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Executive Board

Members of the Executive Board of Region 8 have been vetted by the Regional organization and National organization in concordance with the by-laws of ACTF Management, Limited.

Region 8 Chair


Shaunte Caraballo
California State University Dominguez Hills

My name is Shaunté Keakalani Caraballo. I reside on the land of the Tongva nation. My pronouns are she/her/hers/ella. I am fortunate that my name is an excellent representation of who I am. I am a woman of color. I am African American. I am Latinx. I am a proud Boricua! I am the daughter of two veterans. I am a hula dancer/choreographer who is active in the Asian/Pacific Islander community and have been for 14 years. I have been an ally for the LGBTQ+ community long before I knew it was a thing. I am a Christian who believes that the greatest expression of Christ’s love is to love all just as they are and I do not believe it is my job to make everyone believe as I do. I love all faiths and believe I can learn from all. I have produced culturally-specific work for many years. I love to choreograph and devise new works that include multiple areas of performance that normally would not be combined. I enjoy developing work for only those communities I am a part of, but also for other minorities and underrepresented groups. It is a true passion of mine to have BIPOC artists tell their stories. And I would like to see more of that in theatre. BA-CA Baptist University, MFA-CSU Long Beach

Region 8 Co-Vice Chair


Jeremy Lewis

Jeremy Lewis is a professional director whose credits include works at The Eugene O’Neil National Playwrights Conference, The Kennedy Center Playwrights Conference, and Ford’s Theatre. Collegiate directing credits include works at Citrus College, Glendale College, Concordia University, Azusa Pacific University and California State University, Fullerton. From joining SAG/AFTRA at the age of 3, Jeremy has spent over 40 years in the entertainment industry working aside some of the most highly regarded actors and directors in the field. Jeremy also works as a private acting coach and has guided many professional actors through National commercial spots, Film, and Miss America talent competitions. Jeremy is a two-time recipient of the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival SDC directing fellowship, a two-time recipient of the Edwin Duerr Scholarship for Excellence in Directing, a recipient of the José Quintero award, and a former Freedman Scholar. After serving many years as an adjunct professor of theatre (Directing/Acting) at California State University, Fullerton, Concordia University, and Citrus College, Jeremy has recently become a full-time faculty member at Glendale Community College. He currently serves as Co-Vice Chair for Region 8 of The American College Theatre Festival.


Region 8 Co-Vice Chair


Abel Marquez

I grew up in West Covina, Southern California, based in the San Gabriel Valley. I am a Mexican American, Latinx, LGBTQ+, Born Again Christian, California Community College graduate, theatre practitioner, educator, and curator of personal truths. I grew up in a house full of my family: my aunts, my uncle, my cousin, my grandfather. I hold my family and friends close to my heart and rely on them to fuel me as I continue my career pursuits. After the loss of my brother at sixteen I found theatre to be the outlet of my self-expression. I would not be where I am today without the inspiring love of my friends, family, and my late brother.

I find my inspiration in the good of humanity, and try to live by “assuming good intent” wherever I go. I create theatre to exert our inherent need for change and to illuminate the very human need for connection. My goal is to make art accessible, diverse, and alive. My work centers on de-constructing the classist structures that live within our institutions and our field. Outside of my work, I love Marvel/DC comics, enjoy reading with a good book, and love petting animals (I’m allergic, but I’ll take a benadryl).

Citrus College – Associates in Arts, Theatre Arts. California State University, Fullerton – Bachelors of Arts

Region 8 Representation, Equity, and Diversity (RED) Chair

Kristi Papailler
California State University, San Bernardino

My name is Kristi Papailler.  I live on the territory and ancestral land of the Yuhaaviatam in what is now called San Bernardino, California.  I am Haitian American with some German roots, and my pronouns are she/her/hers.  I grew up in what is now called Louisville, Ky and when not in school or playing outside I was surrounded by my parents- an Opera singer and civil rights worker and Haitian diplomat turned poet and professor of Pan-African Studies and Modern Languages.  I am a mother, artist, educator whose commitment to positive social change includes an expanding awareness of what that means and working for representation, equity, and diversity in theatre with others of good conscience.  I am thankful to have volunteered with organizations like the Louisville Fairness Campaign and The Kentucky Alliance Against Racist & Political Oppression years ago and to have co-founded and co-produced Juneteenth Legacy Theatre (Kentucky’s only professional African American Theatre from 1999-2011). I am proud to stand with my fellow BIPOC and of good conscience artists, students, and educators as we move towards a more just and equitable world.  BA- Theatre and Literature, MFA-Theatre Performance, Graduate Certificate- African American Theatre- The University of Louisville.  Sifu- Tai Chi and Qi Gong with specialty in these arts for actors.  

Region 8 Representation, Equity, and Diversity (RED) Vice Chair 

Jozben Barrett
California State University Dominguez Hills

Jozben Barrett is a Los Angeles based actor, director, producer, educator and event emcee. He is the founder of 2 Rhythms; a multidisciplinary arts organization that develops work focusing on the untold and under-told stories of communities of color. Jozben has performed in the world premiere production of What To Send Up When It Goes Down by Aleshea Harris, a play/pageant/ritual that responds to racial violence in America, the world premiere of SNAKES by Chris Webb at the A.C.T. Strand Theatre, Much Ado About Nothing with the Independent Shakespeare Company in Griffith Park, August Wilson’s Radio Golf directed by Fran Bennett, among many others.

