Christopher R Boltz  | Assistant Professor and Chair of Theatre

Mr. Boltz has been hanging around theatres since the 1980s, and started designing in the 1990s.   He earned a BFA in theatrical technical direction in 1998, and an MFA in theatrical design 2002 from the University of Southern California.  Between his undergraduate and graduate studies, he worked in the art department for television programs (That 70's Show, 3rd​ Rock From the Sun).   

He has produced or designed video for projects such as Avenue Q (Fresno City College), Mirror Mirror (24th Street Theatre, Los Angeles) and for U.S.I.T.T.'s entry in the 2003 Prague Quadrennial.  He designed the sound and mixed Carol Channing Raises the Roof benefit concert in Altadena, CA.  

Other design highlights include The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe (pre-Broadway Revival Workshop at U.S.C. & C.S.U. Northridge), Canyon Suit (Fresno City College & KCACTF Regional Festival), Tic Tok Man of Oz (Centennial Production San Diego), and over 10 years designing the end of season concert of Everybody Dance (various venues around Los Angles including U.S.C. and the Ricardo Montalban Theatre).  

Mr. Boltz taught in U.S.C. high school outreach program, as an adjunct professor at Cypress College in Orange County, and as a tenured faculty member at Fresno City College.   While at Fresno City, he collaborated with the Fresno County Office of Education to create the STAGES Project which taught devised theatre in short summer intensives to county high school students.​


Susan Hinshaw has worked as an actor in London, Seattle, and Los Angeles, appearing in numerous leading roles on-stage and in films. Favorite roles include, Beatrice in Much Ado about Nothing, Karen in the Children's Hour, Emma in Betrayal and Le Marquis de Merteiul in Les Liasons Dangereus. Currently, she is performing her solo show, Nirvana, in various venues around the country. She holds a Master of Fine Arts in acting from California State University, Fullerton (where she was a scholarship recipient), and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Washington School of Drama.

Susan has trained and studied with many notable artists including Barry Kyle (artistic director of the Royal Shakespeare Company), members of the Royal Shakespeare Company, Michael Shurtleff, George Shadanoff (formerly of the Chekhov Theatre, in partnership with Michael Chekhov), and studied seven years with Jose Quintero (cofounder of the Circle in the Square Theatre, collaborator/ interpreter of Tennessee Williams and Eugene O'Neil).

Susan has studied voice using the Linklater technique with training from the Nobel institute in Sweden, and movement using the Alexander technique with training under Jean-Louis Roderique.

Susan's professional affiliations include Actor's Equity Association, SAG/AFTRA, Women in Film and Women in Theatre. She was inducted into Who's Who in American Teachers in 2004 and again in 2005.



Erin McBride Africa is a stage director and theatre professor, currently on the faculty of the Theatre Department at College of the Canyons.  She earned her MFA in Directing from University of California, Irvine and her BA in Theatre Arts from CSUN.  She has spent the past two seasons working with the Santa Clarita Shakespeare Festival, where she directed Shakespeare’s Cymbeline (2014) and a rock musical adaptation of Twelfth Night (2015). 

Erin has worked with numerous theatre companies on both the East and West Coasts - notably Shakespeare & Company (Lenox, MA), Utah Shakespeare Festival (Cedar City, UT), and South Coast Repertory (Costa Mesa, CA).  She is a founding member of the S.O.B. Theatre Company in Los Angeles, and currently works as a director with numerous companies in LA. 

Her background includes training in classical text, community-based theatre, and Viewpoints techniques.  Her originally works include her own stage adaptation of Paulo Coelho's 
Veronika Decides to Die, a Charles Mee-inspired (re)making project called 29 Things To Do On A Rainy Day, and a devised multimedia look at both the poetry of Emily Dickinson and the evolution of language titled The Emily Project

Some other favorite directing projects: 
Measure for MeasureAbstract ExpressionStill Life With IrisAs It Is In Heaven, and The Pirates of Penzance. 

