Elena Maria Garcia AEA/SAG
Director of Education
Elena Maria Garcia : Elena Maria Garcia: She is a three-time recipient of the prestigious Carbonell award (best supporting actor Zoetic Stage’s Moscow and City Theatre’s Summer Shorts and best ensemble for City Theatre. The World Premiere of FUACATA! A Latina’s Guide to Surviving the Universe, co-written with Stuart Meltzer of Zoetic Stage, earned her a Carbonell nomination for best performance and best new work. Elena also has presented her self-written, directed, and produced one-person show, DO YOU SPEAK MEXICAN? throughout South Florida. Elena’s future project is OYEME! The Latinx Festival. She hopes this venture will bring light to our Latinx community of artists and thinkers. Elena was the founding member of Separate Checks Improv Troupe, Quien Sigue A Quien, (the first Spanish speaking improv troupe in the US) and the first all-female improv troupe on the East coast, Big Purse and Matching Shoes. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a Masters in Acting/Directing. She has appeared in numerous national commercials, feature films and television. Elena's students have garnered Critics’ Choice for Florida High School District competitions 2003-2017 and received ten Thespian State Champion titles in 2007-2017. Many of her students have been featured in national television shows and Broadway and have been accepted in top Universities and Colleges. Elena has taught improvisation and acting for over 30 years. She currently teaches at Universal Acting and New World School of the Arts, Nova Southeastern University, Florida International University and is a member of Screen Actor’s Guild and Actors’ Equity.
Christian Perez graduated with a BFA from New World School of Arts.
He has been seen in a numerous of production: Rashomon, Speed the Plow, The Miser, Lend me a Tenor, Lloyds Prayer, Six Characters in search of an Author, Our Town, Godspell, Working, Master and Margarita, Camino Real,The Cherry Orchard, The Seagull, Uncle Vanya, and As You Like it.
Chris' passion is comedy and he has been performing Stand Up Comedy since 2001 throughout the east coast.
Chris has a great eye for the comedic side of life. He can take any individual and help him/her find the funny and put it in a sketch or stand up. Chris has written comedies for TV shows and wrote and performed his one man show Flying Lessons at the Fillmore Theater in Miami Beach. Chris continues to work the stand-up circuit on the east coast.
Director of Drama, St. Thomas Aquinas HS, Ft. Lauderdale, FL (1/06-Present)
Faculty, Universal Acting School of Acting for Kids
Speech & Debate teacher, St. Thomas Aquinas HS, Ft. Lauderdale, FL (8/04-6/06)
Faculty, St. Jerome Catholic School, Ft. Lauderdale, FL (8/02-6/04)
Faculty, St. Clement Catholic School, Wilton Manors, FL (3/02-6/02)
Substitute Latin instructor, St. Thomas Aquinas HS, Ft. Lauderdale, FL (1/02-3/02)
Producer, Underdog Productions (1995-Present)
Founding member, Separate Checks Improv Troupe (1998-2008)
HONORS AND AWARDS
Broward County Theatre Teacher of the Year, 2016
Florida State Champion Critics’ Choice, 2010, 2015, 2017 (2x)
Florida District Champion Critics’ Choice, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2015, 2017
Broward County Cultural Arts Grant Recipient, 2004, 2006
Finalist, Broward County Theatre Teacher of the Year, 2014