Faculty & Staff

Kevin Cook

Kevin Cook

Director, Production & Design Conservatory

Teaches: Special Topics, Stage Management

kevin.cook@ocsarts.net

Kevin Cook holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in technical theatre/design and a bachelor’s degree in theatre arts from California State University, Fullerton. Mr. Cook brings more than 30 years of experience in both the educational and professional entertainment industry to the Orange County School of the Arts. During his tenure as director of the Production & Design Conservatory, the program grew from a high school only program with 48 students to a middle and high school program with 125 students. In addition to running the conservatory, he is the technical director for the annual Tree Lighting Ceremony at South Coast Plaza, Gala at the Irvine Hotel, and Season Finale at Segerstrom Center for the Arts.

Mr. Cook’s previously served as technical director and lighting designer for Brite Ideas, Inc., where he provided overall technical direction or lighting design for special event companies, such as  Extraordinary Events, TBP, JBB and TBA. Some of his high profile clients, included the Orange County Performing Arts Center, J. Paul Getty Museum, Lexus, Maroon 5, Houston Museum of Fine Arts, Elton John, Roberto Cavalli, Audi, Stevie Nicks, Samsung, California State University, Fullerton, and many more. Previously, he served as resident lighting and sound designer for Saddleback College and Saddleback Civic Light Opera. He was also the project manager for the 1.4 million dollar lighting, audio, and rigging system replacement and renovation at Saddleback College. Working with the architectural firm of Fisher and Associates, he was responsible for research, design, equipment selection, purchase, and installation. Mr. Cook has also served as an associate faculty member at Saddleback College, Irvine Valley College, and Santa Ana College. He has also worked as a freelance designer, production manager, and technician for a variety of professional theatre groups, including Utah Shakespeare Festival, Santa Fe Opera Company, Center Theatre Group, Aids Quilt display, and the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Arts Festival.  

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Ben Penman

Ben Penman

Technical Director

ben.penman@ocsarts.net

Benjamin Penman, a graduate of University of California, Irvine, got an early start in production in high school working on the Golden Globes, Riverdance, and several major Fashion Shows. Mr. Penman is best known for his lighting and sound work in the haunted attraction industry, where his work is featured in several theme parks around the globe.

In addition to designing lighting and sound for themed attractions, Mr. Penman owns a production company based in Orange County that has been successfully servicing the special event industry, focusing on weddings and other large social events.

Mr. Penman has worked in a variety of theaters, working in a variety of capacities, including: sound designer, sound engineer, lighting designer, master electrician, head carpenter or scenic design for over 300 shows.

At Orange County School of the Arts, Mr. Penman has held the position of Technical Director/Production Manager since 2014 and has been quoted saying, “My favorite thing about working at OCSA is the amazing students.”

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Arlene Somers

Arlene Somers

Staff Assistant

arlene.somers@ocsarts.net

Arlene Somers has a background in fine art and design. She previously worked as an artist in the video game industry working for a couple of well-known companies on what are now classic games. She currently freelances in graphics and admin assisting, as well as being an entrepreneur.

Mrs. Somers became involved with the Production & Design Conservatory when her daughter Claire became a student. First as a parent volunteer, she eventually transitioned into a Parent Rep. Though Claire has since graduated, Mrs. Somers continues to assist Mr. Cook in the communications to parents, creates the Conservatory newsletter and maintains the Production & Design Arts Annoucements page of the school website.

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 Drew Boudreau

Drew Boudreau

Instructor

Teaches: 7th Grade Theatre Overview

drew.bourdreau@ocsarts.net

Drew Boudreau has been working in theatre for over 25 years. In that time, he has had the privilege of teaching all over Southern California and giving workshops nationally. He has served as a stage manager for the Walt Disney Company, both in the parks and on the cruise line, as well as in regional theatres across the Southland. In addition to his stage management background, Drew is also a decorated performer, having performed internationally as an actor, comedian, and improviser. He currently is head of improvisational comedy at McCoy Rigby Entertainment & Conservatory for the Arts.

