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5229 NE MLK Blvd, Suite #102
info@vanportsquarestudio.com
347-746-4703







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Studio Teacher Bios

Michelle Kopper Seymour

Studio Founder/Actor/Singer/Songwriter/Director/Producer...Creator of "The Inspired Voice" Coaching & Leadership Programs

 My mission is To Unleash The Power of The Human Voice! I have facilitated 100s of people confronting their fear, challenging their comfort zones and cultivating their PRESENCE through the playful and potent process I've developed to help people find and free their voice. I have the best job in the world! I help people stop playing small and access their power, permission and possibility through "The Inspired Voice" Coaching & Leadership Programs I've developed for professionals who rely on their voice in their work (hint: we ALL do!) helping them ROCK Their World Professionally...as well as fostering healing and expansion for all levels of "singing-curious" people. I have had the privilege of working with professional singer/songwriters, Broadway performers & budding singers of every stripe and I'm constantly amazed by the courage and willingness that people bring as well as INSPIRED to hear their voices when they finally let them soar... Are You Ready To Sing?      Find Your Song. Change Your Life.

Michelle Kopper Seymour, Owner of Vanport Square Studio combines 15 years group facilitation and one-on-one coaching with over 30 years as a professional actor/singer/songwriter and15 years of yoga & dance meditation to bring unique insight to her class facilitation & coaching approach. She was on the faculty of Elynn Diamond Studio @ Carnegie Hall Studios, eventually founding her own studio in NYC.  She trained early in her career with theatre legend Uta Hagen as well as Chuck Jones, Willie Reale & Peter Breen @ Playwrights Horizons Theatre School in NYC. Michelle has extensive facilitation and training in Rasa Yoga as well as certifications in the Nia Technique and other movement modalities. She has also trained in voice extensively both as an actor and as a singer with a focus in all styles of music from rock/pop to opera.

Michelle has directed for the stage in Portland OR including the new musical "Fight Call" in the Fertile Ground Festival of New Works and had the pleasure of Assistant Directing Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson at Portland Playhouse fall 2012. Michelle was excited to direct VSS studio member Katje Wagner on her performance piece: "True Colors" for Fertile Ground 2013. 

Michelle is a member of Actors Equity Association, Screen Actors Guild and the Portland Area Theatre Alliance where she served on the board of directors for over 5 years most recently as President 2010-2012 and continues to serve on the Advisory Council.  She is also developing an original musical play based on her work facilitating the release of unrealized, stifled or inhibited artistic expression and continues to perform her original music locally when she has the chance. 




Sofia Dubrawsky is an Actress, Playwright, and Teaching Artist. She has been educating young people in the Dramatic Arts for over 8 years in New York City. She has worked for various theater companies (Sundog Theatre, Queens Theatre in the Park, etc.) and leading arts education organization’s (The Leadership Program, Neighborhood Music & Arts) in schools directing plays, teaching acting, playwriting, and media arts. Many of her acting students at the Professional Performing Arts Schools in Manhattan were performing regularly on Broadway (The Adams Family, Mary Poppins, etc.) and were also tv series regulars on The Electric Company, Ugly Betty, etc.  Her comedy improv students at Gotham Comedy Club were featured on This American Life, as well as have gone on to perform comedy regularly in NYC.  As a playwright, Sofia’ has been published by Applause and Meriwether Publishing. As an actress she has worked on Film, TV and Theatre. Sofia is a member of Actors Equity Association, SagAftra, and The Dramatists Guild.    

See more about Sofia

 

Sam Hull is an award-winning director, actor, designer and creative consultant. His career spans and embraces creativity in all its forms. Sam earned his MFA from the University of Florida. He also completed dual bachelor’s degrees in Theater Arts and Advertising from Bradley University. Sam is a member of the Actors Equity Association as well as SAG/AFTRA.

Sam’s resume includes 14 years teaching as a professor, more than 60 professional credits as a stage actor, 37 national television commercials, international audition consulting credits for theatre and film, and numerous film festival wins for his feature film Not Dead Yet. In addition, Sam has directed the “Sabre Latin America” extravaganzas at both Walt Disney World and Miami’s International Centre, and was also part of the team that produced The National Seven Pleasures of the Kasbah Fashion Show Event at the Emporium in Las Vegas, NV.

Locally, he served on the PATA Board of Directors where he is credited with revitalizing and restructuring the PATA City Wide Audition process over the last five years. His auditions process has gained national and international attention and has been duplicated by the GVPTA in Vancouver, BC. Additionally, he has worked as a consultant for Artist Repertory Theatre, Staged! Musical Theatre Company, An Daire Irish Dance Company, Running Deer Films, Great Society, Maestro Films, Hot Flash Films and Mutt Dog. Sam also serves as a coach for Portland actors auditioning for NBC’s GRIMM.

