LEADERSHIP & STAFF
JOAN SCHIRLE – Founding Artistic Director / Faculty
Joan Schirle is the founding artistic director of Dell’Arte International. She is an actor, playwright, director, deviser and teacher, whose acting work was recognized with a 2006 Fox Foundation/TCG Resident Actor Fellowship for professional development. In 2004 she was honored at the 16th Cairo International Experimental Theatre Festival as a leader in the field of experimental theatre. She served as director of the Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre from 2003 – 2011.
Joan has directed productions at San Diego Rep, the Alley in Houston, Bloomsburg Ensemble, A Traveling Jewish Theatre, Touchstone Ensemble, Colorado University/Boulder and Dell’Arte. A principal actor-creator with the Dell’Arte Company since its founding, she most recently created the title role in Mary Jane: The Musical at the 2011 & 2012 Mad River Festival and again played the title role in the 2016 film version: Mary Jane: A Musical Potumentary, which won the award for Best Musical Film at the 2016 Oregon Independent Film Festival. ReadMore.
MICHAEL FIELDS – Artistic Director / Faculty
Michael Fields is a founding member and Producing Artistic Director of the Dell’Arte Company. As a member of the Dell’Arte performing ensemble for the past 30 years, he has been a recipient of San Francisco and San Diego Critics Circle and Los Angeles Drama-Logue awards for Performance and Writing. He has co-authored and performed in over 25 Dell’Arte productions, including Mad Love, Slapstick, Intrigue at Ah-pah, Whiteman Meet Bigfoot, Paradise Lost, Performance Anxiety, Malpraticeand Wild Card.…He is also Chair of the California State Summer School for the Arts Theatre Program. A master teacher of Physical Performance Styles at the Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre, Michael has also taught for the Dutch National Theatre School; the California Institute of the Arts; Teater Studion in Stockholm, Sweden and at the Aarhus University Dramaturgi Institute in Denmark. Michael was a member of the Board of Directors of Theatre Communications Group (TCG) from 1998 – 2004 where he served as the president of the International Theatre Institute/USA. Read More.
FRAN BEATTY – Executive Director
Fran Beatty has been bringing art into the landscape of everyday life throughout her career. At Dell’Arte International, she leads the organization’s strategic planning, fundraising, and operations to ensure all programs flourish. Upon arrival to Humboldt County in 2008, Fran focused on contributing to the visual and performing arts community and leading local creative placemaking initiatives. This work and leadership at Dell’Arte bridges her past with her present where decades in landscape architecture, historic preservation, historical research merge into building community through the arts.
One of Fran’s most important works was to lead a $156 million restoration of Boston’s historic parks from 1989-2001, including the city’s internationally renowned park system the “emerald necklace” designed by 19th-century landscape artist Frederick Law Olmsted. She continues her research of cultural landscapes from her tenure as a university professor and department head through an investigative playground Topophilia Studios. Fran holds a B.S. in landscape architecture from the Pennsylvania State University and an M.A. in preservation studies from Boston University.
Fran is a co-founder of the Humboldt Creative Alliance, which rouses the rabble for local arts with vision and moxy while seeking to foster collaboration among local arts and cultural organizations.
LAUREN WILSON – School Director / Faculty
Lauren Wilson graduated from the École de Cirque in Brussels in 1990, and from the Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre in 1992. Since then, she has worked with the Dell’Arte Company as a writer, director and performer in many productions. She received her B.A. from Reed College, and an M.F.A. in Theatre from Sarah Lawrence College, where she was awarded the Stanley and Evelyn Lipkin Prize for Playwriting. In 2008, she received a year-long Dramatists Guild Fellowship for Playwriting. Her comedies “Chemical Imbalance” and “The Golden State” are published by Dramatists Play Service, and her play “Wedding Duet” appears in the 2007 Vintage anthology Laugh Lines: Short Comic Plays. Before joining the faculty at Dell’Arte, Lauren also taught at the State University of New York, Humboldt State University, and American Conservatory Theatre. Recent projects include “Three Trees,” a full-length clown play devised and performed with her longtime ensemble partners Joe Krienke and Stephanie Thompson, and “Punctual Folly,” a film for three clowns. Lauren has been School Director at Dell’Arte since 2015.
MATT CHAPMAN – Director of Admissions
Matt Chapman is a performer, teacher, and director of physical theatre and clown. After three years working on the Faculty at Dell’Arte, he is now living and working in Oakland, CA. Matt is also Artistic Director and Co-Founder of Brooklyn’s Under the Table, now in its thirteenth year of making works and touring the country and globe. He has taught Clown at Marymount Manhattan College and Manhattanville College in New York, and has taught workshops at such places as the Kennedy Center, Actor’s Theatre of Louisville, NYU, Vassar, Sarah Lawrence, Towson, and many other universities and theatres. Matt regularly works abroad as well; he has taught and performed at festivals, schools, and theatres in South Africa, Denmark, Colombia, Mexico, the Netherlands, Canada, and England.