David Byrd

David Byrd

Instructor

Teaches: Audio Fundamentals, Intermediate Audio

david.byrd@ocsarts.net

David Byrd has worked as a musician, songwriter, sales manager, and sound engineer. Since 1976, he has worked in entertainment related fields, working for such companies as Lebov Productions, JVC, Sharp Electronics, and Samsung. In addition to teaching at the Orange County School of the Arts, Mr. Byrd currently owns and operates his own business, Legal Video, providing services to Byrd and Associates. 

Martha Carter

Martha Carter

Instructor and Designer

martha.carter@ocsarts.net

Martha Carter is a lighting designer based out of Orange County, California. She has obtained her MFA in Lighting Designer from the University of California at Irvine. Martha enjoys working in a wide array of theatrical entertainment including theme parks, live events, dance, theatre and art installations. She has designed and assisted in many theatres on the east and west coast.

Some of these venues and shows include Romeo and Juliet at Great River Shakespeare Festival; The Why at The Blank Theater; Pygmalion at Long Beach Playhouse; Marry Me a Little at Theater Out; as well as, After the Revolution, In The Heights, The Legend(s) of Sleepy Hollow and A Chorus Line at The Chance Theater. Martha is an active member and the lighting designe, for Re:BorN Dance Interactive, a contemporary dance company based in California which strives to go beyond the aesthetics of contemporary modern dance. She works with a number of choreographers as their lighting designer and participates with them throughout their creative process. Martha enjoys collaborating and working with ensemble companies to create new work that addresses the current political and social issues of today to incite positive change within communities.

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Scott Collins

Scott Collins

Instructor

Teaches: Advanced Audio

scott.collins@ocsarts.net

Information coming soon.

Cat Elrod

Cat Elrod

Instructor

Teaches: Advanced Makeup, Intermediate Makeup, Makeup Fundamentals

cat.elrod@ocsarts.net

Cat Elrod received an associate's degree in theatre and two bachelor’s degrees in technical theatre and anthropology from California State University, Fullerton, respectively. She is a Special FX Makeup Artist, personal celebrity makeup artist, and costume designer.

Her career began in theatre, designing and managing for The Long Beach Playhouse, International City Theatre, and The Richard and Karen Carpenter Performing Arts Center. At Joe Blasco Makeup Center West, she pursued certificates in beauty, glamour and advanced prosthetic makeup. Some of her television credits include Outrageous Acts of Science on the Science Channel and The Booth at the End on Hulu. For film, her credits include Badass, starring Danny Trejo and  Ron Pearlman, and The Hungover Games, starring Jamie Kennedy and Tara Reid. For theatre, her credits include Delusion: Haunted Play, and she is currently the resident costume/makeup designer for The Garage Theatre in Long Beach. She is also personal makeup artist to comedienne Margaret Cho and legendary musician Charlie Wilson.

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Michael Fountain

Michael Fountain

Instructor

michael.fountain@ocsarts.net

Michael Drace Fountain has been a company member of SOC for twenty years, ever since he was first hired to work in the scene shop for the summer and then cast as the Gaoler in A Comedy of Errors. For every season since, he worked either onstage or backstage for Shakespeare Orange County.

Along the way he picked up a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre Technology from Chapman University and worked there as a Master Electrician for many years. He has also done work for South Coast Repertory, The Laguna Playhouse, The Pasadena Playhouse, The Queen Mary, and Backhausdance, among others.

His scenic and lighting designs have appeared on stages around Southern California. Some of his favorite scenic designs are Waiting for Godot at the Road Theater, A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Tragedy of King Lear, and Much Ado About Nothing for Shakespeare Orange County, and Return to the Forbidden Planet at Chapman University. Lighting designs include My Three Sisters for the Orange County School of the Arts, A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Shakespeare Orange County, Much Ado About Nothing at the Manhattan Beach Community Center, and Venus and Adonis at Divadlo NaPradle in the Czech Republic for the Prague Shakespeare Festival.

