Meet Our Instructors
And discover the amazing talents they bring to Metropolitan Performing Arts!
Jeffrey Puukka is curious and passionate about actor training, and joined Metropolitan Performing Arts Academy to teach Acting Fundamentals in 2017. Additionally, Jeffrey teaches the highly popular and successful Monday Night Acting Lab at Mt. Hood Community College, and is also a mentor and adjudicator for high school competitive speakers. Jeffrey has directed thirty-something theatre productions in the Portland metro area over the past 15 years. Favorites include “Women of Troy” which he adapted from Euripides and directed in 2015, “Elective Affinities” (Portland, the Edinburgh Fringe, and Cambodia), and “Dracula” (Portland, 2004).
Shannon is a dancer, actor, choreographer, and arts educator based out of the Vancouver/Portland area. An alumna of Western Washington University, she is a double major in Theater (acting) and Dance (performance). She has trained heavily in tap, modern, musical theater, ballet, devising, Suzuki, viewpointing, and Stanislavski Technique. Since 2013, Shannon has been choreographing and teaching tap technique, as well as various workshops. Recent MPA choreography credits include: Matilda (2019), Willy Wonka (2018), The Fantasticks (2017), and Aladdin (2017). Other choreography credits include: Young Frankenstein (2018), 1776 (2017), Peter and the Star Catchers (2016), and Twisted (2015).
Beginning with classical jazz, and soon expanding to a variety of styles including tap, hip hop, and contemporary, Willow Swanson fell in love with dance early on. Fascinated by other types of movement, as well as how to apply them to dance, she has also trained in Kung Fu, Tai Chi, Yoga, and Acrobatics, and rock climbs as another way to train. She has collaborated with a number of Portland locals such as DarVejon Jones, Alicia Cutaia, Jamuna Chiarini, Beth Whelan, Amelia Unsicker, and Katie Burkes, and her performance experiences include dancing with Portland companies Polaris Dance Theatre, Agneizska Laska Dancers, and Tongue Dance Project, as well as the Vancouver-based company Horizon3 Dance. Credits also include performing with Victoria Perez at the Young Choreographer's Festival 2019 in New York City, showing and performing her own work at Chapel Theatre earlier the same year, and several small film roles. She currently teaches a diverse range of dance classes at studios across Vancouver and Portland, and continues to work with dance companies and independent artists on several projects, including live shows, film and photography, and dance outreach.
Pip Kennedy is an actor, director, vocalist, and dramaturg based in Portland, Or. Classically trained in Meisner Technique & Victorian Period Dramaturgy, he has over 8 years of study in these areas plus, stage direction, script analysis, new play development, musical theatre & Shakespeare. His professional training started at Concordia University, then to Portland State University & also NYU. He's traveled the country & Eastern Europe performing for various companies. He's been professionally working as an actor & director for about 20 years.
Jimmie is a musician and actor currently residing in New York City. Jimmie is a vocalist with locally beloved international superstars Pink Martini, for the Grammy-nominated ODESZA for their national television debut on Jimmy Kimmel Live! and recently debut his second solo album. After graduating Cornish with a degree in composition and performance, Herrod pursued a Master of Music in jazz studies from Portland State University and made a name for himself as a theater artist in Seattle. Authoritative Broadway World deemed his 2015, gender-bending performance as Tunny’s Extraordinary Girl in American Idiot by Seattle’s ArtsWest “a performance for the ages.” Jimmie has served as an adjunct professor of voice for the PSU jazz program and performed with the Oregon Symphony, 5th Avenue theater Seattle, NWCT, Staged!, Portland Opera and Seattle Rock Orchestra.
