Paige Taylor
Greater Orange County Coordinator
Free to be Me Arts Academy


I’ve spent over half my life as a vegetarian and love to adapt my own recipes. I am an animal lover, bookworm, and sci-fi geek. Born and raised in Orange County, California, I joined youth theatre, choir, and dance teams all by the age of 9. I fell in love with the community and joy of performing. These days I spend half my time on stage and the other half working behind the scenes, as an educator, director, or coordinator. My time at Free To Be Me Performing Arts Academy has been one of the most fulfilling jobs I’ve ever had. Working with kids and seeing their joy and passion for performing and self-expression often reminds me of why I do it myself, especially when things get tough. Personally, I am dedicated to making the theatre world a more inclusive and welcoming space for all artists and advocating for diversity in the rehearsal room and on the stage. 

I was introduced to KCACTF during my undergrad at CSU Fullerton where I was lucky enough to participate in the SDC Directing Fellowship as well as work behind the scenes as a Student Leader. I found it to be such a shining example of everything I loved about theatre, a community of shared ideas and passions, that I jumped at the chance to be involved again. 

B.A. in Theater Arts with Directing Emphasis- Cal State Fullerton 



  • Biola University
  • California State University, Fullerton
  • Chapman University
  • Cerritos College
  • Concordia University Irvine
  • Cypress College
  • Fullerton College
  • Golden West College
  • Irvine Valley College
  • Orange Coast College
  • Saddleback College
  • Santa Ana College
  • Santiago Canyon College
  • University of California, Irvine
  • Vanguard University of Southern California


Lisa Lyons

Greater Inland Empire Coordinator

California State University, San Bernardino





  • Azusa Pacific University
  • Antelope Valley College
  • Barstow College
  • California Baptist University
  • California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
  • California State University, San Bernardino
  • Chaffey College
  • Citrus College
  • Crafton Hills College
  • College of the Desert
  • La Sierra University
  • Mt. San Antonio College
  • Palo Verde College
  • Pomona College
  • Rio Hondo College
  • Riverside Community College
  • San Bernardino Valley College
  • University of California, Riverside
  • University of LaVerne
  • University of Redlands
  • Victor Valley Community College
  • Whittier College


Christine Cummings

Los Angeles Metro Coordinator

Circuit Coordinator Representative
Mt. San Antonio College


I was memorizing Shakespeare FOR FUN at age 12. That was the kind of nerd I was… and, let’s face it, still am.  That’s when I started acting and I have known, since I stepped out on that stage opening night as Miss Hannigan in Annie, that I wanted a life in the theatre.  I never thought I could be more passionate about anything than acting, but in graduate school, I walked into my first classroom as an instructor and found my true calling.  I’ve performed in and directed theatre in Chicago and Southern California for 20 years, I was Education Director for a Children’s Theatre Academy in Lake Forest, IL and I have taught theater at 15 different colleges.  Particular artistic passions of mine include voice and movement for the actor, Theater for Youth, surrealist plays, and everything involving Shakespeare.  I’m also a dog enthusiast, my giraffe collection is a thing of legend, I’m a hiking junkie,  and I believe that travel is the greatest gift we can give ourselves.  

KCACTF came into my life as an undergrad at CSU Fullerton when I competed as an Irene Ryan competitor and partner. It was such a fulfilling and valuable experience that, when I became an educator, I continued to coach and respond for Region 3. Then during the interview for my position at Mt. SAC, I specifically asked if I could bring their theater program into KCACTF if I was hired.  And that is exactly what I did.  I’m also proud to have recently joined the Orange County Theater Guild’s Equity and Diversity Committee so I can fight for a more inclusive and welcoming space for all artists in our theater community. A worthy fight, indeed. 