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Wally Huntoon

Wally Huntoon

Instructor and Designer

Teaches: Advanced Scenic Design, Drawing for Design B, Scenic Design

wally.huntoon@ocsarts.net

Wally Huntoon has been designing scenery in the southern California for more than 40 years and has over 800 credits to his name. His design background includes theatre, television, corporate industrials, and ballet. He has been the recipient of numerous awards for excellence in scenic design, including three regional Emmy awards, Robby awards, Drama Logue awards and a multitude of nominations. He is also been the subject of a television documentary, Wally Huntoon: A Life by Design.

Kim Jones

Kim Jones

Instructor

Teaches: Advanced Costuming, Costume Fundamentals, Intermediate Costumes

kim.jones@ocsarts.net

Kim Jones began her costuming career with the Long Beach Civic Light Opera as their wardrobe supervisor and working with such celebrities as Carol Burnett, Dom Deluise, Ann Blythe, Tommy Tune, Lee Meriweather, BeBe Nuewirth, Susan Egan (‘88), and Lindsay Mendez (‘01). She has also been assistant to the designer on three Super Bowl halftime shows and many corporate entertainment shows. She was Orange County School of the Arts first costuming teacher and just celebrated her 20th year with the school.

Amanda Linhardt

Amanda Linhardt

Instructor

Teaches: 7th Grade Introduction to Production & Design, Drawing for Design, Introduction to Props

amanda@linhardt.ocsarts.net

Amanda Linhardt is a graduate of Concordia University Irvine earning a BFA in technical theater with a focus in production and design and a graduate of California Institute of the Arts (CalARTS) receiving an MFA in theatre. She has designed, built, and painted various productions from the high school to college level.

Sean McMullen

Sean McMullen

Instructor and Designer

Teaches: Advanced Props, Advanced Scenic Painting, Puppetry for Theatre

sean.mcmullen@ocsarts.net

Sean McMullen earned a MFA in theatre from the California Institute of the Arts. In 2014, he received the Princess Grace Foundation’s Excellence in Theatre Award and was named a 2014 Long Beach Hero by the Community Action Team (CAT). Mr. McMullen teaches a variety of production and design courses for students in OCSA’s Acting, Classical Voice, Musical Theatre, and Production & Design Conservatories. He also teaches at Arts Institute of California-Orange County.

Since 2001, Mr. McMullen has been choreographing and directing theatre with his company, Round of Applause Productions. Before he became a director, he designed various theatre venues ranging from 60 to 3000 seats. Mr. McMullen has designed and assisted in the design of costumes, sets, and scenery regionally and on Broadway. He has worked alongside designers, Christopher Barreca and Douglas Rogers, and directors, Matthew August and Glenn Casale.

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Mauri Smith

Mauri Smith

Instructor

mauri.smith@ocsarts.net

Mauri Anne Smith is honored to have the opportunity to work with the talented students here at OCSA. She received her Master of Fine Arts degree from California State University Fullerton, where she studied Scenic and Costume Design, as well as Scenic Painting. Mauri is grateful to be able to share her knowledge and experience with these young artists. Some of Mauri's recent design work includes: The Little Prince - Chance Theatre, Godspell - Costa Mesa Performing Arts Center, Tallgrass Gothic - CSU Fullerton, Les Miserables - Yes Co., A Christmas Carol - CSU Fullerton.

Cynthia Wilson

Cynthia Wilson

Instructor

Teaches: Stagecraft, Intro to Theatre, Advanced Makeup

cynthia.wilson@ocsarts.net

Cynthia Wilson is a graduate of Chapman University receiving a BA in Communications, with an emphasis in Theatre. Cynthia enjoys teaching, directing, designing, and performing. During the past 6 years as a member of OCSA’s Production and Design Conservatory, she has been teaching 8th grade Stagecraft, as well as instructing classes in Intro to Theatre and Advanced Makeup.

