Jennifer King

Professor of Theater Arts, Performing Arts Coordinator & Artistic Director

Jennifer King is an award-winning theater maker based in the San Francisco Bay Area.  US and European acting, directing and teaching credits include work for Prague Shakespeare Company, California Shakespeare Theater, Dallas Theater Center, Aurora Theatre Company, Capital Stage, Shakespeare Napa Valley, Lucky Penny Productions, Berkeley Playhouse, Sonoma County Repertory Theater, Cinnabar Theater, Symmetry Theater, the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture, Napa Valley College, Kingston University (London), Sonoma State University and University of California Davis, among others.  Her 2018 production of Dry Powder at the Aurora Theater company was recently awarded a Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award for Best Production (East Bay).  

An arts leader, she has held senior level positions at Sonoma County Repertory Theater (Artistic/Executive Director), California Shakespeare Theater (Director of Artistic Learning), and Dallas Theater Center (Director of Education and Community Outreach).  She is the Founder and Artistic Director of Shakespeare Napa Valley, an auxiliary program of Napa Valley College, where she has directed As You Like it, Pericles, How Shakespeare Won the West, Much Ado About Nothing, Twelfth Night, The Taming of the Shrew and The Comedy of Errors. 

She has directed over 20 productions at Napa Valley College including The Peoples Temple, Sweeney Todd, Lydia, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Laramie Project, The Laramie Project Ten Years Later, The Three Musketeers, Treasure Island,  Dead Man Walking, Our Country’s Good, Picasso at the Lapin Agile and All in the Timing.

As an actor, favorite roles include Emily Dickinson (The Belle of Amherst) Haley (Bad Dates), Catharine (Rapture, Blister, Burn) Blanche (A Streetcar Named Desire), Nora (A Doll’s House), and, Emma (Betrayal), among many others.  She was awarded an Arty Award for Best Actor in a Solo Performance 2018 for her performance in Bad Dates

In addition to her theater projects, Jennifer is a voice over artist, voicing commercials and documentaries and can be heard in the Reduced Shakespeare Company production of The History of Comedy (abridged).   She is also the co-editor of Reflections of Diversity, a scene book for actors.

This October, she will perform The Belle of Amherst at Napa Valley College and direct Sex with Strangers by Laura Eason for Aurora Theater Company in May 2020.  For more information, visit

Dr. Christina Howell

Instructor in Music – Voice

The recipient of awards from the National Association of Teachers of Singing, the Max Berman Opera Prize and The Boris Goldovsky Award for Excellence in Operatic Acting, soprano, Dr. Christina Howell was a two-time district winner in the Metropolitan Opera National Council District Auditions, a semi-finalist in the National Stewart Awards and winner of the Charlotte Opera Guild Vocal Competition. Dr. Howell has received acclaim for operatic, oratorio, musical theater and chamber performances. Recent performance credits include the opera, Roman Fever for South Carolina Educational Television and Adina in Elixir of Love with Peach State Opera. Dr. Howell has performed widely as a soloist and chorister and has worn more mustaches onstage than she’d like to admit.

Dr. Howell has presented vocal workshops on topics ranging from the aging voice to adolescent voice change and everything that happens in-between. Her students have been accepted for study at prestigious institutions such as the New England Conservatory of Music, San Francisco Conservatory of Music and the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria. Not limited to classical vocal technique, Dr. Howell has specialized training and expertise in the teaching of Contemporary Commercial Music technique. Dr. Howell has recently served as Assistant Editor for the upcoming release by Rowan & Littlefield press, So You Want to Sing…. World Music for which she also co-wrote a chapter.

When not resisting attempts by her family to plant tunes in her brain, Dr. Howell might be found knitting, baking or running, but usually not all three.

