Artists and Collaborators

JOPP creates original live theatre in collaboration with different artists. The work produced in these partnerships is key to our creative process: the blend of unique talents and perspectives that each artist brings to the stage in each original work creates new and exciting dynamics for artists and audiences alike.

Our collaborators include:

Joe Orrach - Performer

Joe Orrach is the Artistic Director of the Joe Orrach Performance Project. He is also an actor, singer, dancer and story-teller who has worked in theaters worldwide, in television, and on screen.​ Joe’s performing career started as a boxer. He was Welterweight Champion of the US Air Force before he turned to dance. He started his dance career as a tap dancer on the streets of NYC where Gregory Hines discovered him. On stage, Joe has performed with Joan Baez, Bob Hope, the Smothers Brothers, Michael Davis, Liliane Montevecchi, Bill Irwin, David Shiner, Melissa Manchester, and the Cookie Monster, among others. He has tap danced with such greats as Gregory Hines, Jimmy Slyde and Savion Glover, and old masters including the Nicholas Brothers, Honi Coles, Charles “Cookie” Cook, Chuck Green and Lon Cheney.  He has been directed by Woody Allen (Everyone Says I Love You), James Mangold (Copland), Tim Boxell (Valley of the Heart’s Delight), Stefan Haves (Punch Drunk) and David Shiner (Nacht Mund). 

Jeremiah Chechik - Director

Jeremiah Chechik: Producer, Screenwriter, and Director. Jeremiah studied theatre at McGill University in Montreal. He has been a fashion photographer for Italian Vogue, a commercial director in New York as well as a pioneer in new media with his name on 9 patents. He has directed films as diverse as Christmas Vacation, Benny and Joon, Tall Tale, Diabolique, and Avengers; mini-series such as The Bronx is Burning; as well as multiple television episodes and pilots.

Michelle Dorrance - Performer & Choreographer

Michelle Dorrance, founder and artistic director of Dorrance Dance/New York, is one of the most sought after tap dancers of her generation and “one of the most imaginative tap choreographers working today” (The New Yorker). A 2012 Princess Grace Award Winner, 2012 Field Dance Fund Recipient and 2011 Bessie Award Winner, Michelle performs, teaches and choreographs throughout the world. Michelle has been on faculty at Broadway Dance Center since 2002 and has taught as guest faculty at Steps on Broadway, Duke University, New York University, East Carolina University, The Ohio State University, Barnard College, as well as numerous privately owned studios and national conventions. In early 2011 Michelle founded Dorrance Dance/New York with the mission to help audiences view tap dance, a beautiful, old jazz form, in a new and dynamically compelling context.

Matt Clark - Musical Director & Pianist

Born and raised in Buffalo, New York, Matthew Clark holds a BFA in Jazz Studies from Oberlin Conservatory of Music. After two years free-lancing as an accompanist and instructor in Cleveland, Matthew relocated to San Francisco. Highly regarded as a pianist and arranger, he has performed and recorded with such jazz luminaries as Bobby Hutcherson, Benny Golson, Eddie Marshall, John Faddis, David “Fathead” Newman, Gene Bertoncini, Joshua Redman, and the late tenor saxophonist Teddy Edwards. Clark has toured extensively throughout Asia, Europe and the United States, including appearances at the Monterey, San Francisco, Vienne, Big Sur, Stanford, and Rochester jazz festivals, in addition to televised performances for CNN Showbiz Today and multiple PBS specials. Recognized primarily for his tasteful soloing and supportive accompaniment, Matthew is also a respected clinician whose positions have included lecturer in jazz history and ensemble instructor at the Stanford, Oaktown and Cazadero Jazz workshops.

