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Jennifer Bales

Jennifer graduated from Chapman University in 2012 with a B.A. in English Literature and minors in vocal music and dance.  Jennifer has been involved with the performing arts from a very young age.  She started dancing at 3 years old, and her vocal career started at the age of 6 when she joined the Pacific Chorale Girls' Chorus (which she auditioned for after her parents explained to a tearful Jennifer that she could not join the All American Boys' Chorus like her brothers before her).  Around the same time, Jennifer discovered her love of musical theater while participating in summer theater camps.  Musical theater combines Jennifer's passion of acting, singing, and dancing, and thus will always hold a special place in her heart.  Favorite musicals Jennifer has performed in include Oklahoma!, Man of La Mancha, Grease, Fiddler on the Roof, The Pajama Game, Beauty and the Beast, and Young Frankenstein.  On the screen, Jennifer works closely with Gargoyle Media Productions, and has appeared in many of their short films, including the award-winning "Nine Lives."  Jennifer has been a member of two  dance companies.  She studied Bollywood fusion and various international dance styles with Layla and the Lotus Dancers, and focused on ballet, jazz, contemporary, hip hop, and tap during her time with Images Dance Company, of which she was a founding member.  She has also used her dance chops both performing in and choreographing music videos for local L.A. artists.  On the weekends, Jennifer can often be found onstage at Teatro Martini, an OC based dinner theater of which she is an original cast member.

If anything matches her passion for the performing arts, it is being able to share that passion with her students.  Jennifer has been teaching for over a decade-everything from ballet to hip hop to voice to musical theater.  Arts education is incredibly important, and Jennifer can attest to the huge role performing arts has played in her development, confidence, and happiness.  She is thrilled to be able to share that passion and joy with her students!

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Debbie Gabel

Debbie grew up in the beautiful but rainy Pacific North West.  Portland, Oregon was her home town; this is where she first fell in love with theater and started performing at a young age. She was shy around people, but yet she knew in her heart this was what she wanted to do.  It was her passion...when she stepped on the stage it was like a whole new world of magic, and it became a way for her to open up and express herself.  She studied theater and acting in high school and continued her studies of performing arts, musical theater, dance, movement, and creative writing throughout college.  While working on her degree she continued to act and she has involved her whole life with the stage- community theater, dinner theater, and children's theater groups, as well as teaching through the Evergreen School District and now OC community centers and LB school districts.

She has acted in numerous stage productions throughout Oregon, Washington, Hawaii, and California.  A few of her favorite stage productions have been Rimers of Eldrich, Guys and Dolls, Owl and the Pussycat, A Night Must Fall, A Chorus Line, Our Town, Hello Dolly, Little Shop of Horrors, West Side Story, My Sister Eileen, Princess and the Pea, Adventures of Tom Sawyer, and Alice through the Looking Glass. Television appearances include Parks and Recreation, The Middle, Make It or Break It, and How Do I Look.  She helped in writing and interviewing for a short documentary titled "Homeless Street Youth of Portland" in 2008.Washington State was using it as an example for documentary course work.

Debbie has been teaching and directing youth, young adults, and adults for over 10 years.  She is extremely excited to be teaching for Take the Stage Productions.  She truly loves to teach and direct young people.  She believes acting will benefit children all throughout their lives no matter what they may choose to do in the future.  Acting helps students learn how to communicate, to listen to each other, to open up and express themselves, all while having fun.  Debbie can't wait to create some amazing memories and magic with her students.

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Jennifer Whitney

 

Jennifer has worked in theatre for over 15 years, professionally and locally. She holds a BA in acting from Indiana University, trained at South Coast Rep’s Summer Intensive, master in theatre program at East 15 in London, and the Hangar Theatre. While at the Hangar Theatre, she was a part of the children’s shows such as Go, Dog, Go, among others. She was also involved with the educational side assisting the kids with putting on their own show, writing monologues, and character work. Locally she has performed at Newport Arts Theatre, Long Beach Playhouse, STAGES Theatre, Cabrillo Playhouse, and Westminster Community Theatre. Favorite roles include Claire in Proof, Laura Claythorne in And Then There Were None, Suzette in Don’t Dress for Dinner, Jennie in Chapter Two, Sister James in Doubt, and Cavale in Cowboy Mouth.   Professionally she was Mrs. Cratchet in A Christmas Carol at the Hippodrome State Theatre and Laurie in Brighton Beach Memoirs at Brown County Theatre,  When not performing, she is taking Meisner classes with John Ruskin at RusKin School of Acting, being a nerd at Disneyland, or playing with her dog, Tyrion.

 

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Brenda Orellana

 Brenda Orellana is a Latinx-Queer actor, writer, and producer, born and raised in Los Angeles CA. Brenda has built her career playing strong, courageous, and deeply empathetic women. She is classically trained and works in theatre and film. Her favorite roles have been Grace in Alias Grace, Jess in King Charles III, Emma Tenayuca in People Where They Are and W in Lungs. Since performing her one-woman show, I Am A Rose, she has been a guest artist at California State University Summer Arts, and has been teaching solo performance and acting to young artists at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She is also a founding member and Co-Artistic Director of Hear Me Roar Theatre, a theatre dedicated to giving a platform to underrepresented minority playwrights and actors. Most recently, she has written and shot her first short "My Little Tomate" in Hollywood and work-shopped her full length play Sun Kissed Montañas at The Carousel Theatre in Knoxville, TN. Brenda holds her MFA from The University of Tennessee Knoxville, and BA from CSU, Long Beach.