Cynthia is also a Head Director, Makeup Designer and Costumer, collaborating on three musicals a year for TMR, in which she has been a part of for 24 years. Some of Cynthia’s other notable teaching positions have been 20 years as Theatrical Makeup instructor for Chapman University, 19 years as Theatre teacher for Fullerton School District’s All The Arts For All The Kids program, and Theatre instructor for Cal State Fullerton Children’s Summer Arts Camp. Cynthia has had the opportunity to work as a performer and/or designer for Disneyland, Knott’s Berry Farm, Curtain Call Dinner Theatre, 3D Theatricals, Reel to Reel Productions, Chapman University, and a variety of other community theaters throughout the area. Cynthia finds much enjoyment working with student and sharing her love of the arts.

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Advisory Board

Greg Christy

Greg Christy

Co-Founder and Owner

Brite Ideas, Inc.

Greg Christy is a 1984 graduate of the California State University, Fullerton, with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Theatrical Lighting Design and a Minor in Sound Design techniques.

In 1987, Greg garnered the first of many accolades from Special Events magazine as the Gala Award winner of “Most Imaginative Use of Lighting.” His innovative design for illumination of 70,000 square feet of tented party space, hosting the Inaugural Opening of the Orange County Performing Arts Center, landed him in the forefront of the Southern California special events market place.

Greg has achieved an unsurpassed reputation in this field, as the creator of dynamic solutions for corporate meeting planners, theatrical performance producers, and live television broadcast coordinators, on an international scale. Event Solutions magazine recognized Greg in ‘03 and ‘04 for lighting design, stage design, and technical direction endeavors. In 2005, SRO magazine named him one of the TOP 50 Technical Directors in the US. High praise continued with the nomination for the Technical Director of the Year and the 2006 award for Technical Supplier of the Year from Event Solutions Magazine, as well as, the prestigious VISION & VISIONARIES award for his career achievements in business and his philanthropic endeavors to the community from California State University, Fullerton. Coming full circle, in 2007 Greg received his third Special Events Magazine Gala award for the opening of the concert hall at the Orange County Performing Arts Center. Once again, Greg broke new ground by illuminating the tent strictly with video content delivered through several types of LED fixtures. In 2008, Special Event Magazine awarded Greg with Best Achievement in Technical Support for the opening of the Broad gallery at the LA County Museum of Art. This event included flying stages with live performers, 70,000lbs of chandeliers flying over the guests' heads, and one of the largest Kabuki drops ever attempted.

Greg’s lighting design credits are all encompassing including: Republican National Convention, Media Press appearances for Bush, Reagan, and Dole, NFL Super Bowls for over ten years, broadcast lighting for the dedication ceremony of the Nixon Presidential Library, and the televised State Funeral; numerous charitable events including: Fire & Ice Ball, Hollywood Alzheimer Benefit, Louis Vitton’s United Cancer Fund. Movie / Theatre premiers: Mama Mia, Rent, Aida, Austin Powers, Lord of the Rings. Corporate Events: Grand Opening of the Venetian Resort - Las Vegas, Cisco, Sun Microsystems, WAMU, Kawasaki.

Internationally, he has successfully coordinated technical productions for Option One and ING Corporation in Canada; Thermo King in Cabo San Lucas; ASTA in Glasgow, Scotland; American Express in Cancun; Jumex in Mexico City, and Media Asia in Cannes, France. Personally served as TD for name acts: Maroon 5, Goo Goo Dolls, Black Eyed Peas, Santana, Jay Leno, Michael Bolton, Bonnie Raitt, Tony Bennett, Don Henley, Earth, Wind, and Fire, Kenny Loggins and Sir Elton John.

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Susan Hallman

Susan Hallman

Retired Chairperson

Theater Department

California State University, Fullerton

Information coming soon.

John Oliphant

John Oliphant

Head Carpenter and Technical Director

Segerstrom Center for the Arts

Information coming soon.