OUR AMAZING STAFF
Sydney Chow, Academy Instructor, Dance
Sydney has enjoyed teaching dance and choreographing for Starbound Theatre Company and Benicia High School's musical theatre and dance classes. She also loved working with people of all ages while choreographing Annie Get Your Gun at Bay Area Stage. As a performer, she has performed with companies like Contra Costa Musical Theatre, Missouri Street Theatre, and Diablo Theatre Company. She is a rising sophomore at Wagner College in NYC where she studies musical theatre and dance. She has been fortunate to learn from many knowledgable teachers, and she loves to pass on what she's learned!
James Dean, Stage Manager
James Dean has been doing theatre since the age of 6years old. The first production that he had ever performed was Snow White and the 7 dwarves as Dopey. Then 3 years later, James was the understudy for Sunny in the musical Grease and has been immersed into theatre from there on. James has performed in over 20 musicals and 10 non-musical productions. He has taken some time off from performing to learn the more technical side of behind the scenes theatre. James is currently enrolled at Solano Community College earning an AA in Theatre and Business in hopes of one day opening his own theatre production company.
Traci DeLeon, Academy Instructor & Vocal Coach
Personalized music instruction in a safe, fun, friendly environment is Traci's passion. She has 22 years of experience teaching voice, piano and songwriting to musicians of all levels, from the youngest beginner at the keyboard to the touring musician. She is trained in the Bel Canto method of singing, and through her years of experience, has developed a unique and customized approach to helping students understand their own voices. She teaches with an emphasis on phrasing and story telling through song employing body language, stage movement and acting techniques to give students a professional artist's advantage.
Vivian McLaughlin, Musical Director & Academy Instructor
Vivian has a BFA in Musical Theater from New York University. She performed on Broadway and starred in the television show Out of the Box currently streaming on Disney+. She has performed in Russia and Argentina, recorded several children’s audiobooks, and can be heard on Volume I and II of the Playhouse Disney CD Series. Vivian has filmed industrials and commercials for companies such as Western Union, Sun Microsystems, MSN, and Visa. She is a proud member of SAG/AFTRA and AEA. Vivian was the head of the theater department at Justin-Siena High School where she taught acting and choral classes, and directed their musicals and plays. A multiple Arty Award winner/nominee for her music direction, Vivian has also taught at several other schools including: Fairfield High, Benicia High, Will C. Wood, American Canyon High, Rodriguez High, Sun and Stars Montessori, Stone Bridge School, St. John’s Catholic, St. John’s Lutheran, Pueblo Vista Elementary, Northwood Elementary, Matthew Turner Elementary, and Oakbrook Elementary. In addition to Starbound Theatre, Vivian currently works with Cafeteria Kids Theater and Musical Mayhem Productions, and offers private voice/piano lessons. While some of her students can now be heard singing on Broadway, Vivian hopes to impart an appreciation for musical theatre and the art of singing, regardless of whether or not her students choose to pursue the arts as a career. She feels extremely lucky to be part of the Starbound Theatre family and to have landed the roles of “wife” to Bret and “Mommy” to daughter Julien.
Mollie Myers, Production Manager & Academy Instructor
Mollie has been performing in musical theatre productions since the age of five. During her sophomore year of high school she founded the Dixon High School Drama Club and found a hidden passion for the art of stage management. Since then she has worked back stage on over 15 productions in both Northern California and London; stage managing 7 of those productions including productions of Into the Woods, Narnia, and The Outsiders. Mollie has been working with Starbound Theatre since 2014. She is currently the Program Director for the Starbound Theatre Student Director Program and stage manager/production manager for many of Starbound Theatre productions.
Hunter Rose, Assistant Director & Academy Instructor
Hunter Rose was born in Fairfield , CA and has lived there all his life. He has been involved in theater since he was 9 years old. Some of his favorite roles were Charlie in Willy Wonka Jr., the Cowardly Lion in the Wizard of Oz, Pugsley in the Addams Family, and Shrek in Shrek Jr. With a natural affinity for the dramatic, Hunter hopes to help youth excel in performing arts and to continue learning all aspects of the craft himself
Shilah Walters, Director & Academy Instructor
Shilah has been performing since the age of five. She started training in dance and added vocal and theatre soon after. She spent four years as a Sylvan Singer at Will C. Wood High School. And even with her busy schedule found time to perform in various theatre productions. Her last few shows include Guys and Dolls (WLA), You Can’t Take It With You (WLA), Seussical (WLA), and Legally Blonde (MST). Though performing is certainly a passion of hers, Shilah aspires to work behind the scenes as a directer. So far Shilah has directed Alice in Wonderland (J&S) and stage managed Aladin Jr. (Starbound).
Yvonne Beneivdez-Wayne, Choreography & Academy Instructor
Yvonne has been teaching, choreographing and coaching dancers for 30 years. She has an extensive background in Ballroom, Country, Swing, Latin, Line dancing, Jazz, Hip Hop and Theater Arts. She has many local and national titles to her name including a UCWDC World title. She continues to actively compete at the professional level on the WSDC West Coast Swing international circuit. Her career has taken her around the world to perform and teach. She won the ﬁrst televised TNN dance championship and has appeared on many morning shows around the country and was even featured in Rodger Brown’s music video swing city. For the last 15 years her love of dance has been spreading to the next generation by teaching in programs and at schools around California, most notably Oakbrook Academy of the Arts and now Starbound Theatre.
Elizabeth Williams, Assistant Director & Teaching Artist
Elizabeth has always had a love for theatre arts, and has been acting since she was five years old. She joined Starbound theatre to play "Mrs. Potts" in Beauty and the Beast, and has also been in productions with Winters Theatre Company, Solano Youth Theatre and Sacramento Theatre Company, where she assisted in theatre outreach. She’s been a public speaking medalist and loves singing, literature and teaching others! Elizabeth is pursing a degree in education and theatre arts and plans to continue to teach theatre to children of all ages.
David Rodgers Jr, Managing Artistic Director
As a playwright, director, teacher, and performer, David has worked in the Bay Area theatre scene for over two decades. He is a graduate of the Actor Training Program at Solano College Theatre where he received degrees in Liberal Arts and Theatre Arts. After Solano, David continued his education at the University of San Francisco studying Arts Management and Art History. Since working with Starbound Theatre, David has directed "The Nightmare Before Christmas", "Aladdin Jr", and "Willy Wonka Jr", "Beauty and the Beast", "Annie", and "The Wizard of Oz.". Some of his other projects include directing “The Miracle Worker,“ “The Rocky Horror Show,“ and "A Christmas Carol." In addition, David works in close collaboration with Bliss Urban Arts Center developing new works for the stage including the award winning production of "A Hip Hop Christmas Carol", which is produced annually. David also coordinates the popular Creative Kids Camps Programs in various cities. David currently teaches classes in theatre, acting and film throughout the Bay Area.