Brandon is a director, producer, and collaborator in Portland, Oregon. Directing credits include: A Christmas Memory paired with Winter Song (co-creator), Mary's Wedding, Sex with Strangers, and JAW Promising Playwright Events (Portland Center Stage at the Armory); Luna Gale, International Falls and The Few (CoHo Theater); The God Game (Self-produced); The End of Sex (Theatre Vertigo); Dial M for Murder (BagnBaggage Productions). Brandon has worked on multiple shows at PCS as an assistant director (Astoria: Part One and Two, Lizzie, The Whipping Man, Red, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, and A Christmas Story). He has also collaborated with The Oregon Symphony and Michael Curry on Persephone, Third Rail Rep, Broadway Rose, and Live on Stage. Brandon worked from 2010 to 2018 at Portland Center Stage in various capacities; most notably as Associate Producer, Casting Director, and JAW Co-Producer. From 2018 to 2019 Brandon worked with Michael Curry Design as Head of Theatrical Projects. He is a proud SDC member and is currently freelancing as a director and producer. www.brandonwoolley.me
In the past 25 years, Rebecca Chelson has worked on more than 120 productions throughout the Pacific North West. Her work has been seen at George Fox University, Costers Theatre, Centennial High School, Canby Highschool, Oregon City High School and Reynolds Highschool, to name a few. Rebecca was one of the first music teachers at Metropolitan Performing Arts almost 10 years ago. She has music directed many MPA productions including The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Les Misérables, Disney's Peter Pan Jr, Bye Bye Birdie, Annie, Gypsy, Legally Blonde, Into the Woods, Seussical, The Little Mermaid Jr, Anything Goes, Little Women and Oliver. Rebecca is very happy to be back music directing at MPA and especially happy to be back music directing after spending the past year successfully battling cancer. To top off the good news, her hair is growing back nicely.
Ms. Cole is currently performing with Opera Quest Northwest as the Ingenue in “Opera the Great.” A private vocal teacher and manager at Cole Studios in Battle Ground, she has sung roles in several operas including Emmy in Albert Herring and Armchair in L’enfant et les Sortileges with Portland Opera, and Gretel in Hansel and Gretel with Vancouver Children’s Opera. She has been a featured soloist with the Oregon and Vancouver symphonies, performed at New York’s Carnegie Hall, toured Europe with the Portland State University Chamber Choir and was soprano soloist on the CD On American Shores. In her spare time, Cole enjoys traveling, garage sales and activities with her three children.
A Portland area native, Robert Head currently resides in NYC where he works as a musical theater actor/pianist. Credit highlights include Something Rotten National Tour, Royal Caribbean cruise lines, and
regional theaters around the US. Robert teaches private voice/music at various youth theater programs in the NYC area, and is also a certified Yoga Instructor.
Paul Angelo serves as the associate artistic director of Staged! musical theatre and as a director in residence with defunkt in Portland, Oregon. He holds a BFA in musical theatre from the State University of New York (SUNY) Fredonia and an MFA from the Alabama Shakespeare Festival/ University of Alabama. In 1997 he co-founded the New Ensemble Theatre (TNE) in Manhattan; during his five years as co-artistic director, TNE focused on new plays and the plays of Shakespeare creating three seasons and eleven productions. TNE and its members were the recipient of several awards including an OOBR (Off-off Broadway Review) award for outstanding production for the play Let a Hundred Flowers Bloom (2001) and an invitation to the Piccolo Spoleto Festival in Charleston, SC for Henry V. Off-off Broadway directing credits includes Hamlet, The Hunger Waltz(part of the NY Fringe Festival 99′) and Henry V. He has also directed productions of Charlotte’s Web and Godspell for The Capitol Arts Youth Theatre in Bowling Green, Ky. He has directed five musicals for Staged!, Les Miserables, which received two Portland Area Musical Theatre Awards (PAMTA) for Outstanding Ensemble and Outstanding Young Performer of the year. Big River which was also awarded two PAMTAs and the Portland premier of Jason Robert Brown’s ‘13′ this production was awarded a Drammy for Outstanding Pit Ensemble and four PAMTA nominations including Outstanding Direction. Also, Jason Robert Brown’s Parade which was nominated for five PAMTAs, including Outstanding Direction, winning the award for Outstanding Ensemble. And Dogfight by Pasek and Paul, four PAMTA nominations including Outstanding Direction. Other Portland directing credits: The Homecoming by Harold Pinter, Let a Hundred Flowers Bloom by David Zellnik and Blasted by Sarah Kane for defunkt theatre. Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Equivocation, by Bill Cain and Coyote on a Fence by Bruce Graham for Post5 Theatre. Romeo and Juliet for the Portland Actors Conservatory and Ruthless! the Musical for Stumptown Stages. A Civil War Christmas by Paula Vogel for Artists Repertory Theatre, ART Paul is a proud member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, SDC. He served as the resident drama instructor at West Sylvan middle school for seven years from 2006 to 2013 where productions included Grease, Godspell, Oliver!, Little Shop of Horrors, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Guys and Dolls, School House Rock Live!, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo & Juliet, Annie, Hamlet and The Little Mermaid. Other Portland area educational credits include: Into the Woods at Wilson High School.
