Renee DeWeese

Co-Founder

renee@performingacademy.com

Renee grew up in Moraga and attended Donald Rheem, JM and Campolindo High School. Renee went on to study Musical Theatre at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts where she received her BFA in Drama (CAP21 Studio). Renee has been teaching, directing, choreographing and running children’s theatre programs throughout the Bay Area since 2004.  Renee has performed professionally in the Bay Area with CCMT, DTC, Woodminster, and American Musical Theatre of San Jose. Renee received her second Shellie award for choreography for CCMT's OKLAHOMA! and a 2010 Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award for best supporting actress in a musical for her portrayal of Cassie in A CHORUS LINE.


Rena Wilson

Co-Founder/Executive Director

rena@performingacademy.com

Rena began her professional career at age 8.  She is currently a cast member in Steve Silver’s BEACH BLANKET BABYLON.  A two time Bay Area Critics Circle Award winner for her work in San Francisco playing the roles of Suzie Trevor in LADY BE GOOD (2011) and Ruby in DAMES AT SEA (2010) Rena is well known to the east bay theatre audiences for her many leading roles including Diablo Theatre Company’s HELLO DOLLY! (BATCC Award nominee), Marian in THE MUSIC MAN, and Wendy in PETER PAN (Shellie Award Nominee). Rena has been teaching, directing, choreographing , vocal directing and running children’s theatre programs throughout the Bay Area since 2004. She also teaches private voice and piano lessons. Rena has a Bachelor of Music Degree in Vocal Performance from San Jose State University. Learn more at:  www.renawilson.biz

Save

Kori Barton

Director of Design | M.S. Hospitality & Recreation Management, B.S. Hospitality & Tourism

While others had normal childhood hobbies, Kori grew-up making lists and organizing anything she could get her hands on. This natural aptitude blossomed into a career of organization and management. She joined the Performing Academy family when they began in 2012 and has loved being part of this happy and thriving business. Her cheerful personality is coupled with a knack for creativity and a can-do attitude to help the business run smoothly. Kori earned her Masters degree in Hospitality & Recreation Management and Bachelors degree in Hospitality & Tourism from CSU East Bay. She is happily married to her best friend & high-school sweetheart, Sammy, and enjoys DIY home projects, thrift shopping, church, and obscure English words.

Ginny Wehrmeister

Program Manager | BFA in Theatre Arts

Ginny@performingacademy.com

Joins the Lamorinda Theatre Academy after having served as a resident Teaching Artist and Director of Education at Town Hall Theatre in Lafayette. Ginny received her BFA in Theatre Arts from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She continues to study her craft, while pursuing her master's degree, along with occasionally finding time to perform. She has studied at A.C.T. and Berkeley REP, working with such teachers as Andrew Hurteau, Andy Murray, L. Peter Callender, Rebecca Castelli and Jessica Richards, among others. You can catch her on stage in December reprising her role as Mrs. Cratchit in Center Rep's "A Christmas Carol".  Ms. Wehrmeister is the recipient of three East Bay Shellie Awards for acting-- Best Actress In A Play--"Bus Stop", Roleplayers Ensemble Theatre; Best Actress In A Play--"Educating Rita", Diablo Actors Ensemble; Best Actress in a Play -- "Pygmalion," Town Hall Theatre Company. Most recently she received a TBA award for her role in THTC's production of "Play It Again, Sam". Ginny has worked all over California, working with such companies as DTC, CCMT, Sierra Repertory Theatre, Altarena Playhouse and many, many more. She is honored to share her strengths and talents with the students and families of Performing Academy. 

Carmen Lessa

Production & Shop Manager | Bachelor of Arts in Dance with an emphasis in Musical Theatre

Carmen@performingacademy.com

A Fairfield native, she began studying ballet at age four with Solano Civic Ballet. She trained vigorously there for nine years, later dancing with the Benicia Ballet, Sacramento Ballet, and Ballet Wichita. In high school, Carmen took tap and jazz at Dance Direction, headed by Lisa Clark, whose Lisa Clark Dancers reached the quarter-finals in America's Got Talent.  Carmen has also attended the esteemed Actor Training Program at Solano College where she performed in HOW TO SUCCEED… and THE PRODUCERS as well as leading roles in ROMEO AND JULIET and EURYDICE. Carmen has been seen performing all over the bay area at various theatres including: Contra Costa Musical Theatre, Pacific Coast Repertory Theatre, Berkeley Playhouse, Tri Valley Repertory Theatre, Douglas Morrisson Theatre, and Diablo Theatre Company.

Taryn Daggs

Studio Manager

Taryn@performingacademy.com

Taryn was born and raised in Santa Clarita, California where she grew in her love for dancing, singing, and acting.  From ages 4-6 she got her first taste of dance doing tap and ballet.  While she bounced from sport to sport as a child she kept coming back to the musical arts.  She performed in Hart High School Show Choir during all 4 years of High School.  Taryn sang in a quartet in her competition set her Freshman year and received the Director’s Choice award her Senior year.  While earning her AA in General Education at COC and DVC, Taryn continued taking dance classes including Jazz, Modern, and Dance for TV.  In 2008 she moved to the Bay Area where she got a job at Oakwood Athletic Club.  She was promoted from within and became the Assistant Manager of the Childcare Department while also being a Manager On Duty.  Taryn loves to help coordinate events and retreats at her church, NorthCreek church.  She joined the PA family in 2017 and couldn’t be more excited to combine her love of performing arts and kids!

Sierra Dee Rankin

Music Manager

Sierra@performingacademy.com

Found her passion for musical theatre at the age of 16. She was called in to accompany her first show, “The King and I,” and immediately fell in love with the music, the people and the experience of theatre. Since then she has worked her way up from accompanist to a Musical and Vocal Director working in the Bay Area. She works with many different companies including Contra Costa Civic Theatre, Douglas Morrison Theatre, Tri-Valley Reparatory Theatre, and Pacific Coast Reparatory Theatre. Beyond working as a Musical and Vocal Director for theatre companies, she also is the Musical Director for Cal State East Bay – she plays and directs the musical theatre classes while also musically directing their winter musical each year. As the oldest of five, she has always had a soft spot for children and truly feels that teaching music to children is the greatest gift someone can give. She enjoys giving her students a basis for understanding music whether it is for piano, voice, or musical theatre. While she majored in classical piano performance at Cal State East Bay, she soon realized that teaching music to all ages was what she wanted to do. She recently decided to go back to school and is attending San Francisco State University to get her Bachelors of Music in Music Education to have a degree that better suits her career.

Ricky Tabor

Technical Director

Bio coming soon

Meet our Teaching Artists

All Academy instructors are background checked and finger printed. Instructors have been notified and educated about mandatory reporting laws and their responsibilities.  They are offered training and certification in first aid including CPR.  Instructors are also required to attend instructor retreats where they are trained to uphold specific methods and standards of instruction.