Staff Directory & Meet the Staff
Berkeley Playhouse @ Julia Morgan Theatre
MAILING ADDRESS: 2640 College Avenue / Berkeley, CA 94704
BOX OFFICE: 510.845.8542 x 351
Click on the staff members name to learn more about them.
510.845.8542 x 376
Contact for registration questions, trouble enrolling,
to make payments, for conservatory class schedules,
KidStage or TeenStage inquiries, questions about content
Technical / Production Manager
510-845-8542 x 383
For Theatre and Studio Rentals:
For Adult MainStage Casting:
510.845.8542 x 306
510.845.8542 x 301
Patron Services Manager
510.845.8542 x 396
Resident Costume Designer
Concessions Manager & Volunteer Coordinator
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Elizabeth McKoy is the Artistic Director & Founder of Berkeley Playhouse, where she most recently directed A Little Princess earlier this season. Elizabeth has directed many shows for Berkeley Playhouse’s MainStage and their acclaimed YouthStage including: Bravado, Once on This Island, The Music Man, Into The Woods, Honk Jr., and many others. In addition to performing professionally as an actress, Elizabeth has always felt inspired and passionate about teaching all ages about the joy and power of live theatre. Before coming to Berkeley, Elizabeth taught theatre for many years in New York and Seattle, including over five years for the renowned Seattle Children’s Theatre. After performing and teaching in Seattle she moved to Berkeley and became the Education Director for an affiliate of New York’s Lincoln Center Institute which brought arts education to thousands of school children and teachers in the Bay Area. In addition to directing and teaching for the Berkeley Playhouse, she is currently working to develop and sustain the Playhouse’s unique vision for music theatre and theatre education.
Lauren comes to Berkeley Playhouse via 9 years at 42nd Street Moon where she was instrumental in the company’s organizational development and financial growth, and the fire behind the development of the Salon Evenings series and the implementation of MoonSchool, the company’s educational program. As Director of Development of Berkeley’s Aurora Theatre, she initiated the capital campaign with the company’s board of directors to fund the Aurora Theatre’s new home. While serving as Executive Director of EARPLAY, she presented works by emerging Bay Area composers as well as established composers such as Andrew Imbrie and Lou Harrison. As the former Director of the Jon Sims Center for the Arts, she founded AIRspace, a new works residency program for performing artists. Under the fiscal sponsorship of the Jon Sims Center, she produced the new opera, Wuornos, on the main stage at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco (2001). San Franciscans remember Hewitt as the owner and operator of the Clementina’s Baybrick Inn, a favorite nightspot where she gave emerging artists the opportunity to break into performance and seasoned artists the challenge of presenting new work. Among the memorable Baybrick performers include Marga Gomez, Ellen DeGeneres, Paula Poundstone, Bonnie Hayes, and Linda Tillery. The Baybrick was awarded a San Francisco Cable Car Award for Hewitt’s curatorship of local artists’ work. A fourth-generation Californian, Hewitt graduated from San Francisco State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Directing Theatre, and she holds a Master’s Degree in Arts Administration from Golden Gate University, San Francisco.
Lisa Appleyard is thrilled to join Berkeley Playhouse as Director of Education. A native to the Bay Area, Lisa has worked as both a performer and educator throughout the region. Early in her career, she taught and site managed Bay Area Shakespeare camps for many summers and used their model to develop curriculum for programs she initiated at The Freeman School, KIPP King Collegiate High School and Windrush. She spent twelve years at Windrush School where she taught Middle School Drama, Shakespeare and Musical Theater Electives, as well as academic classes including 8th Grade Algebra and Science. She was also the High School Liaison, Alumni Relations and Advisory Coordinator. Lisa is a graduate of Saint Mary’s College and holds a California Multiple Subject Teaching Credential. She completed ACT’s Summer Training Congress and American Musical Theater of San Jose’s Theater Artists Institute. Lisa is delighted to share her passion for performing arts through the creation of programs for this thriving theatrical community. She also loves to work with students in classes and rehearsals.
Ken is honored to have been asked to help grow Berkeley Playhouse’s community as Communications Director. He comes to BPH after three and a half years at 42nd Street Moon, where he headed the Development and Marketing Departments, and acted as Interim Managing Director for a year. Prior to his work with Moon he taught for a year in South Korea and before that worked with At-Risk youth as the Youth Director at the Rainbow Community Center of Contra Costa County. He has worked with Smuin Ballet in their Development Department and was involved with Bay Area Cabaret for 5 years, where he worked with Broadway and Jazz greats Marin Mazzie, Jason Danielle, Ann Hampton Callaway, Amanda McBroom, Maureen McGovern, and many others.