Danielle Cain

Theater Arts and Film Studies Adjunct Instructor

Danielle Cain has been a working theatre artist in the North Bay for over 20 years. She is on the theatre faculty at Sonoma State University, Napa Valley College and ArtQuest at Santa Rosa High School. She works as a voice, text and dialect coach and has coached productions at SSU, Shakespeare Napa Valley, Sebastopol Shakespeare Festival, NVC, Cinnabar Theater, and 6th Street Playhouse. Danielle has done private acting, speech and audition coaching since graduating from college, was an Associate Artistic Director at Actors Theatre and Managing/Casting Director at 6th Street Playhouse. She regularly directs productions at her schools, and helps produce NVC’s annual Emergence Festival of original work. As an actor favorite shows include Angels in America, Arcadia, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Skylight, Enchanted April, Boston Marriage, Much Ado About Nothing, Taming of the Shrew, The Tempest, Top Girls at Shotgun Players and most recently Hamlet. She trained at the British American Drama Academy, American Conservatory Theatre and received her BFA in acting from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. Danielle leads summer Shakespeare classes in London for SSU theatre students.

Matthew Cowell

Technical Director, Adjunct Instructor: Sound Reinforcement and Recording and Digital Sound Recording, Sound Engineer

Matthew Cowell is the Technical Director for Napa Valley College Performing Arts Center. Working in the Bay Area for over 18 years as sound designer, recording engineer and drummer, he has worked with numerous local and national talents, including Grammy and Oscar nominated artists.

Cowell has a Bachelor’s degree in Theater and Performance Studies from UC Berkeley and a Master’s degree in Theology and Film Studies from Fuller Theological Seminary.

Olivia Cowell

Theater Arts Adjunct Instructor

Olivia received her Master of Arts in Drama from San Francisco State University and her Bachelors of Arts in Communications from CSU, Sacramento. Her dance training includes studying with Royal Academy of Dancing . 

Olivia has directed adult and youth productions with theater companies in the North Bay including The Napa Valley Opera House, Napa Valley College Performing Arts Center, and Napa Valley Performing Arts Center at Lincoln Theater. Selected directing credits include: Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare Summer Stroll, All Together Now, Elf the Musical, Mary Poppins, Shrek the Musical, Roald Dahl’s Willy WonkaPeter PanA Chorus LineLate: a Cowboy SongLend Me a Tenor, The Wizard of Oz, Seussical Jr., and Alice in Wonderland.  

She focused her attention on teaching in 2007, and in 2014 became Co-Director of the youth education non-profit organization Cafeteria Kids Theater.

Aimee Guillot

Theater Arts Adjunct Instructor

Aimée received her Bachelor of Arts in Literature from SUNY Purchase (Cum Laude), and her Master of Fine Arts in Acting from UC San Diego. Additional acting training: NYU /Tisch School of the Arts; Oxford School of Drama.

Professional acting credits: Off Broadway- Big Love (Brooklyn Academy of Music Next Wave Festival -2001, Obie Award winner); Canard, Canard, Goose? (Here Arts Center); and Xtravaganza (St. Ann’s Warehouse, Guggenheim Works & Process, and Whitney Performance Space). She is also an original member of the New York based investigative theatre group, The Civilians. Regional- Big Love (The Goodman Theatre, Long Wharf Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville- Humana Festival of New American Plays), Wintertime (Long Wharf Theater); The Importance of Being Earnest (La Jolla Playhouse). Bay Area- Eurydice (Berkeley Rep), The Typographer’s Dream (Encore Theatre, Shotgun Players), Big Love (Berkeley Rep) Finger (Yerba Buena Center for the Arts).

As a director she has staged productions at The Napa Valley Opera House, Lincoln Theater, and the Napa Valley College Performing Arts Center. At Napa Valley College she co-directed Shrek the Musical, and Mary Poppins both in partnership with Cafeteria Kids Theater. She has been a drama instructor in the Bay Area for over 15 years, and was voted one of the top 100 teachers at UCSD. She founded the non-profit Cafeteria Kids Theater with Olivia Cowell in 2014.

