California: The Tempest
Alison has written or co-written over 25 of the Cornerstone’s productions, and has been nominated for Emmy, GLAAD and Ovation awards. A member of the Dramatists Guild, she has served on advisory or peer panels for organizations such as The Ford Foundation, Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Foundation, the Mark Taper Forum’s Other Voices Projects and Arts Midwest. She has guest lectured at universities and organizations around the country, including at Yale, Stanford and the BAM/CUNY Shakespeare Conference, and taught courses at the University of Southern California and CalState LA in playwriting and community-based theater. Alison and her husband have two children.
Michael John Garcés
Director / Ensemble
Michael (Director, Artistic Director, Cornerstone Theater Company) has directed many plays for Cornerstone, including two summer residency projects, Plumas Negras by Juliette Carrillo in Salinas, and atTraction by Page Leong in the Downtown Los Angeles Arts District. For Cornerstone he has also written Consequence, which was presented in Arvin, a farming community in the Central Valley, and Los Illegals, created with day laborers and domestic workers in Los Angeles. His work has been produced in theaters across the country such as South Coast rep, The Wilma Theatre, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and the Brooklyn Academy of Music. He is a company member at Woolly Mammoth Theatre in Washington, D.C., serves on the executive board of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society and is a proud alumnus of New Dramatists.
Scenic Designer / Ensemble
With a background in performance and architecture, Nephelie made the transition to stage design at Yale University’s School of Drama where she earned her M.F.A. She was an Associate Professor at the University of Michigan and joined the faculty of University of Redlands in 2001. Concurrent with her teaching, she maintains actively engaged with many regional and ensemble theatre companies with whom she designs sets and/or costumes. At Cornerstone, she has designed Jason in Eureka, Los Illegals, 3/7/11: A Lincoln Heights Tale, Boda de Luna Nueva and Sid Arthur. Through her ongoing relationship with South Coast Repertory, she has designed in every season since 1998 including Saturn Returns. Other theaters include Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Portland Center Stage, Center Theatre Group, The Acting Company, The Guthrie Lab, The Court theatre and many others. She is the recipient of the University of Redlands’ Hunsaker Innovative Teaching Award and the NEA/TCG Design Fellowship.
Garry D. Lennon has been designing costumes around the country for the past fifteen years. He joined the CSUN faculty in the fall of 1999 and has designed costumes for Shim Ch’ong Chon, Into the Woods, and The Way of the World among others. He also designed costumes for Pterodactyls, which traveled to Shanghai, China for the International Experimental Theater Festival at the Shanghai Theater Academy.His work outside of the University includes designing costumes for the world premiere of with Cornerstone Theater Company, Mary Shelly’s Santa Claus at International City Theater, and Lyle the Crocodile with the Dallas Children’s Theater. He has also worked with Fort Worth Shakespeare in the Park, Utah Musical Theater, The Undermain, and the Contemporary American Theater Festival. Most recently Garry directed Laurie Brooks’ The Wrestling Season at CSUN playing for both adult and high school audiences throughout the spring of 2003. He earned his MFA in Theatrical Design at West Virginia University and his undergraduate degree (with directing emphasis) at West Chester University in Pennsylvania.
Lighting Designer / Ensemble
Geoff has worked professionally as a free-lance lighting designer for the past twenty years. His designs have appeared on Broadway as well as at many regional theatres including The Mark Taper Forum, South Coast Repertory, The Geffen Playhouse, La Jolla Playhouse, The Old Globe, Long Beach Opera, The Minneapolis Children’s Theatre Company, Actor’s Theatre of Louisville, Seattle Repertory Theatre, The Goodman Theatre and The Kennedy Center in Washington DC. Geoff first came to Cornerstone as the lighting designer for Rushing Waters in 1992. Since then he has designed more than 20 Cornerstone productions including: An Antigone Story, Los Biombos/The Screens, and For Here or To Go?I. Geoff is the head of the design program at the University of Washington in Seattle, where he teaches lighting design. He is a native of Southern California, and a graduate of California State University, Chico, and the Yale School of Drama.
Veronika thrilled to be returning for her third production with CTC, having sound designed Bliss Point and Plumas Negras. Locally, her work has been heard at Theatre @Boston Court, East West Players, and IAMA Theatre Co. Regional Sound Design credits include Shakespeare Theatre Company, Ford’s Theatre, Woolly Mammoth, Folger Theatre, Olney Theatre, Everyman, Yale Rep, Signature Theatre (VA), Theater J, Kansas City Starlight Theatre, and others. Associate sound design: Manhattan Theatre Club, The Kennedy Center, CENTERSTAGE, Arena Stage, Geffen Playhouse. Training: Prague Conservatory of Music, California Institute of the Arts, Yale School of Drama.