 

Reece Marshburn (Accompanist, musical director & composer) is the studio’s primary piano accompanist and supports many of the classes at the studio with his strong musical chops as well as his friendly, open and supportive nature. Since graduating from Western Washington University, Reece has lead his own quartet 7 nights a week, thirty-two weeks a year on the riverboat, The Queen Of The West backing acts as diverse as Broadway, Country, Swing, Soul and Rock and Roll revues. In 2004, Reece moved to Portland and was the rehearsal pianist and conductor for Portland Center Stage where he lead the pit orchestras in hit productions of Cabaret, Guys and Dolls, and Grey Gardens. In 2011, Reece and his co-writer Marianna Thielen attended the Johnny Mercer Songwriter Project at Northwestern University, where they developed material that they soon recorded under the name The Bylines. This debut recording was released in Spring 2012. Reece is also the house pianist at Tony Starlight’s Supperclub and Lounge, a vintage supperclub. Reece is also the Artistic Director of Moonvine Music a company dedicated to writing customized original material, arrangements and producing live shows for their clientele. 

Reece’s diversity of musical experience, has given him unique understanding of live performance. He is able to draw on the many styles in which he has participated and meld them into a complete and cohesive musical conception. As with all of the music he holds dear, the melody is key and must bring the listener along. From Scott Joplin to Cole Porter to Burt Bacharach, 100 years of America popular song can be heard in Reece’s music.

 

Mont Chris Hubbard (Accompanist, musical director & composer) will accompany the class and offer his insights to the audition process from the other side of the table. He has music directed five shows at the Broadway Rose in the last three seasons, most recently music directing for Little Shop of Horrors (Fall 2012). He has also been Assistant Music Director at the Broadway Rose and Lakewood. He has accompanied auditions at PCS, Broadway Rose, and Lakewood. All told, he has music directed 12 productions since 2009, and played keyboard in over 20. His compositions have been heard locally in productions at Lewis & Clark College, The Broadway Rose Theatre Company, and Coho Theatre, as well as local radio (KINK 101.9FM) and tv (KOIN Local 6) He has many years of choral experience (including master classes with Joseph Jennings and John Rutter). He has also released three albums of piano improvisations. 

 

 Gretchen Rumbaugh has led a very theatrical life.  Many stages, many lives, many friendships.  Her career has blessed her with fascinating opportunities to portray real life women as diverse as MAE WEST, PATSY CLINE, LEONA HELMSLEY, and ANN LANDERS, in the theatrical format of the One-Woman Show.  Other favorite roles include Mama Rose in GYPSY, Dot in SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE, SHIRLEY VALENTINE, Lucy Brown in THE THREEPENNY OPERA, and she created the role of Wendy in the original Seattle production of the huge world-wide hit, ANGRY HOUSEWIVES.  Gretchen just had the pleasure of playing the Drowsy Chaperone in THE DROWSY CHAPERONE at the Broadway Rose Theatre Company, and recently portrayed her dream role of Mrs Lovett in Stephen Sondheim's masterpiece, SWEENEY TODD at Portland Center Stage.  She is co-producer and host of CABARET CHANTEUSE, the long-running monthly professional singer showcase at Tony Starlight's Supperclub.

 

Darcy White is a popular pianist and keyboardist as well as an award-winning music director.  She has worked for many local theatre companies including Broadway Rose, Lakewood Theatre Company, Live on Stage, Oregon Children's Theatre, and Triangle Productions.   As the co-producer and music director for Cabaret Chanteuse, Darcy has found her passion; to make music with some of the finest musicians around and share it with an audience in a venue that makes for the perfect evening. 

 

Sarah Lucht is an award-winning actor, teacher and workshop leader. She is on the faculty of the Portland Actors Conservatory where she specializes in breath and energy work for the actor, as well as teaching fundamentals of acting, and scene study. With Jane Geesman, she is also on the guest faculty of the Haven Institute in British Columbia where she is a group facilitator and workshop leader. Sarah has been performing on local stages for thirty years, including Portland Center Stage, Artists Repertory Theatre, the Profile Theatre Project and Lakewood Theatre. Sarah's teaching includes work with high school drama programs, The Greenhouse Project at Portland Center Stage, Act Now Studios, Portland Shakespeare Project, where she teaches and is on the Artistic Council, as well as one-on-one coaching for actors and other professionals. She is a co-leader with Jane of the Act Natural workshops for actors and business professionals. She is a member of Actors Equity and the Screen Actors Guild.



Jane Bement Geesman, M.F.A., is an actor, director, teacher, and workshop leader. A professional actress and director since 1980, Jane has taught acting fundamentals, scene study, monologue development, and audition techniques since 1997 at local colleges and the Portland Actors Conservatory. She is a guest faculty member at the Haven Institute in British Columbia, where she leads personal-development courses using principles of actor training to develop confidence, creativity, and energy in any endeavor. In 2001, Jane and co-founder Sarah Lucht created Act Natural, performance/presentation coaching and workshops for actors, attorneys and other professionals, in 2001. Jane has performed and directed at numerous Portland theatres, including Artists Repertory Theatre, Northwest Classical Theatre, Lakewood Theatre, and Theatre Vertigo, as well as Palo Alto Players, City Lights, Pear Avenue Theatre, Dragon Productions, and TheatreWorks in the Bay Area.