When not in the theatre, she can sometimes be found playing synth in the indie rock band, The MOODS, alongside her songwriting, guitar-playing husband (and 
Twelfth Night’s composer) Jay Africa.  Together they have two little boys, Sebastian Fox & Percival Sky.


Kevin Brief is an award winning actor who has worked consistently in television, film, commercials, voice-over and on stage for 30 years.  A well established character actor based in Los Angeles, he was recently seen in HBO's All The Way & Hulu's Freakish & Powerless on ABC

Among the shows Kevin has had recurring roles on: Big Bang Theory, Criminal Minds, Pretty Little Liars and Hart of Dixie.  In addition to credits on such recent hits as Justified, Bones, Dexter & Grey's Anatomy...Kevin has been on such long running favorites as Will and Grace, ER Six Feet Under, House, Friends, Raymond & Frasier...to name a few.  Good chance you have seen his face or heard his voice, and didn't even realized it.

Kevin is a member of the Television Academy and was short-listed for an Emmy Nomination in 2012 & 2014.  Kevin has played lead roles in theaters across the country. LA Weekly awarded him Best Actor in a Play for his work in A Prayer For My Daughter.

Currently, he teaches Improvisation at College of the Canyons. He has also taught at Biola University and teaches workshops on auditioning and film acting in LA...as well as private coaching.  Kevin holds a BA in Theater from CSULB, and a MFA in Acting from the prestigious Asolo/FSU Conservatory.  

Kim DeShazo Wilkinson teaches Costuming for the Stage, and has also taught Dramatic Literature at El Camino. She designs all of the Dance productions and Theatre Department presentations at the College. Her B.A. is from University of Mary Washington, in Virginia – her home state. The M.F.A. Graduate degree was given by Northern Illinois University just outside of Chicago (DeKalb, IL).
She also teaches Costume Crafts and Designs at College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita. She has designed at Long Beach City College; Cal State Dominguez Hills and Mt. San Antonio College
Kim is the Resident Costume Designer for International City Theatre in Long Beach and has worked with them for fourteen years. She has worked with the Hollywood Bowl on their Staged Summer Musicals for the last thirteen years.
An Ovation Award Nominee, other local theatres that have showcased her work include the Falcon Theatre, Shakespeare Festival/LA, Theatricum Botanicum, L.A. Opera, The Odyssey, Andak, Opera a la Carte, Pasadena Dance Theatre, and Long Beach Opera.  Industry work in the L.A. area includes projects for Nike, Adidas, Skechers, Cherokee and Diesel clothing as well as commercials for AFLAC, Best Buy, Target, Disney, Jack in the Box, Luxor Hotel, Hewlett Packard, Little Caesars, DIRECTV,  McDonald’s, and Mattel. Television and film credits range from The Real, The Price is Right, Ozzy Osbourne’s Variety show and a pilot for Bobby Flay, to work for the Academy Awards Show, Nickelodeon and the Disney Channel.

Jonathan Pope Evans began his career singing and dancing in professional theatre, most notably in national tours of Will Roger’s Follies and Crazy For You. He performed standup and improvisational comedy in Chicago, Illinois.

Then, at age 24, he decided to
 make his way across the country to Hollywood, California, earning his MFA in Theatre and Film Directing at California Institute of the Arts. He then worked as director's assistant to acclaimed director Nina Menkes, and began directing theatre, commercials, indie films, and television promos.

Two years ago, his short film 
Sepulte “The Buried” won Best International Short Film at the Berlin International Gay and Lesbian Film FestivalHis most recent short “Hoover Road” starred two Chapman University graduates and opened at the Rhode Island International Film Festival (an Oscar qualifying festival).  

