Noëlle GM Gibbs
Producing Artistic Director
For the past ten years, Noëlle has worn a variety of hats at PVTC, including Children’s Conservatory Director and Associate Artistic Director. Noëlle is a proud graduate of PVTC, having taken the ﬁrst-ever intro to acting course offered by her mom in 1994. Credits at PVTC include Persephone, Distracted, Oklahoma!, The Servant of Two Masters, Proof, The Wizard of Oz, The Lion King, Jr., Shrek Jr., Guys and Dolls Jr., Seussical Jr., Once on This Island Jr., The Music Man Jr., and Cinderella, Jr.
Noëlle received B.A.’s in Theatre & Dance from UC San Diego after completing an honors thesis project in which she spent six months visiting Greece, England, and Italy to study Greek masks, Shakespeare, and Commedia Dell’Arte. As a result, most of her work focuses on collaboration, ensemble-building, and liberating the creative individual. In addition, Noëlle has worked in the artistic and educational departments at top-ranking regional theatres, including TheatreWorks in Palo Alto, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, CT, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, and the Magic Theatre in San Francisco. She is also a freelance director who is working with Dragon Theatre and City Lights Theatre Company in the 2016 season. She was the recipient of Theatre Bay Area’s’ ATLAS Award in Directing in 2014.
Stacie's joined the PVTC staff in 2011 as the Artistic Administrator and Resident Stage Manager for both the MainStage and After School Children's Program. Stacie received a B.A. in Theatre from UC San Diego and spent a semester in London studying theatre which included internships at both the Kings Head Theatre and Little Angel Theatre. She worked as the Theatre Manager for four years at the Birch North Park Theatre in Southern California assisting local and touring arts organizations facilitate their events while growing the theater's intern and volunteer program and engaging with the local community. Stacie has stage managed for a variety of productions and festivals including Summer of Love with Adams Entertainment, Don Pasquale, Iolanthe, and Music Man Jr. with Lyric Opera San Diego, SummerFest with the La Jolla Music Society, U.S. Drag at Dragon Theatre in Redwood City, and numerous MainStage and summer camp productions here at PVTC.
Children's Conservatory Director
Jessica, a Bay Area native, was bitten by the acting bug in middle school after making her stage debut in Shakespeare's 'Romeo & Juliet.' In high school she fell in love with musicals, getting the chance to sing, act and dance in shows like Footloose and How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. After graduating from college, she made the scary but exciting decision to move to New York City to attend the two-year conservatory program at The Neighborhood Playhouse. There, she further honed her acting abilities with the Meisner and Alexander techniques. Some favorite roles include Paulette in Legally Blonde, Linda Rotunda in Savage in Limbo, Olivia in Twelfth Night, and Sissy, a crazy bride-to-be in a show called Broken Moments, which premiered at last year's NY International Fringe Festival! She is excited to get to know the students of PVTC!
Raf Ornes began working with PVTC in 1996 when he conducted a production of The Music Man. Since then he has been the music director for many shows for PVTC (adult and youth productions), while concurrently serving as Minster of Music at Valley Presbyterian Church. Raf earned a BS in Electrical Engineering, before returning to study choral conducting at Stanford. He has directed several choirs and other groups at local schools and theatre companies including the Foothilll College, Stanford University, Stanford Savoyards, Ram's Head, Lyric Theatre, and Woodside Elementary School. He enjoys the opportunity to help young performers grow and develop artistically in a supportive environment.
Lauren joined the PVTC team in May 2018. Lauren is a graduate of Washington & Lee University (VA) where she majored in Theatre, Dance, and Film Studies, as well as Anthropology. Lauren is extremely active in local bay area theatre, having worked as a Stage Manager with companies such as Broadway by the Bay, Palo Alto Players, American Conservatory Theatre, and City Lights Theatre Company. She is currently the Resident Assistant Stage Manager at 42nd Street Moon in San Francisco. She assists with daily operations for all camps, classes, and MainStage programs. She is thrilled to see so many young artists excited about theatre and has enjoyed meeting students and parents in the community!
Fred joined the PVTC during the summer of 2018. He returned to the Bay Area after 13 years in Kentucky. He has been involved with theatre for 43 years on and off the stage and has enjoyed working with PVTC students, summer campers, MainStage actors, and volunteers. He is also currently the Technical Director of Performing Arts for Sacred Heart Atherton. Fred's motto: " All the world's a stage, but someone's got to build it first."
Caitlin started acting when she was 8 and dove into dance and music soon after. She has been teaching dance and movement for over 15 years and teaching drama and directing in the Bay Area for 5 years. She also has her MFA in Dance from Mills College and studied Pedagogy under Patricia Reedy of Luna Dance Institute. Caitlin loves getting to share her love of the performing arts with her students and letting their passion inspire her to continue teaching. When Caitlin is not teaching, you can find her hiking with her rescue dogs or doing aerial arts.
