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.
Christopher Sullivan graduated acting school. From there, he had many big parts in a lot of plays nobody saw, and some very small parts in movies a lot of people saw.
After growing tired of constantly being type cast as the nerd and not wanting to be the next Screech or Irkle, Sully spent much of his twenties and early thirties sailing Tallships, making people laugh, and chasing wind and women. By the age of 29, he was the Captain of the Tallship Spirit of Dana Point.
After meeting his wife, he swallowed the anchor vowing never to go to sea again. It was in his thirties and forties when taking his love of being in charge to heart, he opened and became the Artistic Director of the now failed Modjeska Playhouse. Thanks COVID.
Now, firmly within the clutches of middle age, Mr. Sullivan is trying to figure out what to do with his life. His aforementioned wife won’t let him have a drum set, so his dream of being a drummer in a Shoegaze band is not in the equation.
He has two kids, and a dog, loves electric vehicles, riding bikes and sleeps better in a tent than at home. He also plays with puppets, writes pretty well, and is pretty damn ok at improv.
Carina graduated Cum Laude from the University of California, Irvine, with a B.A. in Drama and Honors in Musical Theatre. She has been a working actress and vocalist for over 15 years, and is a proud member of Actors Equity Association. Carina's experience includes New York City theatre, national tours, regional theatre, digital media, web series, and cast album recordings, as well as international work as a principal vocalist for Hong Kong Disneyland, Universal Studios Singapore, Silversea, Seabourn, and Holland America. Her work has taken her to more than 80 different countries!
Carina is also a seasoned and enthusiastic teacher and director, with more than a decade of experience as a teaching artist (highlights include working as a musical theatre teacher at the acclaimed Atlantic Acting School in NYC, and directing professional singers and dancers in theatrical shows on board a Holland America cruise ship as an installation director for Belinda King Creative Productions). Since relocating home to sunny Southern California, she has directed dozens of shows for artists of all ages. Carina firmly believes in the power of arts education, and is thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Braver Players!
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.
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.
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!