ACT Teachers

Kerry DiMaggio

Education Director, Teacher: Drama Kids (Spring 2016)

(805) 781-3889 x 14

A native of the Central Coast, Kerry has been involved in theatre since she was young, including several productions on SLO REP stage. 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 Shakespearean Festival, PCPA, and Cal State Fullerton’s Musical Theatre program. In addition to teaching for ACT, Kerry holds a substitute teaching permit and teaches consistently in K-12 classrooms throughout the county. Her passion for teaching young performers continues to grow, and she encourages you and your family to “Get into the ACT!”

Allison Warren

Education Assistant

Allison Warren is has been performing and assistant directing with ACT for many years, and is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s of Science in Liberal Studies through Cal Poly’s education program. Throughout her involvement with ACT, Allison has assistant directed Little Women, Pirates of Penzance, Cinderella, The Secret Garden, Shakespeare Shorts, and many others. Allison recently worked with Bellvue-Santa Fe Charter School as assistant director for their performing arts program and production of The Lion King. ACT continues to be instrumental in her education and passion for performing arts.

Shelagh Garren

Director: The Jungle Book (Summer 2016)

Shelagh Garren received her dance training in Los Angles and with the Joffrey Ballet in New York City. Along with her love of dance, she became enamored with theatre and studied acting with Darryl Hickman in L.A. and singing with notable teachers on both coasts. Shelagh has performed for 25 years in professional regional ballet companies, theatre, film and television. Innumerable Equity credits include West Side Story, Arsenic and Old Lace, Oliver, Quilters, and A Chorus Line. She toured nationally with Debbie Reynolds in The Unsinkable Molly Brown, and performed in Seattle and Europe as the tango dancer in Evita (directed by Tony-winning choreographer, Larry Fuller) and as principal dancer with the Seattle Opera. Shelagh as been teaching, choreographing, and directing for the past 19 years. She currently works at PCPA Theatrefest Conservatory, Allan Hancock College, and has directed many shows for ACT, including A Midsummer Night’s Dream (several times!), Pirates of Penzance, East of the Sun, West of the Moon, and Once Upon a Mattress and A Little Princess, and The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Anne of Green Gables, The Little Prince, Anne of Avonlea, and Honk! Jr. She lives with her favorite dance partner (and hubby), Alan Pietsch and their friendly felines in Arroyo Grande.

Lacey McNamara

Music Director: Summer 2016

A 4th-generation McNamara in San Luis Obispo county, Lacey has studied & performed with local talents such as Judy Harris, Debbie Lagomarsino, Anet Carlin, & Stephen Tosh. She has also been the rehearsal pianist, Kid’s Drama Camp Music Coordinator, orchestrator, & Musical Director for community theatre companies from Paso Robles to Santa Maria. Her playing awarded her scholarships at Fresno State University, where she studied piano performance with Dr. Andres Werz, & at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, where she studied vocal performance under the instruction of Katherine Arthur. She received her AA in General studies, AA in CSU Transfer Studies, & AA in Business Administration from Cuesta College before earning her BA in Business Administration from University of La Verne. She currently teaches piano lessons out of her music studio in SLO, is a certificated substitute teacher & choir accompanist for the Atascadero School District, & accompanies SLO Adult School voice classes.

Danielle McNamara

Music Director: Summer 2016

Danielle is a professional musician and co-owns Lyrics and Melodies Studio in SLO, offering private instruction in Voice, Piano and numerous group music workshops. Acting credits include: My Way (San Luis Little Theatre), The Secret Garden (Pioneer Players), Sweeney Todd (Kelrik Productions), Some Enchanted Evening (San Luis Little Theatre), A Chorus Line (San Luis Little Theatre). Directing credits include: The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Kelrik Productions), The Rocky Horror Show Live (Kelrik Productions), Arsenic and Old Lace (Sorcerer Productions), Opus (Ubu’s Other Shoe), 4000 Miles (Ubu’s Other Shoe) and assistant director on Avenue Q (Kelrik Productions) and A Christmas Story (San Luis Little Theatre). She is a Resident Artist for the Children’s Creative Project, as well as being a registered Music Together® teacher and owner of Mini Melodies offering parent/child group music classes. Danielle earned her BA in Theatre Arts with a minor in music from California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo.

