Meet our Education Director:
Lissa Slay is the founding Education Director for American Coast Children’s Theatre (ACCT), where she has been working since 2015 to build American Coast Theater Company a high-quality, sustainable musical theatre program focused on youth ages 7 and up.
Summer camp programming includes levelled workshop classes covering theatre fundamentals such as acting, makeup, stage combat, technical theatre, prop creation, and more, ensemble building, theatre games, and of course, preparation for the workshop production of the camp’s title, which includes elements of the fundamentals covered in the workshops.
After debuting Seussical Jr. in just nine days with forty-five students, Lissa worked to add a second camp to ACCT‘s summer series. 2016 saw growth from 2015’s Seussical into 2016‘s The Jungle Book KIDS and James and the Giant Peach, Jr. With the second camp production, Lissa made it a goal to include adult college interns as the adult roles in the show, with the dual aim of strengthening the intern performer/educator experience and teaching young campers about collaborating across all ages. Lissa’s aim for the 2016-17 year was to expand ACCT into after-school musical theatre programming at elementary schools. ACCT brought the joys of The Lion King, Jr. and Peter Pan, Jr. into two local schools and achieved that aim, and Summer 2017 brought The Aristocats KIDS and Schoolhouse Rock Jr. to the Lyceum stage. The 17-18 year included two more after-school musical theatre productions, Seussical Jr. and Madagascar Jr. The start of the 18-19 season, Summer 2018, saw our continued growth with more enrollment opportunities in our biggest summer yet – nearly 120 campers between our two shows, Aladdin KIDS and Alice in Wonderland, Jr. The 18-19 year saw yet another after-school musical booked, with three Vanguard alumni (including two Summer 2018 interns) joining in to helm the creative team. We are celebrating about our fifth year, Summer 2019, and invite you to follow ACCT at facebook.com/americancoastchildrenstheatre.
For further background on our Education Director, Lissa holds a B.A. in Directing for the Theatre, M.S. in Education, California Teaching Credentials in both primary (multiple-subject, authorization for Drama/Theatre - CSUF) and secondary (English - UCLA).
She is the full-time Director of Theatre at Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, also serves as a Segerstrom Center for the Arts teaching artist, leading professional development workshops in integrating theatre into general classroom practice; as a Segerstrom/Disney Musicals in Schools teaching artist, she works to bring sustainable musical theatre programming into Title I schools and has supported programming in Newport-Mesa Unified (Rea Elementary), Magnolia Unified (Maxwell Elementary), Santa Ana Unified (Madison Elementary), and Tustin Unified (Heideman Elementary). Previously, Lissa was an elementary theatre teacher, to grades five and six, in Orange Unified School District, taught Theatre at Chaffey College, worked with ages 4-19 at the film conservatory the Playground in Costa Mesa, and toured seventeen states, four tours, with the acclaimed Missoula Children’s Theatre. She also serves as a member of the Teaching Artist Guild of California regional advisory council, supporting not only the arts in the classroom but also the artists who teach them. Lissa is the blessed mother of two toddlers and the wife of a theatre director/professor. Proud member, Educational Theatre Association and California Educational Theatre Association.