He is a Round 9 recipient of Theatre Communications Group’s New Generations Future Leaders program, plays guitar in the Oakland punk rock band The Big Forgive, and is a graduate of Dell’Arte International (’01) and the University of Kansas (’00).
KAITLYN SAMUEL ROSIN – Production Manager
Kaitlyn Samuel Rosin is an acclaimed director, producer, and actor of live theatre and film. She earned her MFA in Directing from the Actors Studio Drama School in New York City where she made a name for herself off-off-Broadway as co-Artistic Director of Outside Inside theatre co. specializing in the interpretation of new works by living playwrights such as Michael Ross Albert. Kaitlyn has produced such world premieres as Miss, The Grass is Always Greenest at the Houston Astrodome, For A Good Time Call Kathy Blanchard, Chagrin, and BALDY. Her first short-film “Slow” by Wynn Van Dusen is currently in post-production and scheduled to premiere sometime next year. BALDY, the autobiographical one-woman show by Yokko, which Kaitlyn directed, was nominated for “Best International Performance” at the Hollywood Fringe Festival and called “a spiritual triumph” by nytheatre.com. Kaitlyn has also consulted on several physical theatre spectacles by the NY-based butoh ensemble, The Ume Group, including the world premiere of DREAM DANCES and regularly collaborates with her husband, award-winning Butoh artist Jordan Rosin. She currently lives in Blue Lake, CA where she serves as the Production Manager for Dell’Arte International and is on the board of directors for Redwood Curtain Theatre.
STEPHANIE WITZEL – Chief Financial Officer
As Chief Financial Officer, Stephanie brings over 25 years of financial management experience and expertise to the Dell’Arte organization with over 20 of those years in the nonprofit environment. In this role, Stephanie directs all financial aspects of the business including accounting practices, budgeting, financial planning, interface with the financial community, financial analysis and monitoring of financial performance.
Prior to joining Dell’Arte, Stephanie held various challenging positions as Controller of Arcata Economic Development Corporation in Arcata, was a self-employed CPA for many year with numerous clients in non-profit and for profit environment; including the California Cut Flower Commission.
Stephanie holds an MS degree from the Humboldt State University and is a Certified Public Accountant. Stephanie lives in Arcata with her husband Bill and her son Tom. She is active on the City of Arcata Economic Development Committee, Treasurer of the Arcata Presbyterian Church, Treasurer of Tigers Inc., the booster club for Arcata High School. She is a UC master gardener and loves to garden. Her favorite sport is Basketball.
BECCA FINNEY – School Administrator
Becca arrived at Dell’arte International five years ago and has since graduated from their master’s program and worked with the company both on stage and otherwise. A physical actress and ensemble theatre maker, Becca spent her childhood in rural Kentucky, which cultivated in her a love for outcasts and outskirts of all kinds. She has created with many different communities, from her undergraduate education at Centre College to the Bread and Puppet Theater in Vermont, to a high-school in southern Oregon seeking to end the cycle of violence in their community. She is currently laying the groundwork for an international tour of two ensemble pieces: “Fuzzy Goo’s Guide to the Earth” and “Eli and the Bear”.
ALYSSA HUGHLETT – Faculty/Executive School Administrator and International Student Affairs (PDSO)
Alyssa Hughlett holds a BFA in acting from Texas State University, San Marcos, and an MFA from Dell’Arte International. She trained and worked for Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, MA, as an actor and education artist between 2005 and 2009. Alyssa has over 20 years of experience coaching and teaching gymnastics, and 7 years as a certified as a yoga instructor. She has been an actor with the Wharton Salon, a theatre company devoted to adapting and performing the works of Edith Wharton at her estate in the Massachusetts’s Berkshires, and has acted for Irina Brook, in adapting an original stage production of Oscar Wilde’s, The Canterville Ghost. In 2014, she was assistant to the director, Irina Brook, at the National Theatre in Nice (France), helping with an adaptation of Ibsen’s Peer Gynt with a cast of international actors, dancers, and musicians. Alyssa is a founding member and the 2017 artistic director of UpLift Physical Theatre, an ensemble founded in 2013 by an amalgam of actors, acrobats, dancers, musicians, and performers (uplifttheatre.com). Their most recent work, Enmity of the People, premiered in Dayton, Ohio, at the University of Dayton, where she was an artist in residence. In addition to performing, Alyssa has been a teaching artist since 2006, and taught in over 10 U.S. states, from ages 5 through adult. Alyssa has performed locally for Ferndale Repertory Theatre, the Arcata Playhouse, Redwood Raks Dance Studio, Dell’Arte’s Mad River Festival, and she is a proud Mum.