David Belove - Bassist

Born and raised in Buffalo, New York, Matthew Clark holds a BFA in Jazz Studies from Oberlin Conservatory of Music. Highly regarded as a pianist and arranger, he has performed and recorded with such jazz luminaries as Bobby Hutcherson, Benny Golson, John Faddis, David “Fathead” Newman, Gene Bertoncini, Joshua Redman, and the late tenor saxophonist Teddy Edwards. Clark has toured extensively throughout Asia, Europe and the United States, including appearances at the Monterey, San Francisco, Vienne, and Stanford jazz festivals. Recognized primarily for his tasteful soloing and supportive accompaniment, Matthew is also a respected clinician whose positions have included lecturer in jazz history and ensemble instructor at the Stanford, Oaktown and Cazadero Jazz workshops.

Dan Gonzalez - Drummer

Now a teacher in Bronx, New York, Daniel Gonzalez has had a distinguished career in music. Starting out as a percussionist in the US Army, Dan went on to work with a multitude of incredible musicians, including Tom Harrell, Mark Murphy, Jesse Green, and Urbie Green, just to name a few. With his splendid skills and Latin background, Dan has become the perfect fit as the main percussionist for Joe Orrach’s show, In My Corner.

Kathy Rose - Production/Stage Manager

A Distinguished Alumni from the California Institute of Arts, Kathy Rose’s work has evolved from her early drawn animated films of the 1970’s into unique, pioneering performance work, for which she is now best known. Heavily influenced by Japanese art and theater, Kathy has toured her surreal spectacles in live performance through the United States and Europe. Following her most recent performance of “Opera of the Interior” in Poznan, Poland, Kathy splits her time teaching at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia and spending time at home here in the Bay Area.

Sam Bevan - Bassist

Since moving to San Francisco in 1999, Sam Bevan has established himself as one of the most versatile and creative bassists in the Bay Area. Bevan is able to canvas a large musical landscape where jazz, funk, R&B, folk and Afro-Cuban disciplines joyously intermingle. The foundation was laid for Bevan’s career where he began classical piano lessons at the age of four. Sam’s adoption of the electric and acoustic bass followed periods playing jazz and classical piano, singing professionally, and getting a BA in French. After attending college in Salt Lake City, he now resides a few miles from where he was born in Oakland, California. Throughout his professional life, Sam has had the opportunity to work with a wide range of artists including: David Grisman, Joshua Redman, Kenny Washington, Stacey Kent, Roberta Donnay, Lisa Engelken, Industrial Jazz Group, Bjorkestra, Fil Lorenz Orchestra and the Contemporary Jazz Orchestra.

David Bridel - Director

David Bridel serves as the interim dean for the USC School of Dramatic Arts. He is also associate dean of global initiatives, director of the MFA in acting program, and associate professor of theatre practice. Bridel is a director, choreographer, playwright, librettist, performer and teacher. His work in all these theatrical disciplines has been seen at the Odyssey Theater, the Ford Amphitheatre, the Los Angeles Theatre Ensemble and the Broad Stage in Los Angeles; in opera houses in Los Angeles, Paris, Vienna, Munich, Mexico City, Guanajuato, Santiago and Madrid; on screen (PBS’ Great Performances series and ABC’s Dancing With the Stars); and at universities, festivals and theatres in the U.S., U.K., Israel, China, Hong Kong, Australia, Austria and Brazil. Bridel is also the Founding and Artistic Director of The Clown School in Los Angeles, the only studio in the city devoted exclusively to the study and practice of clowning.

Elizabeth Burke - Performer

Elizabeth Burke is an alumna of the internationally acclaimed North Carolina Youth Tap Ensemble, with whom she spent eleven years under the direction of her mentor, Gene Medler. She is a founding member of both Bessie Award-winning dancers Michelle Dorrance and Caleb Teicher’s companies, Dorrance Dance/New York and Caleb Teicher & Company, and also presently dances for New York-based dancers Derick Grant, Aaron Tolson, Adam Metzger (SLURP), and Xander Weinman (Reaction). She is on faculty at the American Tap Dance Foundation, and recently filmed Nostalgia: A Tap Movie (producer Dule Hill, director Johnnie Hobbs, III).

