Staff, Guest Directors, Instructors & Consultants

Executive Directors

Donna Avanzino – Executive Operations Director
Donna has been taking care of the theater’s day to day operations since January 2001. She ensures the theater runs smoothly year round as she manages budgets, productions, personnel, grants,  educational programs, volunteers, and much more.  She comes to SCCT with a background teaching and directing parent education classes. Donna loves theater and has been involved in Chickens’ Ball, Belmont Community Players and Kiwanis shows for many years. She was honored by the City of San Carlos with the San Carlos Arts and Culture Achievement Award

Eron Block – Executive Artistic Director
Eron has been involved with directing, teaching, producing, and cultivating the creative arts in children and young adults for over 20 years. It is his passion, vocation, and avocation to encourage and create opportunities for the young to extend themselves and blossom in the realm of acting and theater arts. For the last several years, he has been bringing inspiration and creativity through improv to a larger audience with the TV show Kid Bytes!


Jim-ColeJim Cole – Resident Technical Director
In addition to managing technical theater operations, Jim shares his expertise by training students as technical interns to work on sound, light and backstage during all SCCT shows. Jim also developed our StageCraft technical theater camp which provides students ages 10-15 an opportunity to gain hands-on training in set design, special effects and light/sound design & operation.

LauraLaura Cox – Costume Designer
Laura completed her costuming education at Canada College and now shares her talents with theaters throughout the Bay Area. She enjoys working with youth actors and mentoring students interested in costume design. During her free time, Laura creates costumes for her own enjoyment and loves participating in a wide variety of local costumed events.

Eve Dutton –  Marketing Manager
Eve first became involved with SCCT in 2001 as a parent volunteer and later as a member of the Board of Directors. She now works on SCCT marketing, communications, and special events, as well as advising the theater’s Youth Advisory Board. She comes to SCCT with a background in journalism and publicity.  Eve has been involved in productions with several local theaters, including NDNU, San Francisco Ballet, Peninsula Youth Theater, Hillbarn, and San Carlos Kiwanis.

IrinaIrina Semenyura – Set Designer
Irina has a special talent offering up a wide variety of set designs for the various shows. Utilizing all available rigging, lights, existing and newly acquired pieces she creates unique sets that showcase both the actors and the story, making the theater experience engaging for audiences and actors, alike.

Guest Directors, Instructors & Consultants

TheresaTheresa Ames has been performing, directing, accompanying and teaching throughout the Bay Area for over 30 years. With a Bachelor’s Degree in Music, Theresa found her passion working with children and musical theater. She is also a certified Music Together teacher. She has worked on shows with Palo Alto Children’s Theater, Stage Door Conservatory, Bay Area ETC, and Hillbarn. Theresa works as both a teacher and music director for SCCT. Her past mainstage shows include Footloose, Damn Yankees, Wizard of Oz, and Annie Get Your Gun.

daina-block-reduced-4256Daina Block is a performing artist, choreographer and an AmSAT certified teacher of the Alexander Technique. She received her dance and choreographic degrees from the Victorian College of the Arts, Australia and is a recognized recipient of numerous scholarships rewarding performance and choreographic excellence.  Daina has been with SCCT since 2008 choreographing mainstage musical productions and teaching.

BrittanyBrittany Caine works with SCCT as both a production director and a teacher in a wide range of classes. She holds a BA from Smith College in Theatre and Jewish studies.



MelodyMelody Cole brings to her directing over 38 years experience in theater. She holds a BA in Theater Arts from San Francisco State and has taught theater and mime at Bowditch Middle School and Foster City Park and Recreation. She has directed numerous productions and has performed in over 45 shows throughout the Bay Area. Melody often directs for SCCT in fall and summer, including the recent SCCT productions Annie Jr, My Son Pinocchio Jr.  and The Girl with the Golden Locks.

