Meet Our Teachers
Sierra School of Performing Arts is proud to contract with some of the finest performing arts teaching artists in Northern Nevada and Northeastern California. If you have any questions about our teachers, please email us.
Amanda Alvey recently made her debut with the Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival in the 2016 production of Comedy of Errors. She has performed with Good Luck Macbeth Theatre Co., Nevada Repertory Company, Bruka Theatre, TheatreWorks, WNC, and TMCC. She's on the board of GLM and a member of the Reno improv troupe The Utility Players. She has been a local director for nearly eight years. She teaches improv and acting workshops and in her spare time is a substitute teacher for the Washoe County School District.
Michelle Calhoun came to Northern Nevada in 2006 with vast experience both on stage and behind the scenes. She has since worked in various capacities (directing, acting, costuming, writing and teaching) with a variety of local theater organizations, including the Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival, Wild Horse Productions, Sage Ridge School, TheaterWorks of Northern Nevada and Sierra School of Performing Arts, among others. She previously directed SSPA’s productions of Love Stinks: A Shakespearean Anti-Valentine, Foolish Mortals and The Dinner Party. She also co-costumed SSPA's The Wizard of Oz and is co-founder of Sisters Three Productions, a new theater group dedicated to producing and creating female-centric productions.
Stephanie Farias is a graduate of the North Carolina School of the Arts where she received the William B. Kenan Scholarship and the Chancellor’s Award for Artistic Excellence in 1989. Some of her theatrical credits include: Nina in The Seagull at the Moscow Arts Theatre, USSR, and The Starvation of Ruby Nellis - opposite Philip Seymour Hoffman - at the Sanford Meisner Theatre, NYC. In Los Angeles she was on the Artistic Board of Directors at TheatreWest from 1996-1999, where she starred in Sins and Ages, Boys’ Life and The Shift. She was a recipient of The Nevada Arts Council Fellowship Honorable Mention for Directing in 2008 and for Performance in 2011. She currently teaches acting at the Davidson Academy, VSA Arts of Nevada, and for TheatreWorks.
CeCe Gable has a BA in Sociology, a minor in Special Education and extensive training and experience in dance, theater and music. She now teaches privately in The Children's Studio. Locally, she has performed with the Reno Philharmonic, Reno Jazz Orchestra as Jazz Vocalist and has toured internationally. She continues to give concerts and performances for special events. As a singer/actor/choreographer, she performed with The Actors' Project, Reno Little Theater, Lyric Opera Theater and The Nevada Opera.
Janet Lazarus is the founding artistic director of SSPA, and has been directing their musical productions since 2005. She is a graduate of the MFA program in acting at UCLA and has appeared in over 30 productions in such places as New York, Los Angeles, Rome (Italy) and most recently Northern Nevada. She has been directing and teaching theater in Hawaii, Reno and Tahoe schools and arts organizations for over 25 years, including Hawaii School for Girls, Lake Tahoe Community College, Arts for the Schools, UNR, Bishop Manogue and Sage Ridge School.
Stephanie McMullin has a degree in Music Education, with a focus in Vocal Performance, from UNR. She has been a local performer for many years, performing at Nightingale Concert Hall, the Pioneer Center, and Piper’s Opera House to name a few. Stephanie’s operatic performances include Monica from Gian, Carlo Menotti’s The Medium, Mabel from Pirates of Penzance, and Queen of the Night from The Magic Flute. Musical theater roles with SSPA include Nikki from Sweet Charity, Rosie from Bye Bye, Birdie!, and Cassie from A Chorus Line. She has also been a featured dancer and chorus member, as well as a choreographer. Stephanie currently teaches as a private voice coach in her own vocal studio as well as at Damonte Ranch HS, and she teaches music and drama at Truckee Dance Factory in Truckee, CA.
Bill Quinby is a native Philadelphian living in Reno since 1991. He is a man of multiple skills, educated in the theaters, studios, and stages of many countries. He first joined forces with SSPA in the early years of their Broadway Bits productions. Concurrent with his years at SSPA, he was music director for most of the musicals at Brüka Theater. In addition, he has worked with RLT, both as composer and actor. He co-wrote and workshopped, along with Marva Gregorio DeSouza, Rum Runners, the Musical. Bill is also a photographer and videographer for SSPA and several other organizations. He is presently the music director for the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Northern Nevada.
Jennifer Rae is an Equity actor who loves improv. She enjoys teaching all aspects of theatre, acting, and improv. She graduated from Gonzaga University. Jennifer Rae was bit by the acting bug at the age of 10 and has been involved in theatre, improv, and film for more than 30 years. She looks forward to teaching for and working with Sierra School of Performing Arts.
Julie Robertson has been involved in Reno theater since 1991. In that time she has performed many roles on-stage, off-stage and backstage while working with many theater companies in the area. Favorite on-stage moments include Tricks of the Trade, The Miracle Worker, Five Women Wearing the Same Dress and Six Women With Brain Death. Favorite off-stage work includes producing plays for various groups, and serving as executive director for Gothic North Theater until 2002. Her favorite backstage roles are as costumer, set designer and, most especially, director. She holds several awards from local theater companies for her work in these roles.