BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Executive Board of Directors
Jean Isaac - Founder
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.
Jamie Keller - Treasurer
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!
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.
Joe Dionisio - Vice President and 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 scenic and 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 production stage 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’s productions 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 special education, where he is currently 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 & 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 (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.
Whitney is originally from Denver, Colorado, but has called the San Diego area home for 21 years. She and her husband, Jeff, live in the Fletcher Hills area raising their two daughters. She has a BA in Comparative Literature from Colorado College and spent almost a decade working in scientific publishing before choosing to stay home with her kids. She serves as 1st VP on the PTA at one of her daughter’s schools, is an active volunteer at the other school as well as a Girl Scout leader and substitute paraprofessional. By chance, Whitney found YAT about 7 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.
Harry Muns is the Deputy Chief, Director of Operations for the City of Chula Vista Fire Department. He currently oversees all emergency operations to mitigate approximately 21,000 calls for service per year. To accomplish this, fire operations deploys 14 response units out of 9 fire stations throughout the 52 square miles of the city. Harry has worked for Chula Vista Fire Department since 1996 and has filled all operational positions throughout his career.
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.
Connie lives in La Mesa with her wife and two sons. Her son, Dylan, has been with the YAT family since 2014. Connie has been employed in the public service field for 15 years. Connie has also worked in the printing industry doing graphic design, design production and printing for more than a decade. Connie studied sound, light and editing in college and obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in English from National University. Connie believes YAT instills the importance of team work, self-confidence and respect in children and helps them flourish outside the walls of YAT. The positive atmosphere YAT provides will help children grow into positive role models in the future.
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.
Nancy Worlie was born in San Diego and raised in East County. She graduated from SDSU and then spent several years each in Nevada, Washington, DC, and Oregon before coming back home to raise a family with her husband Paul. They have two boys – an athlete (Jack) and a performer. While his family knew he was destined for the stage, Nate fought it for years – that is, until, he spent a week at a Young Actors Theatre camp in January 2018. Nate has not stopped singing or dancing since. Nancy grew up performing on various stages around San Diego as a teen, so she loves the theatre and believes it is an awesome creative outlet that builds confidence in kids. She is proud to support Young Actors’ Theatre and when not decorating the YAT lobby, driving Nate to rehearsal or attending Jack’s baseball or water polo games, she managed to squeeze in a fulfilling career at KPBS. She has been at the public media station since 2003 and now serves as the Associate General Manager for Content and Communications.
Auxiliary Board of Directors
Jason is a graduate of Grossmont High School and the University of San Diego with a degree in finance. Jason started his theatre life helping backstage when his daughter, Catherine, started doing shows several years ago. This lead to a friendship with fellow board member, John Demaree, who introduced Jason to the wonders of theatre tech and sound. Jason has been the sound designer for virtually all YAT shows in the last three years and you will find him in the tech booth from Super Saturday to the closing show. He also provides tech assistance to the drama departments at both St Augustine and the Academy of Our Lady of Peace, where his children attend high school. Bring him a Starbucks and a Snickers and he will show you all the cool stuff in the tech booth.
John has been our resident Lighting Designer and Technical Consultant since 2015. Highlights of his work with YAT include Fiddler on the Roof, Beauty and the Beast, Into the Woods, Legally Blonde, and Shrek. In 2017, John was a recipient of the SDPAL Star Award for his work with YAT. When NOT working in the theater, John is the Pastor of the Ramona United Methodist Church.