Evans’ films have shown at Cannes Film Festival, Nashville Film Festival, Palm Springs ShortsFest, Brazil’s Curta Cinema Festival 2012, New Orleans Film Festival, Sidewalk 
Film Festival, Prague Shorts International Film Festival, and other film festivals across the world. He is currently in pre-production for another short entitled “The Absolute Worst Thing” both will be released in Winter 2018.​​

 Ashlee LaPine is an actress, director and producer.  She has taught and performed all over the world, stretching as far as Brisbane, Australia, where she assisted with pioneer research in vocal development and production.  She received a Masters of Fine Arts in Acting and Directing from the University of Missouri/Kansas City.  She is a proud member of SAG/AFTRA and Actors Equity and has performed regionally for over 15 years. 

Most recently, she has worked at The New Theater Restaurant starring in Lend Me a Tenor with Jamie Farr, Becky’s New Car with John Davidson, and Run for Your Wife with Garret Morris.  At the Kansas City Repertory Theater, she performed in A Christmas Carol and as Helen White in Winesburg, Ohio under the directions of Eric Rosen and Steppenwolf’s Jessica Thebus.  At the nationally recognized Coterie Theatre, she played Emily in Our Town and Lady Macbeth in In Spite of Thunder.

She has also worked consistently at the Pioneer Theater Company including productions of Beauty and the Beast, James Joyce’s the Dead, West Side Story and Evita.  In LA, she is a company member at Theatre West, Pacific Resident Theatre and is a founding member of “Shakespeare in the Shed”.  She has worked on various television shows including Switched at Birth, a recurring role on The Young and the Restless, Parenthood, Criminal Minds, Disney’s Halloween Town Witch University, and she continues to produces various film projects in the southern California area.

She is also an associate teacher for the Valerie Morehouse Vocal Studio, coaches of the television shows Nashville and Galavant.  She also coaches for the Disney television shows “Sophia the First”, “Elena of Avalor”, “The Lion Guard”, “Vampirina”  and musical directs for “Elena of Avalor.”

Matthew McCray Matthew McCray has directed productions and workshops at Center Theatre Group, South Coast Repertory (StudioSCR), The LA Philharmonic @ Disney Concert Hall, Deaf West Theatre, Theatre @ Boston Court, REDCAT, Circle X, Son of Semele, The Chance, Moving Arts, Rogue Machine, College of the Canyons, Chapman University, CalArts, among others, and has produced 15 seasons of theatre in Los Angeles as the Founding Artistic Director of Son of Semele Ensemble.

For his direction of his critically-acclaimed production of “Our Class” Matthew 
received a 2013 SAGE Award and a 2014 LA Drama Critics Circle Award (nominations from the Ovation Awards and LA Weekly). His direction of Martin Crimp’s “The City” earned him an award nomination from the LA Weekly and in 2007 he received an LA Weekly Award for Multi-Media/Projections for his media co-design of Iphigenia… A Rave Fable.

Matthew has received grants from EST/Sloan Science and Technology, CCI/Durfee ARC, and was a finalist for the Sherwood Award. 
KCRW has said, "[McCray] distinguishes himself as one of the most plugged in theatre makers in LA." Matthew has performed on the stages of REDCAT, Disney, REPRISE!, Overtone Industries, Theatre @ Boston Court, Musical Theatre West, Shakespeare Orange County, Son of Semele, as well as on the TV showsParenthood, New Girl, Will & Grace, Boston Legal, The Cure (pilot), and the feature film The Commission(starring Martin Sheen, Edward Asner and Martin Landau).

