Chelsea directed her first show, “Annie“, at the age of 7 in her second grade classroom. She cast the show, told everyone where to stand, and made herself the lead role. Thirty two years later, she is doing the same thing.
Growing up with a community theater background she discovered her love of teaching combined with theater during college where she received a Bachelors in Education from Syracuse University and a drama minor. She then went on to receive a Masters of Education from Columbia Teacher’s College in New York. Chelsea dove into teaching and started a drama program for kids at the middle school in New York. She was then recruited to start a drama program in Chicago where she wrote curriculum for pre K-eighth grade in addition to teaching. During this time she started directing major productions for middle schoolers as part of an afterschool program.
Chelsea then moved to California and directed major productions through outside organizations before starting her own company, Braver Players Theater Company. Directing credits include “Bye Bye Birdie,” “Grease,” “Sound of Music,” “Annie,” “Fiddler on the Roof,” “Little Shop of Horrors,” “Romeo and Juliet, ” “Footloose,” “Hairspray, ” and “Guys and Dolls.” Chelsea’s favorite part of theater is the look on the actors’ faces when they know they have become their character. Chelsea lives in Newport Beach with her husband and two kids.
Choreographer and Dance Instructor
Jenna Solkow has been training in Ballet, Jazz, Contemporary, Modern, and Hip Hop since she was 9 years old. In high school, she danced competitively with Focus Dance Center and performed in many different cities around Southern California. She made her choreography debut at the age of 14, when she created her first dance piece for her high schools Dance Showcase. She has been in love with choreography ever since.
Now in college, Jenna is continuing to pursue a dance career. She attended Orange Coast College where she became involved in the dance program and earned an Associates Degree in Dance. In the Fall of 2017 she will be continuing her education at California State University, Long Beach where she will graduate with a Bachelors degree in dance.
Jenna has been with Braver Players for a year, working mostly with the junior actors. She has choreographed 3 productions; Beauty and the Beast, Annie Jr, and Showstoppers 3. She also assisted in the choreography of the teen productions of Chicago and Shrek: The Musical. She is excited for her future choreographic endeavors with with Braver Players theatre company.
Pamela Emans has worked in many aspects of theatre on the stage as an actress, as well as behind the scenes: in costume, make-up, house managing, and stage managing for various productions in Los Angeles. Pamela is a graduate with honors from California State University, Fullerton where she earned her degree in Theatre Arts. At the age of 11, Pamela first fell in love with theatre when she was given the opportunity to play a skunk in The Magic Flute-through a company, much like Braver Players that came to her elementary school. Pamela enjoys working with and being around children. Pamela strives to inspire a love and respect for theatre in children as she was inspired.
Seana is thrilled from vocal cords to twinkle toes to be a part of the Braver Players family. She has had the pleasure of working with this talented group for over four years, beginning with the Kaiser Elementary production of The Little Mermaid. In addition to being a part of many Braver Player productions such as Mulan, Peter Pan, Sleeping Beauty, and Jungle Book, she is also the lead singer in local Orange County band Loose Change, and has performed in numerous OC musicals and productions.
Nathaniel has been directing musical theatre for the past 17 years. Some of his favorite projects have been WOZ national tour, Broadway Memories concert featuring Sutton Foster, Adam Pascal, and Kerri Butler, Broadway Wishes concert Featuring Laura Osnes and Norm Lewis. His first love will always be working in children’s theatre and is so excited to be working on Braver Players production of Shrek.
Race grew up playing baseball, and was first introduced to musical theater in third grade. From then on he continued dividing his time between the two, until finally in his junior year of high school, he decided to put all his efforts into musical theater. At 18 years old, he is currently participating in an opera, while also acting and choreographing for Braver Players, and he is looking forward to improving on his musical theater skill and continuing to expand his horizons!
Rachel has produced, directed, stage managed, costumed or propped musical theater shows all over Orange County for the last ten years. Her favorite shows include, Les Miserables, Beauty and the Beast, and Aladdin. Rachel studied drama in college and put aside her aspirations to become a mom, her greatest pleasure! Now, Rachel enjoys working for Braver Players directing youth groups at different elementary schools around Orange County and especially working with the Braver Players who hold a very special place in her heart.
Props & Sets
Alex’s theatrical experience began in grade school when she started writing, directing and performing in her own productions. Alex has an M.A. in Communications from Cal State Fullerton and loves to write. As a backstage veteran of several youth productions, Alex enjoys her role as “Prop Mama,” supporting the troupe with “the best sets and props this side of Broadway!”
As a long time enthusiast of all things theatrical and #1 fan of Braver Players Theater Company, Anne has been able to bring these passions alive with her work as costumer for a diversity of shows that go from the gutters of 18th century France to the nightclubs of pre-war Berlin to the fairytale world of ogres and princesses. Love and gratitude to Chelsea for her friendship, talent and courage.
Abby Christensen has been part of Braver Players Musical Theater Foundation since its inception. Watching the students develop their passion and talents has been a privilege for her. Abby’s role is behind the scenes. She manages communication, ticket sales, and volunteer commitments. She enjoys putting her organizational and creative skills to work. During productions, her role shifts to front of the house; managing door sales, grams and concessions.
Brooke Metayer has been training in various styles of dance since she was seven-years-old. In high school, she competed solos and group dances in regional and national dance competitions with Focus Dance Center, as well as competing with her school's pep squad and song team.
