Much Ado About Shakespeare, LLC


"All the world's a stage..."


Our Professional Staff

“With all the learned council of the realm”

Much Ado is directed and staffed by professionally trained Shakespearean actors with extensive teaching experience. Our staff (past and present) has trained at such nationally recognized schools as Julliard, North Carolina School of the Arts, Yale, Harvard, UNC, the Howard Fine Studio, and Carnegie-Mellon.

Stuart Calof co-owner and artistic director

Stuart Calof specializing in Shakespeare, acting, text analysis, stage combat and improvisation, Stuart has taught extensively in homeschool programs throughout Ventura and Los Angeles counties.  Other teaching credits include: The Will Geer Theatricum Botancium, City Hearts and The Lee Strasberg Institute. Stuart is also a professional actor and director, currently working with the Knightsbridge Theatre Company. Acting credits include: Hamlet in Hamlet, Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet and Boolie in Driving Miss Daisy. He received his training at UC, Berkeley, Stella Adler Theater and the Howard Fine Acting Studio; in addition to his J.D. from UCLA Law School.

Rebekah Czarnecki: co-owner and artistic director

Rebekah Czarnecki teaches Juggling, Clowning, Dance, Music, and Shakespeare. Professional credits include: Company member of Santa Clarita Shakespeare Festival:  "Kate" in The Taming of the Shrew, "Ariel" in The Tempest, "Rosalind" in As You Like It and most recently "Lady Olivia" in Twelfth Night;  Company memeber with CFS at Festival Stratford! workings several summers on the lawn at The American Shakespeare Theatre in CT:  Rosalind in Love's Labour's Lost, "Titania" (2004) and "Helena" (2013) in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and also As You Like It, Romeo and Juliet, Cyrano de Bergerac and assistant directing alongside the Artistic Director for A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2009) and The Taming of the Shrew (2016).  Company member of Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum: Hamlet, The Taming of the Shrew, Harold and Maude, and Twelfth Night. Also actor and director for National Theatre for the Performing Arts, The Muckenthaller Theatre, Grove Theatre Centre and a proud alumni of Improv Olympic West Alumni. Dramatic Training: North Carolina School of the Arts.  Most notably, a proud mother of 3 sweet girls and her baby boy. 


Tim Shelton received his training at Illinois Wesleyan University.  Some of his favorite professional NYC, Regional and touring credits include Twelfth Night, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Much Ado About Nothing, Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, Cyrano de Bergerac, Love’s Labours Lost, South Pacific, 42nd St, The Three Musketeers and The Outsiders.  In addition to a strong acting, musical and dance background, he is quite skilled at everything combat, being certified on six difference weapons with extensive training, choreography and performance experience.  One of his favorite experiences being with the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire.  He loves teaching Commedia dell’arte, Improvisation, Elizabethan Manners and Style, Song, Dance, Combat, Acting and, of course, Shakespeare.




Charles Maceo teaches Shakespeare, Improvisation, and Acting. A few highlighted stage credits include: Two summer seasons with the Connecticut Free Shakespeare Company (as Don John in Much Ado About Nothing and Oberon in A Midsummer Night's Dream), Red Carter in August Wilson's Seven Guitars (Orange County Premiere), David Logan in a National Tour of Roll of Thunder-Hear My Cry, and Claudius in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. Maceo has also numerous on-screen credits including: a national commercial for Honda, a recurring role on ABC's Emmy award winning General Hospital, and a co-star role in HBO's Golden Globe nominated series True Detective.  


Cylan Brown has worked for several years with the Kingsmen Shakespeare Co.’s educational tour, developing and implementing the program’s curriculum as well as performing for elementary school students.  He has also taught Shakespeare in performance, including text analysis and clowning, at the Sage Ridge Academy in Nevada. As an actor, Cylan has performed such roles as Hamlet, Romeo, Julius Caesar, Mercutio (Romeo and Juliet), Edmund (King Lear), Parolles (All's Well That Ends Well), Philip (King John) and Dromio of Syracuse (The Comedy of Errors). His credits include other notable companies such as: Shakespeare by the Sea, Los Angeles Actors Ensemble and South Bay Civic Light Opera. Cylan received his Bachelor’s degree in Theater from Northern Arizona University, with a minor in English Literature.


