Our faculty has many years of professional acting experience. Some are still highly active in the industry and therefore up-to-date on industry practices including the uses of technology that today’s actor must be able to employ for success. Our faculty’s doors are always open and we are very proud of the supportive and nurturing program that we have developed. We hope that you will become a part of it.


Headshot of Lisa Hashimoto Stone
Lisa Hashimoto Stone
As full time technical theater faculty at ELAC since 2009, Hashi has been able to share her knowledge and expertise in theatrical set design, scenic art, and set decoration. Hashi earned a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Architecture from Pennsylvania State University, and a Master of Fine Art in Technical Theater from CSU Long Beach.
Previous to ELAC, Hashi served as the Design Manager from 2000-2009 for the LA Opera at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. She has collaborated with some of the most prestigious and prolific directors, designers, and production companies in the world.

Hashi’s past design work includes sets for more than 30 productions at distinguished venues including: LA Opera, Seattle Opera, Kennedy Center, Ford Amphitheatre, East West Players, Magic Theatre, Evidence Room, Hudson Theatre, Cal Rep Theatre, International City Theatre, Laguna Playhouse, and Shakespeare Orange County. She has been recognized with several Dramalogue Awards, an LA Weekly Award, a Garland Award, a Signal Award, and an Ovation nomination.

Hashi is privileged to be the current department chair where she can provide her unique and keen insight in supporting the needs and direction of the ELAC Theatre Department.



Vanessa Mizzone Pellegrini
is full time faculty at East Los Angeles College, where she has been teaching since 2007.  In the Theatre Arts Department, Vanessa teaches voice and movement classes for the Acting Program, in addition to vocal coaching all of the department's Main Stage productions.  Vanessa can also be found teaching Introduction to Theatre, Introduction to Acting, and Actors' Orientation to the Professional Theatre. At ELAC, she has directed multiple theatre productions, such as Man of The Flesh, They Don't Pay? We Won't Pay!, Metamorphosis, Lend Me A Tenor, andDeath and The Maiden, which was a 2015 regional finalist in Kennedy Center's American College Theatre Festival in Hawaii.  Before coming to ELAC, she taught acting at Santa Monica College and UCLA. 

Professionally, Vanessa was a long time member of L.A.’s prestigious theatre company The Actors’ Gang, headed by Tim Robbins, where she was also the Director of Education for over 5 years. At The Actors’ Gang she performed in Embedded (National Tour), Tartuffe, Blood! Love! Madness!, Drums In The Night, Pericles on The High Seas, as the Queen in Gulliver’s Travels, and Emily in Our Town.   Regional credits also include performing at the Theatre@Boston Court, The Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum, and Williamstown Theatre Festival.  She completed the Groundlings School Comedy Program and has trained with comedy stars such as Lewis Black and Richard Kind. In television, Vanessa can be seen on AMERICAN HORROR STORY: ASYLUM (FX), GLEE (FOX), NO TOMORROW (CW), THE LAST SHIP (TNT) and she currently plays Elise on the CW's JANE THE VIRGIN.

Vanessa has her Masters of Fine Arts in Acting from UCLA and her BA in Theatre and Communications from the University of Pennsylvania, where she graduated Phi Betta Kappa and Summa Cum Laude. She is also a member of SAG-AFTRA and the Actors' Equity Association.

