Sheila Bandyopadhyay – Head of Professional Training Program & Core Movement Faculty
A 2003 graduate of the Professional Training Program, is thrilled to be back at Dell’Arte as Head of the PTP and Core Movement Faculty. For the past 18 years Sheila has developed a career as a director, deviser, movement specialist, Alexander Technique and yoga teacher in Brooklyn, New York. As a theatre maker, Sheila is committed to non-traditional performance that is physical, music-driven, inclusive and literary. In New York, Sheila has directed shows at the Brick, the United Solo Festival (Theater Row), the Tank, the Women in Theater Festival (the Gural), the West End Theater, and the 72nd St Theater Lab. Regional credits include the Boston Center for the Arts, and the Minneapolis and Montreal Fringe Festivals. For eight years Sheila served as Head of the Movement Department at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Manhattan where she regularly directed and coached productions in the 2ndyear of training and for the Academy Company. Sheila is intrigued by and actively investigating the overlap between physical training, creativity, mindful movement and Eastern meditation practices. Additional teaching and coaching with: California State University Summer Arts, Shakespeare & Company, Brandeis University, the Balance Arts Center (NYC), FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training, NYU Gallatin, the Linklater Center, the Upright Citizen’s Brigade, and Emerson College. Sheila is a proud member of the Humanist Project and a sponsored artist with Leviathan Lab, both companies based in New York City. Sheila is an alumna of Brandeis University (class of 1999), and NYU Gallatin (MA, 2010). www.sheilabnyc.com IG: @sheilabnyc
ALYSSA HUGHLETT – Managing Director
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.
ZUZKA SABATA — Associate Artistic Director, The Bartow Project
Zuzka Sabata is an alumnus of DAI and has been on staff, faculty, and a company member since 2010. She specializes in community engagement programming. In 2015 she co-founded Dell’Arte’s Prison Project and taught theatre and creating original material to students at Pelican Bay State Prison for 3 years. She has been the artistic lead on DAI’s partnership with the Wiyot Tribe since 2016 and is currently working on a collaborative project between the Company and the Tribe to create a full-length performance based on the work of contemporary artist Rick Bartow (Wiyot). More info on this project is at www.thebartowproject.com. For Zuzka’s additional creative work, see www.zuzkasabata.com.
MICHAEL ‘SPIKE’ FOSTER – Resident Lighting Designer
In second grade, Spike played three French hens. In third, a mad scientist (he created an immense, foil-covered saw). Since then he has lit stages in 26 states, 16 countries, 4 continents, and both hemispheres, including 35 years with Dell’Arte International, and concurrently 40-plus years in local and community theatres. In 2019 Spike was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award from Dell’Arte International.
Spike has toured two summer seasons – 1986 and ’88 – with the horse-drawn wagons of the Caravan Stage Company out of Canada. Other companies/directors include: First Voice in San Francisco; Jeff Raz from Alameda, Calif.; Big Sky from Hartley Bay, B.C.; and Synapsis from Eureka, Calif. In 2019 he was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award from Dell’Arte International.
When asked what’s been his best play or production, Spike invariably replies, “The next one.”