Region 8 Chair of Design, Technology and Management

Malie Speetjens

University of Hawaii at Manoa

Maile Speetjens serves as Professor of Costume Design and Technology for University of Hawaii, Manoa. Originally from Kauai, Maile received an MFA in Costume Design and Technology from the University of Georgia, Athens, and a BFA in Musical Theatre from Emerson College. Prior to joining the team at UHM, Maile worked as Costume Shop Manager and Special Assistant Professor of Costume Design at Colorado State University. She has designed, draped, and worked as wardrobe supervisor in Boston, Georgia, Hawaii and Colorado. Maile has worked extensively in Children’s Theatre as a designer, director, and teacher. She spent over 10 years working with Hawaii Children’s Theatre on Kauai, and 4 years directing Kids Do It All, a program in Colorado focusing on devised Children’s Theatre. Maile’s passion is creating a collaborative and educational environment for students to explore, expand, and HAVE FUN; after all, it’s called a play!  

Maile enjoys scuba diving and spending time with her family (both human and canine) on her time off. 

Region 8 National Playwriting Program Chair

Miguel Torres Cruz
California State University, Fullerton

I was born in Celaya, Guanajuato, Mexico. My city is known for “cajeta,” which is a sweet, caramel-like product made from goat’s milk. My family crossed the border when I was eight years old; I will never forget that long night walking through the desert. For the majority of my life I was defined by my undocumented status, but in my teenage years I found the theatre which freed me from how others defined me. The theatre became my church and its plays my scriptures. It was because of the theatre that I gained an independence, confidence, and self-awareness to shape my own path and go wherever I wished to go. I believe the theatre has the power to liberate the mind and soul. I hope to bring this experience to as many people as I can.

Region 8 Immediate Past Chair

Eric Bishop
MiraCosta College

Hello! My name is Eric Bishop. I live on the land of the Kumeyaay nation in what is now known as San Diego County.  My pronouns are he/him/his.  I am a father, husband, son, brother, friend, theatre artist, educator, leader, humanist, empath and citizen.  I root for the local baseball team, love music, art, documentaries, animals and my home state of California.  I am of mixed race and honor my grandmother from Mexico.  My creativity is supercharged when I witness exceptional, inspiring theatre!

My love of KCACTF began as a community college student at Fresno City College when my passion was ignited by the vast array of theatre opportunities, plays, workshops and life-long friendships cultivated.  I’m proud to say that I haven’t missed a Region 8 festival since 1990.  I loved my time as a student in KCACTF and never dreamed I would be leading this regional organization back when I was in college, but I am proud to give back after all KCACTF has given me.  Life has a funny way of coming full circle.  I strive to make KCACTF in Region 8 a positive, stimulating and life changing experience for all students from all states and all communities. I believe that there is a place for everyone in the theatre.  It is my goal to continue to push the boundaries to make our festival as inclusive, welcoming and inspiring as possible.  Onwards!

KCACTF National Organization

KCACTF National Leadership

Chair-Brad Dell

Co Vice Chair-

Immediate Past National Chair-Michelle Bombe

KCACTF Representation, Equity and Diversity (RED)

Chair-Gina Sandi-Diaz

Vice Chair-

Member At-Large-Julie Mollenkamp

KCACTF Representation, Equity and Diversity (RED) Regional Chairs

Mauricio Salgado, Michael Allen, Kelli Crump, Gregory Horton, Katherine LeRoy, Sarah Klocke and Marc Vital, Adriana Dominguez and Vicky Lantz, Ed Trujillo, Kristi Papallier

KCACTF Regional Chairs

Herschel Kruger, Lisa Abbott, Brad Carlson, Nick Taylor, Shaunte Caraballo

KCACTF Design, Technology, and Management Chairs

Chair, Design, Technology and Management-Val Winkleman

Vice Chair, Chair,Design, Technology and Management-Misti Bradford

Design, Technology and Management Member-at-Large-Rae Robison

Regional Chairs: Erika Guay and Emmett Buhmann, Nancy Pipkin Hutchinson, Christopher Plummer, Tony Galaska, Kelly Marie Schaefer, Elizabeth “Biz” Nelson and Eric Marsh, Raquel Davis, Kara Thomson

KCACTF National Playwriting Program

Chair, National Playwriting Program-Jim Holmes

Vice Chair, National Playwriting Program-Ben Gonzales

NPP Member at Large-

Regional Chairs: James Ryan Caldwell, Bob Bartlett, Thom Miller, Becky Becker, Sean Byrd, Jackie Rosenfeld, Jenny Kokai and Carol Damgen

The Kennedy Center

President- Deborah F. Rutter

Senior Vice President, Education-Mario R. Rossero

Director, Education Programs and Productions-David Kilpatrick

Director, Education Activation and Engagement-Vanessa Thomas

Manager, KCACTF and Theater Education-Kelsey Mesa

Artistic Director, KCACTF-Gregg Henry