BA in Acting – CSU Fullerton; MFA in Acting – Illinois State University 


  • California State University, Dominguez Hills
  • California State University, Long Beach
  • California State University, Los Angeles
  • East Los Angeles College
  • El Camino College
  • El Camino College Compton Community Education Center
  • Hussian College Los Angeles
  • Long Beach City College
  • Los Angeles City College Theatre Academy
  • Los Angeles Harbor College
  • Los Angeles Southwest College
  • Loyola Marymount University
  • Marymount California University
  • University of California, Los Angeles
  • University of Southern California
  • West Los Angeles College


Sarah Ripper

Greater Los Angeles Coordinator
California State University, Fullerton


I am an empath and an animal lover. I grew up in Houston, Texas, and studied Musical Theatre. While in undergrad, I attended KCACTF every year and was even honored to perform at the Kennedy Center in DC in our production of “The Laramie Project”. It was a magical experience attending those festivals and being surrounded by fellow theatre-artists!  I even had the opportunity to stage-manage a new play! After earning my Bachelor’s degree, I moved to NYC and lived there for 10 years while pursuing my career as a performer, director, and choreographer. I always knew I wanted to be an educator, but was uncertain about which grade/age group I would love working with most. While in NY, I taught all ages and realized that college was my niche. I then got my Master’s in Educational Theatre for Colleges and Communities at NYU, which then led me to move to California to get another Master’s degree, this time at CSU Fullerton for Directing. I recently got married during a pandemic, and own two cats. I am a believer in teaching lessons in being a compassionate, empathetic, and inclusive human. You never know someone else’s story. 

Sam Houston State University, NYU, at CSU Fullerton


  • California Institute of the Arts
  • California Institute of Technology
  • California Lutheran University
  • California State University, Northridge
  • College of the Canyons
  • Glendale College (California)
  • Los Angeles Mission College
  • Los Angeles Pierce College
  • Los Angeles Valley College
  • Moorpark College
  • Occidental College
  • Oxnard College
  • Pasadena City College
  • Pepperdine University
  • Santa Monica College
  • Ventura College


David Seitz

Arizona Coordinator
Glendale Community College, AZ


Look at me now and I seem to blend in with the crowd. That was not always the case. When I was 7, my family moved us from New York to Arizona at a time when it was not very accepting of “different.” I was an under height, overweight, non-athletic, arts-loving Jewish child in a very non-Jewish society, suffering the slings and arrows of anti-Semitism, bullying, and body shaming. In order to avoid blatant attacks, my generation was encouraged to assimilate into our local community while keeping our, for lack of a better term, “differences” to ourselves. Theatre was where I found (and still find) find acceptance just for whom I am, the way I am. In the “outside world,” we are all considered “different,” but the sharing of ideas, the passionate discussions over our favorite plays/actors/playwrights/designers, and the discovery of new talent and works bond us all in a very special community. I am so excited that this new generation seems more enlightened, more accepting, and more celebratory of all the different aspects of each other that enrich us as people, as artists, as communities. No more hiding; no more being made to feel ashamed of who we are; only being true to oneself with pride. Now that is something I want to assimilate into.


  • Arizona State University, Phoenix
  • Arizona State University, Tempe
  • Arizona State University, West Campus
  • Arizona Western College
  • Central Arizona University
  • Chandler-Gilbert Community College
  • Cochise College
  • Coconino Community College
  • Eastern Arizona College
  • Estrella Mountain Community College
  • Glendale Community College (Arizona)
  • Grand Canyon University
  • Mesa Community College
  • Mojave Community College
  • Northern Arizona University
  • Northland Pioneer College
  • Paradise Valley Community College
  • Phoenix College
  • Pima Community College
  • Scottsdale Community College
  • South Mountain Community College
  • University of Arizona
  • Yavapai College


    Carin Heidelbach

    North Central Coordinator
    California State University, Stanislaus


    Originally from California’s Central Valley, Carin is an Assistant Professor of Acting and Directing in the Theatre Department at CSU Stanislaus, where she teaches all levels of Acting, Directing and Introductory courses, in addition to directing in the production program. 

    She has a BA in Drama from CSU Stanislaus, and received her graduate acting training from the Theatre School at DePaul University, where she studied the acting method of Jerzey Grotowski and the Linklater vocal method. Overseas, she studied at Richmond College in London, focusing on British Theatre Studies, Shakespeare’s tragedies and the history of the West End Musical. She earned her Master of Fine Arts in Theatre, with a concentration in Performance and Directing, from Humboldt State University. Her graduate projects included plays by Sam Shepard and Shakespeare, as well as adaptations of classical Greek Drama. Her Master’s thesis focused on female characters in abusive and violent circumstances.

