Staff Members

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Jean Johnstone (Executive Director, Oakland) is the founding Executive Director of the Applied Theater Action Institute, a non-profit that offers innovative community programs both in the SF Bay Area and internationally, and is on the advisory council for TASC of California.

Jean studied at The Moscow Art Theater in Russia. She spent several years teaching drama and applied theater, and directing new work in Hong Kong, China, at the Hong Kong University Graduate Association College, and was a delegate at the IDEA International Arts Education congress. She has created and implemented curricula for several year-long drama courses for hundreds of students, taught workshops for teachers on using Drama in Education, and facilitated the creation of original theater pieces by young people on topics that mattered to them most, including the 2008 Best Script award-winner from the EMI Drama Festival, on the topic of global warming, and works about the migration of Chinese in 1947-49. For the last several years she has directed productions at SFJazz by formerly homeless artists, pairing them with local artistic mentors. She also served for four years as the theatrical director for the David Herrera Performance Company of San Francisco, a modern dance/theater company focusing on works related to the Latino Diaspora, and continues to advise them. Previously she was an artistic director of The Red Gate Performance Collective’s Rococo Risque Cabaret (Best Theatre Ensemble SF Weekly 2005). She was a founding member of the Million Fishes Art Collective in San Francisco, and a Theater Arts Resident at the San Francisco Arts Education Project. She holds a Post-Graduate certificate in Theater Arts from University of California, Santa Cruz, as well as a B.A. in Theater Arts from UCSC, and certificates from the Moscow Art Theater and Eugene O’Neill Theater Center.


Kenny Allen (Membership Director, Oakland/Long Beach) received his B.A. in Theatre Arts from California State University, Fullerton. Kenny also studied theatre management under Dr. Jim Volz, and put his skills to the test in the marketing annex of Cal State Fullerton’s Department of Theatre and Dance and as a freelance marketer for several small businesses. Kenny has worked in the marketing, development and administrative departments for companies such as The Laguna Playhouse, Shakespeare Orange County, Segerstrom Center for the Arts, and South Coast Repertory. Prior to joining TAG, Kenny worked as the marketing director for Marin Shakespeare Company. In addition to his work with TAG, Kenny currently serves as the Managing Director of Evolve Theatre, a Long Beach based Applied Theatre company.

Caryn Cooper (Quarterly Magazine Administrative Associate, New York) is a dance administrator, educator, performer, and writer from Long Island, NY. She began her dance training at a young age studying ballet in the Royal Academy of Dance
(RAD) technique and other dance forms such as tap, jazz, hip hop, modern and West African. She has had the opportunity to perform at various venues in the Greater New York City Area including, Lincoln Center, Radio City Music Hall, Tilles Center for the Performing Arts, the 92Y, Ailey CitiGroup Theater, Central Park, and The Wild Project. Administratively, she has worked for a number of arts organizations including Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Ballet Hispanico, and the New York City Center. Currently at Flushing Council on Culture and the Arts, she works to plan arts education programs for students and seniors in underserved communities throughout Queens and the New York City Metropolitan area. Under the direction of Dr. Martha Eddy, Caryn is a Moving for Life Certified Instructor (MFLCI) where she uses dance to help breast cancer recovery patients and those dealing with pain caused by chronic illnesses. Caryn is a member of Americans for the Arts (AFTA), the National Dance Education Organization (NDEO), the New York State Dance Education Association (NYSDEA) and Women of Color in the Arts (WOCA). As a writer, loves to talk about how dance is making an impact in our society. Her writings have been published by BroadwayWorld Dance, Dance/NYC, and the Americans for the Arts- ArtsBlog. She is the recipient of the 2017 WOCA Leadership Through Mentorship and the 2016 AFTA Diversity Award. Caryn holds a BFA in Arts Management from LIU Post, and a MA in Dance Education from New York University.

Wendy Shiraki (Quarterly Magazine Production Associate, Alameda, CA) graduated with a BA in Architecture from the University of California at Berkeley and a BFA in Graphic Design from the California College of the Arts. She worked as a graphic designer for marketing and publication companies and currently does freelance work for a variety of local organizations. Engagement with her own children’s education inspired her to obtain a multiple subject teaching credential at Mills College and a single subject credential in art from California State University East Bay. After many years of teaching visual art in both public and private schools she enrolled at Boston University and completed her Master of Arts degree in Art Education. While finishing her specialist certificate in Integrated Learning from the Alameda County Office of Education she encountered TAG and immediately joined as she felt passionate about TAG’s mission to promote teaching artistry. She is currently taking a pause from teaching to focus on her art: drawing, painting and printmaking and learning to work with other media like bookmaking and textiles. She also plays the oboe and English Horn in local amateur SF Bay Area music groups and is an enthusiastic supporter of community music.