Patrick Cravalho earned his PhD Educational Psychology at Kent State University, Ohio and is a professor at San Jose State University. Patrick teaches the Friends Play Group class at SCCT.



Alicia Frank is a teaching artist, actor, director and playwright. In NYC Alicia taught middle and high school students acting and playwriting for Women’s Project. She also worked with the Birdhouse Players, a youth theatre company, where she was Associate Director of their mainstage productions, which included Oliver!,Once On This Island, West Side Story and The Sound of Music. Alicia has a BA in Dramatic Arts and is a member of Aching Dogs Theatre Company, SAG and AFTRA. After working on a number of SCCT’s awesome Camps, Alicia is excited to be working with SCCT again this season!

Shelley Frost is co-creator of Friends Play Group, utilizes her skills in videography and editing to produce the class documentaries onto DVD’s which are provided to each child during the Movie Premier. Shelley is an SCCT drama teacher, author and the director of the annual Animal Film Festival.


Danny-GirayDanny Giray has worked with SCCT for many years now in both mainstage and school productions as a Choreographer.  He works during the school year in many Redwood City Schools teaching dance.



Mike Harris is a guest Technical Director for San Carlos Children’s Theater. In his spare time, Mike goes fishing.



Susie Jimenez has worked in the Bay Area as a performer, private voice & piano teacher, music educator, and music director for over 20 years. With SCCT, Susie has enjoyed the last 5 years on both sides of the curtain. In 2011 she was Maria in The Sound of Music, and in 2013, the Scarecrow in The Wizard of OZ, for the SCCT Community Productions. Since the summer of 2011, Susie has music directed for the SCCT summer camps, Showstoppers II performing troupe, and musical productions of Willy Wonka Jr., Annie Jr., Peter Pan Jr., Beauty & The Beast Jr., (and this summer 2015) – My Son Pinocchio. Susie also works at Sandpiper Elementary School, and loves her job as Show Choir director, Bell Choir director, and teaching music for grades 1- 3! Susie has a Bachelor of Music from University of the Pacific Conservatory of Music, and Master of Music from New England Conservatory, both in Vocal Performance.

margaret-marshall-reduced-4066Margaret Marshall is a vocal director and teacher for outreach and mainstage shows. Margaret is also a private vocal coach.



Joe Murphy  serves as a Musical Technician for San Carlos School District’s Tri-School productions and teaches in the San Carlos School District.



Sara MurphySara Murphy has worked with SCCT as a Vocal Director for mainstage shows and the San Carlos School District’s Tri-School productions. Sara teaches in the San Carlos School District.


Bill O’Neill directed music for Clifford School’s Beauty and the Beast Jr. and has taught at many SCCT camps.  He is currently performing with the San Francisco Opera.

PJay Plutzer Bio PicPJay Plutzer has been photographing rock and roll bands and theatrical performances for over 20 years.  He started out as a parent with his son in SCCT shows and went on to become the professional photographer for SCCT.  PJay also photographs for other various organizations all over the Bay Area and beyond.

Shauna Yelnick has been teaching outreach classes and assistant directing with SCCT since 2007. Previous class locations include Roy Cloud, North Star, Meadow Heights, College Park, Sandpiper, Clifford, and Woodland schools, as well as with SCCT’s homeschool outreach program. Before joining SCCT, Shauna taught drama at a high school and later at a private K-8 school, both on the Peninsula. For seven consecutive summers, Shauna taught speech & debate, improv, creative writing, and film appreciation at multiple enrichment programs for elementary and middle school students on the Peninsula and South Bay. Shauna holds a B.A. in theater arts, a teaching credential in English, and an M.A. in theater arts. She recently earned an M.Ed. at Santa Clara University. Shauna is a member of the California Educational Theater Association and currently teaches drama during the day at a private school in Palo Alto.

Linda Young is a Program Manager (Special Education ) with the San Mateo County Office of Education, working as the Principal of K – 12 school of students with special needs.