Artistic Staff 2020
Jay Manley is an award-winning director whose musicals and plays throughout the Bay Area have garnered repeated praise and numerous awards from the Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle and Dean Goodman “Choice” Awards. He founded Foothill Music Theatre in Los Altos, California, to present classic and new musicals on the campus of Foothill College. He was the recipient of a 2006 special citation from the Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle “…in recognition of his distinguished career as founder and artistic director of Foothill Music Theatre.” At Foothill College where he chaired the Theatre Arts Department, he also established the Foothill Theatre Conservatory, a flourishing pre-professional actor training program. For the last 30 years, Jay has led popular theatre tours to New York, Ashland, London, and other major theatre production centers, through his company, New York Theatre Tour: www.nytheatretour.com. Jay’s extensive knowledge of American musical theatre history has made him a sought-after speaker and lecturer. Jay earned a B.A. and M.A. from San Francisco State University and holds a Ph.D. from UC Berkeley. He lives in the East Bay.
Mark DietrichMusic Director/ Conductor
Mark Dietrich is a Computer Science professor, piano instructor, audition coach, and small business owner, having retired from the military in 2006 and from IT/tech in 2017. Credits: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat; Oklahoma! (x3); The Full Monty; Man of La Mancha; Next to Normal; Priscilla, Queen of the Desert; The Honky Tonk Angels; Tenderly: The Rosemary Clooney Musical; The Taffetas (x2); How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying; A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum; Forever Plaid; 1776; Pitch Perfect; Dogfight; Footloose; Guys & Dolls; Legally Blonde (x2); Young Frankenstein; Avenue Q; RENT. Assistant MD/Associate Conductor/Pianist favorites: Next to Normal; The Fantasticks; Rhythms of His Soul: The Eugene O’Neill Story, Mamma Mia; Little Shop of Horrors. Special thanks to my #1 fans (my kids): Ellen, John, Mary, and Julia.
Zoë returned to the states in 2015 after living in London for nearly 7 years, where she worked as an actor, dancer, and trained as a stage combat instructor and fight choreographer. She is thrilled to be returning to the Mountain Play, after choreographing HAIR & the fights for West Side Story and Peter Pan. Before leaving London, she was the leading role in the English Premiere of Neil LaBute’s Autobahn at The Kings Head Theatre, London. Other acting credits include: Our Town (Emily). The Trojan Women (Helen), The Toll(Edinburgh Festival), and Twelfth Night (Viola). She received an Off-West End Best Actress nomination for At the Broken Places, a new American play that premiered in London. She has served as a stage combat choreographer and teacher around the UK, including the Royal Opera House, Soho Theatre, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, Southwark Playhouse and the British American Drama Academy. Since returning to the Bay, Zoe has choreographed for and taught with the American Conservatory Theatre, Berkeley Rep School of Theatre, Oakland School of the Arts, Sierra Repertory Theatre Company, East Bay Center for the Performing Arts, Ross Valley Players, YMTC, Palo Alto Children’s Theatre, and Stapleton School of the Arts.
Michelle Navarre-HuffCostume Designer
Michelle “Mishka” received her Master’s Degree in Costume Design from Western Illinois University and studied at the Sorbonne in Paris, holds a B.A. in French and a minor in Art and Theatrical Design from Central University of Iowa. Mishka resides in Olympia WA and is the Costume Shop Manager/ Staff Designer for University of Puget Sound and owns her own Costume rental and production house – Costume Atelier Masque & Pettycote. She has worked in numerous theatres from Olympia to Seattle including Tacoma Actors Guild, Theatre 9/12, Olympia Family Theatre and specializes in large cast Musical Theatre. Some of her favorite productions include: Mr. Burns; A Post Electric Play, The Force of Habit, Spring Awakening, The Secret Garden (musical), Metamorphoses, The Cradle Will Rock and dressing interpretive docents for and exhibit – Discovering the Dead Sea Scrolls at the Seattle Science Center. In her spare time Mishka loves to paint and her work can occasionally be seen in Washington area venues.
Becky Parker-GeistProperties Designer
Becky works bi-coastally Off Broadway in NY and in the Bay Area, filling a wide range of production roles (props, scenic, lights, production management, costumes…). In NY she has worked with Ars Nova Theater, NY Theatre Workshop, Signature Theatre, Atlantic Theatre, etc., and in the Bay Area: Mountain Play, A.C.T., Alter Theatre, Marin Ballet, etc. She also runs her own audiobook production company, Pro Audio Voices. Becky’s great passion is to help great stories come alive through theatre and voiceover. Becky is President of Bay Area Independent Publishers Assn. and the Professional Connections chapter of BNI. She lives in San Rafael has three adult daughters and a granddaughter.