Kristen Mun has worked as a violence choreographer for over half a dozen theatre companies in the Portland area. She is the recent recipient of the Leslie O. Fulton fellowship has won Drammy’s for her work on Danny in the Deep Blue Sea, Oedipus El Rey, and Henry IV Part 1. Outside of Portland she has worked at Utah Shakespeare Festival, Idaho Repertory Theatre, and was the assistant fight choreographer at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival for 2 seasons (09-10). She is an officer and a recognized fight instructor with Dueling Arts International.
Texas born, Randy Andre’ Davis was raised in Germany and then Portland, Oregon. It was in Portland, Oregon that Randy began his dancing ‘career’ when he joined an experimental magnet program within the public school system. “Dancin’ Davis” hasn’t stopped! Randy has been seen in numerous Broadway shows and National tours throughout his career. One of his favorites was the colorful Broadway revival of “Guys & Dolls” with Peter Gallagher, Faith Prince, and Nathan Lane where he featured in the Crapshooter Ballet. In “Cats,” Randy performed the challenging and beloved role of Mistoffelles; Noodler the Pirate in Cathy Rigby’s “Peter Pan.” Essential as Dance Captain, Randy assisted in the Broadway production of “All Shook Up.” When theater history was made by the opening of “Harlem Song” at the famed Apollo Theatre, Randy Davis’ name was among the select actors chosen to appear. In addition to his skills as a dancer, singer and actor, Randy is known for his choreography work. He assisted in the restaging of the National Tour of “All Shook Up” and became the Children’s Director and Stager for the National Tour of “Whistle Down the Wind.” In Japan, Randy choreographed the “Japanese Musical Review” for one of Tokyo’s theaters. Across the country, Randy’s choreography has been in demand by numerous upscale dance studios for the restaging of “Guys & Dolls,” “All Shook Up,” as well as numerous other musicals. On his first visit to the White House, Randy performed a tap solo at the request of the White House after having seen Randy’s performance in “Hot Mikado.” The second visit was a part of Black History Month celebrations. Randy and the cast of “Harlem Song” were invited to visit and perform in honor of the history of both the show’s content and the Apollo Theatre.
Sean began performing in the 5th grade with a community theatre production of Fiddler on the Roof. He attended Southern Oregon University as a BFA student with an emphasis in Performance. Sean's interests grew with his education, and he took a full course of Sound Design and Directing classes in addition to his acting, movement, speech, and dramatic literature courses. He also served as a guest lecturer for the Drama in the Western Culture class at SOU for two years, and performed at the Oregon Cabaret Theater and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival before coming North to the Portland/Vancouver area. Sean received his Masters in Teaching at Concordia University, and has been the director of the drama department at Camas High School since 2011. Sean and his department have received state-wide recognition at the 5th Avenue Awards in Seattle earning dozens of nominations and honorable mentions for scene design, lighting, directing, performance, and choreography, including 3 nominations for Outstanding Overall Production, and wins for Outstanding Direction for 2013's Into the Woods, and Outstanding Overall Production for 2015's Cabaret. Two of his students have won Outstanding Leading Actor/Actress awards, and have been sent to the National High School Musical Theatre Awards in New York. Sean also performed with Post5 Theater in Portland's 2015 performances of Twelfth Night and Much Ado About Nothing.