    Carin has worked in theatre locally and far away for about 25 years. Some favorite gigs include the London International Festival of Theatre, where she worked in production and marketing for international directors such as Deborah Warner as well as South Africa’s Market Theatre, and a stint at Portland Stage Company, where she worked as an assistant director, assistant dramaturg and assistant literary manager. Carin has directed and performed at Sonora’s Sierra Repertory Theatre, where she directed original plays for children’s theatre in local elementary and high schools as well as directing on the Fallon House Stage in Columbia State Park. She spent ten-years running the Theatre program at Merced College as well as founding their Standardized Patient program for actors and the Allied Health program. 

    Carin takes creative interest in the Theatre of the Absurd, the Margolis Method for Actors, the plays of Sam Shepard, Tennessee Williams and Sarah Ruhl, New Works, and, in particular, adapting the works of the Ancient Greeks and William Shakespeare.


    • Cabrillo College
    • California State University, Monterey Bay
    • California State University, Stanislaus
    • Columbia College
    • Gavilan College
    • Hartnell College
    • Las Positas College
    • Merced College
    • Modesto Junior College
    • Monterey Peninsula College
    • Saint Mary’s College of California
    • Santa Rosa Junior College
    • Taft College
    • University of California, Merced
    • University of California, Santa Cruz
    • If your school does not appear on this list, please contact Some schools in this geographical area participate in Region 7, and some participate in Region 8. 


    Christopher Mangels

    Central California Coordinator
    College of the Sequioas


    Holding an MFA in Musical Theatre from San Diego State University, Chris is a Professor of Theatre and Cinema at College of the Sequoias in Visalia, CA, where he serves as director, fight choreographer, and scenic designer.  At COS, he has directed Stupid Fucking BirdHookmanThe Three MusketeersMacbeth, The Crucible, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, In the Heights, Tartuffe, Animal Farm, Metamorphoses, Company,  A Midsummer Night’s DreamJulius CaesarUrinetown: The MusicalThe HobbitThe Grapes of Wrath, As You Like It, Something Wicked This Way Comes, Rashomon, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Dracula, Our Country’s Good, and Richard III as well as designed the sets for such ambitious productions as The Phantom of the Opera, Sweeney Todd, and The Secret Garden.  In addition to his work at COS, Chris has directed at regional theatres throughout California and designed and built puppets for productions of Avenue Q and Shrek: The Musical.  As an actor, Chris has worked across the nation in such venues as Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Court Theatre: Chicago, and Lamb’s Players, and even adapted his own one-man production of Dicken’s A Christmas Carol.  He currently resides in Visalia with his wife and best friend, Diane, and their beautiful daughter, Sage. 


    • Allan Hancock College
    • Bakersfield College
    • California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
    • California State University, Bakersfield, California State University, Fresno
    • California State University, Monterey Bay
    • Cerro Coso Community College
    • College of The Sequoias
    • Cuesta College
    • Fresno City College
    • Fresno Pacific University
    • Porterville College
    • Reedley College
    • Santa Barbara City College
    • Taft College
    • University of California, Santa Barbara
    • West Hills College, Coalinga
    • Westmont College
















    Gerilyn Brault

    San Diego Coordinator

    MiraCosta College



    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers. I saw my first musical when I was three years old, and I’ve been hooked on theatre ever since. I work as an actor, director, and teacher in the San Diego area, getting to now work in places I’ve grown up watching theatre performed at. As a plus size actress, an out-and-proud bisexual, a person with disabilities from chronic illness, and an advocate for racial justice, I am passionate about making theatre and theatre training accessible to all. I want our beautifully diverse world of all races, genders, orientations, abilities, and sizes, to be represented on and off our stages. I specialize in musicals and Shakespeare, with added interests in stage makeup, text analysis, and vocal/dialect work. Theatre has a magical way of providing society both escape and education, and I personally gravitate to art that can entertain and challenge audiences. I am also an artist who benefited from KCACTF Responses and Festivals when I was a community college student. I look forward to being a part of Theatre’s evolution during this time of reflection and action in, and out, of our art form. Theatre has historically had surges of creativity after times of crisis: I can’t wait to see where we all go from here.


