Contributing Artists are an important part of what we do and we accomplish a lot together! Special Thanks to the Artists and Professionals below for lending their talents and expertise to our Winter 2017 production of Disney's The Lion King, Junior.
Meet The Artists!
Megg Sicotte-Kelly Co-Artistic Director (Art direction, masks, make-up, costumes, props, puppets & more )
Megg has lived in the beautiful Ojai Valley for over four years. Before relocating to Ojai, she worked in television production and technical theater in L.A. and New York. She began training in theater when she was eight years old, and graduated with a bachelors in Film and Digital Media from U.C. Santa Cruz. After graduating she spent several years working for MPH Entertainment on shows including “The Dog Whisperer” and “Mommy Docs”. She went on to work for Warner Bros in their Estimating/Accounting Department, and eventually moved to New York to work on “Gossip Girl” at Silvercup Studios. While she was in New York she rediscovered her love of theater and studied at HB Studios. After moving back to the West coast, she returned to theater as a freelance designer. Some of her favorite experiences include heading the wardrobe department for the “L.A. Haunted Hayride”, working with director John C. Reilly as the costume designer for his production of “Buddha: Triumph and Tragedy”, and creating a workshop for the Getty Villa’s “Aphrodite and the Gods of Love” festival. Since moving to Ojai she has continued to be active in the arts. She taught fine art at Janis’ Art Workshop, performed at Ojai ACT in shows such as “Grease” and “By the Skin of Our Teeth,” and worked as a set painter on shows including “The Sound of Music” and “Brooklyn Boy.” She joined OYES in 2013, and has been involved in 16 productions. In that time she has worn many hats–including Technical Director, Theater Manager, Production Manager, teacher, director, and designer.
Tara Saylor (Set Construction ~ Sun)
Tara is an Ojai native who has recently returned. Growing up in Ojai she performed in many community theater productions. Since graduating college she has worked in the fields of Interior Architecture, Experiential Design, Festival Production and Build. Upon her return to Ojai she has taken her first steps into the field of construction. Building was her first love and it has only grown stronger.
Chen is grateful to be a part of OYES The Lion King Jr. production. She has been an avid participant in theater arts and the textile world ever since. Chen has worked with Broadway Bound Children's Theater in Seattle as a costumer and scenic painter. She moved to California to work in film costuming for Star Trek Renegades production, and the Annenberg Wallis Theater in Los Angeles.
Special thanks to the PARENTS for helping us make The Lion King, Jr a wonderful experience for all! We just couldn't have done it without you!
Sheryl-Jo Bedal (Zebras, Pumbaa (body), Hyenas, Lioness Corsets, & more!)
Sheryl Jo Bedal has been making costumes for almost 30 years, and doing children's productions for 18 years in the Ventura county area. She enjoys building costumes that aren't the typical outfit, but the creative, imaginative kind. She loves working with children because their enthusiasm and excitement is so fun to be around and they really get into their parts. Sheryl Jo is very excited to be helping OYES with Lion King Jr because she saw the original play versions years ago and fell in love with it and has always wanted to help create some of those spectacular costumes. Thank you Megg and Danae for this wonderful opportunity.
Josef Franden is a Southern California native who has been working in the Entertainment Industry for over 10 years. Most recently he has worked in the Art Department of Shooter for the USA Network.
Adam Dunn ~ Lighting Designer
Gavin Takase-Sanchez ~ Scenic Artist
Gavin Takase-Sanchez is a Mexican-American, Texan-born musician, artist and guitar luthier with over 20 years of experience performing and teaching drumming and percussion. He is a native to Houston, Texas where he studied African and Afro-Cuban drumming and percussion. He also trained with Kaminari Taiko of Houston under the tutelage of Taiko Master Seiichi Tanaka who first introduced traditional Japanese Taiko drumming to American culture in the 1960s. Among Gavin’s many roles as an active member and performer of various drumming ensembles, Gavin has served as the assistant music director for Kaminari Taiko of Houston and teacher for children’s drumming workshops. His experience has taken him across the US South West touring with such groups such as the Festival of Cultures Tour by which he has spread awareness and education of music and culture from different nationalities. Gavin recently moved to Ojai, California and currently teaches adults and children at Pulse Drumming in Ventura, California. He enjoys sharing his passion for music, art, and culture from around the world and is looking forward to contributing to the music and theatre community of Ojai.