Angela Gulner is a writer and actor who earned her MFA in Acting from the American Repertory Theater Institute at Harvard University. She's preformed professionally at the Moscow Art Theater, the American Repertory Theater (MA), the Great River Shakespeare Company (MN), A Noise Within (CA), Shakespeare by the Sea (CA), and Kingsmen Shakespeare Company (CA). She's also been seen on television in STALKER, SILICON VALLEY, and GLEE, as well as in a variety of Independent films. Angela is currently in-development for a project she is co-writing and is producing her first feature length film. She's taught Shakespeare in elementary schools across California, in high schools in Nevada, and to college students in Minnesota, where she originates from. Most recently, Angela preformed as Hermia in A Midsummer Night's Dream and Princess Katharine inHenry V with the Kingsmen Shakespeare Company in Thousand Oaks. 


Mary Ellen Moreno received her classical acting training from Cal Poly Pomona (B.A.) and Columbia University (M.F.A.). She's worked on stage in New York City and Los Angeles in productions ranging from new works off-off Broadway to Shakespeare off-Broadway and regionally. To date, her favorite Shakespeare roles have been Pheobe in As You Like It (with The Young Company at Classic Stage Company), Hermia in A Midsummer Night's Dream (at Theatricum Botanicum), and Romea in R&J, and Olivia and Sir Andrew in Twelfth Night (both with Mine is Yours Theatre Company). She has taught Shakespeare and contemporary acting, as well as speech and rhetoric to students ranging from 3rd grade to the undergraduate level for many years, and adores doing it! Oh, and you can catch her in a couple national commercials from time to time.


Cloie Wyatt Taylor teaches acting, dance, improv, and history. As a dancer she has studied and performed with the Dance Theater of Harlem, Debbie Allen and the National Ballet as well as internationally with the finest dance masters in Cuba. As an actress, she appears in Atlanta Underground Film Festival indie favorite, Assisting Venus and on the small screen, in episodes of Brothers and Sisters and Private Practice.

Dramatic Training: New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts (Atlantic Theater Company, C.A.P. 21)


Andrew Wofford is an award winner actor.  In 2014 he graduated with honors & a BFA from California Institute of the Arts. He is currently the Executive Producer at Perpetual Productions a multi-media company based out of Austin Texas. As a director and teacher, he specializes in Stage Combat, Acting, Speech & Debate, Theatre Production, Shakespeare, Improvisation and Scene Study.  He is also a producer and actor of film and stage with some favorite stage credits including Edmund in King Lear and Horatio in Hamlet. In 2014, Andrew worked alongside Disney Imagineers as the youngest intern ever hired to the program. Andrew is excited to bring his expertise to the kids of Much Ado About Shakespeare, LLC.


Leah Wiitablake started as a student for Much Ado and was with us for ten years before taking on an internship for the Ventura program.  From there, Leah moved on to a staff position and has been with us as a lead director and instructor for several years leading classes and directing shows in Mammoth Lakes, Orange County, Lake Casitas, Debs Camp in Los Angles and many more.  Some of her favorite roles were Le Bret from Cyrano de Bergerac, Lear from King Lear, Camillo from The Winter’s Tale and Malvolio from Twelfth Night. Leah has taught crafts, Commedia Dell’arte, song and dance, mask work, and theater games.


Sarah Boughton started her professional training at the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts (LACHSA) and then went on to receive her BFA from Syracuse University.  She spent several years working in New York City then returned home to Los Angeles, where she has performed and taught ever since.  Some favorite credits include Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Julius Caesar, The Comedy of Errors, Measure for Measure, The Miser, The Seagull, A Tale of Two Cities and two tours with the National Theater of Performing Arts: To Kill a Mockingbird and The Miracle Worker. Sarah is a member of the critically acclaimed theater company Son of Semele Ensemble.  Before teaching with Much Ado, she taught Improv and Shakespeare with Will & Co.  One of her favorite teaching experiences was working acting into the Native American studies curriculum with a third grade class.  The students wrote, directed and performed their own legends.  Sarah teaches Shakespeare, Improv, Comedia Del ‘Arte, Voice and Speech, and Scene Study. 