Headshot of Vanessa Mizzone Pellegrini

Headshot of Cristina Frias
Cristina Fríasis thrilled to join ELAC's Theatre Arts Department! She is an award-winning Mexican-American Actor, Educator and Storyteller born and raised in Los Angeles. Cristina holds an MFA in Acting from the California Institute of the Arts (CALARTS), a BA in Sociology form U.C. Berkeley, a certificate from LAMDA’s Summer Shakespeare Intensive (London) and completed a 1-year study abroad in Madrid, Spain through Saint Louis University.
Cristina has taught all levels/styles of Acting and Theatre Courses at colleges such as UCLA, UCSB, AMDA, CALARTS & LAMC. She is the recipient of several Artist-In-Residence Awards from the Department of Cultural Affairs, a recipient of the CCI Investing in Artist Grant, a selected participant in the prestigious Fornés playwriting workshop, a nominee for the Beutner Award for Excellence in the Arts (CalArts) and a semi-finalist for CTG’s Sherwood Award 2018.
Cristina is known for her work in TALKNG WHILE FEMALE created by Teatro Luna (Audible Original), REAL WOMEN HAVE CURVES (Pasadena Playhouse), THE MOTHERF*CKER WITH A HAT (South Coast Repertory), BETWEEN RIVERSIDE and CRAZY (Studio Theatre D.C.), BLACK BUTTERFLY (Mark Taper/Kennedy Center), ROMEO and JULIET (Shakespeare Center LA). Cristina has recently appeared on The YOUNG & THE RESTLESS (CBS), ANIMAL KINGDOM (TNT), ONE DAY AT A TIME (NETFLIX) and plays a lead in two original series FUNNY BROWN PEOPLE and THE COUCH.
Other notable performances include work with the acclaimed comedy trio Culture Clash, the San Francisco Mime Troupe, Cornerstone Theatre Co., Independent Shakespeare Co., LA Philharmonic@Walt Disney Concert Hall, Getty Villa, Boston Court Theatre, Watts Village Theatre Co., CASA 0101, Campo Santo and Playwright’s Arena.
Cristina has created solo performances and toured plays throughout the U.S. and internationally. She is a founding member of the seminal San Francisco Latina Theatre Lab and a proud member of Hero Theatre Company, Latinx Theatre Alliance and the SAG-AFTRA-AEA actor unions. www.cristinafrias.com


David Laird Scott has a BFA in Acting from Boston University, a Master of Theatre from California State University - Northridge, and has membership with the Screen Actors’ Guild and Actors’ Equity Association.  Starting his performance-life as a dancer, he performed with the Bolshoi as a young lad. Later, in high school and college, David performed in musicals such as Carnival, Stop the World, The Music Man,Finnian’s Rainbow, and many more.  David has toured the United States several times while performing with various Shakespeare companies, a student circus as a clown, and the Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz.  He performed regionally with the National Shakespeare Company, the New Jersey Shakespeare Company and the North Shore Music Center, playing roles as diverse as Launce from Two Gentleman of Verona and Claudius in Hamlet. He co-wrote and co-starred in the two-man comedy, Fakov in America with Ilia Volok, which performed for eight years in many LA theatres.  It was filmed as a feature and is currently in post-production, expecting distribution in 2017.   Television commercials include Audi, Comcast, Nextel, Washington Mutual, Volkswagen, Slim Jim, and Federal Express.  David has directed plays such as Fallujah, Five Card Draw (five one-acts) both in Hollywood, The Importance of Being Earnest, Woyzeck, and A Doll’s House at ELAC.  He has studied acting with Word Baker, Ada Brown Mather, Peter Frisch, Marat Yusim and Nancy Berwid.


Headshot of David Laird

Headshot of Rodney Lloyd Scott
Rodney Lloyd Scott was born in Germany and raised in the city of Compton.  He received an Associate of Arts Degree from Compton Community College, a B.S. from Northern Arizona University and a M.F.A. from the U.C.L.A. School of The

ater, Film and Television.  He is currently an Adjunct Professor at East Los Angeles College.  Although his emphasis in teaching is on acting, his passion has always been on directing plays.  He feels blessed to have had the opportunity to direct more than 30 produced theatre productions. Prior to joining the academia field he worked for BET as a Production Assistant, and built sets as a member of IATSE Local 33. He was a past board member of the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival West Region.  One of his productions Kindred was chosen to perform at the festival in Utah.  He gets his greatest joy from inspiring our youth and is a past recipient of the NAACP Man of the Year Award.


Ramiro Segovia
received his B.A. in Drama from the University of Washington, and his Master of Fine Arts from UCLA.  As an Adjunct Professor at East Los Angeles College, he teaches Acting, Theater History, Rehearsal and Performance Production.  Most recently, directed Chavez Ravine by Culture Clash, in the Spring of 2018 which earned regional and national awards and was invited to the Kennedy Center of American College Theater Festival - Region 8.

Ramiro has worked with ABC Diversity & Talent Development, BET, the National Association of Latino Independent Producers & the Ricardo Montalbán Theatre.  He has experience behind the camera with film productions in Mexico and the U.S., which has expanded his multiple levels of production.  His passion is in acting, directing, writing and more importantly teaching.


