Dr. Delvena Thomas, Advisor Emeritus, Instructor

Delvena Thomas is a mother, an American soldier, a scientist, and a physician who advocates tirelessly for healthy living to strengthen individuals, families, communities, and workplaces around the world. Trained in medicine and psychiatry at the University of Maryland Medical Systems in Baltimore (MD), she is board-certified in psychiatry and neurology and maintains a private practice in psychotherapy, psychopharmacology, and alternative health. Dr. Thomas is a consulting psychiatrist for the  National Football League.

Dr. Thomas is also a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves and a veteran of Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom who has completed three tours of duty — to Iraq, Afghanistan, and Kuwait — to provide mental health care for soldiers needing stress reduction and therapy, family connectedness, and spiritual well-being. In her private practice, Dr. Thomas provides individual, couple, and group therapy to address several issues, including performance problems experienced by serious amateur and professional athletes, addiction, sexual dysfunction, mood, and anxiety disorders.

Cheryl Bedford, Advisor

Cheryl L. Bedford, a NAACP Image Award Nominee for “Dark Girls” and Baltimore native, holds a BFA from NYU’s TSOA and MFA in Producing from AFI. She is currently based in Los Angeles, CA. As a Production Manager, Line Producer, and Producer, Cheryl has worked on countless film/tv/digital projects, including 16 Independent Features. She has also taught The Art of Line Producing at UCLA Extension in Westwood, CA. Ms. Bedford formed her own company, Cheryl L. Bedford Productions, in January of 2001. Ms. Bedford founded Women of Color Unite, her 501(c)(3), in order to help Women of Color get hired, their projects funded and their content distributed. From the members of WOC Unite, Cheryl created The JTC List. The JTC List is a database of 1500+ Women of Color in Entertainment, which is being shared throughout the Industry. Never again will someone be able to say, they can’t find any WOC for any job above or below the line. The JTC List is named in honor of her mother, Joan Theresa Curtis, an activist, warrior and Ms. Bedford’s biggest fan, who passed away in 2016. 

Email:  [email protected]

Peter J Kuo, Advisor

Peter J. Kuo (he/him/his) is bi-coastal LA native, and the Associate Conservatory Director at American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.), where he serves as the Chair of the Staff EDI Committee. He is a theatre director, producer, writer, and educator focusing on raising the visibility of marginalized communities. Achievements include being part of TCG's Rising Leaders of Color cohort, a directing residency at The Drama League, directing assistantships at Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Williamstown Theatre Festival, South Coast Repertory, and Geffen Playhouse. He has directed for A.C.T., Weston Playhouse, East West Players, and Playground. He is a co-founder of Artists at Play, an Asian American theatre collective that produces Los Angeles premieres of works for Asian Americans. Following the success of his Live Video Theatre production of Madhuri Shekar's In Love and Warcraft for A.C.T.'s MFA program, he is now teaching several workshops over the summer on Live Video Theatre Techniques at Perseverance Theatre Company.


Social Media: @peterjkuo

Valerie Curtis-Newton, Advisor

Valerie is currently the Head of Directing at the University of Washington’s School of Drama. Valerie also serves as the Artistic Director for The Hansberry Project, an African American theatre lab. She has worked with theatres across the country including: The Guthrie Theater, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Intiman Theatre, Actors’ Theatre of Louisville, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Seattle Children’s Theatre, The Mark Taper Forum, New York Theatre Workshop, among others. She has been awarded the National Endowment for the Arts/Theatre Communications Group Career Development Grant for Directors, the Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation’s Gielgud Directing Fellowship, Theatre Puget Sound’s Gregory Fall Award for Sustained Achievement, Seattle Times’ 13 Most Influential Citizens of the last decade, the Seattle Stranger Genius Award in Performance and the Crosscut Courage Award for Culture.

Rachel Finley, Advisor

Rachel Finley is compassionate, patient and deeply dedicated to her students success.  Rachel uses her deep study of the Stanislavski based acting systems, including Meisner Technique, Uta Hagen's Steps, Strasberg's Method and Michael Chekov Technique to offer highly personalized actor training.  A certified Fitzmaurice Voicework ™ teacher with extensive training in Knight Thompson Speechwork, Ms. Finley also teaches voice and dialect work both privately and at the collegiate level to actors, public speakers and anyone interested in developing healthy and skillful speech and vocal use.  Incorporating her work with Alexander Technique, Laban and Viewpoints, Rachel pushes her acting students to connect physically, vocally, psychologically and intellectually with their scripts to create unique and compelling characters.