Director of Youth Programs

Steven Hess A recent transplant to Mill Valley, Steve lives with his wife and son just a few blocks away on Miller Avenue! He took the helm as Youth Program Director in the summer of 2011, after working as the head of the MYP Summer Camp and serving as director for MYP’s productions of Les Miserables, Sound of Music and A Storybook Christmas. Steve brings a wealth of theatrical training, teaching, directing and performance experience to the post. He studied acting in New York City at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy. He then worked at Wagner College in Staten Island, where he taught acting and directed major productions. Steve founded 23 Elephants Theatre Company with his wife Bidalia, where he has directed Othello, Marisol and several original productions. Steve’s recent bay area performances have included Mr. Bumble in Berkeley Playhouse’s production of Oliver!, the Proprietor in Ray of Light Theatre Company’s Assassins and Dwight/God in Jerry Springer the Opera, also with Ray of Light, for which he was nominated for a BATCC Award for best supporting actor in a musical.

Program Staff

Bidalia E. Albanese (Choreographer/Instructor) is a performer, choreographer and director. Born and raised in New York, she trained at the School of American Ballet, the High School Of Performing Arts and graduated from the Guildford School of Acting in England. Her directing credits include Private Wars and The Unspeakable Act which premiered at The New York Fringe Festival. Bidalia's choreography has been seen at Guildford, Fullerton College, Wagner College, and The Hell Festival in NYC. She has performed in the UK west end, NYC (off off Broadway) and all around the States.

Jordan Best (A Cappella Ensemble Director) has been teaching voice in the bay area for 3 years now. She has a Masters degree in Voice (opera) from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM), and a Bachelors Degree in Voice from DePaul University in Chicago. She has performed in opera and musical theatre throughout the Bay Area, Chicago, Cincinnati, Italy, and France.

June Cooperman (Choreographer) has been choreographing musical theater for the past eight years, including MYP's production of The Music Man and several Mill Valley Middle School musical productions. She is happy pursuing eclectic dances interests, ranging from ballet to ballroom to Bulgarian, as well as tap dance and jazz. Prior to her life as a mother, choreographer, and dancer, June was a primary care physician in San Francisco and Boston.

Amy Marie Haven is the artistic director of Tomorrow Youth Repertory, a new children's musical theater company in the east bay. She has directed for and acted with many companies in California and internationally, including the award-winning Sleepwalkers Theatre (voted best theatre company of 2009- SF weekly), Four Larks Theatre (Melbourne Australia), and Shakespeare Santa Cruz. She studied Literature and Theater at UC Santa Cruz and has been directing children's musical theater in Alameda since 2009. Amy Marie believes she couldn't be spending her time doing more important or fulfilling work.

Ben Malkevitch (Musical Director) Ben Malkevitch is equally at home as a music director, vocal coach, and collaborative pianist in the worlds of opera and musical theater. He has music directed several shows for The Menlo School and Notre Dame de Namur University and has put together productions ranging from Oklahoma! to Spring Awakening and from Guys and Dolls to Songs for a New World. Mr. Malkevitch has collaborated with Lamplighters Music Theatre, Livermore Valley Opera, and BASOTI. Last fall, he had the opportunity to perform Beethoven's Choral Fantasy with the Livermore-Amador Symphony. Mr. Malkevitch is music director at First Congregational Church of San Francisco and Assistant Conductor of Bella Musica, a chorus based in North Berkeley. He holds a Masters' Degree in Collaborative Piano from the Cleveland Institute of Music.

Rebecca Martin (Director/Class Instructor) is a Bay Area AEA actress, working for 20 years on stage and in film, voice-over and commercials. She has taught and directed in youth drama programs throughout the Bay Area and recently created and began teaching her own class, “Discovering the Actor Within You”: an amalgamation of acting technique and personal empowerment. She is a recent graduate of the MFA program at The National Theater Conservatory in Denver, CO. Favorite roles include: Elmire in Tartuffe, Hamlet in Hamlet, Sheila in HAIR The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical and in her one woman show combining the writings of Virginia Woolf and Portia from The Merchant of Venice. Bay Area credits include work with Fools Fury and California Shakespeare Theater. She is a graduate of Middlebury College and believes in the advancement of our local art scene here in Mill Valley.