Teachers

Teachers

Susan Brashear

(Drama Teacher/Co-Program Director)

Susan attended high school at Interlochen Arts Academy (Michigan) studying theatre, dance and music. She holds a BFA in Acting from The Goodman Theatre (Chicago), and attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London for further classical training.
Susan began her acting career in the Bay Area where she worked at Berkeley Shakespeare Festival, California Actors Theatre, Eureka Theatre, Marin Shakespeare Festival, Theatre Artists of Marin, Unconditional Theatre. Her extensive work at Marin Theatre Company during its formative years when she and her husband, Will Marchetti, were instrumental in developing the professional theatre company we have today in Mill Valley. Additionally, she has done independent film work, industrials and television and worked for two years with the Dallas Theatre Company under Artistic Director Adrian Hall.
Susan completed her MA at SFSU in Counseling and her teaching credential through Sonoma State. 20 years ago, Susan began part-time teaching with Daniel Caldwell, CTE’s founder, and then moved quickly into full-time.
Acting awards include the Sarah Siddons Award (Chicago), Stevie Award (Texas), a Bay Area Critics Award (Lizzie in “The Rainmaker”) and most recently a Dean Goodman Award (Gertrude in “Hamlet”). Susan and Ben Cleaveland have been awarded the Golden Bell Award for “Outstanding Program” and the Milley Award for significant artistic contribution to the Mill Valley community.

 

Ben Cleaveland

(Drama Teacher/Co-Program Director)

Ben has been teaching drama since 1999. Professional acting work includes leading roles at the American Conservatory Theater, Shakespeare Festival LA, San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, Word for Word, TheatreWorks, Bay Area Playwright’s Festival, Theatre First, and the Kern Shakespeare Festival. Ben is a member of the Screen Actor’s Guild and Actor’s Equity Association. While working in Los Angeles Ben appeared on HBO and all the major television networks. Awards include the Theatre Bay Area’s 2012 North Bay Theatre Teacher of the Year, the 2008 Milley Award for Contributions to the Performing Arts, the 2008 Redwoods’ Terwilliger Award for Excellence in Teaching, and a 2002 Marin County Golden Bell Award for Innovative Curriculum. Ben graduated with a BFA in Acting from Cal Arts. While at Cal Arts he was a recipient of the Wasserman and Ahmanson Scholarships. He is a fourth generation Mill Valley resident who attended Park School, MVMS, and Tam High Drama.

 

Julianna Rees

(Drama Teacher/Co-Program Director)

Julianna Rees (Director, Shakespeare, Audition, Acting, Directing) is an Equity actor and attended Crossroads School for the Performing Arts in Santa Monica as a music major, graduating summa cum laude. At Crossroads, she performed an improv show under the direction of Paul Sills of Second City, and toured the Los Angeles area and Hawaii with an A Cappella octet. She received her BA from UC Berkeley. While there, she worked with Romanian director Adrian Giurgia and Israeli director David Zinder, and performed in many main stage productions. As part of her studies, Julianna attended l’Universite de Paris IV where she studied semiotics and philosophy. Julianna began her professional acting career with the California Shakespeare Festival and went on to perform with the Sacramento Theatre Company, Shakespeare Festival Los Angeles, Moguls Theatre, CentralWorks, Marin Theatre Company, and was a guest artist with WordsFirst Theatre Company. Favorite roles include Polly in The Beggars’ Opera, Kleonike in Lysistrata. Alex in On the Verge, Viola, Olivia and Feste in Twelfth Night (L.A. Weekly Pick of the Week), and Raisa in Jar the Floor, directed by Bob Devin Jones. Julianna has taught both privately and in schools for twenty-five years.

She has directed at Marin Theatre Company, Ross Valley Players, and Redwood High’s Epic Theatre Co. For four years Julianna taught Making Connections at Marin Country Day School. She has been a guest artist for seventeen years at Tamalpais High School’s Conservatory Theatre Ensemble, teaching Shakespeare and Directing, and coaching students in preparation for auditions. She has coached students into acting programs at Guild Hall London, LAMDA, BU, Cal Arts, USC, Evansville, UNCSA, Emerson, Cornish, Harvard, American Repertory Theatre, Asolo, University of Michigan, and DePaul. While at Tam she has directedTwelfth NightA Midsummer Night’s DreamMuch Ado About NothingThe Rimers of EldritchBlood WeddingUnder Milk WoodDogg’s Hamlet/Cahoot’s Macbethand others. Julianna is also a member of Actor’s Equity Association. She is married to Ben Cleaveland, and is the mother of Rees and Ella Rose who keep her busy and entertained at all times.