Yvonne Senat Jones received her B.A. in theatre arts from California State University, Long Beach and is currently acquiring her M.F.A. in Acting from the University of South Carolina.  This year, she has returned to her hometown of Long Beach, CA to complete an internship in Los Angeles.  She has experience in Shakespeare acting and text analysis, improvisation, movement, commedia dell’arte, and clowning.  Some of her stage credits include the highly sought-after roles of Blanche DuBois in a Streetcar Named Desire, Lady Macbeth in Macbeth, and Gertrude in Hamlet.  You might also have seen her face on an Anna’s Linens commercial that is currently running.  For the past 5 years, she has volunteered in the children’s program at her church leading songs, managing arts & crafts, and facilitating theatre games.  She is very excited to help the talented children at Much Ado shine on stage!


Jennifer Layton hails from the Jersey Shore and got her BFA in Theater from New World School of the Arts in Miami. She has toured nationally 3 times with both Theatreworks USA and National Theater of the Performing Arts in Ramona Quimby (off-Broadway), The Outsiders, and The Odyssey. Other regional summer stock companies include: North Country Center for the Arts (NH), American Stage Festival (NH), Astors Beechwood Theater (RI), Julie Harris Theater (CO),  (Phoenix Theater Co.) (NJ), First Ave.Playhouse (NJ), Towncrier Summer Theater (PA), and Connecticut Free Shakespeare (CT). Shakespeare credits include Olivia from Twelfth Night, Antipholus of Ephesus from Comedy of Errors, Peaseblossom from Midsummer Nights Dream (2X), Juliet from Romeo and Juliet.   Jennifer loves to teach Shakespeare, Improvisation, Dance, Acting, Voice and commercial industry classes. She has been a commercial talent agent for 10+ years, currently head of  the commercial department at Firestarter Entertainment. Jennifer is also aerialist and ballet/modern dancer for Media City Ballet, Pacific Ballet Dance Theater, and the adult performance troupe of the Aerial Studio.  In addition to teaching and directing with Much Ado, she has taught at dance schools for many years and she also heads up the theater program at the Aerial Studio in Ventura, CA.


Annalisa Derr specializes in Improv, Commedia, Shakespeare and more!  She worked in NYC’s Off-Off Broadway for 10 years and has specialized physical theater training (Commedia dell’Arte and South Indian Classical Dance) from master teachers in Italy and India. Additional directing experience includes, Jose Rivera’s The Winged Man in Arezzo, Italy; 24 Hour plays in Salem, OR; and her original piece, Journey to the Goddess, a play about goddesses and mythology. Her favorite Shakespeare roles include, Desdemona in Othello, Olivia in Twelfth Night, and Celia in As You Like It


Kelly received her BFA at Wayne State University in Detroit, and continued her extensive training at Carnegie Mellon, Michigan Opera Theatre, the University of Detroit, and Oakland University.  Kelly’s experience as an actor, singer, and teacher has brought her to such cities as Detroit, New York, Los Angeles, Volterra, Italy, and Frankfurt, Germany.  In Los Angeles, she became a long-standing company member at the Knightsbridge Theatre, where Kelly directed and appeared in many productions, some of her favorites being A Piece of My Heart; Musical! the Musical; Comedy of Errors; Shakespeare’s Greatest Hits; Into the Woods; Dames at Sea; and Marat/Sade. Kelly also co-wrote and directed Macbeezy, the Macbeth Hip-Hopera at the Knightsbridge with her husband, Mark. Other directing credits include As You Like It at the Santa Clarita Shakespeare Festival. Kelly also adapted and directed a modern touring production of Romeo and Juliet for the Festival. Her film career includes an award for best actress in the film Click Three Times from the New York Independent Film Festival.  As an educator, Kelly has taught Shakespeare, Commedia dell’Arte, Improvisation, Dance, Musical Theatre, Creative Writing, and Film Production classes in over 50 schools and homeschool groups in LA and Ventura Counties. She is honored to have had the opportunity to teach for Much Ado About Shakespeare for over 13 years, during which time some of her favorite productions include a youth adaptation of Macbeezy, a Commedia dell'Arte style Taming of the Shrew, a post-apocalyptic Cymbeline and numerous productions of her students' brilliant plays from her playwriting classes.


