Meet the Staff

  • Douglas Sumi, M.M.
    Music Director/Conductor

    Douglas Sumi has served under conductors James Conlon, Plácido Domingo, Patrick Summers, William Lacy, Michele Mariotti, Stephen Lord, Grant Gershon, and Emmanuel Villaume. In addition, Sumi has collaborated and worked with singers such as Plácido Domingo, Anthony Dean Griffey, Carol Vaness, and many of today’s emerging young singers. Most notably, he was asked to prompt Renée Fleming for the role that was written for her, Blanche DuBois, in A Streetcar Named Desire, and subsequently collaborated with Fleming in recital.

    Sumi has worked for the Wolf Trap Opera Company, Centro Studi Lirica in Italy, and the Manhattan School of Music, among others, and was invited to give master classes at the St. Petersburg Conservatory and Galina Vishnevskaya’s Opera Center in Russia. He has also led students of collaborative piano and voice to acceptance into The Juilliard School, New England Conservatory, Manhattan School of Music, and Mannes College of Music. He is an alumnus of the Manhattan School of Music, where he was an assistant coach to English diction expert Kathryn LaBouff and studied under the renowned collaborative pianist, Warren Jones.

  • Kate Fry, MFA
    Costume Design

    Kate Fry is a costume designer for theater, opera, film, and dance. Her work explores clothing as poetry to illustrate the complex nature of identity as both individual and contextual within society. Fry's collaborations range from working with fine artist Julien Previeux for his project What Shall We Do Next, which won the prestigious Prix Marcel Duchamp, to her recent NACL residency with NYC downtown theater creators Kristin Marting and Robert Lyons, in addition to a multitude of film and styling projects. Fry's work has been shown at NY City Center, Here Arts Center, REDCAT/ Walt Disney Concert Hall, Prototype Opera Festival, Grand Palais Paris, The New Ohio, Honor Fraser gallery, Francois Gebaly gallery, Highways Performance Space, The American Place Theater, Santa Monica Playhouse, Prague Quadrennial, and the Tribeca Film Festival among others. Fry earned her MFA from the California Institute of the Arts.

  • Mike Mahaffey
    Fight Director

    Mike Mahaffey is an award-winning fight director and instructor who works in all venues of theater. Selected credits include: STONEFACE (Pasadena Playhouse); Trip Back Down (Whitefire Theatre); The Behavior of Broadus, Taste, and Live! From the Last Night of My Life (Sacred Fools Theatre), The Asassination of Leon Trotsky and Romeo and Juliet (Odyssey Theatre). Macbeth (Edgemar Center), and She Kills Monsters (LOFT Ensemble). Other credits include: Midsummer Night’s Dream (English Theatre of Frankfurt), Carmen, Faust (San Diego Opera), and originating the fights for Wayne Rawley's Money & Run series of plays. Film/TV: “The King’s Rook,” “Brush with Danger,” “Resident Evil: Degeneration,” “Chronicles of Narnia,” “The Gold Retrievers,” “The Bannen Way,” and “Last Stand of the 300.” Mahaffey is also a Certified Teacher and Fight Director with the Society of American Fight Directors.

  • Natalie Matsurra
    Ballet Teacher/Choreographer

    Natalie Matsurra is a dancer with Festival Ballet Theatre and a graduate from the University of California, Irvine. She holds her BFA in Dance Performance and Choreography and has been the recipient of numerous awards and scholarships.

    Matsurra began her ballet training at the age of six and furthered her studies with summer programs at the Kirov Academy of Washington DC, American Ballet Theatre in Orange County, the Rock School for Dance Education, and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. At the age of 16 she became a member of Festival Ballet Theatre II, and at the age of 18 was promoted to full company member. As a dancer with Festival Ballet Theatre, Natalie has performed numerous principle and soloist roles. As a choreographer, Matsurra has staged work at the University of California, Irvine and Youth America Grand Prix.

  • Jessa Orr
    Scenic Design

    Jessa Orr has been working as a scenic designer and scenic artist for the past 16 years for a variety of companies and theaters including Buena Vista Pictures, Walt Disney Studios, Walt Disney Archives, Disneyland Resort, Gothic Moon Productions, Pfinix Creative Group, and venues all over Southern California.

  • Luke Woodruff, MFA
    Acting Coach

    Luke Woodruff graduated with a B.A. in Theater with an acting emphasis from San Jose State University in 2007, and an MFA in Acting from the ART/MXAT at Harvard University in 2012. Woodruff currently serves as the acting coach for APU Opera and is an adjunct professor at Loyola Marymount University. In addition to teaching, Woodruff is pursuing an acting career in Los Angeles and has appeared on television and in independent films since moving to Los Angeles in 2012. He is a former Marine and veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Seeking to serve the Lord with any gifts he has been given is a consistent joy in his life.