JEAN ISAAC - Founder & Artistic Director
Jean has been working with kids and theater for nearly 25 years. After growing up in a youth theater that was a major part of her extracurricular activities, Jean felt the need to get her own children involved in theater. What started as a desire to present a school play through the PTA at her kids’ elementary school soon evolved into a regular program offering after school drama classes. Shortly thereafter YOUNG ACTORS’ THEATRE was born. Over the years, YAT has produced over 50 productions, and has seen hundreds of students train with us. Some directing favorites include: The Music Man, Beauty & the Beast, Seussical, Peter Pan, Legally Blonde, You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Les Miserables, Ragtime, and West Side Story. Jean is extremely grateful to her children, grandchildren and her husband for all of their ongoing support.
JOE DIONISIO - Artistic Director
Originally from the Bay Area, Joe moved to attend college at UC San Diego where he received his bachelor’s degree in Theatre. During his time at UCSD, he performed in several productions and had the opportunity to work in the scenicand props department of the La Jolla Playhouse. After receiving his degree, Joe worked with various San Diego based theatre companies, including being stage manager for a production with Ion Theatre Company. He also was productionstage manager for the Latin American Multimedia Company and their television production of Dos y Dos. For Young Actors’ Theatre, Joe has been both on stage and behind the scenes. He has been stage manager for several YAT’sproductions including Hairspray and Beauty and the Beast, as well as director for Schoolhouse Rock, Legally Blonde, and Peter and the Starcatcher. In addition to theatre, Joe is passionate about special education, where he is currently a teacher in the Escondido Union High School District with a master’s degree in special education from San Diego State University.
KRISTINA PETREA - Executive Director
Kristina lives in San Diego with her husband, Paul and 2 kids, Austin & Kayleigh. She has always had a love for music & Theater, going way back to when she was a little girl. She saw her first Broadway show, CATS when she was in the 5th grade, and has seen many more ever since. She enjoys spending time with her family, going to shows & concerts, traveling and going on adventures with her family. She found Young Actors' Theatre in March of 2015, and had no idea then how it would completely change her life. Meeting great people, seeing quality shows and watching the kids grow as they find their own way, are just some of the amazing things that she gets to partake in every day. She is truly fond of all the of students, staff, Board Members and parents who dedicate so much of their time to YAT! She loves the way YAT is a family, her newly found family, and that everyone can be themselves and feel welcomed.
Marisa Musgrove has been working in the theatre for nearly her entire life as a performer, teacher and director in and around San Diego and Los Angeles. Currently Marisa is a teaching artist and director at Coronado Playhouse, Young Actors' Theater, Grossmont High School, Fuerte Elementary School, and Flying Hills FAME programs, and has taught a variety of classes for local dance studios. Some favorite directing/ choreography credits: Thoroughly Modern Millie, Dearly Beloved, The Miracle Worker, Parade, Guys and Dolls, 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Annie, Cinderella,Once Upon A Mattress and up next… Jungle Book! Marisa also holds a B.A. in Liberal Studies and is attending graduate school to attain a teaching credential.
Jerrica began playing the piano at age 4 and it quickly became her life passion. She became an masterful pianist before moving to San Diego to study music at Grossmont College and San Diego State University. In high school and college she began to pick up other instruments; cello, clarinet, violin, bassoon, and voice. She has played and sang in musical ensembles at Grossmont, SDSU and the City Ballet. Jerrica now performs around San Diego in multiple orchestras and directs a children's choir in Little Italy. She played in the orchestra for YAT'S production of Beauty and the Beast, and was previously the Music Director of YAT's Thoroughly Modern Millie and Into the Woods.
Christine Cordova (Mrs. C) has been teaching and directing youth theater for nearly 20 years. She started her work in theater as a special effects makeup artist, a job she has continued to this day. She served many years as the Performing Arts Director at The Rock Academy, a K-12 school. Last year Christine returned to YAT when she directed Peter Pan, having last directed The Wizard of OZ in 2006. Some of her previous directing credits include Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Willy Wonka, Beauty & The Beast, and Godspell. All five of Christine's children have performed in YAT shows, including the inaugural production of Bye-Bye Birdie!
Danielle Gulihur is a theatre major at Grossmont college, hoping to transfer to SDSU in the fall! Her emphasis is in musical theatre performance! Danielle has been performing with YAT for the past 6 years and is thrilled to join the team and share her love of musical theater with others!
Some Previous credits include: Woman 2- Songs For A New World-, Sister Mary-Luke- Nunsense, Camila Rosario-In The Heights, Woman 3-The Things We Never Say( SD Fringe ), Sally Brown- YAGMCB, Logainne Schwartzandgrubenierre -Spelling Bee, and Paulette-Legally Blonde. Dani has trained with some incredible local talents, and looks forward to continuing her growth as a performer and embarking on this new journey as an educator.
Alexa Cohen is a current college student studying theatre and elementary education. She has had the pleasure to work and train with some amazing mentors at YAT and other companies in San Diego. After graduating as captain of her high school dance team, she has gotten to continue her passion for dance by teaching. Recent work include dance captain of YATs Beauty and the Beast, choreographer for Peter Pan at Mnt Helix Academy, YAT camps/classes and School House Rock!
Sarah’s love of dance began at the early age of 3 when she took up Ballet, Tap and Jazz. She later added Tahitian, Poi, and Hula to her list of classes and became Dance Captain of her High School’s Advanced Dance Team. After High School she taught Private Studio lessons in Tap, Jazz, Ballet and Hip Hop in addition to Choreographing dozens of musical theater shows and show choir performances for local Youth Theaters (including YAT), middle schools and high schools. Sarah holds a Bachelors in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Physical Education from Cal State University San Marcos and after college she worked at Disneyland Paris and Disneyland California as a Face Character and Dancer. Sarah now teaches Barre workout classes to adults at multiple Xtend Barre Studios around San Diego and spends the rest of her time hanging out with her awesome 2 year old son Wesley and new baby girl Betty Jean.
Kaitlyn has been in love with dancing since the age of 5. She started off just doing performance based dancing with tap, jazz and ballet. Her love for the stage showed so well that she was asked to do competitive dancing which she did at The Dance Machine 2 and then later at Touch of Class Dance Academy for a total of nine years. Being on stage dancing was her favorite part about competing. The judge's critiques made her a stronger dancer and really pushed her to be the best she could be. She has technique training in tap, jazz, ballet, hip-hop, and lyrical dance. Kaitlyn has also had training and master classes from So You Think You Can Dance as well as Broadway. She was also on her high school dance team for all four years. She hopes to teach students to express themselves through dance and make a difference by sharing her passion..