Mike Anderson is a writer and actor trained at the North Carolina School of the Arts. Recently his TV Pilot Flawless Execution placed third in the UCLA pilot competition, and was featured in the Hollywood Reporter as a writer to watch. His short play version of Flawless Execution also won Red Bull Theater's inaugural short play festival and will be published by Stage Rights later this year. His TV Pilot "The Drama Dept." was produced by the Irregulars LLC in 2011. Other work as a writer: Mr. Sasquatch Goes to Washington(9Thirty Theater), Rub-A-Dub  (Working Theater), The Best Play Ever... Seriously! (Oscar and Lottie Productions.)  As an actor: Comedy of Errors, Othello, and Three Musketeers (Alabama Shakespeare Festival), Love's Labour's Lost and Romeo and Juliet (Riverside Shakespeare Festival), The Foreigner (Pioneer Theater), Bell, Book, and Candle (Triad Stage), Fat Pig (Speakeasy Stage), The Rover (New York Classical Theater), as well as the Off-Broadway premiere of The Invested. As a teacher: scene study workshops for Riverside Shakespeare Festival, East High School Speech Competition, as well as work with Young Storytellers and Reading Partners in Los Angeles.


Jenny Mercein recently relocated from her native New York to Santa Barbara, where she is currently a Visiting Professor at UCSB in the Theater Dance Department. An actor, teacher, and director, Jenny received her B.A. in Theater Studies and the History of Art from Yale and her M.F.A. in Acting from The University of Washington. She is also a graduate of the New York Shakespeare Festival/ Public Theater Shakespeare Lab. Jenny works extensively as an actor in theater, film, and television. NY Theater credits include “Hillary” with New Georges, “Good Morning, Bill” with The Keen Company, “Gallethea” at HERE, and “Animal Farm” with Synapse Productions. Regional Theate credits include: Christiane in "Sherlock Holmes and the Adventures of the Suicide Club" at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, and Kelli/Martha/Chorus in "X's and O's: A Football Love Story," a new play she co-created at Berkeley Rep, Desdemona in "Othello" (Pioneer Theater), Beatrice in "Much Ado..." and Portia in "Julius Caesar" (Alabama Shakespeare Festival), Beatrice in "Much Ado..." and Mistress Ford in "Merry Wives..." (Shakespeare Festival of St. Louis), Olivia in "Twelfth Night" (Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival), Rosalind in "As You Like It" (Connecticut Free Shakespeare), Florida Studio Theater, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Fulton Opera House, Stamford Center for the Arts, Seattle Children’s Theater, and ACT (Seattle). T.V./ Film: 30 ROCK, BLUE BLOODS, UNFORGETTABLE, LAW & ORDER, “The Prospects,” and “Birth Date.” Recent directing credits include “Mother Eve’s Secret Garden...,” (NY Fringe), “The Uses of (Dis) Enchantment” (Cornelia Street Cafe), and assistant directing gigs at Lincoln Center and The Alabama Shakespeare Festival. She's taught acting at AMDA, Fordham University, Queens College, Nassau Community College, and Scott Freeman Studios.


J. Tyler Jones specializes in Shakespeare, improv, and stage combat. He received his theatrical education from the Florida State University School of Theatre, including a semester in London, and is a proud member of the Society of American Fight Directors. Tyler has taught theatre to children ranging from elementary to high school in Florida, Georgia, and Southern California. While still in high school he helped found The Shakespeare Studio, a non-profit specializing in Shakespeare performed by and for young adults in the North Metro-Atlanta area. Tyler performs semi-regularly with the main stage company at the National Comedy Theatre, an improv theatre located in San Diego. Favorite theatrical productions include: A Midsummer Night's Dream, Henry V, Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead, Mud Blue Sky, Now or Later, and Machinal.