Naomi Skee

Choreographer: Summer 2016

Naomi put on her first tutu at the age of 5. She continued with her studies in ballet, tap and jazz, and danced on a nationally acclaimed dance team in Austin, TX until she was 18. In 2006, she attended New Mexico State University where she competed, performed and choreographed for their Ballroom, Latin, and Swing Company, and earned a minor in dance. Since graduation, she has acquired two professional ballroom dance teaching certifications through DVIDA (Dance Vision International Dance Association). In addition, she has danced on a national tour with The Utah Ballroom Dance Company, choreographed and performed with The Upstagers of Del Rio, worked with The Central Coast Follies, choreographed for Cal Poly Ballroom, and is currently the director of the Vandenberg Air Force Base dance program.

Taylor Peters

Teacher: Acting Out, Broadway Camp (Summer 2016)

Taylor Peters has had a love of theatre and singing since age 14. She graduated from PCPA’s Actor Training Program in 2011, spent a year traveling the US and Canada as a Tour Actor/Director of Hansel and Gretel with the Missoula Children’s Theatre, and is currently attending Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, WA to earn her BFA in Musical Theatre. The ACT program at SLO REP was her first experience with theatre as a child and a huge portion of her theatre experience and training on the Central Coast as a teen, and she is honored and grateful to be able to teach here during her summer break! Some of her favorite roles with ACT include Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance, Louisa May Alcott in Little Women of Orchard House, and Gjerd/Troll Queen in East of the Sun, West of the Moon.

Chris Forrer

Teacher: Acting Out (Summer 2016)

Chris Forrer is a freelance director, actor, and theatre educator currently based on Santa Maria. You may have seen him at SLO REP recently as “Bobby” in “Cabaret,” or have heard that he will be directing the upcoming production of “Romeo and Juliet” for the Central Coast Shakespeare Festival. For the past two years Chris was the directing intern at PCPA, where he directed the Education Outreach Tour production of “Tomas and the Library Lady” in the fall of 2014 and a Conservatory Project of Brecht’s “The Good Soul Of Szechuan” in Spring 2015. Other recent directing credits include “Dealer’s Choice” and “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog” at the COLORed Cabaret, as well as the national tour of Gale McNeeley’s one-man “Archy and Mehitabel.” Prior to moving to the Central Coast Chris earned his degree in Theatre Arts from Linfield College, where he directed, designed, and acted in over a dozen productions. In addition to teaching for ACT, Chris also works with the Children’s Creative Project, where he teaches drama in schools around the county.

Casey Canino

Teacher: Summer 2016

Casey grew up in the mountains of Lake Tahoe, studying dance and touring with the Sonrise Dance Company of Truckee, CA throughout Northern California, Cabo San Lucas, and Belize, C.A. as one of their principal dancers for ten years. She came to California State University, Fullerton in 2008 and started the rigorous process to audition into the prestigious Bachelor Of Fine Arts program in Musical Theatre. After two years of basic training and multiple auditions,she was one of ten students accepted into the program and spent the last two years completing her degree with honors. Casey graduated in 2012 and went on to work as a swing for the Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival’s production of Two Gentlemen of Verona. Since then, Casey has worked for many professional theatre companies in the California area including Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival, 3D Theatricals, Performance Riverside, and the Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts Theatre Festival in Santa Maria where she was invited to be an Acting Intern for a year to work with many prominent regional directors in California, such as Michael Barnard of Arizona Repertory Theatre, Michael Jenkinson, and Valerie Rachelle as a part of PCPA’s repertory season. After working with PCPA, Casey went on to receive her Pilates license in New York City, and performed with cabaret theatre’s like Bound For Broadway’s West End Theatre. Some of her favorite roles include Natalie in Next To Normal; Peggy in Godspell; Rosemary in How to Succeed…; Martha in The Secret Garden; Wendla in Spring Awakening; Holly in The Wedding Singer; and Celia in As You Like It. Casey has taught several classes for the ACT program and is excited to be back this summer!