MEET OUR STAFF
Recently seen on the Freeform show, Famous in Love, and Hit Fox Show Bones. Other TV Credits include: The Mentalist, Women’s Murder Club, Life, and America’s Got Talent. Shawn’s career as an Actor, Producer, Singer, Writer, and all around artist serves him well at camp. He’ll be more than happy to work with you on making that Monologue memorable or Selling your 32 bars so that you GET THE PART! Shawn most recently wrote and directed the CampYATC short “Henry” which made its debut at The Cannes Film Festival marking Shawn’s 8th film in 5 years at this prestigious festival. In addition to “Henry”, Shawn has recently completed writing YATC’s Summer Musical and new feature entitled “Feels Like Home” to be produced later this year. “YATC is the place that I wished I had when I was a kid. It is my honor to have worked with over 5,000 students in almost 20 years and I aspire to inspire and know that I will be inspired by each and every one of you at The Young Actors’ Theatre Camp.”
Valerie lives her true passion as the Associate Director of the Young Actors’ Theatre Camp. Through YATC she has gained experience in Directing, Producing, Stage Management, Screenwriting, Costume Design, and becoming a stage mom to the YATC Mascot, Gazpacho.
She has been with YATC since 2006 and is proud to nurture the safe and supportive environment it provides. She can’t imagine doing anything else than working for YATC!
As YATC's Resident Meryl Streep, she spends her days opening malls and spreading the YATC spirit.
Contact her with any Camp or Meryl Streep related questions! Valerie@campyatc.com
John is the head of the YATC Film Department. He brings with him a vast knowledge of Film and TV experience as he has appeared in multiple television shows including FOX’s Glee, as the Funny Girl Stage Manager “Barclay”, American Horror Story: Murder House, Grey’s Anatomy, Justified, Hasket’s Chance, and Justice, as well as commercials, short films, and regional theatre productions in the Los Angeles, Palm Springs, and San Francisco Areas.
AJ has been with YATC since 2008 and he is thrilled to be teaching the next generation about the performing arts! AJ is an actor/voice actor in Los Angeles, appearing in TV, Movies, Video Games and Commercials. He also hosts multiple podcasts and interviewing famous folk on the Red Carpet. He graduated from San Francisco State University with a BA in Theater Arts and has studied at A.C.T..
“Watching children find the magic in pretending, performing and realizing their own potential is the most rewarding thing about this camp!”
Liz has been with YATC since 2014, first as a camper, then as a counselor, then as associate producer at Winter Camp and, now, she's joining the team as Activities Director! She's been passionate about singing, filmmaking, and writing since she was just three years old.
She wrote the short film "Never Alone" for Winter Camp 2019-2020 and is currently working on more scripts for the future. Camp is her home and her family but when she's not there, she's in her last year of her Business Marketing Degree at San Jose State University with a minor in Radio-Television-Film!
JEANETTE PENLEY- MARKER
Monologues and Classical Theater Instructor
Jeanette Penley-Marker has been with YATC since 2012 as a Monologue and Classical Theater teacher. She has an extensive background in theatre – both on stage and behind-the-scenes, with experience in directing and casting. She has performed locally in the Bay Area as well as theatres around the world. She also has credits in films for Pixar and starred as a leading role in a web series. Her favorite role is being mom to two beautiful girls and one handsome son.
Amir Malaklou is an actor based out of NYC, who has worked in both film and television. He is currently attending NYU’s coveted MFA Acting Program. A few of his Film/TV credits include: Argo(2012), Secret In Their Eyes(2015), Horshoe Theory (SlamDance winner 2017), VIPER CLUB(2018), Vice(2018), Major Crimes(TNT), Doubt(ABC), The Fosters(FreeForm), Loosely Exactly Nicole(MTV). He specializes in young actor development—how to bring the actors individual identity to their roles.
Vocal Power For The Actor
Christian (he/him) is always thrilled to be back at YATC! He is a producer, actor, and chef based in New York City. Christian has over ten years of professional chef experience in restaurants, food media, and food styling. He's worked as a staff writer for GAYLETTER magazine in New York, as well as a marketing consultant for Sasha Velour, winner of RuPaul's Drag Race Season 9. Christian is currently starring as Hanschen in Spring Awakening (postponed due to COVID-19) and producing/developing Nat Queen Cole! starring Nathan Lee Graham. Christian is so excited to be back working with the incredible YATC family, and he can’t wait to make this the best summer at YATC yet!