Eventually, she decided to take her dance training to the collegiate level. Now, she is in her third year at Chapman University in Orange, California, where she is pursuing a Bachelor's Degree in both dance and public relations & advertising. There, she choreographs and participates in various dance performances through both the school and on-campus clubs.
This is Brooke's first year with Braver Players. She loves choreographing musicals and plans to continue dancing and teaching for years to come.
Brian is a proud member of the teaching staff in the Acting Conservatory at Orange County School of the Arts. There he teaches On Camera Acting as well as Voice and Diction. Previous other schools include –Cal State Dominguez Hills, Concordia University, Gary Spatz’s the Playground, AA4K Studios in Irvine, The Merage JCC in Orange County, Stage Time L.A., as well as Laguna Playhouse. In addition to being a teacher and acting coach, Brian is a professional stage actor and acting teacher based in Long Beach California—as well as a proud new Dad to son Dashiell, and husband to his wife Sarah. Raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Brian has worked on stage in regional theatres such as the American Conservatory Theatre, Theatreworks, and Berkley Repertory Theatre Company. Some notable performances were the West Coast Premiere of “Spinning Into Butter” by Rebecca Gillman; “The Miser”, a collaboration between Berkley Rep and Theatre de le June Lune; “A Christmas Carol” and “The Imaginary Invalid” both at the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco. Brian has received a B. A. in Theatre Arts from Santa Clara University, and an M.F.A. from the American Conservatory in San Francisco, with Los Angeles training at The Groundlings and John Rosenfeld Studios in Hollywood.
Landon Bullard grew up listening to his mom play lots of hymns and classical music on their family heirloom baby grand piano, cultivating a subconscious passion for a wide range of choral-based and intricate pieces alike. It wasn’t until his teenage years that he decided to begin taking weekly piano lessons, and only in his final year of high school (after the nascence of the BP troupe) did he begin to act on stage for Chelsea. Today, Landon enjoys performing in all areas of musical theatre (though he’s still working on his rather subpar dancing skills) and is especially excited for the opportunity to pass on the knowledge that he has learned while studying a subject as beautiful and fascinating as music!
Katie Perry is a professional actress, singer, teacher, director, and choreographer. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre from the University of Oklahoma, and is an Orange County School of the Arts musical theatre alum. She is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association and has performed all over the country. A few of her recent credits include: Inga in Young Frankenstein, Katherine u/s in Newsies, Nurse Cora McRae in South Pacific, Beth in Little Women, Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance, Belle in Beauty and the Beast, and Miss Dorothy in Thoroughly Modern Millie. She has also appeared at 54 Below in New York City in Bartram and Hill’s new musical, The Theory of Relativity and was a featured soloist with Susan Egan in her concert, The Belle of Broadway. Katie teaches in the Musical Theatre Conservatory at Orange County School of the Arts. She is thrilled to be joining the Braver Players and loves working with the next generation of great musical theatre talent!
Cameron has been performing for over seven years, receiving training in acting, voice and dance. As a kid, his mom and grandmother first introduced him to theater taking him to see the classics such as Annie, Wizard of Oz, Mary Poppins, and Sound of Music and he fell in love with the magic of live theater. He’s always been a little spaz, so when he starting taking dance class, he felt right at home. Some of his favorite shows he’s performed in include Rocky Horror, American Idiot, West Side Story, and How to Succeed. He made his choreography debut his senior year with his high school’s production of “Fiddler on the Roof” and has loved creating ever since. Cameron has been performing with Braver Players for around six years and is grateful to Chelsea for bringing him onto the team as a choreographer. He is currently pursuing a degree in theater arts.
Mackenzie Malhotra (She/Her)
Mackenzie Malhotra has been doing theatre since she was 6 years old. Originally from Denver, Colorado, she grew up taking classes and doing shows at the Academy of Theatre Arts. With ATA, she was in a musical theatre performance group that traveled to Disneyland every summer for performances and workshops. There, her love of musical theatre (and Disney of course) grew.
She left Colorado to pursue her BFA in Musical Theatre at the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University. After graduating college, Mackenzie set off to Seattle. In Seattle, she did the Arts Education Internship at Village Theatre KIDSTAGE, which fostered her love for teaching. In Seattle, Mackenzie acted professionally, taught countless theatre and dance classes, choreographed many youth, high school, and semi-professional productions, and even started her own youth musical theatre performance group--just like the one she did growing up!
Now in Southern California, Mackenzie is taking a step back from performing and focusing on teaching and choreography (and going to Disneyland). Her favorite dance styles to teach are tap and musical theatre. Mackenzie is thrilled to have found a company like Braver Players, and is go grateful for how graciously she has been accepted into the Bravers family. She can’t wait to keep learning and growing within the Bravers community!
Julia Barbee is thrilled to work at Braver Players! She started out doing children's theater productions at the age of 9, starring in shows such as Annie, Grease, and Thoroughly Modern Millie, as well as countless musical revues. At 10, she began taking acting lessons, and at 13, began taking classical voice lessons. Upon entering ninth grade, Julia was admitted to Orange County High School of the Arts into the opera conservatory. While there she had the pleasure of performing at both the main theater and the concert hall at Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Disneyland, and back-up for Susan Egan, as well as various recitals, choral concerts, and opera scenes. Julia graduated from California State University Fullerton with a bachelor's in child development and a minor in music. She is still active in Orange County’s theater scene, having appeared in productions at Long Beach Playhouse and The Attic Theater. After years of professional training and auditioning, Julia wants to pass on her knowledge to help out the next generation of young performers.