U.S. directing credits include The Magic Theatre, UC Riverside, UC Davis, Berkeley Rep School of Theatre and Teatro Zinzanni. U.K. directing credits include Mountview Theatre School, National Youth Theatre of Great Britain, New Playwrights Festival, Riverside Studios and the Edinburgh Festival. Miller’s teaching credits include UC Riverside, UC Davis, Berkeley City College, San Francisco City College, California Shakespeare Festival, Aurora Theatre Education and the Berkeley Rep School of Theatre.

photo of Parr David J

David J Parr

Chair, Theater Arts Department

Mr. Parr holds degrees in English and Drama from St. Mary's University and a Master's degree in Theatre from the University of Illinois. He has taught at CCSF for the past 34 years.

He is a Bay Area actor and director. His credits include California and San Francisco Shakespeare Festivals, Magic Theatre and TheatreWorks, among many others. He is Artistic Director of the California Revels.

Mr. Parr is former Artistic Director, Eureka Theatre, Board Treasurer, Centralworks Theatre Company. He is also General Partner in Videosyncracy Productions and has produced documentaries in Nepal and Africa. 10 year Resident Director for the California Revels. He founded the City Summer Opera program at CCSF.

He is a member of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, Actors' Equity Association, and the Screen Actors' Guild.

photo of Shaw Deborah A

Deborah A Shaw

Theater Arts Department

Ms. Shaw is a native San Franciscan who has been teaching at City College since 1987. She received her BA from the University of San Francisco and her MA and teaching credential from San Francisco State University. She has also taught at San Jose City College, Cal State East Bay and for the Asian American Theatre Company.

Some of her directing credits include "A Chorus Line","Pippin", "Jesus Christ Superstar" and "Cabaret". She has co-produced an independent feature film. Ms. Shaw is the recipient of the Peninsula Childrens Theater Association Award. She has served on the board of directors for the Asian American Theatre Company and worked with the San Francisco Young Playwrights Foundation.

photo of Toebe Patrick A.

Patrick A. Toebe

Theater Arts Department

BA Industrial Relations from Rockhurst College, Kansas City, MO MFA in Lighting and Scenic Design from San Francisco State University

Prof. Toebe has been teaching at CCSF since 2006

Patrick has an extensive background in lighting and scenic design. His work has been seen across the United States and in Japan. His work includes lighting design for Theatre Flamenco (8 years), the World Institute on Disabilities (8 years), California Revels (7 years), Sacramento Ballet, Tulsa Ballet, Alabama Ballet, Knoxville City Ballet, San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival, Sierra Shakespeare Festival, Centre Repertory, and Solo Opera. He has created lighting and scenic designs for Theatre of Yugen, Foothill Theatre Company, Pacific Alliance Theatre Company, Summer Repertory Theatre, A.C.T.'s Junior Rep, Centre Repertory, and many more.

photo of Wilk John R

John R Wilk

Theater Arts Department

Dr. Wilk is both a director and scenic designer, having earned an MFA in scenic design as well as a Ph.D. in Theatre.
He has worked professionally, for thirteen years at the American Conservatory Theatre (A.C.T.) as well as having served as Artistic Director of the San Francisco Theatre Project for ten years.

His educational goals for students at City College are based in inclusion, extending into the community, empowering students and training them for real world jobs (entry-level).

Has been involved in Multimedia Studies, African American Excellence Program and SCANS.

The author of "Creation of Ensemble, The First Year of the American Conservatory Theatre".
"Aftermath of War" a play developed at City College from the many blogs of the Iraq War.
Served as a judge for the American College Theatre Festival for 15 years.
Has "Storytelling" performances at the Randall Museum for the last decade.

In his spare time, he enjoys tennis and coaching basketball .

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