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Executive Board of Directors

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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 extra curricular 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, Tour Groups were formed, productions were presented, and YOUNG ACTORS’ THEATRE was born. As the students that she worked with grew up, Jean soon found that there was a need for a theater company in the community where the students could continue to participate in productions. Subsequently, a board of directors was formed and a non-profit organization was founded. Over the years, YOUNG ACTORS’ THEATRE has produced over 50 productions, and has seen hundreds of students train with us. Our philosophy at YOUNG ACTORS’ THEATRE is that every student deserves a chance to be on stage. Many of our students have gone on to pursue college degrees in theatre, and some are even working professionally! ”It is a constant source of pride when students come home from college, and tell me how much of a different Young Actors’ Theatre has made in their life.”

Jessica Reed - Board President


Jessica has worked in the mortgage industry for over 17 years.  She loves to spend time with her family vacationing in Mammoth. She became involved with YAT in 2013 when she signed her son up for a camp.  She resides in Fletcher Hills with her husband Aaron and 2 children, Noah and Miles. She believes that YAT instills a confidence in children that provides them with a positive life lesson which prepares them for a future full of success.

Melissa Winkler - Treasurer

Audrey Gardner - Secretary


Audrey has been a supporter of the arts in general, and musical theatre in particular, ever since seeing Annie as a girl! Audrey studied English Literature at the University of London, Bloomsbury, and received her BA in English from the University of Nevada, Reno. She left a career in publishing 12 years ago to raise her two lovely children. She has served on the PTA Executive Board at her children's school since 2006, and also volunteers her time with the Girl Scouts of America, AYSO and Young Actors' Theatre. Audrey is mom to two enthusiastic YAcTors, Sophia and Wyatt, each of them proud to say they've found a second home at YAT.

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Whitney Deuel  - Vice President

Whitney is originally from Denver, Colorado, but has called the San Diego area home for over 20 years. She lives in the Fletcher Hills area raising her two daughters.  She has a BA in Comparative Literature from Colorado College, spent almost a decade working in scientific publishing, another decade staying at home with her girls, and is now learning a new career in the mortgage industry.  By chance, Whitney found YAT about 9 years ago when she wanted to share her love of musicals with her then 4-year old daughter, Lorelei.  In 2016, Lorelei took a musical theatre class here at YAT, voiced her desire to learn about behind-the-scenes and then served on the crew of Willy Wonka…and was hooked!  Whitney’s younger daughter, Tabitha, joined the YAT family as an actor as soon as she was old enough in The Lion King, Jr. in 2018.  Whitney is extremely proud to spend her time and energy supporting her girls on stage, backstage or in the tech booth at YAT.  YAT provides them both with friends who “get them”, a safe place to be who they really are, and skills and confidence they will take to adulthood.  And it’s a lot of fun too! 

With what little spare time Whitney has, she enjoys cross-stitching, photography and reading.

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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 & Theatre, 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.

 Board of Directors


Alex Carter

Alex Carter (or Alexandra to eccentric English teachers) grew up in San Diego. She is happily married to Nick Carter and mom to two girls, Paris and Audrey. Alex retired from a career in tech, developing and maintaining web presences. She always wanted to be involved in theater as a child, but never got the opportunity. (She now realizes working behind the scenes is MUCH more her style and has no desire to take the stage). When Alex’s children showed an interest in plays, she jumped in with both feet! She happened upon YAT in 2014 and feels very lucky to have found such a wonderful place for her children to feel at home. At YAT, her children have found experiences giving them a foundation in self-confidence and taking chances; being vulnerable, open and feeling accepted for who they are.

Alex also has a passion for sewing and making pottery. When not stressing about costumes, she can often be found working on her next quilt, attempting to reduce her fabric stash or centering some clay and perfecting the handles on her mugs.

Betsy Alvarez

Betsy and her 2 daughters found their second home at YAT. She found her love for costuming, her oldest learned that she loves performing and wants to make a career out of it, and her youngest discovered an interest in technical theatre. She loves supporting her daughters in whatever they're passionate for and is happy that YAT provided a safe space so they can do what they love. We've all made very fond memories here and amazing friends. 

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Tammi Marshall

Tammi is a teacher and Department Chair at Cuyamaca College. Originally from Chicago, but having lived in San Diego now over 30 years, Tammi has loved theater her whole life participating through high school and always going to shows. Tammi became involved with YAT in 2017 when she signed her daughter up for a show. She lives in Spring Valley with her husband Steve and children, Charlie and Kate. Tammi believes YAT helps build confidence and teamwork in all who participate. 

Jamie Keller

Jamie Keller is a Native San Diegan.  She has been married to her husband, Paul, since 2000.  She is an Office Administrator at a CPA Firm in Sorrento Valley.  She has two children Mandy and Ryan.  She has devoted past years to volunteering at her kid’s school. She was a member of the PTA Executive Board and has been involved with Girl Scouts.  She resides in Fletcher Hills with her family.  Her daughter has been active in Young Actors’ Theatre since 2014.  All it took for this shy little girl was one amazing director (Gerry) and one amazing Choreographer (Jonathan) and a great show and she was hooked!


Jessica Nichols

Jessica is a San Diego native who was suckered into being a theater mom by an outgoing and adorable 8 year old with stars in her eyes. Now 6 years later she loves her YAT family and loves being in the greenroom with all of the YAT kids. Special skills include defusing drama, quick changes, and sarcasm!


Elise Pett


A native San Diegan, Elisabeth (Elise to her friends, Lis to her family,) lived in many states as the daughter of an Army officer, before moving back to Pacific Beach. She was fortunate to be raised in a family that valued and encouraged participation in the arts, as well as STEM subjects, and spent many years studying music, dance, theatre and mathematics. After learning to sew from her talented mother, Elisabeth started crafting costumes while still in high school. She attended Grossmont College with a major in Theatre Arts, and later attended Ashford University for a degree in accounting. Since 2001, Elisabeth has been the director of a virtual private school. More recently, she launched her own virtual bookkeeping business for pet care providers. Elisabeth was introduced to YAT in 2014 by friends who thought her daughter would be interested in a youth theatre that had a welcoming family atmosphere. She believes YAT embodies both a love for the arts and community service, which Elisabeth feels are invaluable for a balanced life. Having volunteered at both Grossmont Hospital throughout high school, and for 5 years at the San Diego Natural History Museum as a marine mammal naturalist/whale watching tour guide, she strongly believes volunteerism is a vital part of life that sets a valuable example for children, and makes communities stronger. Elisabeth and her husband, Aaron,have 3 children, Richard, Astrid (YAcTor) and Jack. She is currently in charge of YAT’scostume warehouse, so if you see her wandering around the theatre, please bring her coffee. 


Emily Vossbrink


Emily Vossbrink was born in Pasadena and moved to San Diego to attend SDSU.  She graduated with a degree in Biology and spent many years in the Biotech industry.  For the last 15 years she has worked at Qualcomm as an Engineer. She has always been involved in dancing, singing, and theater throughout her upbringing, and now gets to experience it with her kids.  She has twin nineteen year old daughters and a teenage son. Her daughters were involved in musical productions when younger, and now her son is highly involved and loves it. He has been in multiple shows and is currently in the theater group at his high school.  Emily has enjoyed spending many hours making costumes, working the snack bar and just being involved in the whole theater experience.

Auxiliary Board of Directors

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