Doug Brook — Executive Director
Doug has been in senior management in Silicon Valley since 2002. He received his B.A. and M.A. in Professional Writing with a minor in Theatre Arts from Carnegie Mellon University. As Executive Director, he guides the strategic direction of the company and oversees all programming and operations. Also an active theatre artist, he directed SVS’s Shakespeare in Hollywood and The Three Musketeers, and has directed for various local companies including several award-winning productions for South Bay Musical Theatre. He has appeared onstage for many local companies, including as Tevye in WVLO’s Fiddler on the Roof. As a playwright, twenty of his plays have been staged or produced nationally, including two off-off-Broadway. He is a vice president of the international Alliance for Jewish Theatre, and founded and directs Theatre Chevruta in Los Gatos.
Angie Higgins — Artistic Director email@example.com
Angie holds a B.A. in Creative Arts and an M.A. in Theatre Arts Education from San José State University, and has been teaching theatre arts since 2001. Angie develops and oversees all aspects of SVS’s productions, including play and artist selection. As a member of the artistic company, Angie directed SVS’s productions of As You Like It (2009), King Lear (2012), and Pride and Prejudice (2014); co-directed The Taming of the Shrew (2006), which was recognized as a Standout Classical Production by the Silicon Valley Small Theatre Awards; and has played many roles as an actor on the SVS stage.
Emily Pennington — Managing Director firstname.lastname@example.org
Emily has earned her BA in theatre from San José State University, emphasis in acting and directing. For the past 15 years, she has worked in the ticketing services department at American Musical Theatre of San José, San José Repertory Theatre, and Team San José Ticketing. She also directs children’s theatre with Starting Arts, Children’s Play House, and Playful People.
Melissa Weinstein — Education Program Director email@example.com
Melissa received a B.A. in Theatre from SJSU, with emphases in acting, makeup design, and children’s theatre. She has been a theatre educator since 2000, and has taught, directed, and developed theatre curriculum for numerous schools and organizations, including SVS, Starting Arts, Children’s Discovery Museum, The Tech Museum, and Los Gatos-Saratoga Recreation. Melissa also freelances as a makeup artist and designer, regularly teaching workshops throughout the Bay Area. Melissa manages SVS’s Education Program, including the company’s Shakespeare Summer Camp for Kids and Teens, Takin’ It to the Schools, and student matinees. She is a passionate advocate of the benefits of arts engagement, with its ability to foster personal growth and build community and cultural awareness.
Melissa O’Keefe — Marketing Director
A Bay Area native, Melissa holds a B.A. in Communications, and has an extensive background in Marketing, Public Relations, Business Development and Copywriting. With more than 15 years of professional experience as both an artist and marketing guru, she brings a unique arsenal of tools with which to serve SVS as Marketing Director. She is also an award-winning actress most often found tearing up the stage in plays and musical theatre productions, as well as in national and regional commercials, feature and independent films, print and voiceover work. She is represented as an actor/model with Cast Images Talent Agency.
Tonya Duncan — Administrative Assistant
A native of Richmond, Virginia, Tonya graduated from Randolph Macon College with a BA in Theatre and a love for all things dramatic. After moving to California last year, she now finds herself to be lucky enough to work with such an amazing and dedicated group of artists and is excited about what the future holds with them.
Doll Piccotto — Dramaturg
Doll achieved a B.A. in English from UCSB with an emphasis in Shakespeare in Performance and an M.A. from San José State University in Renaissance Drama. She has worked as an actor, dramaturg, or costume designer on more than 50 Shakespearean productions. She directed SVS’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2004) and Pericles, Prince of Tyre (2012), and wrote and directed Shakespeare’s Most Wanted which premiered in 2007 and was remounted in April 2009.
Larry Barrott — Resident Fight Director / Artistic Director Emeritus
Larry is an accomplished actor, director, and scholar who served as SVS’s Artistic Director from 2005-2012. He holds a B.A. in Theatre Arts from Santa Clara University and an M.A. in Education from American Continental University. Larry directed SVS’s productions of Romeo and Juliet (2006), The Comedy of Errors (2008), Much Ado (About Nothing) (2010), Henry V (2011), and Tartuffe (2014). Larry received his certification in stage combat from Dueling Arts International and serves as the company’s resident fight director.
Dinna Myers — Founder, Executive Director Emeritus
Dinna is a co-founder of Silicon Valley Shakespeare (previously Shady Shakespeare). She received her B.A. in Theatre Arts with an emphasis in lighting design and directing from San José State University. She is responsible for the strategic direction of the company’s marketing and fundraising initiatives. Also an active artist with the company, she directed SVS’s productions of As You Like It (2000), Much Ado About Nothing (2002), Hamlet (2004), The Merry Wives of Windsor (2005), The Tempest (2007), Twelfth Night (2008), Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (2010), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2011), The Lion in Winter (2012), and The Tempest (2015). She left the company in late 2015, and currently resides in Gisborne, New Zealand.
Sara Betnel — Founder, Artistic Director Emeritus
Sara was the founding Artistic Director of Shady Shakespeare Theatre Company (now SVS). She received her B.A. in Drama from the University of Washington, after which she attended the acting school at Ilkhom Theatre in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, and received an M.F.A. in Theatre Education from Boston University with a focus on Acting and Ensemble Creation. She directed SVS’s productions of Twelfth Night (1999) and The Two Gentlemen of Verona (2001), and currently resides in Washington.
Vera Sloan — Artistic Director Emeritus
Vera is an alumna of the Theatre Arts program at San José State University and sits on the Advisory Committee of the Foothill Theatre Conservatory. She has been an active actor, director, theatre educator, and theatre administrator for companies throughout the Bay Area since 2002. She served as Membership Director in 2011, Associate Artistic Director in 2012, and Artistic Director in 2013, and directed the company’s production of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) (2013).