Jim Cave - Technical Director & Lighting Designer

Jim Cave has designed numerous shows for theaters and playhouses around the Bay Area, including the Aurora Theatre, Campo Santo, Word for Word, S. F. Playhouse, Berkeley Rep, Traveling Jewish Theatre, Anna Halprin, Theatre Artaud, the Eureka, the Magic and Z Space. Jim also teaches at Laney College in Oakland and directs throughout the Bay Area. For twenty-five years he has focused on the development of new theatre, multidisciplinary, and site-specific performances and has directed and designed plays, dance, dance-theatre, opera, new music theatre and site-specific spectaculars.

Michael Davis - Performer & Director

A third-generation San Franciscan, Michael’s creative efforts began early. In the early ‘70’s, Michael was handpicked from over 2,000 applicants to attend Clown College. Upon graduation, he landed a job as a clown with the Ringling Brothers Circus. Since then, Michael has been featured on The Dick Cavett Show, The Tonight Show, Merv Griffin, 20/20, and Night of 100 Stars, among others. A Command Performance at the Ford Theatre found him in the company of Liza Minnelli, Ben Vereen, and Natalia Makarova. He has been honored by his peers with a Drama Desk Nomination and a Theatre World Award for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical for his performance in Sugar Babies.

Colin Douglas - Percussionist

Grammy award-nominated drummer/percussionist/educator Colin Douglas was born in New York City. Mr. Douglas studied percussion at both the Lawrence University Conservatory of Music and the Manhattan School of Music, where he worked extensively in both the classical percussion and jazz drum set programs. After college he studied Latin percussion in Cuba as well as with many master percussionists in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he has lived and played professionally for 16 years. Mr. Douglas has performed and recorded with a diverse group of musicians ranging from Latin acts such as Jesus Diaz y su Qba, Ray Obiedo, and the Wayne Wallace Latin Jazz Quintet – with whom Mr. Douglas received a Grammy nomination in 2013 – to R&B and rock acts such as Donna Summer and Slash.

Ronnie Gutierrez - Percussionist

Ronnie Gutierrez is an accomplished and versatile percussionist and drummer with decades of experience touring, playing, and recording music worldwide. His father, 1960s percussion icon Mike Gutierrez, was his earliest inspiration. By age twelve, Ronnie had his own band and was performing for school and church events. Ronnie attended Dick Grove School of Music in Studio City, California. Ronnie’s credits include concert and album performances with Grammy Award winning artists Andrea Bocelli, Jeffrey Osborne, Brenda Russell, Mariah Carey, Gladys Knight, Macy Gray, Natalie Cole, George Duke, Poncho Sanchez, and many more. He has performed with the California Philharmonic, Germany’s V.D.R. Orchestra, and Holland’s Metropole Orchestra. Ronnie’s band has performed privately for Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mel Gibson, Former Disney CEO Michael Ovitz, Rod Stewart, Sheri Belafonte and many more. Ronnie has also played for The Oscars and The Emmys.

Stefan Haves - Director

Stefan Haves is an acclaimed director, creator and producer of circus, theater and film whose creations have appeared on stages, festivals, and screens across the globe. His work has been a favorite at Cirque du Soleil since 2006, where he has collaborated on creative teams as a Comic Act Designer, Casting Partner, and Master Teacher on nine shows, including O, Love, and Ka. Haves’ credits include directing and collaborating with performers like Joan Baez, Val Kilmer and Tim Robbins, as well as six years as the primary writer/director at Dinner/Cirque Teatro Zinzanni in San Francisco and Seattle. As a performer, Stefan’s work has also garnered global recognition, most notably as his celebrated character “Backman” appearing on stage, at festivals, and on television screens worldwide after claiming $10,000 on America’s Funniest People in 1991.

Dino Herrman - Sound Designer

Dino Herrmann is a master at composing and mixing music. His studio, Sculptured Music, provides composed or library music and audio postproduction services such as final film mixing, dialogue editing, sound design and location recording. He has worked extensively as both a music mixer and technical adviser on many theater and film productions as well as many well-known music albums, working closely with such artists as Faith Hill, Josh Grobin, Destiny’s Child, Coldplay, Guns ‘n Roses, and many more. Some of his best-known movie credits include programming and advising for Troy, Alien vs. Predator, and The Day After Tomorrow.