Becky Dale is a composer, a theater producer, a community organizer, a parent, a nature lover and a bike commuter.
She loves to make music for theater, voices, instruments and anything else that makes sound and silence. Nautilus’ Composer Librettist Studio and Wesley Balk Opera Music Theater Institue, Cornerstone Theater Company’s Institute, and several years study with composer Libby Larsen were foundational experiences in her artistic journey. Ten Thousand Things Theater, Cornerstone Theater Company, Geva Theater, the Playwright’s Center and others have performed her work. Her theatrical scores include settings of Brecht, Aeschylus, and several living playwrights, Naomi Wallace, Eric Ehn, Page Leong and Dan O’Brien among them.
Puppet Designer / Ensemble
Lynn Jeffries has been a member of Cornerstone Theater since 1986, and has designed sets, costumes or puppets for over 60 Cornerstone productions. Her regional theater work includes designs for Arena Stage, The Guthrie, Long Wharf Theatre, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, South Coast Repertory, and TheatreWorks. In an ongoing collaboration with puppeteer/performance artist Paul Zaloom, she has built puppets, dramaturged, designed, and puppeteered on numerous projects, including The Mother of All Enemies, The Abecedarium, The Adventures of White-Man, and the film Dante’s Inferno. She also performs solo shadow puppet shows in nightclubs with the neo-vaudevillian folk/jazz band, The Ditty Bops. Other recent puppet designs include Culture Clash’s Peace at the Getty Villa, Project Wonderland and The Gogol Project at the Bootleg Theater, and To Kill a Mockingbird and Don Quixote at Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Lynn has won a Theatre LA Ovation Honor and a Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award for puppet design; a Backstage West Garland Award and a Drama-Logue Award for scenic design; and a Backstage WestGarland Award for costume design.
Production Stage Manager / Ensemble
Nikki began her relationship with Cornerstone as a LA County intern in 2005 during the Faith Cycle Bridge show, A Long Bridge Over Deep Waters. Since then, Nikki has served on the stage management teams of over 10 Cornerstone shows, spanning the Justice and Hunger cycles, and the Institute Summer Residency. She has also had the pleasure of working for Center Theatre Group, Los Angeles Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Merola Opera Program, Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the New York Musical Theatre Festival, among other companies. She is a proud Michigan native and a graduate of the University of Southern California.
Stage Manager / Ensemble
Ash began working with Cornerstone on the third play in the Hunger Cycle, Lunch Lady Courage, after stage managing for Michael John Garcés on an outside project. Ash became entranced with the work that Cornerstone was doing as well as the city of LA, and decided to make the move from San Francisco. Since then, Ash has worked on Love on San Pedro, Bliss Point and currently the bridge tour California: The Tempest. Ash has been a stage manager ever since discovering what the job was at the age of 14, earning a B.A. from SFSU in Stage Management (double major with Human Sexuality), while working as the Associate Production Manager at the University. Fresh from college, Ash trained at American Conservatory Theater as an Intern and worked for several years professionally at ACT and around the Bay Area, including: Shakespeare Santa Cruz, Z Space, Shotgun Players, The Jewish Theatre, and Lamplighters. Other LA credits include Center Theatre Group and the Bootleg Theatre. Ash is excited to be a part of the Cornerstone family and looks forward to learning from each community, with each new production.
Assistant Director / Ensemble
Daniel moved to Los Angeles from the gritty suburban streets of Orange County to continue his journey as a storyteller. He came to Cornerstone in 2011 as a student at the Summer Institute in Fowler and instantly felt connected to the work. He has worked with Cornerstone as an actor in Café Vida and assistant director for SEED: A Weird Act of Faith. He trained as an actor at Circle In The Square Theatre School and Labyrinth Theater Company and has a degree in Sociology with an emphasis in race, class, and gender from Cal State Fullerton. His experiences as a storyteller and love of creating and discovering have led him to work and develop relationships with various organizations and companies in many capacities. From acting, directing, and producing, to working as a theater consultant with the Santa Ana High School District to develop and implement curriculum that incorporates theater and ensemble models, he is always driven by the connection that the work brings. Daniel is excited to be a part of a team that creates opportunities with communities and individuals in a way that opens discussion for change.