Reed Martin

Theater Arts and Film Studies Adjunct Instructor

Reed Martin is an educator, writer, director, performer, and producer who has been on the faculty of Napa Valley College since 2007. He who is best-known for his work with the world-renowned Reduced Shakespeare Company – a three person theater troupe that takes long, boring topics and turns them into short, sharp comedies. He has published nine plays, three humorous non-fiction books, and has written for the BBC, NPR, Britain’s Channel Four, RTE Ireland, TBS, Sky TV UK, Public Radio International, The Washington Post and Vogue magazine. Reed has performed twice at the White House as well as in London’s West End, Lincoln Center Theater, Kennedy Center, Seattle Repertory Theatre, American Repertory Theatre, ACT San Francisco, McCarter Theatre, Long Wharf Theatre, Old Globe Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, and Madison Square Garden, as well as in twelve countries overseas. His work has been nominated for an Olivier Award in London, a Helen Hayes Award in Washington, DC, and a San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critic’s Circle Award. He has a BA in Political Science/Dramatic Art from UC Berkeley, an MFA in Acting from UC San Diego, and is a graduate of Ringling Brothers/Barnum & Bailey Clown College, as well as being member of The Dramatists Guild and Actors’ Equity Association.  He leads master classes/workshops around the world and is also on the faculty of Santa Rosa Junior College, Diablo Valley College, and San Joaquin Delta College. Reed lives in the North Bay with his wife and two sons, all three of whom are much funnier than he is.

Dr. Roberto-Juan González 

Music Professor
Survey and Appreciation of Music, History of Jazz
Symphonic Conductor

Dr. Roberto-Juan González has been described as “a conductor possessing a solid technical background and a genuine sense of artistry.” Working as a professional conductor since he was 15 on the island of Puerto Rico, he made his symphonic debut with the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra in 1983. Since then, he has performed in Japan, the United States, and Puerto Rico as conductor, organist and cabaret singer. In 1983, Dr. González finished his doctorate in instrumental conducting and organ performance at the School of Music of Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, thus completing a distinguished record of higher studies in music that began at the Music Department of InterAmerican University of Puerto Rico at San Germán, where he graduated summa cum laude in 1976. The IAU faculty named him “Most Outstanding Musician” in the same year, following his duties as Assistant Conductor of the IAU Orchestra and Concert Band from 1972 to 1976. He then entered the Master of Music program at Ball State University in conducting and organ at the Ball State University School of Music.

Dr. González is listed in the first edition of Who’s Who Among Hispanic Americans and the 23rd edition of Who’s Who in the West. In 1992, he received the McPherson Distinguished Teaching Award¸ given by the Napa Valley College Foundation.

Harry Cadelago

Adjunct Instructor: North Bay Wind Ensemble, Napa Valley College Orchestra, Applied Brass

Harry Cadelago has been conducting the NVC North Bay Wind Ensemble since 2006 and, in the fall of 2009, added the NVC Orchestra to his conducting duties. He has conducted the pit orchestra for the NVC musicals: Sound of Music, Man of La Mancha, Gypsy and Sweeney Todd

Also in collaboration with the vocal department, he has conducted the master works of the Vivaldi Gloria and the Mozart Requiem.

Cadelago has degrees in Music Education from City College of San Francisco and San Francisco State University. As a student he studied instrumental music and conducting from Dr. Ed Kruth and composition with the renowned composer Dr. Roger Nixon. After graduating as a music education major, he continued his musical development with Bay Area jazz keyboard artist, Don Haas.

