Interim Artistic Director for Shows
Founding Artistic Director
Loving to sing, Barbara participated in choirs growing up and took voice lessons while pursuing a psychology bachelor's and master's degree. She has sung at weddings, in church choirs, and on worship teams over the past 30 years. She especially enjoyed the experience of recording a worship album with Harvest Rock Church in Pasadena. Currently, Barbara sings locally with Pacific Masterworks Chorale in the Tri-Valley area. Barbara has a passion to help children develop their "voice", confidence, and creativity, encouraging them to boldly share the story of a character on stage and their own personal journey through the music. This passion was fueled through her work serving children and families as a Marriage and Family Therapist. Barbara lives in Pleasanton, is married to her college sweetheart, and is blessed to be a mom of three wonderful teenaged children.
Corinna is so excited to be returning to CYT Tri Valley after a few years away! She was last seen directing Charlotte's Web at the beautiful Joan's Farm! Corinna loves making theatre experience for and with children and cannot wait to teach your students this session! Corinna grew up in a theatre family--her mother is the founder of ENOPION Theatre company, a Biblical theatre in Georgia--so theatre has always been apart of her life. She holds a Masters degree in Educational Theatre from New York University and a BFA in Performing Arts. She has been a theatre educator for over 10 years and has taught in both public and private schools, professional and community theatres around the country. She currently lives in the East Bay and works for both Bay Area Children's Theatre and American Conservatory Theatre teaching classes and creating costumes. She cannot wait to join the CYT Tri-Valley family once again!
Feet Speak Dance - https://www.facebook.com/feetspeakdance/ is founded on the scripture from Isaiah 52:7- How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!” Under the direction of Cynthia Newland, the ensemble of dancers hold the common mission and vision to serve via the art form of dance. The company members are professionally trained, receiving their education and experience in the university setting in Jackson, Mississippi. The mission of this unique artistic company aims to use dance to teach, inspire and bring a rich art filled experience to all whom they encounter. The dance repertory of Feet Speak Dance includes a wide range of topics bringing recognition to God in an array of settings.
Heather Moore is an amateur makeup artist, having done makeup for 6 shows with CYT, as well as several shows with Bay Area Children’s Theater for her daughter prior to CYT. She has done many of the specialty looks, including Jafar, Abu, Raja and the Genie in Aladdin, the Witch in Into the Woods, Olaf in Frozen, and many aged and bearded characters. She has also done creepy broken doll, Madusa with scales, the Mad Hatter, sugar skull and other makeup looks for her costume-loving daughter. By day she is a veterinarian. She looks forward to passing on tips and tricks she has learned by studying many tutorials, as well as trial and error on her daughter.
When Jackie was about eight years old, she asked her mom to help her make a piglet hand puppet on the sewing machine for her little sister. Thus began her love of sewing. In addition to her mom's help, she took sewing classes during elementary, middle, and high school. She worked as a teacher's aide in the high school sewing class and enjoyed working at a fabric store. Jackie sewed whenever she had time during college and her nursing career, where she sometimes made pajamas for hard to fit patients or created costumes for her adult and pediatric patients. Coworkers, friends, and family asked her to do alterations, make swimsuits and wedding attire. Jackie retired from nursing to raise and homeschool her two kids, Megan and Will, who are now in college. She taught them to sew at an early age at home and in the 4H sewing classes she taught. Jackie has helped costume six CYT shows and has served as costume co-chair, chair, and costume production team support. By the way, Jackie's wonderful husband, Randy, has been known to help with her sewing projects, including CYT costumes. She looks forward to sharing her love of sewing and costuming with CYT students.
Jennifer Gilbertson has been with CYT Tri-Valley since 2017. She has a background in business and homeschooling. Her love for students, fine arts and service to her community is her motivation to see CYT Tri-Valley grow and thrive.
Jordan Higby is 21 years old, and has 15 years of ballet training in both classical and contemporary styles. She began her training at Livermore School of Dance at age 6, where she still studies today. She has also been an active member of Le Tableau Magnifique Ballet Company for 10 years, where she is now a Principal Dancer. Some of her favorite past roles include The Mad Hatter in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, The Baker’s Wife in Into The Woods, and Peter Pan in Return to Neverland. She has a passion for passing on her love and knowledge of dance to the younger generation. Jordan will be moving to Riverside, California for the 2020-2021 school year to pursue her Bachelors of Arts degree in Communications at California Baptist University. She hopes to never stop dancing and teaching!
Kimber is a public elementary school teacher turned homeschool Mama to three kiddos and one sweet Goldendoodle. She loves traveling and experiencing new sites and sounds, but also treasures traveling to old favorites like Disneyland and the family beach house. Kimber has been hooked on languages and storytelling since she was a young girl and her Uncle would speak to her in his "other voice"--his native Spanish.