He has served on panels at CalArts, the Los Angeles Convention and Visitor’s Bureau and LA Stage Alliance, among others. He is an Executive Officer of the Theatrical Producers League of Los Angeles/Intimate and has been an Ovation Voter since 2008. BFA, Chapman University. Member: SDC, AEA & SAG/AFTRA. @matthewmccray


David Stears (Acting Instructor/Theater Department producer) is an actor, director and producer originally from New York, and has been involved in live theatre for the past thirty years. David is a founding member of the highly acclaimed Actor's Project in Long Island. trained in New York with Uta Hagen at HB Studio. David came to California where he continued his training at California Institute of the Arts School of Theatre (Libby Apple, Dean). David has produced and directed over 100 productions and has been involved in over sixty as an actor. Upon graduating, David founded The Santa Clarita Repertory Theatre and was the company’s Producing-Artistic Director until July 2001, founding the Shakespeare in the Park series locally, and opening the first theatre in Downtown Newhall.

David is the founder and Executive Director of the Santa Clarita Shakespeare Festival.  Founded in 2009, SCSF produces a summer cultural series, and has an extensive educational outreach program in school throughout the North LA County area.  Since a company has made its summer home in in Rivendale Park in Towsley Canyon. In 2012, the summer festival was expanded and rebranded as the LA SummerFEST.

With the department since fall of 2000, David teaches acting, movement, & Shakespeare.  For 12 years he was the director and producer for the New Works Festival at College of the Canyons, and has published two anthologies of plays from the festival.  Currently David serves as the producer for the theatre programs productions throughout the year.

David is one of the Founding Members of the Arts Alliance for Santa Clarita, a local arts advocacy coalition for artists, arts organizations, and art supporters.   He hold a certificate in fundraising from U.C.L.A., a masters in public administration, and has was recognized by LA County Supervisor for his role in developing the arts in the region.  He works as an independent producer/director, and is the Lead Partner in Stears & Associates, an event management and fund raising consulting company.
Facebook.com/David.Stears.Theatre.  @StearsHerd

Allan Trautman is an Emmy-nominated puppeteer, actor, improvisor, and director. His professional work began while an undergrad at Washington University in St. Louis. He received his MFA in acting from CalArts. As an actor, he has appeared in the Coen brothers movie Intolerable Cruelty and the 1984 cult classic Return of the Living Dead, in which he performed the infamous Tarman. Recent stage work includes leading roles in Equus, Hamlet, Much Ado About Nothing and Brighton Beach Memoirs.

Mr. Trautman starred off-Broadway in Stuffed and Unstrung (now called Puppet Up!), an improvisational puppet production from The Jim Henson Company. The show played as far as the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scotland and the Melbourne International Comedy Festival in Australia. He has performed with The Jim Henson Company since 1990 as a lead puppeteer, and has directed episodes of Sid the Science Kid and Splash and Bubbles for PBS Kids.

Films include Jon Favreau’s live-action remake of The Jungle Book, Babe, Dr. Dolittle, The Country Bears, Cats & Dogs, Muppets from Space, and others. He also performed in the two Men in Black movies, Monkeybone, and Jack Frost. He was a series regular on Dinosaurs and Unhappily Ever After, and his work appears in Adam Ruins Everything, Muppets Tonight, A Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie, and The Muppets Wizard of Oz. Recent Internet appearances include lead characters on Neil’s Puppet Dreams, starring Neil Patrick Harris. He has also performed leads on SUDS and Alt Reality. His commercial work includes hand shadows for Nationwide Insurance and an animatronic bear for Pepsi.

Mr. Trautman has taught improvisation, acting, and Understanding Theatre at C.O.C. since the fall of 2007. www.allantrautman.com.


Jeff Wienckowski has over 15 years of teaching and professional directing experience. He is the founder and Artistic Director of the S.O.B. Theatre Company and The Mechanical Heart. Jeffrey has worked professionally with established theatre companies in Los Angeles and San Diego, including The Mark Taper Forum and the La Jolla Playhouse.

Jeffrey is the founder and Artistic Director of the Sons of Beckett Theatre Company where he directed WAITING FOR GODOT, a Vaudeville Musical version of OEDIPUS THE KING and the West-Coast premiere of Gao Xingjian’sTHE OTHER SHORE.

