Statera Mentorship: Central Coast was created in the fall of 2018. It was founded by Kitty Balay, Emily Trask, Jennifer Zornow, and Karin Hendricks, who all serve as Regional Coordinators. The chapter, which serves California’s Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties, is currently in its first cycle of pairings. Applications to become a mentee or mentor in the next class will open on January 1, 2020. To receive information about the next round of classes, please sign up for the Statera Newsletter. If you have any questions, please contact our National Co-Directors at

Central Coast Regional Coordinators

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Z (She/her/hers)

Z is a lighting designer, photographer and avid hiker. She holds an MFA in Drama Design with a lighting design emphasis from The University of Oklahoma and a B.A. double major in Theater and Art from Muskingum University. For the past 10 years Z has held the position of Lighting Director/resident Lighting Designer/Faculty for PCPA- Pacific Conservatory Theater in Santa Maria, CA. She has designed lighting for 60+ PCPA shows, favorites include: Disney’s Newsies, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, In The Heights, The Pirates of Penzance, Richard III, Spring Awakening, Always…Patsy Cline, Legally Blonde, Hairspray, West Side Story, Les Misérables, and Ragtime. Other Theatres Z has designed for include: Oklahoma State University, Salt Lake Acting Company, The Grand Theater, The Egyptian Theater, Salt Lake Shakespeare Company, Ririe Woodbury Dance Company, Plan B Theater Company, and Cornell University

Her Teaching Philosophy: Learn by doing, not just talking about it. “Our students benefit from being fully immersed in the shops and the work. As artists it’s our passion to create a story out of thin air, to see the potential in everyday objects and make them magical. I am teaching students not just about how to hang a light, run a lighting console or solder an LED, I’m teaching them a way of looking at the world. What does it take to problem solve, to transform the ordinary into the extraordinary and think for ourselves.”

Z became involved with Statera Arts in 2016 when she attended the second annual conference in Denver, Colorado. Originally from Western New York, Z now resides in California with her husband and their two dogs Rosco and Ranger. More here:


Karin Hendricks (she/her/hers) is an Assistant Professor of Acting and Performance at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, teaching courses in Acting, Voice and Diction, Dialect, Musical Theatre, Introduction to Theatre, and Community-based Verbatim Theatre. She holds an MFA in Acting from the University of California, Irvine and a BFA in Musical Theatre from the University of Arizona. She works in professional theatre as an actor, director, movement coach, and dialect coach. Prof. Hendricks served as a Resident Artist and Head of Movement Curriculum at PCPA (The Pacific Conservatory Theatre) for 9 years. There, she co-founded an ongoing Verbatim Community Based Theatre project- Community Speaks!, which has been performed annually with PCPA since it’s 2009 inception. She continues to serve as head playwright for the project.

Prof. Hendricks holds a certification in Eli Simon’s Clown technique. After completing a mentorship with Simon, she has instructed his clowning approach for 9 years during which she devised and directed 14 original clown shows. She was also mentored by Annie Loui, the founder of Loui Movement Technique (LMT). Additionally, she has worked and collaborated with renowned teachers and directors including Scott Schwartz, Craig Carnelia, Robert Cohen, Philip Thompson, Paul Barnes, Nancy Stark Smith, and Mihai Maniutiu. She has taught various workshops for CETA (California Educational Teacher’s Association), PCPA’s Teacher’s Weekend, Umpqua Community College, and The Great American Melodrama. Workshops taught include Bridging Movement and Impulse, Comedy for Actors, Introduction to Verbatim Theatre, and Clowning.


Emily Trask (she/her/hers) is originally from Wisconsin. She recently relocated to the Central Coast of California from Philadelphia (by way of Houston, by way of New York) to join The Pacific Conservatory Theatre as a Resident Artist and Faculty member.  As an actress, Emily has had the good fortune to work in over a dozen states.  In NYC, she has participated in productions, workshops, and readings at Broadway’s The Lincoln Center, The Lark, The Shakespeare Society/The Public Theatre, E.S.T./nym, WNYC/The Greene Space, Three Day Hangover, and Titan Theatre Co. (for which she is also their literary associate).  Regionally, she has appeared at Baltimore Center Stage, The Folger Theatre, The Alley Theatre (Resident Company Member), Cincinnati Playhouse, The Bay Street Theatre, The Pioneer Theatre Company, The Yale Rep, Yale Cabaret, The Hope Summer Rep, Montana Shakespeare, Next Act Theatre Co, Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, nearly a dozen productions with The Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, and five seasons with Utah Shakespeare Festival.  Film/TV credits include: Daredevil (Marvel/Netflix), The Perfect Murder (Discovery Channel), End of a Summer Storm (Alison Krauss – Sandra Boynton music video), The Violinist (numerous independent film awards), and several local and national television commercials.  She can be heard as Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, Ophelia in Hamlet, and Portia in Julius Caesar on The Folger Shakespeare Library/Simon and Schuster's audiobook series and Shakespeare app. Emily has directed both classical and new plays in every step of the development process (readings, workshops, full productions).  As a dramaturg she has served as the literary associate, a production dramaturg, and a professional script consultant.  Emily is a published contributing expert scholar to The Folger Luminary on-line Shakespeare Texts, is a published contributor to American Theatre Magazine, her essay, The Role of Pants in Pants Roles, has been taught at Colleges and Universities across the country, and she is a nationally and internationally published poet. Emily holds an M.F.A. in Acting from The Yale School of Drama, and a B.A. in Theatre with a focus in Literature from Grinnell College.  AEA and SAG-Aftra

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Kitty Balay (she/her/hers) Bio forthcoming…