FACULTY & STAFF


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.



CHAIR


Lisa Hashimoto Stone
As full time technical theatre 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 Theatre 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.





ACTING AND DIRECTING



Kelley Hogan
received her Professional Acting Certificate from the acclaimed London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art in England, her Master’s Degree with Honors in Theatre Arts from Cal State, Northridge, her BFA with High Distinction in Dramatic Performance from the University of Arizona in Tucson, and her AA with Highest Distinction in Theatre from Phoenix College. She spent 15 years as a professional actress before making a career shift to teaching. She has performed in New York, London, Los Angeles and her hometown of Phoenix/Scottsdale. Her favorite roles include Kate in The Taming of the Shrew, Lady Macbeth, and her most recent turn as Martha in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf. She made her professional directing debut with Sam Shepard’s Seduced at the Phoenix Performing Arts Center and has directed Mamet and Shakespeare professionally. She founded the California State Touring Theatre in 1985 which performed shortened Shakespeare productions at High Schools throughout California.

She has taught at East Los Angeles College for 23 years and is currently a tenured professor in the Performance Studies Area, in charge of the student directing program, and Artistic Director. She teaches Introduction to Theatre, Beginning, Intermediate and Advanced Acting classes, Beginning Direction and created and teaches in the Summer With Shakespeare Acting Workshop each summer.

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.


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.

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 Theater, 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.



James Buglewicz  
received a B.F.A. from New York University’s Experimental Theatre Wing where he studied with Anne Bogart, Mary Overlie, Richard Schechner and Richard Ciezlack of Growtowski’s Poor Theatre. He received an M.F.A. in Directing and a post-baccalaureate certificate in Secondary Education from the University of Arizona. James has been Performing Arts Coordinator for City of Tucson Parks and Recreation Community Theater, a faculty member of the Watkins Film School in Nashville, Tennessee, Missouri Western University in Saint Joseph, Missouri and The New York Film Academy in Los Angeles. He is currently Producing Director for ELAC’s Theater in the Community program and ELAC Storytheatre, a touring theatre for children and seniors that produces original plays and adaptations for children and intergenerational audiences. In addition, he teaches Arts in the Community, Script Analysis, History of Motion Pictures and Film and Television Acting. He is a current member of The International Federation of Theater Research and has presented at conferences at The University of Santiago, Santiago, Chile and The University of Warwick in the U.K.


Cristina Frías
is 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



COSTUMES, HAIR AND MAKEUP



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.




SCENIC, LIGHTING, SOUND AND PROPS



François-Pierre Couture 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 Theatre 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



Tesshi Nakagawa has been teaching Scenic Design, Scenic Painting and Scenic Production at East Los Angeles College, Los Angeles City College, UC Irvine.
Tesshi works in Theater, Film and Commercial industry in Los Angeles Area as a Scenic Designer/Art Director/Scenic Painter. His theater work has been seen at Boston Court Theater, East West Players, Sierra Madre Playhouse, Los Angeles Theater Center, International City theater, Odyssey Theater etc. Commercial/Film credits include TOYOTA Hybrids, KYOCERA Digital Copier, Mr.Big Underton(MV), Magnolia Pictures The Perfect Host etc. He is a graduate of UCLA
Melissa Ficociello
is a Los Angeles based set designer, scenic artist and props designer for theater and film.  She also works as an entertainment set designer for Universal Studios, and recently completed an art director position at Ferrari World theme park in Abu Dhabi, UAE. She has held the position of lead scenic artist at Los Angeles Opera as a member of the Art Directors Guild, IATSTE local 800.  Her work has been presented at REDCAT Theater (Orpheus Crawling), Boston Court Theater (Gilgamesh), A Noise Within (Ubu Roi, Grapes of Wrath), and Cleveland Opera (Carmen). As production designer, Muted (short film) premiered on HBO and won first place at American Black Film Festival.   She holds a BS in interior design degree from University of Cincinnati, College of Design, Art, Architecture and Planning, and her MFA is from California Institute of the Arts in set design.  At ELAC, she enjoys working with students on meaningful projects, helping to improve their craft in preparation for a wide range of career options. You can visit mficociello.com

Nathan Davisserves 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.