Ken holds dual Bachelor Degrees’ in Psychology and Political Science from University of California, Los Angeles, where he graduated with honors. While at UCLA, he worked for Fynsworth Alley Records where he helped record albums by Liz Callaway, Brent Barrett, Jason Graae, Christiane Noll, as well as the first ever Sherman Brothers Songbook, and a recording of Christopher Durang’s Beyond Therapy starring Catharine O’Hara, David Hyde Pierce, Ed Begley, Jr, Richard Kind, and Christopher Durang.
Jessica began her “career” in the theatre at the age of six playing a singing cat and never looked back. She acted and directed her way through high school and continued on to receive her B.A in Theatre Arts from Southern Oregon University (1998). Shortly after graduation she moved to Portland Oregon and began working as a teaching artist, director and actor for Children’s Theatres and outreach programs. She fell in love with theatre as an educational tool and went back to get her Master’s In Theatre Education from N.Y.U. (2010) to expand her knowledge of teaching and theatre making techniques for youth and adults. She relocated to the bay area in the summer of 2010 and has been working as a teaching artist, director and actor for non-profits in San Francisco and here in the east bay. She is thrilled to join the team here at the Berkeley Playhouse and to do her part to “change the world, in a positive way, with musical theatre for all”.
Liana joined the Berkeley Playhouse eager and happy to work for a vibrant and growing musical theatre company. Her interests in theatre are varied and cover performing, artistic, tech, writing, backstage, and crew work. She has a BA in Communications, New Media from CSU, Sacramento where she learned to make puppets with Richard Bay and managed the college radio station (KSSU) and hosted her own on-air show for four (and a half) years. She spent a summer working in the communications department at California Musical Theatre’s famed Music Circus (where she met Shirley Jones and her son Patrick Cassidy for The Music Man’s 50th Anniversary!) and spent a season as the Communications/PR Fellow at the American Conservatory Theatre (A.C.T.) in San Francisco. Liana is excited to be on the Berkeley Playhouse team and see where the magical world of musical theatre takes her!
Leighland is excited and honored to be working with the Berkeley Playhouse. Of all the jobs, hobbies and interests that Leighland has, working in the fast paced, engaging and creative world of theatre will always be his favorite. When Leighland is not playing guitar, writing, or exploring the Bay Area, he’s hard at work to make sure Berkeley Playhouse’s very busy and exciting season runs as smoothly as possible. Leighland has a BA in Theatre from Augustana College (2010), a Certificate of Training from Dell’Arte international School of Physical Theatre (2011) and numerous accolades from various projects.
Chris is excited and honored to be joining the Berkeley Playhouse family. He started in theater as a young performer, moved into management during college and has never looked back. He has had the pleasure of working with companies such as Bay Area Children’s Theatre, Cabrillo Stage, California Shakespeare Theater, New Conservatory Theatre Center, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, and TheatreFIRST. He holds a Master’s degree in Theater Arts with a Management emphasis from UC Santa Cruz.
Matthew McCoy is excited to join the Berkeley Playhouse family as Artistic Assistant. Matthew came to the Bay area in August of 2012 after being on the East Coast working as an actor, director, choreographer, and general-theatre-practitioner. Matthew’s first introduction to musical theatre was at the age eight and has since then gone on to act regionally in Boeing, Boeing(Robert), The 39 Steps(Clown 1), Big River(Young Fool), A Year with Frog & Toad(Male Bird/Lizzard/Mouse), Chicago, Little Shop of Horrors, Hairspray, and Sweeney Todd. Other/favorite Roles Played: Company(Peter), The 25th Annual … Bee(Leaf Coneybear), The Producers(Leo Bloom), A Servant of Two Masters(Arlechinno) and BIGFOOT: And Other Lost Souls (Maximum Grey),a new musical written by the Tony-winning composer Mark Hollman. Matthew holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre from Coastal Carolina University in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Matthew’s passion for theatre has always been combined with the alluring art form of magic. He continues to work in the magic world as Artistic Director for an annual magic festival in Myrtle Beach, SC. Magic and variety directing credits have taken him to Hollywood, Las Vegas, Shanghai, London and Paris.
Wendy Ross Kaufman has been costuming for over 30 years. She has collected awards for her performance art costumes, couture fashion,and theater costumes. She received the award of “Best Costumes” from the 2013 BroadwayWorld San Francisco Awards for her work in “The Wiz,” right here at Berkeley Playhouse. In addition, She also has had Fashion Week runway shows in New York, Baltimore and Washington DC.
Judith McKoy, PhD. is an educator and administrator with 40 + years experience working in colleges, hospitals, and profit and nonprofit organizations. Most recently, she served as Vice President of Education, Training and Counseling for Planned Parenthood of Western Washington. Of her myriad positions through the years, Judith most enjoyed developing and leading training events. She wrote a number of curricula and several texts for English as a Second Language learners. She currently coordinates outreach projects for the Berkeley Playhouse.