    • San Diego Mesa College
    • San Diego Mirimar College
    • San Diego State University
    • Southwestern College
    • University of California, San Diego
    • University of San Diego
    • California State University, San Marcos
    • Cuyamaca College
    • Grossmont College
    • Imperial Valley College
    • MiraCosta College
    • Palomar College
    • Point Loma Nazarene College
    • San Diego City College









    Graham Whipple

    Rocky Mts. and S. Nevada Coordinator
    Utah Valley University




    • Brigham Young University
    • College of Southern Nevada
    • Dixie State University
    • Fort Lewis College (Colorado)
    • Great Basin College
    • Salt Lake Community College
    • Snow College
    • Southern Utah University
    • University of Nevada, Las Vegas
    • University Of Utah
    • Utah State University
    • Utah State University Eastern
    • Utah Valley University
    • Weber State University
    • Westminster College
    • If your school does not appear on this list, please contact Some schools in this geographical area participate in Region 7, and some participate in Region 8.










    Jessica Jacob

    Pacific Islands Coordinator
    University of Hawaii-Manoa


    (Prefer: Jess to Jessica. She/Her/Hers) I am a devoted yet somewhat unexceptional performer, an intense and driven director and stage combat choreographer, and a brutally pragmatic theatre administrator and educator with bouts of devil-may-care whimsy. A gen-x-er born in Georgia, raised in Vermont, that  lived 20 years in Alaska and now resides in Hawai’i with 30 years of arts admin experience to date, I am a continual work in progress with a foundational desire to champion the arts, creativity, innovation, performer safety, and representation.


    MFA University of Hawai’i at Manoa (Asian Theatre)


    • American Samoa Community College,
    • Brigham Young University (Hawaii),
    • Chaminade University Of Honolulu
    • Hawaii Pacific University
    • Leeward Community College
    • Maui Community College
    • University of Guam
    • University of Hawai’i at Hilo
    • University of Hawai’i at Kapi’olani
    • University of Hawai’i at Manoa
    • Windward Community College
    • If your school does not appear on this list, please contact Some schools in this geographical area participate in Region 7, and some participate in Region 8. 


    All schools within the region are eligible for the National Playwriting Program. The National Playwriting Program Chair schedules response sessions for all productions entered as a new play in Region 8.


    Carol Damgen
    NPP Co-Chair
    California State University, San Bernardino









    Jennifer Kokai

    NPP Co-Chair

    Weber State University









    Kirin McCrory

    NPP Co Vice Chair

    Mt. San Antonio College 









    Miguel Torres Cruz

    NPP Co Vice Chair
    California State University Fullerton










    In a playwriting camp I taught, a fourth grader once wrote: “One’s a pond of time.” Identity is a construction of how we see ourselves and how others see us, and it is largely a fictional narrative we create to impose order on chaos. Having been asked to construct just such a thing, I can tell you about some of the things that make up my pond. I grew up mostly in Louisville, Kentucky, the oldest of three girls. Although I am constantly asked if my last name is Hawaiian, it is Hungarian but I know little to nothing about Hungary. I knew I wanted to make theatre from the time I was very small and entirely on my own organized an application and audition for a performing arts high school in search of both a place to make theatre and a place that had room for a nerdy, weird kid who liked to play pretend and wanted the world to be more just. After being accepted as an Acting major, we all quickly realized this was a mistake. But fortunately, they also had a voluntary playwriting and directing class led by one of the greatest teachers I have ever had and I found a voice there. Since then, I have moved from one red flyover state to another in pursuit of my education and career, ending up in Utah a place I never predicted living. I am obsessed with new works from under represented voices, wild theatricality, and coffee. I have no personal concept of gender. I am responsible for seven non-human animals and one human 13-year-old.  

    BA- Butler U, MA- Washington University in St. Louis, PhD- The University of Texas at Austin


    This personal identity statement is hard for me to write–I’m pretty introverted and I don’t love talking about myself. I lived on the East coast for most of my life; now I live here and I always miss fall. I grew up on college campuses; I now teach at a community college where most of my students are first generation or nontraditional college students, and I’m reminded every day of what a huge privilege it was to be exposed to academia at such a young age. I started acting in high school, started writing plays and doing fight choreography in college, and got my MFA so that I could teach at the college level. I’m most interested now, in both theatre and education, in making space for other, less represented people to tell their stories or see themselves on stage. Both theatre and education have the potential to make us better humans, though both can and have been used to do the opposite–and my goal always is to help myself and others grow, however incrementally, through these two practices. As a person outside of theatre, reading is my major hobby, and you can find me watching anime in the mornings, listening to vintage soul and jazz records, and playing with my big, dumb dog.

    BA in Theatre Studies and Literature – Emerson College; MFA in Playwriting – UC Riverside


    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.