Retired Jean Shelton is considered one of the finest acting teachers in the country. Her career began in New York City in 1947 when she began acting at the American Repertory Theatre with Broadway actor/director Wendell Phillips whom she later married. She was closely associated with Stella Adler, Harold Clurman, and Lee Strasberg, (considered the founders of the American method style of acting) among many others. She acted and directed in New York during the 1950's and onetime for Tennessee Williams in his first play Hello from Bertha in 1956 to his delight.
She left New York City in 1961 and married Robert Elross where they founded the 14th Street Arts Center and the Playhouse Theatres before establishing the acting school that bears her name. She has been a consultant for major motion pictures, television studios, and film directors and has been encouraging actors for over 50 years now. Her students have won Academy Awards, Emmy Awards, Tony Awards, Obie Awards, and countless local awards. She received the Payne Knickerbocker Lifetime Achievement Award in 1989.
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Matthew Shelton is the son of two well-known artists, Jean Shelton and the late Robert Elross. After graduating from the University of California at Santa Barbara he began studying and acting in plays to begin what he considers his true formal education. Besides his parents, early artistic influences came from Broadway actor/director and Group Theatre member Wendell Phillips. He studied acting in New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Other artistic influences came from two Russian Director/Actors Oleg Liptsin (Russian Academy of Theater Arts, Moscow) and Sasha Tihiy (Moscow Shukin Theatre School). After a series of San Francisco play performances, he received his Equity Stage card by performing in Orphans at the Marin Theatre Company to wide critical acclaim. As a natural comedian one of his performances in Laughing Wild was reviewed as "easily the finest comedic performance on the San Francisco stage." As a performer he has acted in classics such as; Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Long Days Journey into Night, Of Mice and Men, Death of A Salesman, The Seagull and others.
He has performed in radio, television commercials, film and theater and has directed/produced over 25 theatre productions including the landmark productions of Edmond, Glengarry Glen Ross, Marat/Sade, The Big Funk, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, The Cherry Orchard, and many others. He has acted, directed, produced, and taught over the last 25 years and in 1993 he founded the Shelton Theater where he continues to work with veteran Bay Area actors and directors while providing opportunity to new artists. He has also taught acting at the College of the Arts and the San Francisco Art Institute. He is Artistic Director of the Shelton Studios where the art of acting in cinematic and theatrical performance is studied and created.
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Julie Dimas-Lockfeld has taught acting classes in San Francisco since 1980. She began teaching Movement for Actors at the Stage Group Theatre School, under the direction of Wendell Phillips, where she trained for 10 years and was a member of Stage Group's Ensemble Theatre Company. She later taught similar bodywork and inspired ongoing acting classes, as a founding member of the Phoenix Theatre where she also acted and directed. In 1996, she received a Bay Area Performing Artist Fellowship Award studying with a wide variety of film and theatre artists including, Cory Adams, Margie Haber, Richard Seyd and Ed Hooks.
Julie taught acting classes at the Mark Monroe Studio for several years and has been teaching acting for the past five years at the Academy of Art College and currently the Shelton Studios. Her work has become a synthesis of traditional Stanislavsky Method training, Michael Chekov techniques and deep personalization practices.
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Catherine is an award-winning actress residing in San Francisco. She began her serious quest for a life in the theatre in the late 80's, studying at the Jean Shelton Studios. She became a company member with the Actors' Theatre of SF, performing in numerous productions, receiving various nominations and awards for her performances from the Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle, and received many nods from Dean Goodman Dramalogue Awards. Upon embarking on the career of motherhood, Catherine's role with the company shifted to Associate Artistic Director, and co-directed many award winning productions with Christian Phillips. Once her children were both of school age, Catherine hit the pavement again as an actor, and began an ongoing relationship with the critically acclaimed resident theatre company of Intersection for the Arts, CampoSanto, where she is a company member. She has performed in over 10 world premieres with the company, having the great fortune of working first hand with such renowned writers as Jessica Hagedorn, Denis Johnson, Jimmy Santiago Baca, Octavio Solis, Luis Saguar, Greg Sarris, Dave Eggers, Vendela Vida, Junot Diaz, and Naomi Iizuka. Catherine is also an associate artist with the California Shakespeare Theatre. Credits with the theatre include Hippolyta in A Midsummer Night's Dream, Polina in Tom Stoppard's translation of The Seagull, Bardolph and Vernon in Henry IV, the Widow in All's Well that Ends Well, Emilia in Othello, various characters in the ensemble of The Life And Adventures of Nicholas Nickelby, Mistress Page in The Merry Wives of Windsor, Queen Margaret in Richard III, and Corine in Triumph of Love in a co-production with San Jose Rep.
Catherine has been a committee member for two seasons for play selection with the Playwright's Foundation of SF, and a member of Theatre Bay Area's Theatre Service Committee. She has performed in addition with the Magic Theatre in a world premier of the 13 Hallucinations of Julio Rivera, read short stories by Isabelle Allende for Isabelle Allende at the Aurora Theatre of Berkeley, work shopped an original play, directed by Jonathan Moscone for ACT, amongst many more readings and workshops for various theatres throughout the bay area. She is currently part of a development team through the ZSpace on a play with the working title Los Alamos Project, having work-shopped in Santa Fe in the Fall of 2006 at the renowned Lensic Theatre. Catherine has taught with Campo Santo's Hybrid Summer Institute and in the past taught at the Shelton Studios instructing Techs I and II. She has performed in numerous industrials locally, and featured in the independent films Quality of Life and Night Flyers. She is a member of Actors' Equity and AFTRA.
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Oleg Liptsin is an internationally renowned drama director, actor, and educator. During the last 15 years he has directed theatre productions, conducted classes and workshops in the United States, Canada, India, France, Austria, Spain, Poland and native Ukraine. His main credits include Sophocle's Antigone, Joyce's Ulysses, Chekov's Cherry Orchard, Shakespeare's Hamlet, Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, and Beckett's Endgame. Oleg was awarded the "Best Director" prize in Ukraine, the National Award for Experimental Work in Theatre. He has participated in dozens of international festivals and projects. Currently he teaches in Paris, Moscow and in San Francisco with the Shelton Studios.
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Kindrid Parker is a writer, award-winning filmmaker, and founding member of San Francisco-based production company Last Wave Film. He grew up in Columbia, South Carolina writing stories and experimenting with Super 8 film, video tape, and audio recording. He made his way to San Francisco in 1992 and began his creative career publishing fiction and experimental prose through a number of literary journals, including the post-punk, rogue publication 3am and the half-century-old surrealist cornerstone The Walrus. His voice as a writer and longtime experimentation with film naturally met, and in early 2007, Kindrid founded his production company, Last Wave Film.
The films he's written and directed have been on view at various mainstays of the Bay Area filmmaking community: The Pacific Film Archive/Berkeley Art Museum, The Artists' Television Access, The Knew Nothing, Ark 221 Gallery, The Cafe Revolution, The Space Gallery, and many others. His most recent film, Act III, Scene 1, a contemporary revision of William Shakespeare's Hamlet, won City Shorts Film Festival and is currently receiving outstanding public reception on the festival circuit. As a working producer and assistant director, Kindrid is also a vital contributor to countless Bay Area productions. Informed by his background as a writer, his films are literary, visceral, hypnotic, and fitful; operating according to the rhythms and logic of the id. Kindrid is currently in pre-production on his feature film Trubble, an impressionistic coming of age allegory about children in the deep south.