Mazdak Khamda

Adjunct Instructor: Piano, Computer Applications in Music, Compositing on the Computer, Applied Piano

Mazdak Khamda was born in Tehran Iran, and had his first piano lesson at the age of eleven. He began to pursue music as a career in 1992. Mazdak holds a Bachelors of Music in piano performance from University of the Pacific and a Masters of Music degree in piano pedagogy from University of Oregon. Some of Mazdak’s instructors have included Frank Wiens, and Dean Kramer in piano; Kurt Erickson and Clark Suprynowicz in composition and S.M. Clark in harmony and counterpoint. Mazdak is a recipient of such awards as The Music Teachers Association Scholarship (1993), University of the Pacific Music Scholarship (1994) and a Graduate Fellowship from University of Oregon (1998). Mazdak is also a private music instructor in the Bay Area. As a composer, Mazdak has published works for solo piano, voice, chamber ensemble, choir, orchestra and electronic music. Many of these compositions are included in Mazdak’s four independent albums.

Mark Osten

Piano Accompanist and Adjunct Instructor: Fundamentals of Music, Music Theory

Mark Osten is an instructor, pianist, conductor and composer, in addition to being the Choral/Vocal Accompanist for Napa Valley College. He also accompanies the musical rehearsals, plays in the pit for the performances and coaches singers from the upper level voice classes. As a music instructor for the NVC Music Department, he teaches Fundamentals of Music and Music Theory courses, offered both fall and spring semesters.

Osten holds both Bachelor and Masters Degrees from San Francisco State University in music, with emphasis in piano performance. He has performed with the Santa Rosa Symphony, accompanied the Santa Rosa Children’s Chorus and performed at special event concerts in the Bay Area, such as The Napa Valley Chamber Music Festival and the 15th Annual Mostly Mozart Concert. In addition, he plays harpsichord with the Nota Bene Baroque Ensemble and accompanies the soprano quartet Vocali

Mandisa Wood

Humanities Professor

Mandisa Wood, M.A, M.F.A. is an artist, educator, urban farmer/beekeeper from the California Bay Area. Mandisa is Tenure-Track Faculty at Napa Valley College in the Theater Arts, Humanities, Ethnic Studies, and Philosophy Departments. She is a Ph.D. student in the Sustainability Education program at Prescott College in Arizona. Her research focuses on women’s individual and collective healing modalities present in Indigenous dance forms. Mandisa is a multi-disciplined locally and internationally trained dancer with over twenty years’ experience performing African Diasporic Dance. Her dance and performance experience began here in napa as a ballet dancer in the Silverado Ballet School. Mandisa studied with the well-known Napa resident and choreographer Shirley Ray from age six to sixteen. As a youth in Napa Mandisa was a cheerleader and participated in performances as a Letter Girl at Napa High School from 1991 – 1994. 

During college Mandisa studied Afri-Haitian dance with Blanche Brown and Michelle Martin at Mills College. She then traveled to Matanzas, Cuba, and received a certificate in African-Cuban Dance and Folklore at the University of Matanzas in 1997. She studied with the two internationally known music and dance troupes, Los Muñequitos de Matanzas and Afro Cuba. Over the years Mandisa has studied and performed with the following dance and drum troupes, Fogo Na Roupa, Afia Walkingtree’s Spirit Drumz (in the SF and Oakland Gay Pride Parades), Nives Wetzel de Cediel’s samba school Batucada do Leste, Mary Dollar’s Samba do Coração, and the Caribbean dance troupe from Trinidad and Tobago, Sistas Wit Style. Mandisa is a food justice activist that has experience managing a weekly farmer’s market in West Oakland. As an activist and dedicated community member she offered adult and youth dance classes in the Bay Area. She volunteered by teaching dance at a drop-in clinic for youth survivors of sexual trafficking at MISSSEY: Motivating, Inspiring, and Serving Sexually Exploited Youth in Oakland, CA. Currently, Mandisa performs by invitation as a soloist dancer and actress in a genre called Ritual Theater with Iya Luisah Teish at Festival of the Bones ( 2002 – 2017), and Kahuna Leilani Birely and her spiritual community Daughters of the Goddess (2002 – 2018). Her research, creative expressions, and earthwork invites us to envision and co-create a future where all beings can thrive.