Caitlyn found a home at YATC in 2014 and is trilled to be on staff! She currently studies Theatre Education and Acting
Performance at Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts. Schedule 1 on
1 lessons with her if you want to work on monologues (contemporary or
Shakespeare), cold reading for commercials, cold reading for film,
finding the right college, or chat about Disneyland lore!
Monologues and Classical Theater Instructor
Karen Moore is an actor and director who specializes in and has a particular love for classical theatre! As a performer she has graced the stages of the San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, Theatre Rhinoceros and Teatra Bella, and has directed for such companies as Highlands Children's Theatre and Shady Shakespeare Theatre Company. Recently Karen has been developing an original play based on Shakespeare's most memorable characters. She is proud to be a member of the YATC Family !
Logan Thomason is an actor based in New York City, and he’s been with YATC since 2012! He studied acting at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, where he worked with the Atlantic Theater Company & Stonestreet Studios before earning his BFA in 2017. Logan has worked in both Los Angeles and New York, and made his directorial debut this past winter with YATC’s Royalty alongside Sav Souza (1776 Broadway Revival Cast). He has worked with Darren Lynn Bousman (Saw Series), Jim Fall (Trick, The Lizzie McGuire Movie) and Scott Zigler (American Repertory Theater) and has taught everything from cold-reading techniques to Drag 101 at YATC.
Ben is a New York City based Actor and Singer from Cupertino California. He graduated from Syracuse University with a BFA in Acting. While in New York, Ben has been a part of several workshops of new musicals. Along with passion for Acting and Musical Theatre, Ben is a huge nerd who loves Harry Potter and superhero movies.
Hannah is a junior at Seattle University where she is studying for her B.A in Theatre. Hannah loves everything to do with theatre, television and film. When Hannah isn’t acting she is teaching group fitness classes, playing piano or cooking yummy food. She can’t wait to share the YATC magic with you!
MUSICAL THEATRE DEPARTMENT
Head of Musical Theater Vocal Department
Natalie is a piano/voice coach and composer in LA, and she's here to work with you on all things musical theatre! She'll be leading a fun workshop on acting a specific song at YATC this summer, and available for private coaching on your musical theatre songs as well. She wants to grant you access to the truth behind your song's story, as well as make it feel beautifully comfortable on your voice. Can't wait to see you all very soon!
Musical Theatre Instructor
Sav Souza is a Barrymore Nominated, queer, transgender, theater creator and performer currently trying to destroy the binary in New York City. Sav is a graduate of The University of the Arts with a BFA in Musical Theatre, class of 2018.
Sav's passion, curiosity, and empathy bleed into the work they generate, with the goal of reaching through audiences to make positive change in the world. Sav’s work lives outside the binary in the most refreshing ways, always challenging audiences to look at life through a queer lens in an attempt to normalize queerness in all its theatrical and human forms.
They have been a part of the YATC Family since the age of 9 years old and was recently cast in the Broadway Revival of 1776, coming in 2021!
Matthew McCoy is beyond excited to work with the best staff in the world! He loves to dance, sing, and act, most often all at the same time! When not belting out Shallow from the iconic 2018 version of A Star is Born starring Lady Gaga, you can find him speaking in a 1940s voice or talking about RuPaul's Drag Race. Last fall, he attended the University of Southern California - Fight On! - for his BFA in Musical Theatre, as one of the thirteen to make up the inaugural class. If you ever want to talk about anything theatre-related, he's your guy! He is so excited to make 400 best friends this summer!
Head of Dance Department/ Choreographer
Emmy Frevele is a Dancer, Creator, Director, Choreographer, and all-encompassing Performer. She can be seen dancing alongside Paula Abdul, Green Day, Cher Lloyd, Bella Thorne, and many others. A professional dancer for 10 years, Emmy shares her experiences in the industry and tips and tricks for how to succeed. A dance instructor at some of most elite kids & teens studios in Los Angeles, Emmy is thrilled to be teaching with CampYATC again. Students will learn to tune the instrument that is their body, through means of amplifying their strengths, picking up and performing choreography, and enhancing their dance technique. Her students are comfortable, confident, and consistently challenged in a fun and positive environment. Emmy’s teaching style cultivates confidence, derived from the idea that working hard pays off, and the outcome is well worth the effort.