Will Pellegrini
received his BA from UCLA's School of Theater, Film, & Television, and then went on to graduate, top of his class, from the prestigious MFA Directing program at Mason Gross School of the Arts, at Rutgers University. Will has spent the last 15 years working in the television industry in a variety of roles – everything from writer’s assistant to editor to producer. Will has worked on noteworthy scripted shows, like Glee and American Horror Story, as well as on popular unscripted series, such as The Real Housewives and Love is Blind. Additionally, Will is an independent filmmaker whose films have been screened at multiple film festivals, nationwide. Will is the camp director and acting instructor at the Pasadena Playhouse's Summer Musical Theater Bootcamp. At ELAC, Will teaches Stagecraft, Musical Theater Workshop, Business for the Actor, and Film History. He has also directed productions at ELAC, including Little Shop of Horrors. Fun facts: Will is also a children's book illustrator, a scenic designer, and a puppeteer!


is an actor, composer/lyricist, and writer. He originated the role of Marcus Off-Broadway in Murder for Two. Other acting credits include A Christmas Carol (National Tour), The History Boys (Ahmanson), The Lieutenant Inishmore (Mark Taper Forum), and the world premieres of Shrew!, The Prince of Atlantis, Dr. Cerberus, and Imagine (South Coast Rep). Recent TV/Film appearances include: Mom, Modern Family, How I Met Your Mother, Hail, Caesar!, and the Lifetime movie The Assistant. His plays and musicals include: Passing Through (Goodspeed); Joe Schmoe Saves the World (NAMT 2016, ASCAP/Dreamworks Workshop); Liberty Inn: The Musical (Ovation Award nomination: Best Music/Lyrics); Darling (Weston Playhouse New Musical Award); The Tavern Keeper’s Daughter (Best Musical, Pasadena Weekly); Nate the Great (South Coast Rep, First Stage). His plays Weïrd and A Roz By Any Other Name are both published in “The Best American Short Plays 2007-2008.” Brett co-created and starred in In Strange Woods, a musical podcast that hit #1 on Apple’s fiction chart. He is the recipient of the ASCAP Foundation’s Cole Porter Award. www.brettryback.com


Mark Anthony Vallejo
Born and raised in East LA and received his AA with East Los Angele College (2012), B.A. in theatre with an emphasis in directing at CSU Long Beach (2016) and his M.F.A. at UCLA in Stage Directing (2020). He trained with Contra’s Tiempo’s Activist Dance Theatre Company in Los Angeles, the Society of American Fight Directors, and was awarded a full grant from UCLA to study theatre in London as well as in France at the Festival D’Avignon. Both experiences heavily influenced his approach to visual imagery and physical storytelling. He currently teaches theatre at East Los Angeles College and Long Beach City College. He is also a proud member of SDC. Select awards include Princess Grace Award finalist (2021), UCLA Graduate Opportunity Fellowship Award recipient (2017); Directing credits include Regional: La Comedia of Errors (Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Directing Fellow); Mr. Popper’s Penguins (South Coast Repertory, A.D.). Other directing credits include: George Bizet’s Carmen (MOSI Company, Co-director), La Victima (Latino Theatre Company, co- director and choreographer); Faith (Latino Theatre Company in Collaboration with East Los Angeles College, Associate Director); Middletown (Chance Theatre, A.D.); selected directing credits include: Lydia, Bent, Diary of Anne Frank, The Whipping Man, Electra and Appropriate. Mark Anthony is honored to be sharing his work and collaborating with those in his community. (Insta- @markanthonydrama) 



Headshot of Jessica Champagne Hansen
Jessica Champagne Hansen is faculty at East Los Angeles College, and developed a costume program as part of their degree offerings with a Certificate of Achievement and specialty Skills Certificates. She has also taught costuming at Culver City High School, South Coast Repertory, Cerritos College, UC Irvine, CSULB, Tufts University, Newton Country Day School and Arlington Center for the Arts.

Jessica Champagne Hansen is an award winning freelance costume designer and technician with experience in theatre, dance, film, television, commercials, theme park, and corporate clients.

