2019 Teen Summer Drama Camp

Creative Sonoma LogoAges 14 – 18

AFTER PARKLAND BANNERMade possible by generous support from Creative Sonoma and Risk Press Foundation


Teens 14 -18 work with seasoned theater professionals to research, write and perform an original play about the subject of gun violence. Students participate in daily classes focused on writing, improvisation, scene work, life stories, interviews, music and media to create their own play.

Course Description:

Young people today are legitimately concerned about the issue of gun violence and safety. Many feel helpless and want to know more about how they can be part of the solution. MSWs 2019 Teen Camp seeks to provide youth with tools to positively address their anxieties and concerns through artistic expression and conflict resolution.

Through theater exercises, research and respectful sharing, teens will gain skills in critical thinking, observation, listening, conflict resolution, and self-expression. Students experience a deepened understanding of themselves in the world and with it a voice to express their fears, passions, and hopes. In this way students can acquire a sense of empowerment and take a meaningful step toward becoming an element of change in society.


STARR HERGENRATHER – (Lead Teacher) Starr Hergenrather is one of the areas preeminent theater Artist Educators. Starr recently retired as administrative head of the Analy High School Drama Department (2001-2017) where she taught Drama, Dance, History and Stagecraft classes, and directed plays. Prior to her stint mentoring numerous professionally successful students at Analy High, Starr taught Drama, Dance, History and Language Arts at Brook Haven School in Sebastopol (1990-2001). Starr Hergenrather’s credentials and formal education include: B.A. in Theatre Arts from Sonoma State University (1987); California Multiple and Single Subject Clear Teaching Credentials (1987); B.A. Theatre Arts/English from Colorado Women’s College/Temple Buell College, Denver, Colorado (1971). She is well versed in the teaching of Theater Improvisation, Creative Dramatics and Physical Education.

DAVID LEAR (Master Teacher/Director) David Lear is a forty-year veteran theater artist: director, designer and teacher. He currently teaches at Alchemia Performing Arts in Santa Rosa where he mentors adults with disabilities in visual art and theater. David was founder and Artistic Director of Shakespeare in the Cannery (2016-2019) and is currently Producing Artistic Director for Main Stage West. He has directed and designed throughout the North Bay since the 1980s receiving high praise from audiences and critics alike. In addition to MSW and Shakespeare in the Cannery, David Lear’s directing projects have been on stage at 6th Street Playhouse, Cinnabar Theater and the former Actors’ Theater of Sonoma County. He has designed for nearly every theater in our area. He holds a BA in Theater Arts from Sonoma State University.

JESSICA LITWAK – (Writing Teacher) Jessica Litwak is an accomplished international educator with a 30+ year career in teaching acting, voice, viewpoints, and playwriting; an award-winning International theatre professional – playwright, actress and director; a Registered Drama Therapist who uses theatre as a vehicle for healing with trauma survivors, and communities in conflict specifically women and youth, to aid in personal and social change; and a successful leader and owner who has founded and directed two companies: The H.E.A.T. Collective and The New Generation Theatre Ensemble. In addition Jessica is an actor and current member of Actors Equity Association and Screen Actors Guild. Jessica Litwak holds the following degrees: Doctor of Philosophy in Theatre & Social Justice, Antioch University; Master of Fine Arts in Playwriting, Columbia University School of the Arts; and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting, New York University. Her relevant teaching experience, though vast, includes: Empire State College: Theatre for Social Change: Acting and Puppet Building and Department Head Poughkeepsie Day School, Director of Drama; and colleges universities throughout America.

MISSY WEAVER (Stage Management/Lighting Design Instructor)  Ms Weaver is a 25 year veteran Director, Actor, Stage Manager and Lighting Designer. She is a founding member of Main Stage West and First Look Sonoma, and has taught and directed students at California Institute for the Arts. One of her specialties is creating pastiche new operas.