THEATRE IN THE COMMUNITY



James Buglewicz  
received a B.F.A. from New York University’s Experimental Theatre Wing where he studied with Anne Bogart, Mary Overlie, Richard Schechner and Richard Ciezlack of Growtowski’s Poor Theatre. He received an M.F.A. in Directing and a post-baccalaureate certificate in Secondary Education from the University of Arizona. James has been Performing Arts Coordinator for City of Tucson Parks and Recreation Community Theater, a faculty member of the Watkins Film School in Nashville, Tennessee, Missouri Western University in Saint Joseph, Missouri and The New York Film Academy in Los Angeles. He is currently Producing Director for ELAC’s Theater in the Community program and ELAC Storytheatre, a touring theatre for children and seniors that produces original plays and adaptations for children and intergenerational audiences. In addition, he teaches Arts in the Community, Script Analysis, History of Motion Pictures and Film and Television Acting. He is a current member of The International Federation of Theater Research and has presented at conferences at The University of Santiago, Santiago, Chile and The University of Warwick in the U.K.




STAGE/HOUSE MANAGEMENT AND CREW



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.



PLAYWRITING AND THEATRE STUDIES



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.


Matthew Floyd Miller
is an adjunct instructor for East Los Angeles College where he teaches Introduction to Theatre. He is also aprofessional actor who has worked all across the U.S. for twenty-one years. He has been an adjunct instructor of acting at New YorkUniversity, Tisch School of the Arts - Experimental Theatre Wing wherehe has taught courses in Grotowski based physical acting training as helearned it from Master Teacher Stephen Wangh (author of An Acrobat ofthe Heart). He has also taught this work to a wide variety of studentsat Working Classroom in Albuquerque, New Mexico, East Los AngelesCollege Theatre Arts Department, where he has also been a guestdirector, California State University Long Beach and currently at CalState Los Angeles. He has taught acting and scene study workshops forprofessional actors at Chekhov Studio International in Los Angeles andthe Rubicon Theatre Company in Ventura, California. He has acted onBroadway in Not About Nightingales, directed by Trevor Nunn at Circlein the Square and The Invention of Love directed by Jack O’Brien at Lincoln Center Theatre. He has also worked at prominent Off-Broadway,regional and Los Angeles theaters such as Signature Theatre Co., ThePeccadillo Theatre Co., A Contemporary Theatre - Seattle, Arena Stage -Washington D.C., The Old Globe, San Jose Repertory Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Dallas Theatre Center, Playmaker’s Rep.,Cincinnati Playhouse, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, The Geffen Playhouse, The Theatre @ Boston Court, The Falcon Theatre, TheRubicon Theatre, Laguna Playhouse, Ensemble Theatre Co and L.A.Theatreworks. His television and film credits include Hand of God, Colony, Major Crimes, Criminal Minds, Law & Order, and All GoodThings, the fan boy hit Gun Woman and the upcoming comedy feature Stan the Man. Matthew received his MFA from the New YorkUniversity, Tisch School of the Arts - Graduate Acting Program and hisBFA from the NYU, Tisch School of the Arts - Experimental TheatreWing.

W. Collin McKay
taught from 1965 - 2005 and began teaching at ELAC in 1969. He served as Head of Theatre, East Los Angeles College 1979 - 2005.

When he is not writing or directing, he teaches playwriting for California State University, Bakersfield. He currently is a member of the Writer’s Guild of America, West, the Dramatists Guild, and the Southern California Association of Children Writers and Illustrators.
Nominations or Awards:
“Nagasaki Dust” - Nominated for Best New Play in America, American Theatre Critic's Association“Fallujah” - Nominated for Best World Premiere 2007, Los Angeles Stage Alliance, Ovation Award“Shadow War” - Winner, Charlotte Festival of New Plays in AmericaGentleman’s War” - Finalist, YES Festival of New Plays, Northern Kentucky University
"Snitch” - Critic's Choice, Drama-logue, Los Angeles.
Publications: War! Politics! And the Human Comedy!  Scenes and Monologues for Audition and Performance taken from the professionally produced plays of W. Colin McKay.  Found on Amazon books. https://wcolinmckayplaywright.com/




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.

Casey Cowan Gale
Casey's Lighting Design experience ranges from designing the lighting for the world premiere of “Angels in America, Part One: Millennium Approaches”, to designing many musicals and concerts at the Hollywood Bowl, to designing the lighting for a NATO Ministers of Defense meeting.

She served for 6 years as a lighting designer for Walt Disney Imagineering designing theme park attractions in CA, FL, Paris and Tokyo, and an additional 5 years at Walt Disney Imagineering Research and Development working with lighting designers from all aspects of the Disney Corporation.
Casey currently teaches theatre at Los Angeles Pierce College, East Los Angeles College, and tech Management at the Stagecraft Institute of Las Vegas.
Casey is the Western Region Exam Committee Chair for United Scenic Artists Local 829. She is also a member of the United States Intstitute of Theatre Technology and the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America. And she serves on the board of directors for the Los Angeles Contemporary Dance Company.



STAFF


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, 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.

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