She has worked in design and construction for Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World, Tide, Girl Scouts of America, Kaiser Permanente Educational Theater, Garry Marshall Theatre, Actors Co-Op, The Lyric Theatre, South Coast Repertory, The Met Theater, Stonebound Productions and Poptent, among others.

Jessica received an MFA in Costume Design from University of California, Irvine, CA and a BFA in Costume Design & Technology from Emerson College, Boston, MA with a degree minor in Theater Education.

Jessica is published in TD&T USITT Journal and Theatre Artisans and Their Craft, Edited by Rafael Jaen, Holly Poe Durbin and Christin Essin. She received a Herbert D Greggs Merit Award for an outstanding article in Theatre Design & Technology Magazine in 2019. Her work is also featured in publications, including:Digital Design for Custom Textiles, by Amber Marisa Cook, The Art and Practice of Costume Design edited by Melissa L Merz,Showcase by Rafael Jaen, and Developing and Maintaining a Design-Tech Portfolio by Rafael Jaen.

Hansen is a member of IATSE Local 829, United Scenic Artists as a Costume Designer and USITT.



François-Pierre Coutureis the head of Scenic, lighting, projection design at ELAC. He has had the privilege of working in Los Angeles and the United States for the last decade as a scenic, lighting and projection designer. He has received his MFA in scenic design from UCLA in 2006. He has been teaching at East Los Angeles College since 2009 in scenic, lighting and projection design and has also taught at LMU, California State Northridge, and Pepperdine University and is also currently teaching at UCLA and California State Long Beach. He is a member of the United Scenic Artist Local 829 Union. 

Mr. Couture was awarded; Outstanding scenic design at the KCACTF National Awards for the 2014 Regional Festivals for Kindred; The Indy Award for best Scenic and Lighting design for Metamorphoses at the Ensemble Theater Company; The 2010 Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle for sustained achievement is set design; The Garland Award for the scenery of The Quality of Life at the Geffen Playhouse . He has also been nominated at the Ovation, LA Weekly, and LADCC awards.

Some of his professional designs designs include; With Love and Major Organ, Boston Court Theatre; Destiny of Desire, Shakespeare Oregon Festival, Arena Stage Theatre, SCR and the Goodman Theatre; Sense and Sensibility at South Coast Repertory; The Mexican Trilogy, an American History, LATC; Metamorphoses and Woyzeck, ETC; Médée and TeseoChicago Opera Theatre; A Picasso, Geffen Playhouse. www.fpcouture.com

Headshot of François-Pierre Couture

Headshot of Nathan Davis
Nathan Davis serves ELAC Theatre as the Sound, Projections, and General techician. He has been a professional entertainment designer / technician in theatre, concerts, and convention / exposition services for over a decade. Nathan received his MFA from Ohio University in Production Design & Technology with an emphasis in Sound and Projection Design for the Theatre. He received his BFA from San Diego State University in Design & Technology for the Theatre with emphasis in sound design.

Efrain Coronais the ELAC Scene Shop Manager. Before Transferring to ELAC , Efrain worked for 9 years at LACC Theater Academy as the scene shop supervisor . His work experience also includes 12 years of Building, Guiding and Negotiating many of Cinnabar’s most distinguished and successful projects. Efrain’s global understanding of Scenery and elements of production are key factors in the creation and successful execution of the projects set before him.

Headshot of Efrain Corona
Merrianne Nedreberg (she/hers) is the Prop Director for Center Theatre Group, and the ELAC Prop Mentor. She has been working in various roles for CTG’s prop department since 2008, starting as an over hire, to doing an internship while she finished Grad school, to being a shopper, show lead, artisan, and associate, and then most recently becoming the Prop Director in 2018. She has worked for other various theatres in the West and Los Angeles including the Utah Shakespearean Festival, Noise Within, and The Old Globe Theatre. She holds an BS in Technical Theatre from Southern Utah University, and a MFA in Properties Design and Management from CalArts. Merrianne has dedicated her career to teaching props to anyone who wants to learn, and helping to elevate, empower, and build confidence in other people's skills and potential. She is excited to bring this dedication to the students at ELAC. However her most important role is being a mom to her daughter Karen.




