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.
back to top
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.
back to top
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.
back to top
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.
back to top
Mike has been working as an actor for over forty years. He started as a child actor, appearing in dozens of television, radio and print advertisements. Over the decades, he has continued to work in the theater and on-camera. He has worked with The Shelton Theater, American Conservatory Theater, Berkeley Rep, Civic Arts Rep, Theatre First, Actors Reading Writers and as a company member of Shakespeare Project Chicago. He has worked on-camera in many commercials, industrial training films, television productions and feature films. Mike had the great fortune of training for several years with our school’s founder, Ms. Jean Shelton; starting as a teen in Berkeley, then as an adult in S.F and in L.A. He also trained for three years with Actors Studio Member and instructor, Charles Gordone. Mike studied at A.C.T, S.F Mime Troupe, Berkeley Shakespeare Festival, the Pacific Conservatory for the Performing Arts and Lookingglass Theater Company. He holds a B.A in Theater/Broadcasting from Columbia College Chicago and a M.A in Education from U.C Berkeley. He holds a CA teaching credential, which allows him to teach classes for teens through adults. He taught English at Berkeley High School for over six years. Mike has taught acting for many years, and previously served as the Associate Dean and lead acting teacher for the Bay Area Youth Theater. He has taught on-camera and improv with Kids-on-Camera , directed at Berkeley High School and is now in his second year in teaching improv and communications with College Internship Program in Berkeley. He also serves as the Director of Education at Berkeley Community Media, where he teaches and supports teachers in all aspects of television production and filmmaking, including on-camera acting, directing, interview technique and more recently, stop motion animation.
As an acting teacher, Mike includes Theater Games, Imrov, text & character analysis and seeks to foster the students’ imagination , playfulness and sense of liberty in making connections with the text, character and other actors. He creates a safe, welcoming environment that provides room for the student to discover, take risks and have fun in finding meaning in the play and character
back to top
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.