Kytriena Payseno | Co-director, Actor, Instructor
Working with young actors to fulfill their greatest potential is truly an art! Thank you Kat! ~ Daena Santoyo
Kytriena Payseno, a native to Colorado, toured with The Denver Civic Theatre for 7 years, and Kaiser Permanente ' s Theatre Education Program for 2 years. While in Colorado Kytriena worked as an actress and director in local community theatres and schools, she then became a company member of The Southern Colorado Repertory Theatre. She holds here B.A. in Theatre and Literature from The Metropolitan University of Denver, and her M.A. in Acting from The University Essex in England. In 2010, Kytriena moved to Ojai, where she started to work with Krista Kim on the Ojai Youth Entertainers Studio's theatre arts education program. While in Ojai, she has performed in many Ventura County plays/musicals, sings with a local band, teaches theatre at local private and public schools, created Glass Moon Theater Company and SpeakEZ Cabaret, as well as filming features, shorts, music videos and commercials, Kytriena works as a print model and sells jewelry at Love Heals.
Len Burge III
Sculptor, illustrator, jewelry, fine art fabrication- installation, animation, prototypes, production, director, art direction, Len E. Burge III is a never-ending river of astonishing talent and a true artist that knows his craft like no other in his field. Millions of people have viewed the films and videos of his exceptional work. ~ Amy Fulton
AKA "Ava's dad who makes stuff"
Andrea Carrillo (Props ~ Pumbaa (head), baby Simba)
Andrea is a doll maker / soft sculpture artist native to Ojai California and a tentative resident of planet earth. She has a desperate need to create all the creatures who reside within her head for fear that they may make a messy escape as they eat their way out! She prefers soft materials but has been known to use any manner of found object, from bugs and bones to car parts and medical equipment for the crafting of her creatures. Want to see more of her dolls and weird art? go here...... www.drefea.deviantart.com
Rachel Hunt ~ Make-up/Face Painting
Rachel is excited to be giving back to the community that inspired and supported her as a kid. Actively involved with the Ojai Art Center and the Ojai Civic Light Theater, she has done many productions such as Music Man, Beauty and the Beast, Grease, West Side Story, as well as several youth written one act plays. The opportunities to be in these theater programs and have teachers such as Jeannie Carlson and Sharon Butler, who offered scholarships for dance and art classes, provided Rachel with positive activities and places to go when home life wasn’t so.
Rachel has over 10 years experience working and teaching children in many areas of education. Rachel attended Ventura College and Santa Barbara Community College earning her certificate in early childhood development. Her love for sign language and deaf culture grew, and she now enjoys incorporating signs into all her work with children and sharing the beautiful language.
Daena Bleu Santoyo
Co-Artistic / Executive Director
Good with a glue gun and sharpies.
Daena's background in architectural design and drafting contributed to the set-design planning for The Lion King, Jr and along with co-directing the production, she worked with engineers and contractors to design OYES' new lighting grid (and hot-glued costumes together whenever possible).
Daena joined the OYES team of artists, directors and producers in 2012, and immediately became an integral part of OYES’ program development and growth. With OYES, Daena directed several Broadway Junior productions including, Into The Woods Jr (2014), Disney’s Sleeping Beauty Kids, (2015), Once On This Island, Jr (2016), produced OYES’ production of A Year With Frog and Toad (2015), and most recently, co-directed and produced The Lion King, Jr (2017). Daena studied various acting modalities at Ventura College, the Malibu Playhouse Conservatory, and with Dwier Brown of Theatre 150, and is a trained Speech Level Singing vocalist.
As Executive Director, Daena has worked with the OYES team and co-artistic director, Megg Sicotte-Kelly, to create a foundation for OYES in the Ojai Valley community. In addition to working with grant-writers, launching and co-producing The Ojai Wine Walk Benefit, developing new projects such as Dr. Who Drama Club, and the new Meet The Artists campaign designed to feature the artists and professionals, contributing to OYES' youth productions. "We strive to provide a quality work and entertainment experience for our young cast members," says Daena, " and it's important that we acknowledge the professional contributions that help us meet this goal. We see the reciprocation of respect and professionalism in our young actors and audience members -- it's truly a rewarding experience for all!"