Karen C. Byrnes
Karen Byrnes has directed over 100 productions in the last 35 years with youth at a variety of schools on the Peninsula. Since 2012, she has taught classes at PVTC. For ten years, she taught drama, musical theatre and improvisation classes for Hillbarn Theatre’s Conservatory in addition to writing and directing A Foolish Fairy Tale, Dreamquest and More Broadway Legends. For Hillbarn’s Main Stage Theatre, she directed Deathtrap, Holes, The Secret Garden and Defying Gravity, which won the Subscriber’s Choice Award for Favorite Presentation of a Play in 2009. For fourteen years, she directed for NDNU's Labor Day Theatre Festival as well as productions for Ralston Middle School. In 2013, she created NDNU’s Labor Day Children’s Theatre Festival as a way to showcase original works that address environmental, justice, race and social issues. Most recently, she wrote six short plays inpsired by local events and legends involving San Francisco in SF Ghost Plays performed at the Magic Theatre in SF. Karen earned a BA in Theatre Arts from Notre Dame de Namur University. She has served as an arts commissioner for the City of Belmont. Karen is also a freelance photographer specializing in family photography.
Andrew P. Quick
Andrew P. Quick hails from the Raisin Capital of the World. He has brought heaven to earth through laughter since his birth as a ten pound baby. He is delight to be to be parting with PVTC. Andrew is currently working though out the Bay Area on all sorts of theatrical productions. Most recently he has worked with Circus of Smiles (Paws for Reading, a library tour), Bay Area Children's Theatre (Ladybug Girl and Bumblebee Boy), Boxcar Theatre(The Speakeasy), The Cutting Ball Theater (Ubu Roi), Portola Valley Theatre Conservatory (Persephone), and Shakespeare Santa Cruz (The Taming of the Shrew, Henry V). In his spare time he performs nationally and internationally with his award winning physical comedy troupe, Pi, which he co/founded while studying theatre at the University of California Santa Cruz. He considers it a blessing to be a member of such a compassionate and authentic company.
Charlynn Knighton’s music career began in kindergarten and grew into a love for musical theatre during high school. Following her freshman year of college she was asked to both music direct and assistant direct several theatre summer camps. It was there that her passion for working with kids in theatre grew! In her junior year, she officially switched to a major in music with a concentration in theatre and joined the university’s production staff as the Props Manager. Since graduating, Charlynn has loved the opportunities she’s had to expand and grow in many areas of theatre including music directing, costuming and set building. She has also had the privilege to work as a props manager and artisan at several theaters nationwide including Millbrook Playhouse, Allenberry Playhouse, San Jose Repertory Theatre and most recently at Center Rep and TheatreWorks. In 2014, Charlynn began work as a Teaching Artist at PVTC and also recently with Starting Arts. She joined PVTC's summer camp staff for multiple productions this past summer. Charlynn thoroughly believes in the transformative power of theatre and looks forward to sharing that passion with youth in the Bay Area.
Kimberly Megna Yarnall
Kimberly graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a double major in Theater and English and completed a performance apprenticeship at Actors Theater of Louisville. A published playwright, Kimberly's short works have been professionally produced across the country. She's worked as a literary coordinator, dramaturg, and writing assistant on- and Off-Broadway and at various professional regional theaters. Kimberly has experience teaching drama and English in middle school, and has directed college students in performing participatory science shows for elementary students. She also quite suddenly finds herself as a contributing writer for the San Francisco Moms Blog where her posts are inspired by the antics of her two creative and energetic daughters.
Lindsay Saier is excited to be working at PVTC again, after spending the last few years working in New York City. Lindsay started her theatre education at PVTC as a child, became an Intern for classes and camps through high school, and joined PVTC as a Teaching Artist in college. She studied Theatre Arts Production and Dance at Notre Dame de Namur University, makeup design at Make-up Designory, and hair at the Hair Academy Inc in NY. She then held a professional internship at The Juilliard School in makeup and wigs. While in NY she worked on numerous film campaigns, in several productions at repertory theaters, and backstage at both On and Off-Broadway productions.
Luisa Sermol is a recent transplant to the Bay Area from Portland, Oregon, An actress, director, and educator for over 30 years, she is a graduate of the Juilliard School of Drama, and holds a Masters in Teaching (Lewis and Clark) and a BA in English Literature (PSU). She has taught students of all ages working with Portland Actors’ Conservatory, Portland Shakespeare Project, Portland Community College, Lewis and Clark College, Reed College, University of Washington,The Oregon Symphony, The Yakima Symphony, Theatreworks, many theatre outreach programs as well as public school teaching and currently teaches drama at The Girls Middle School in Palo Alto. Her acting credits include Broadway, Off-Broadway, Williamstown, Portland Center Stage, Artists Repertory Theater, many Portland theatres, and is honored to be a 5-time award winner of Portland’s Outstanding Performance by an actress. Recent work in the Bay Area includes The Siegel for City Lights, They Promised Her the Moon for Theatreworks New Work Festival, Noises Off for Hillbarn Theatre and the upcoming Archduke at Theatreworks.. Film/television work includes Leverage, Personals, Zero Effect, Grimm, and the award winning animated short, Insect Poetry. She is a member of Actors' Equity Association and The Screen Actors' Guild.
Founding Artistic Director
Cheryl holds a BA in English/Speech from the University of Texas, an MDiv from Louisville Theological Seminary, has studied theater at Cal State Fullerton and at the Accademia dell Arte in Arezzo, Italy, and is a graduate of the Foothill Theatre Conservatory. She has been directing plays, musicals, and teaching acting classes for over 30 years. She founded Main Street Players, a theater company in Southern California, in 1979, and the Portola Valley Theatre Conservatory in 1993. Cheryl loves working with people and deeply believes in the transformative power of the arts to help the individual develop his or her fullest potential.