Andrew Nemr - Performer & Choreographer

Mentored by Gregory Hines, Andrew is considered one of the most hardworking and diverse tap dance artists today. Whether playing with Nat Adderley Jr., directing Cats Paying Dues, or co-founding the Tap Legacy™ Foundation, Inc., Andrew has garnered a reputation for impeccable musicianship and sensitivity, and respect for the craft that he loves. A TED Fellow and the artist in residence for the Quarterly Arts Soiree (QAS) at Webster Hall, Andrew received an NEA Masterpieces: Dance Initiative Grant to reconstruct the works of classic tap dance soloists, garnering critical and popular acclaim upon their presentation in Echoes In Time.  Collectively, Andrew’s choreography and solo work has been described as “a welcome return to the elegance of simplicity and the tap dancer as maker of aural magic” (exploredance.com) and “deeply touching” (Daily Gazette).

Micha Noor Patri - Percussionist

Micha received his Bachelor of Music from the Oberlin Conservatory in 1999, where he studied with jazz drummers Greg Bandy, Michael Carvin, Joe Morello, and Dennis Mackrel, as well as with composer and educator Dr. Wendell Logan. Micha studied African diaspora drumming with Adetobi Greg Jackson and dancer Adenike Miriam Sharpley, and has performed with both. He performed with the award-winning Oberlin Jazz Septet and Ensemble. One of the Bay Area’s most versatile drummers, he has performed with scores of notable musicians.

Sandra Reaves-Phillips - Performer

Sandra Reaves-Phillips was born on December 23, 1944 in Mullins, South Carolina, USA. As a film actress, she is known for ‘Round Midnight, Lean on Me, and For Love or Money. She was nominated for a 2010 Joseph Jefferson Award for Actress in a revue for “Low Down Dirty Blues” at the Northlight Theatre in Chicago, Illinois. She has toured in Europe with her Gospel Show, sang for an audience of 8000 at the Vatican, and had a private audience with the Pope. She recently appeared as The Chanteuse in San Francisco’s long running “Teatro Zinzanni,”, guested with Ray Charles in concert at West Point, and sang for the President of China at the invitation of Mayor Willie Brown of San Francisco. Ms. Reaves-Phillips has been nominated for two Helen Hayes Awards and the NAACP Image Award. She was the recipient of the 1998 AUDELCO Award for her portrayal of Bertha Mae Little in ROLLIN on the T.O.B.A.

Patrick Toebe - Technical Director & Lighting Designer

Patrick has an extensive background in lighting and scenic design. His work has been seen across the United States and in Japan. His work includes lighting design for Theatre Flamenco, the World Institute on Disabilities, California Revels, Sacramento Ballet, Tulsa Ballet, Alabama Ballet, Knoxville City Ballet, San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival, Sierra Shakespeare Festival, Centre Repertory, and Solo Opera. He has created lighting and scenic designs for Theatre of Yugen, Foothill Theatre Company, Pacific Alliance Theatre Company, Summer Repertory Theatre, A.C.T.’s Junior Rep, Centre Repertory, and many more. Patrick has been a professor in the Theatre Arts Department of the City College of San Francisco since 2006.

Chris Trujillo - Percussionist

Chris Trujillo  has performed, recorded, and toured with many well-known bands throughout his distinguished career. These have included: The Black Crowes, TOTO, Diana Ross, Eagles, Rod Stewart. Elton John, Richard Marx, Rick James, Ike Turner, Issac Hayes, Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Kenny Rankin, Vikki Carr, El Chicano, and Tierra. Chris considers himself blessed to have worked in a wide variety of musical styles.

Eugene Warren - Bassist

Eugene plays double bass and electric bass in various styles ranging from classical jazz to world music.  He received a Bachelor of Music in jazz performance from San Francisco State University.  He regularly plays in clubs and venues with many groups throughout California.

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