MEET THE TEAM

The Faces of Our Organization

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LEON JONES

Executive Artistic Director 

With his work, Leon Jones Jr. (he/they) is committed to creating space for other BlPOC/LGBTQIA+ artists on stage and screen. He began his professional career playing Macduff's Child in Berkeley Rep's production of Macbeth starring Frances McDormand and Conleth Hill. He went on to attend Oakland School for the Arts, specializing in Acting & Musical theatre. Recent acting credits include Jaden in The Great Khan at Sf Playhouse, Young Man in Begin the Beguine at Oakland Theatre Project, Marcellus in Music Man at Throckmorton Theatre, and Damascus/Demeter in ...And Jesus Moonwalks Mississippi, Watchmen's Friend in The Oresteia, Player King in Hamlet, and Curly in Rising with Oakland School for the Arts. Besides acting, Leon is an emerging producer, director, and writer, recently winning an award from Golden Globe Winner, Regina Taylor for his short film, Through My Mind and currently serves as Founding Executive Artistic Director for Youth Uproar Theatre Company and the Education Director of Marin Shakespeare Company.

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ICHTACA LIRA

Founding Artistic Director /Producer

Ichtaca Lira (they/them/theirs) is 17 and lives in Richmond while attending school in Albany. They're honored to have been the Founding Artistic Director for YUTC! Their top priority/goal as AD was to make sure that we as a company nurture BIPOC voices as much as possible, not only for this year, but for the (hopefully) decades to come! They're also in charge of selecting the shows we produce, providing artistic support for our participants, casting + recruiting, etc. We at YUTC are building a strong foundation that will help us last for the long run. They hope you continue to support us and our endeavors moving forward!

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SIMON BHULLER-RIORDAN

Founding Managing Director

Simon Bhuller-Riordan(he/him/his) lives in Berkeley and is 17. He was the Founding Managing Director of YUTC and is really excited to show everyone the work we will be producing! He deals with a lot of Human Resources and communicates with everyone on how to smoothly run our productions. One of the goals he has is to make everyone feel heard within the community. Stay tuned for our first works!

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CHIARA FRANCESCA

Board of Trustees Secretary

Chiara Francesca(she/her/hers) is very excited to be apart of YUTC! She lives in Richmond and is 16 years old. In her position, she strives to create an environment where everyone feels represented because she believes that everyone's voice needs to be heard. She also strives to engage in work that highlights our community. Stay tuned for everything that is to come!

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GLORIA ZEARETT

Board of Trustees Chair 

Gloria Zearett(she/her/hers) is looking forward to serving as the Chair for the  YUTC Board of Trustees. She is currently a junior at El Cerrito High. She is also super excited to work with the intersectional community that YUTC builds, both inside the company and out of it. Inequality in theatre is rampant even after Hamilton's success, and she's excited to contribute to the uplifting of underrepresented voices in theatre in any way possible to make a difference against the voices that are held back from the industry.

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ZOEY ERICSON

Board of Trustees Assistant Chair

Zoey Ericson(she/her/hers) is a senior in high school, and is super excited to take on the role of Assistant Chair on the Board of Trustees for YUTC! She strongly believes in the core values of this company and cannot wait to assist YUTC staff in their endeavors for this upcoming season. Theatre is such a powerful method of communication and she is so grateful to be a part of a community dedicated to this important work.

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NORA CESAREO-DENSE

Board of Trustees Treasurer,

Founding Associate Artistic Director/Producer 

Nora Cesareo-Dense(she/her/hers) is looking forward to being the Associate Artistic Director for YUTC! She's 17 and from Alameda. Her goal for the company is to make thought-provoking art that connects people. She wants YUTC to be a safe space that reflects the community and world around us.

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RENE JONES

Technical Director

Rene Jones(he/him/his) is 16, born and raised in Oakland. As the technical director of YUTC, his first goal is to assist our designers in finalizing their vision. His other goal is to embrace the digital age that has been forced upon us by COVID-19. He wants to make the most of the limitations that the pandemic has put on today’s theatre by emphasizing the technological aspects that can be applied to theatre and theatre design.

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MAERA KLEIN

Marketing and Communications Director

Maera Klein(she/her/hers), 16 and from Oakland, is very excited to be the Founding Marketing & Communications Director for YUTC's artistic seasons! She deals with branding, promotional material, outreach, and more.  When you look at our Instagram profile and any other social media presence, that's what she's in charge of. Her favorite theatre experiences include playwriting and acting, and she can't wait to be involved in yelping YUTC youth learn about theatre history and develop exciting new works.

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LAUREN ROBERGE

House Manager

Lauren Roberge(she/her/hers) is currently a senior in high school and has lived in Contra Costa County since the age of 7. She is very excited to be taking on the role of House Manager for Youth Uproar Theatre Company! This year she will strive to contribute to the positive, educational enrichment of young individuals' creative spirits through the activities hosted by the company. She values the importance of listening to and appreciating the diverse theatrical expressions and ideas that many people have to offer. Overall, She is so grateful that she will get to witness the creation of an amazing community brought together through theatre.

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CYNTHIA KAMAU

Board of Trustees Member

Cynthia Kamau(she/her/hers)15 and currently a sophomore in high school, joined YUTC for the emphasis on uplifting diverse voices in theatre everywhere. She hopes to be able to do so during her time in the company.

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HAVANA STRUB

Associate Managing Director

Havana Strub (she/her) is a current senior at Oakland School for the Arts. She is the associate managing director of YUTC and hopes to bring good communication and a home for youth artists.