Kit Loy is a singer, actor, and songwriter from the Bay Area who excited to bring the YATC experience home to you! She's currently studying musical theatre and business management at Santa Barbara City College and loves painting and reading in her spare time. Her favorite series include (but are not limited to) Harry Potter, the Psion series, and anything written by Scott Westerfeld, so if you love to read and talk for hours about literary conspiracy theories, she's your gal. Kit has played diverse roles from Judy in A Chorus Line to Caldwell B. Cladwell in Urinetown and really enjoys the process of character development whether the character is the goofy comedic relief or the powerful antagonist. Kit will be there for you whether you want to write a ballad, dive deeper into your character's intentions, or simply gush about The Cursed Child.
COMEDY AND IMPROV DEPARTMENT
Comedy Writer/ Improv Coach
Gabe Hoffman has been going to camp since he was 12 years old, in 2007. He is an actor, writer, and improvisor based in Chicago, where he graduated from iO Chicago’s Improvisational Training Center and performs with his improv team, A Very Special Episode. He has written numerous plays, pilots, and screenplays, and is absolutely obsessed with TV.
Applied Improv Coach
YATC loves Colby Loesch almost as much as he loves YATC, and that’s because Colby is a professional goofball who loves his job. Colby Loesch teaches applied improvisation year round, and at YATC he connects with campers by using his classes as a way to help them grow in a low-risk environment. Colby uses his spare time to pursue interests in writing, tabletop roleplaying games, and drawing.
Finding Your Comedic Voice/ Improv Coach
Anna McConnell is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis with a BA in drama and is now a Chicago-based actor and improviser. Most recently, she was seen on stage at iO Chicago with The Pool and all over the city with her improv team, A Very Special Episode, which is now a podcast too!
Stephanie has been a part of the YATC family since 2017! She loves working with kids of all ages at camp, and this time around Stephanie is looking forward to helping campers get comfortable with the uncomfortable and broaden their horizons. Nothing is more important to Stephanie than making everyone feel welcome and accepted.
FILM AND ART DEPARTMENT
Emma graduated from Scripps College with a degree in Theatre and Media Studies with a concentration in film and video, along with studying theatrical performance for a semester in London! She put on a one-woman show for her senior thesis and is
currently living in LA. She cannot wait for each amazing YATC session, meeting all the campers, and creating new YATC memories!!
Delaney Tobin is an animation and visual effects major at Chapman University. She loves to express herself through drawing, painting, and animating, but she has also always loved musical theatre. She was in all of her school plays and musicals throughout middle school and high school, and she has been a part of the YATC family since she was 12 years old! She’s so excited to welcome back members of the YATC family, and to meet some new ones!
FX Makeup Expert
Frances has been with YATC since 2008! When she’s not with YATC, she works as a makeup artist and actor in Los Angeles. This year she has worked on various projects such as Nickelodeon's 'All That', Freeform's New Years Eve Special, Tinder's Youtube channel, a couple of music videos including Awolnation's 'The Best', and a few horror films. Frances has many passions including music, psychology, history, and costuming. It is such a treat for her to be able to work with these talented kids and encourage their interests during the process.
Jenna was been a YATC camper for 5 years before staying as a counselor! Jenna’s third season as a counselor and she is so excited to return home! In the meantime, Jenna studies at Azusa Pacific University studying for her BFA in Film Production with a Minor in Screenwriting. While there she’s been developing her first comedic web series to be produced soon. Before switching to behind the camera, Jenna has been acting and tech-ing in school and community theater since she was 7 years old. She’s always enjoyed acting, writing, Star Wars, Harry Potter, and all sorts of other TV shows, movies and youtube videos. YATC has not only taught her so much more about her craft, but inspired her to continue in committing to her dreams. Jenna only hopes she can do the same for you!