TIM GRAY – Sound Designer
Composer, sound designer, audio engineer and musician, Tim is the resident composer and sound designer for the Dell’Arte Company. His recent credits with the company include Mary Jane: The Musical, Blue Lake: The Opera and Three Trees Other credits include Amerika, Or the Disappearance at Theatre de la Jeune Lune, Minneapolis, and I Afton Skrack och Skratt at the Kulthurhuset National Theatre, Stockholm, Sweden. Mr. Gray also composes and records music for film and television and is the owner of Myrtletown Records recording studio in Eureka, CA. Tim Gray is a recipient of the NEA/TCG Career Development Program for Designers 2005-2007 and his work from Paradise Lost: The Clone of God has been awarded with inclusion in the United States National Exhibit to the Prague Quadrennial 2007. Nominee – 2006 Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Awards – sound design, Tartuffe, Marin Theatre Company.
ZUZKA SABATA – Arts Engagement Director/ Faculty
Zuzka Sabata is a performer, writer, and singer who has generated community-engaged original work for over 15 years. She received her Master’s of Fine Arts in Ensemble-based Physical Theatre at Dell’Arte International in 2008. She has coordinated community-based collaborative projects for Dell’Arte since 2010, and is currently the organization’s Arts Engagement Director and on faculty. She is a member of the Dell’Arte Company which she has performed with and written for, for 7 years. In partnership with fellow faculty member Janessa Johnsrude, Zuzka Sabata co-founded Pelican Bay State Prison’s first theatre program under the California Arts Council Arts-in-Corrections program and with the support of the William James Association in 2016. She is lead artist in a multi-year collaboration and cultural exchange with the Wiyot Tribe at Table Bluff. She is a practitioner of Qi Gong, an ancient Chinese form of medicinal movement meditation, and is developing her first solo work based on events in the life of historical figure Olive Oatman.
MICHAEL FOSTER – Resident Lighting Designer
In second grade, Spike played three French hens. In third, a mad scientist (he’d made an immense, foil-covered saw). Since then he has lit stages in 26 states, 16 countries, 4 continents, and both hemispheres; mostly with Dell’Arte International.
JAMES HILDEBRANDT – Technical Director
James Hildebrandt was born and raised just outside Chicago, Illinois. He studied painting and lithography at Harper College and later at the University of Minnesota at the Minneapolis campus. During that time he volunteered at May Day parades building puppets and props for The Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theater.
Since moving to the area several years ago, James has worked with many constellations of kids and adults to build theatrical sets, giant puppets and shadow plays. His own company, Black Cat Shadows, has performed in festivals, cabarets and giant outdoor spectacles.
LYNNE OWENS – Administrative Assistant
A native of Humboldt County, aka, Li’l Lynne, (singer, song writer, bass player & recording artist) came home to Humboldt in 2009, after performing throughout the great northwest for the past 30 years. Back in her native Humboldt, she performed locally at the Buddy Brown Blues Festival and Blues by the Bay. She then worked as Assistant Director for Redwood Coast Music Festivals. Throughout her music career, she also managed her band; promotional, marketing, booking & bookkeeping. Now Lynne is very happy to bring her mix of performing information and business office experience to Dell’Arte.
TUSHAR MATHEW – Marketing Director
After graduating with a degree in mass media from the University of Mumbai, Tushar Mathew worked as a writer for a travel magazine, then wrote a sitcom and finally worked in a production house before enrolling at The Drama School Mumbai. After touring various parts of
India with an adaptation of Bertolt Brecht’s The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui (The Curious Climb of Cutter Chee) where he played the titular character, he decided he needed to continue his physical theatre education and so he found himself at Dell’ Arte. After graduating with his MFA he was a part of the Dell’ Arte Company’s Summer Show- “The State of Jefferson Picnic”. He is currently working towards an international tour with an original ensemble piece “Eli and the Bear” and continues to work on his site-specific solo show “Detective Private Saves the World!”.
ROMAN SANCHEZ – Executive Director Assistant
Roman Sanchez has spent over 16 years in the arts as a performer, director, stage manager, producer, and educator. He is originally from the Imperial Valley, where he founded his company, Roman Sanchez Entertainment. He is an alumnus of the California State Summer School for the Arts (’13 & ’15) where he was selected as an Herb Alpert Scholarship recipient. Before coming to Humboldt, he reinstated the drama club at his local junior high school, where he taught theatre for 4 years as well as teaching Musical Theatre at Ooh La La Dance & Studios. He is the Founding Artistic Director of Lime Arts Productions and will soon obtain an MFA to become a Theatre Professor and eventually own a fine arts studio, movie theatre, and production company.