Headshot of Jenny Jacobs
Jenny Jacobs(Production Stage Manager/Adjunct Professor) from Orange, Ca, received her BA from CSULB and MFA from UCI. Her past credits include Plaid Tidingsat Laguna Playhouse, 3-D Theatricals on The Sound of Music, Hello Dolly, Altar Boyz & All Shook Up, Peter Pan, Noises Off at South Coast Repertory; Titus Andronicus, Reefer Madness, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Anything Goes, Urinetown, The Tempest & Cider House Rules. For the past 8 years she has been touring with Menopause the Musical across the US and Canada. Presently she is working at South Coast Rep on The Kings while teaching and mentoring students at East Los Angeles College and at CSULB. She is a proud member of Actors Equity Association for the last 9 years.  


Natalie Wong is currently the Theater Manager at East Los Angeles College. She teaches the House Management Practicum, where the students help her run the theater’s box office. She also serves as an Outcomes Assessment Facilitator for the Campus. She was a faculty advisor for the Performance East club, the theater club that fundraises to send students to KCACTF (Kennedy Center America Theater Festival). She earned a BA in Geology & Geophysics from Yale University. She played professional golf for 10 years after before retiring and beginning her career indoors. Before joining ELAC Theatre, she was the Spa and Boutique Manager at Pacific Palms Resort in Industry, CA.

Headshot of Natalie Wong


Headshot of Demetra Kareman
Demetra Kareman is a born and bred New Yorker. A CatholicSchool Survivor, and a dyslexic playwright whose work has been produced and developed across the country. Mostrecently, her play Lessons & Carols was the winner of theDenise Ragan Wiesenmeyer Award, The Award in Drama fromArts & Letters Journal of Contemporary Culture, and theJames W. Rogers Award. Her newest work, Bitch Brow will receive premiere at The Hollywood Fringe Festival and will also receive productions at The William Inge TheatreFestival, The Women’s Work Broadway Festival, and TheEast End Fringe Festival.

Demetra graduated from Kenyon College and has an MFA in Playwriting from The Mason Gross School of The Arts at Rutgers University. She is a faculty member at East Los Angeles College where she teaches playwriting.


Eric Augusztiny received his professional acting training with Stella Adler at her Studio of Acting in New York. He holds a BA in Drama from the University of Washington and an MFA in directing from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Recent directing credits include “Den of Thieves” at the Hudson Guild on Hollywood’s Theatre Row, several 2Cents’ Acting Out INK Fests, the Alliance of Los Angeles Playwrights Play Reading Festival, site-specific plays with Moveable Piece at the Mandrake Bar and Grill in Culver City and the Hollywood Recreation Center during the inaugural Hollywood Fringe Festival while also associate producing. Acting credits in New York include La MaMa ETC, Judson Poets’ Theater, Vandam Theater, and the American Theatre of Actors. Augusztiny has worked regionally with the Seattle Repertory Theatre, A Contemporary Theatre, Dallas Theatre Center, Mark Taper Forum, and The Empty Space.
Headshot of Eric Augusztiny


Headshot of Efrain Corona
Efrain Coronais the ELAC Scene Shop Manager. Before Transferring to ELAC , Efrain worked for 9 years at LACC Theater Academy as the scene shop supervisor . His work experience also includes 12 years of Building, Guiding and Negotiating many of Cinnabar’s most distinguished and successful projects. Efrain’s global understanding of Scenery and elements of production are key factors in the creation and successful execution of the projects set before him.


Nathan Davisserves ELAC Theatre as the Sound, Projections, designer and General technician. He has been a professional entertainment designer / technician in theatre, concerts, and convention / exposition services for over a decade. Nathan received his MFA from Ohio University in Production Design & Technology with an emphasis in Sound and Projection Design for the Theatre. He received his BFA from San Diego State University in Design & Technology for the Theatre with emphasis in sound design.

Headshot of Nathan Davis
Stephen Azua
serves a the lighting and scenic performing arts technician and designer. Born and raised in L.A. -and ELAC alumn- he has been a theater technician and designer for over 15 years on both coasts, most notably at the Black Hills Laguna Playhouse where he has served as Master Electrician, Lighting designer and Production manager for their summer stock program.