He also created and directed the original Play #HASHTAG for the Hollywood Fringe Festival and co-directed GALLERY SECRETS, a site specific play celebrating the Centennial of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and BRIGHT SWORDS, a one man show about Ira Aldridge, the first black actor to play Othello in London.

He currently lives in Los Angeles, California where he directs and teaches theatre at Antelope Valley College, College of the Canyons and works as a Free-Lance Director​


Technical Director
Brodie Steele is a Scenic Designer and Technical Director with twenty years professional experience and over 200 production credits.  A native of Indiana, he holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theatrical Design from Ball State University where he designed many shows including  Dancing at Lughnasa, Keely and Du, and Les Belles Soeurs.  He holds the rare distinction of winning both the 1st place and runner-up regional American College Theatre Festival awards in the same year for his designs of A Streetcar Named Desire and Sweet Charity.  Brodie was later honored at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. with the National Design award for Charity.

He designed the first regional production of Titanic in New York and adapted the Broadway set of State Fair for regional production in Connecticut. He toured nationally with the New York-based production ofMeet Me in St. Louis and technically directed shows for Sandra Bernhardt, The Bacon Brothers, and Bernadette Peters, among others, in New York.  While working for Staging Techniques in Manhattan, he assisted in research and development of 3-D, projected scenery methods in addition to operating as ATD for productions for Microsoft, American Express, and Broadway events. In the Los Angeles area, Brodie designed and built the west coast premiere of Marked Tree for The Road Theatre Company and just recently designed and supervised the build of The Who’s Tommy at the Ricardo Montalban Theatre in Hollywood.
Brodie is currently the Resident Scenic Designer and Technical Director for the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center at College of the Canyons where he has designed and built a number of productions including Jesus Christ Superstar, Big River, The Rocky Horror Show, Cabaret, and A Doll’s House. Brodie is also an accomplished rigger and master carpenter as well as an experienced flyman, welder, and scenic artist and has worked in many of these capacities for such theatres as Illinois Shakespeare Festival, Starlight Musicals, Clowes Memorial Hall, Goodspeed Opera, New Jersey Shakespeare Festival, Gallery Players, Gateway Playhouse, the Norris Center, and University of California, Irvine. 
Theatre Manager
Tami Toon is a graduate of The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Pasadena, where she earned her Associate’s Degree in Theatre. In her thirty years of professional stage management and production management experience, Tami has worked in a wide variety of locations, including Japan, Europe, New York, Miami, Denver and Broadway.

Fool Moon with Bill Irwin and David Shiner, Burn This with John Malkovich and Joan Allen, A Lesson from Aloes with Lou Gosset Jr., A Lie of the Mind with Holly Hunter, ‘night Mother with Kathy Bates, Roza, directed by Hal Prince, and King Lear and A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson, are among her many professional credits. She has also worked with two-time Pulitzer prize winner, August Wilson, Arthur Miller, Tony Kushner, and Lanford Wilson.

She has managed corporate events with such luminaries as Frank Sinatra, Lucille Ball, Sammy Davis Jr., Liza Minnelli, Milton Berle, Dionne Warwick, Burt Bacharach, Herb Alpert and Natalie Cole. Southern California venues include the Mark Taper Forum, the Performing Arts Center of Los Angeles County, the Doolittle Theatre, the Coronet Theatre, the Geffen Theatre, the Pasadena Playhouse, and the La Jolla Playhouse. At College of the Canyons, she serves as the Theatre Manager for the Performing Arts Center.
Assistant Technical Director
Michelle Wall has worked at the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center since it’s inception in October 2004.  She has worked on every COC produced show in that time.  Her skills encompass all fields of technical theatre, including Rigging, Carpentry, Electrics, and Scenic Design.  Along with her work here, she has freelanced as a Carpenter for theatres in Washington, New York and Los Angeles. Some Favorite Shows include Little Shop of Horrors, The Rocky Horror Show, The Laramie Project.