ACT Staff and Instructors

Kerry DiMaggio

Education Director

(805) 781-3889 x 14
[email protected]

A native of the Central Coast, Kerry has been involved in theatre since she was young, including many productions on the SLO REP stage as a performer, instructor, and director. Kerry holds a BA (with honors) in Theatre Arts from Cal Poly’s Theatre and Dance Department, where her interest in teaching was piqued by a course in Children’s Drama. Kerry has also trained with the Utah Shakespeare Festival, PCPA, and Cal State Fullerton’s Musical Theatre program. Her passion for teaching young performers continues to grow, and she is honored to have served as SLO REP’s Education Director for over 15 years. She can’t wait to see you at the theatre!

Rachel Tietz

Assitant Education Director

[email protected]

Rachel Tietz is absolutely thrilled to be a member of the ACT team! A graduate of the Pacific Conservatory Theatre (PCPA) 2011, Rachel also earned a degree in Arts and Humanities from Allan Hancock College during the 2020 theatre hiatus. She has been teaching and directing for the ACT program since 2017. Previous SLO REP credits include Betty Jean in The Marvelous Wonderettes, Ruth Condomine in Blithe Spirit, Philia in A Funny Thing Happened…Forum, Ulla in The Producers, and Miss Shields in A Christmas Story. She has also had the pleasure to write, direct, and perform in many shows at The Great American Melodrama and Vaudeville. A central coast native, Rachel has a deep passion for working with young artists and for enriching the arts community.

Shannon Peters

Assistant Education Director

[email protected]

Shannon Peters is beyond grateful to be back home on the central coast and a member of SLO REP’s education team! A graduate of PCPA, Shannon continued her education at Utah State University earning a BFA before moving to New York and starring in multiple customer service roles! Previous SLO Rep credits include A Wrinkle in Time (Director), Xanadu (Melpomene) and Why Do Fools Fall In Love (Deedee). Other favorite roles include Maggie in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (USU), Viola in Twelfth Night (USU) and the Actress in Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery (Lyric Repertory Theatre). As an alumni of the ACT Program and the daughter of an educator, she feels at home in the classroom and understands the importance of cultivating joy and creative freedom for young performers of all ages.

Lester Wilson

ACT Resident Stage Manager

Lester Wilson received his B.A. in Theatre Arts & English at Cal Poly State University, has been involved with many theatre companies on the Central Coast, and Los Angeles area performing, designing, and directing. Some of his favorite roles include Nicely Nicely Johnson in Guys & Dolls, Baloo The Bear in The Jungle Book, the title role in You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown, and The Genie of the Lamp in Disney’s Aladdin. He’s worked with such Improv groups as The Groundlings, Upright Citizens Brigade, & iO West. He is also a teacher with Academy of Creative Theatre (ACT) at SLO REP, a director at AGHS Theatre Company, and Improv Coach for award winning AGHS Improv Team: Grin & Bare It. He enjoys all aspects of theatre and loves helping students develop and hone their skills while broadening their horizons as people and artists, it’s the power of theatre. The world is a stage, enjoy it!

Jeff Salsbury

ACT Instructor

Jeff Salsbury grew up on the Central Coast and had some of his first performance experiences on the SLO REP stage. He holds a BFA in Musical Theatre from UC, Irvine, where he performed in plays, musicals and with the improv team, and he has been acting professionally on the Central Coast and around the country for the past 9 years. He has also been teaching professionally at local acting conservatories as well as in the Santa Maria-Bonita School District for the past 5 years. Having performed with such theatres as PCPA – Pacific Conservatory Theatre, The Great American Melodrama, McLeod Summer Theatre and Texas Shakespeare Festival, he is excited and honored to share his love of theatre and his love of teaching with the talented young actors of the ACT program here at SLO REP.

Amanda Thayer

ACT Instructor

Amanda Thayer is excited to be teaching her first class at SLO REP. As a mom and a children’s librarian, she has a passion for sharing stories with little ones. Amanda has also performed with SLO REP, The Great American Melodrama and Opera SLO. She has served as a dramaturgy intern with PCPA and as an assistant for theatre programs at local high schools. Thank you for supporting youth arts!

Vincent Lemos

ACT Instructor

Vincent is totally stoked to be part of the ACT program. He has been working with SLO REP for a hot minute (on and off since 2014) in many capacities, including actor, instructor, and button presser. Vincent is a graduate of the Pacific Conservatory Theatre’s professional actor training program (PCPA class of 2020) where he discovered his knack for theatre education, which he plans to pursue. He’s also spent several years under the guidance of Lester Wilson as part of AGHS’s award-winning improv team, Grin and Bare it. He plans to utilize all of this training to effectively encourage and instruct his students in the basics of acting and performance.

Johnny Valerio

ACT Instructor

Johnny Valerio is a Central Coast based actor. A graduate of PCPA, he has collaborated on main stage productions as well as Student Outreach programs there, and is currently also a guest artist with PCPA. He has recently worked with SLO REP on Around the World in 80 Days as well as with the ACT program. He hopes to continue to work with educational programs in order to help students access Theater in a way that is fun, creative, and collaborative. With a focus on ensemble work, improv, and ‘voice and speech’ work, he hopes to engage students in a way that helps build their foundation as actors.

Eliana Nunley

ACT Instructor

Eliana Nunley is a resident artist with Opera San Luis Obispo and has been training in voice for over 9 years. She is a hip-hop and jazz teacher at Flex Performing Arts, SLO Movement Arts Center, and the Cal Poly Recreation Center. Her favorite roles in theater have included “Ursula” in The Little Mermaid, “Cinderella” in Cinderella, and “Mary Poppins” in Mary Poppins Jr. She has performed with Opera SLO in Carousel (2022), New Years Gala (2021), and South Pacific (2019), as well as San Luis Obispo Repertory Theater’s staged readings, Academy of Creative Theater, and Nipomo High School Theater. Outside of performing and teaching, she enjoys painting, hiking, and hanging out with her three younger sisters and two adopted dogs.

Penny DellaPelle

ACT Instructor

Penny DellaPelle has been having a blast returning to SLO REP and providing students with the kinds of creative, confidence-building experiences she was so fortunate to have as a young person! She was cast in her first ACT production at age ten, and for the next eight years this program was her home away from home. Some of her favorite ACT roles include Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice and Lady Macbeth in Macbeth. She’s also appeared on the SLO REP mainstage and in Ubu’s Other Shoe staged readings. Her other experience includes five years on the Actors Under Pressure improv team, and recently studying in the award-winning Cuesta College theatre department. Offstage, Penny has a deep passion for science and sustainability, and is currently working towards a degree in plant science and ecosystem management. She’s honored to be passing on the gift of youth theatre!

Isaac Capp

ACT Instructor

A PCPA graduate, Isaac has been performing with SLO Rep since he was 13, and began teaching with ACT in 2020. You may have seen him recently in Around the World in 80 Days and Xanadu, and as Eugene in PCPA’s 2020 production of Brighton Beach Memoirs. Isaac loves to draw and to be outside, and has recently become a bird watching fanatic.