PCPA Actor Training - Resident Faculty
Professional Artists with a Passion to Teach
Shelagh Garren* - Intermediate Ballet Instructor

Directing/ Choreography:  San Luis Obispo Academy of Creative Theatre, A Little Princess, Once Upon a Mattress, East of the Sun, West of the Moon, Lost and Foundling, Little Women, A Midsummer’s Night Dream, Pirates of Penzance, Pinocchio, A Christmas Carol, Once on this Island;  Allan Hancock College dance concerts.

Teaching:  Beginning – Advanced Ballet and Musical Theatre Dance at PCPA (since 2005), Allan Hancock College, SLO Little Theatre, local dance academies, Artist in Residence in public schools.

Performance:  5th Avenue Theatre & European Tour, Evita, Oliver;  Tacoma Actors Guild, A Chorus Line;  National Tour, Unsinkable Molly Brown (w/Debby Reynolds);  Seattle Opera, Carmen;  Sacramento Music Circus, musicals including West Side Story, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Chess, Hello Dolly,  Mame;  Santa Barbara Ballet.


One of my biggest objectives with my students is to help take the mystery out of ballet so that it becomes a technical means to accomplishing what they want to accomplish in all of their professional dance work.  Understanding proper alignment, how to create beautiful line, timing in turns and jumps and the use of dynamics within choreography gives the dancer more control, creative expression, and artistry. 

Learning ballet is like learning a language;  we begin with a basic vocabulary, build small phrases, drill and practice for more perfect “pronunciation” and continue to expand our vocabulary and understanding. With mastery of the language, we become poets, able to fully express all of our intentions and emotions and touch the lives of others.  I want to find ways through imagery, physical awareness and thought processes to help them succeed as the poets they wish to be.

I have the great pleasure of working with performing artists who begin their theater exploration when they are young children and others who find their passion a bit later in life.  But whenever they begin, PCPA is a program where they can all expand their experiences and accomplish things they’ve dreamed of or, maybe, never even thought possible.