PVTC at Woodside Elementary School

8th Grade Operetta

Important Links

Jess, Raf, and Raul are so excited to dive into Operetta rehearsals on Monday, March 11th ! Jess can’t wait to have a more in-depth conversation with the cast about how all of the students and the characters will be fully realized and featured in the show. 


The rehearsal schedule for the next two weeks is posted on this page. As you’ll notice from the schedule the first few days focus on getting familiar with the show and singing through some of the larger group numbers. 


All students should report to Sellman during last period. Please be prompt as there will be a lot to cover.  On Monday, all students will receive their scripts labeled with their names. This is theirs to keep for the duration. We only have one per student, so please DO NOT LOSE it. You will need to have it at each rehearsal.



Every rehearsal students should plan to bring their script & a pencil. Students will want to be in clothes they can easily move in and in supportive shoes (no flip flops or uggs boots). Students might want to plan to pack an extra snack & water bottle with them on days they have rehearsal. 


Rehearsals will run 3-4 times per week March through May. Number of rehearsals per week will depend on student’s role.

DURING SCHOOL (all 8th graders): Mondays & Tuesdays (2:36 - 3:10pm); last block Friday (1:43 - 3:10pm) 

AFTER SCHOOL (for leads): TBD


May 25-28 in Sellman



Wednesday, May 29th at 5:30pm 

Thursday, May 30th, at 5:30pm

Friday, May 31st 7pm 

Saturday, June 1st  7pm


We are looking for parent volunteers to assist with "crew" and "tech" positions. Sign up's are via the link above. 

As a reminder, please contact us if you know about a conflict or if your 8th grader is sick so we can plan accordingly.

Meet Our Staff


Jessica Bennett

Director; PVTC Children's Conservatory Director

Jessica has been a teaching artist with PVTC since 2016 and has served as PVTC's Children's Conservatory Director since 2017. A Bay Area native, she moved to New York City after college to attend The Neighborhood Playhouse School of Theatre. She has been involved in theater for the past two decades, both onstage and off and had the pleasure of performing as Aquata in PVTC's MainStage production of The Little Mermaid in 2017. Past directing credits include Broadway Bound, 101 Dalmatians KIDS, and Seussical KIDS, in addition to many other plays and musical revues. Having served as rehearsal assistant for WES' Shrek JR in 2017, she is so excited to be part of your world again directing The Little Mermaid JR this year! 


Raf Ornes

Music Director

Raf began working with PVTC in 1996 when he conducted a production of The Music Man. Since then he has been the music director for PVTC (adult and youth productions), while concurrently serving as Minister of Music at Valley Presbyterian Church. Raf earned a BS in Electrical Engineering MANY years ago, before returning to study choral conducting at Stanford. He has directed several choirs and other groups at local schools and theatre companies, including Foothill College, Stanford University, Stanford Savoyards, Woodside Elementary School and Corte Madera. Raf is very excited to be returning as Music Director for this year's 8th grade Operetta!


Raul Avina


Raul Avina Graduated from San Francisco State University (2014) with a BA in Dance Theatre and Mills College (2016) with a MFA in Dance and Pedagogy. Raul is an advocate for the arts, teaching with many theatre companies in the Bay Area such as; Pied piper players, Palo Alto Children’s Theatre, Tabard Theatre, Starting Arts, Silicon Valley Boys & Girls Club, San Jose CMT, Castro valley performing arts, and more. Some of his favorite credits include choreography for Open the movie (winner of 12 awards) How Sweet It Is the movie musical, Annie (SSPA); Legally Blonde (SDMT); Rocky Horror (Fullerton); Fiddler on the Roof (Candlelight P.); Hair (Fullerton); Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (SDMT); A Chorus Line (SDMT); Rent (Fullerton); Taming of the Shrew (Hermosa B. Playhouse); High School Musical Medley (Universal Studios Globe Theatre Red Carpet Award Show.) Raul would like to thank everyone in his life, family and friends, for all their love and support. 


Noëlle GM Gibbs

Producer; PVTC Producing Artistic Director

Noëlle is thrilled to be partnering with Woodside Elementary School on the 2019 Operetta. She has been teaching and directing at PVTC for over a decade and enjoys the creativity, enthusiasm, and relentless energy of Portola Valley students. In addition to her work with PVTC, Noëlle has directed at local Bay Area theatres and worked in the artistic/literary departments at major regional theatres. She holds BAs in Theatre & Dance from UC San Diego.


Stacie Doherty

Producer; PVTC Managing Director

Stacie has been part of the PVTC team since 2011. She received a B.A. in Theatre from UC San Diego and worked as a Theatre Manager for four years in Southern California. She has thoroughly enjoyed working with students and parents on previous WES Operetta's and is so excited to be involved this year. Stacie has produced and stage managed numerous Children's Conservatory and MainStage productions at PVTC, and has worked with a number of non profit arts organizations as a stage manager around the Bay Area and in San Diego. 


Fred Eiras

Set Designer

Fred has 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 is very excited to work with with Woodside Elementary on this year's Operetta. 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."