Kristin Baer-Werder (KW) earned her BFA from the Actor Training Conservatory at UC Santa Barbara and her MFA in Acting from the Mason Gross School of the Arts. She is a proud member of AFTRA/SAG and AEA. KW worked in television and major motion pictures, but most enjoyed her work in regional theatres across the country. Favorite roles include Rosalind in As You Like It, Dorine in Tartuffe, and Miss Hyde in Dr. Jekyll and Miss Hyde. KW worked for six+ years with San Francisco Shakespeare Festival as the Props Designer and Backstage Manager and was proud to open the Firehouse Theatre. KW was on the steering committee and a founding member of CYT Tri-Valley, where she also taught classes, worked backstage and directed Junie B. Jones, Into the Woods, Jr, and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. KW lives in Pleasanton with her husband and son (her daughter is an actress in Utah) and one unreasonably fat dog.
Kristin Schrader-Shawler Kristin is originally from Madison, Wisconsin where she participated in theatre as a child with Children’s Theatre of Madison, Wisconsin Youth Theatre, Broom Street Theatre, and Drama Barn, as well as participating in High School Theatre productions, both in Wisconsin, then in Illinois, and in college, with Ram’s Head Theatrical Society while studying at Stanford University. She was (and is) also very involved in dance and choreography, and danced with Rory Foster and Gus Giordano’s studio in Chicago, and as a founding member of Stanford’s hip hop group, Jam Pac’d. She graduated from Stanford with a degree in Human Biology, under which she designed a concentration in “The Physiologic and Cultural Aspects of Human Movement and Dance.” While in high school and college, Kristin developed her passion for choreography, and has choreographed ballet, contemporary, jazz, tap, and musical theatre. While in college, she began choreographing floor and beam routines for competitive gymnasts, which led to a career in gymnastics, as head coach, manager/director, founder, Nationally rated Level 10 judge, clinician, and choreographer, working with gymnasts and coaches around the country. Kristin has two sons, Calvin and Graham who love CYT!
Lana is thrilled to be part of CYT and the amazing blessing that comes with introducing children and teenagers to the theatre. Lana spent much of her youth participating in acting and music workshops, being guided by wonderful singing coaches and excellent drama teachers along the way. As a young adult, Lana auditioned her way into many Bay Area community theatre productions, growing into expanding roles in both dramatic and musical/comedy productions. Her favorite roles are from shows for young audiences: Cinderella, Snow White and other characters from classic Fairy Tales. Lana is delighted to bring years of experience to CYT. But mostly she is " thrilled to help your child realize their amazing potential and help them find their unique gifts... the theatre can be a beautiful place for a young actor's light to shine. " Lana has been a teacher and director for CYT for 3 years. She is also a mom and a pediatric nurse at Stanford Children's Hospital. She has Bachelor Degrees in both Human Development and Nursing, and a Masters Degree in Psychology.
Martha McDowell’s passion is glorifying God through creative arts particularly in musical theater and choir. She has been a children's choir director and music director since 1983 for local churches and youth theater programs. In her 27 years involved in community theatre Martha has played roles in 45 productions with 17 companies in the Bay Area. Martha has been drama director and choreographer for the elementary musicals at Fremont Christian School for the past three years and has taught Vocal Music and was on staff this summer at Theater Camp for CYT. This tap dancing, ukulele, piano playing Grandma is looking forward to being a partner with CYT in their mission for teaching quality theatre arts while reflecting the Creator.
Rita Baird is currently a piano teacher and busy mother of eight. In high school, she performed in 'Fiddler on the Roof' and fell in love with the stage. She then went to UC Berkeley to study music, with a focus on choral music and piano accompaniment. She sang in the university's concert choir, chamber chorus, and madrigal group. More recently, she conducted the children's choir at Valley Bible Church and wrote and directed a Christmas musical there. She especially loves making music with others and singing a new song to the Lord!
Sophie Rheinheimer is a founding faculty member at Las Positas College, where she has taught Physical Education since 1975. She began teaching fencing classes at the college in the early 1980s, and founded the Fencing Center in 2002. Sophie has fenced competitively at both the national and international levels. As senior coach of the Las Positas Fencing Center, Sophie teaches adults and children. Her competitive youth fencing group travels the state and successfully competes in tournaments. For the last 6 years, they have qualified for Summer Nationals and will be competing in Kentucky this July. Four of her current junior fencers have qualified for the Junior Olympics in Ohio this February.
Steve Glavan returns to CYT to share his enthusiasm and expertise. Steve’s exposure to acting and singing began at an early age, and his personal experiences have given him a passion for seeing young people develop their own abilities as performers. With a background in acting, singing, writing, stage & choral directing, and filmmaking, Steve believes that everyone has a performer hiding inside, just looking for a stage and an audience. When he is not teaching theater Steve works in the theater. He is a development officer for the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center and spends his days (and many evenings) at the Bankhead Theater in Livermore. Steve and his wife, Caryl, make their home in Pleasanton.
Talia Fallis has been performing her entire life. She trained in various styles of performance dance including musical theater, jazz, tap, hip-hop, lyrical, Scottish country dance, and Irish Ceili dance. But her one true passion lies in ballet. In recent years, she has been performing with various professional ballet companies in the greater Bay Area. She has been teaching ballet to children and adults of all ages for the past ten years, and currently co-owns and runs, with her sister, Vineyard Ballet Academy in Pleasanton. She also recently founded her own ballet performance group, Pleasanton's first and only professional ballet company, Ballet Roots Dance Company.