Welcome to T1U…

…As an artist, you give so much to our community. T1U offers one-of-a-kind sessions to put you in proximity to the folks that can challenge you to your best, remind you why you’ve dedicated yourself to the art, and connect you directly to the next stage of your work.



Over the span of six weeks, you’ll learn from six of the most in-demand casting directors.

The track offers twenty-four hours of in depth training split into six, four-hour sessions. Each week a different instructor will bring you through their process. Classes will all end with a Q and A with that week’s instructor.

The track runs on Saturdays from 10am-2pm, 2/2 – 3/9 with:

2/2  Stephanie Prentice (TheatreFirst)
2/9  Dori Jacob (SF Playhouse)
2/16 LeeAnn Dowd (CalShakes)
2/23 Meryl Shaw (formerly A.C.T.)
3/2   Amy Potozkin (Berkeley Rep)
3/9  Dena Martinez (Cast Images Talent Agency)

Tuition for the full track is $360. Ten slots available.

To apply, please send resume and a short statement of purpose (150 words) to Laura Espino at: laura@theatrefirst.com.

You will be notified of acceptance within 72 hours of submission.

  • 2/2 Stephanie Prentice

    Stephanie is an actor, singer, and Theatrefirst’s Casting Director. Professional Bay Area credits include The Christians, Company and Our Lady of 121st Street (SF Playhouse); The Boy Friend, Baker Street (42nd Street Moon), Value Over Replacement, Best of PlayGround 20, Best of PlayGround 19(PlayGround), The Farm (Shotgun Players and TheatreFirst), and Comedy of Errors, Romeo and Juliet, Twelfth Night (Shakespeare at Stinson.) Stephanie is a Bay Area native, and a proud member of Actors’ Equity. She is a graduate of the Santa Clara University Theatre and Dance program, and was a member of the Santa Clara University voice faculty for 10 years. Stephanie is a PlayGround company member, and also serves on the Board at TheatreFIRST.

  • 2/9 Dori Jacob

    Dori Jacob is a casting director, new play producer and sometimes literary manager and dramaturg currently working as the Casting Director for San Francisco Playhouse. She also Casting Director at Marin Theatre Company from 2015-2018. She has contributed to the development and continued life of dozens of new plays, specializes in script analysis for the purposes of theatrical production and local as well as national casting for new plays, revivals, musicals and classics alike. Dori has been published in numerous playbills, blogs and most recently in Theatre Forum on the subject of building a new play from the ground up. Her ultimate goal is to contribute to the ongoing quest of making theatre both accessible and inspiring to underserved communities and to bring the next generation of theatre practitioners into the field through early exposure to new works.

  • 2/16 LeeAnn Dowd

    LeeAnn is Artistic Associate & Casting Coordinator at California Shakespeare Theater where, among other things, she manages casting, helps produce Mainstage work, and supports season planning/new works development. She sits on Theater Bay Area's Theater Services Committee, and has worked with companies across the Bay Area and beyond. She has served as Assistant Director to Jackson Gay, Lisa Peterson, and Nancy Carlin. LeeAnn was the inaugural recipient of Cal Shakes’ Artistic Fellowship, a Directing Apprentice with PlaygroundSF, and a 2017-18 Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation Observer. She is an ASTEP Fellow, and a proud alum of SpringboardNYC & Cherubs. LeeAnn holds a BFA in Theatre Performance & minor in Sociology from Chapman University, where she graduated with honors.

  • 2/23 Meryl Shaw

    Meryl Shaw acted as Casting Director at A.C.T. for 17 years. Her role at A.C.T. was wide-ranging, including not only casting but season planning, new work development, and artist cultivation.For many years, she coached young artists on their audition material and mentored their preparation to enter the acting profession upon graduation, as well as coaching and mentoring other local actors for private coaching. She has conducted workshops, classes, and intensives at theaters and colleges throughout the country. About 15 years into her tenure at A.C.T. she discovered the field of coaching, which she saw as an opportunity to return to her love of psychology and combine it with her experience coaching actors.Meryl is a member of the International Positive Psychology Association, as well as the International Coach Federation. Since leaving A.C.T., she has focused on coaching actors for auditions and providing life coaching for artists and professionals.

  • 3/2 Amy Potozkin

    Amy is the Casting Director and Artistic Associate at Berkeley Repertory Theatre. Projects outside of Berkeley Rep include ACT (Seattle), Arizona Theatre Company, Aurora Theatre Company, Sacramento’s B Street Theatre, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Dallas Theater Center, Marin Theatre Company, The Marsh S.F., San Jose Rep, Social Impact Productions Inc., Traveling Jewish Theatre, casting consultant for the film Conceiving Ada, starring Tilda Swinton, two Josh Kornbluth films including Haiku Tunnel and Love and Taxes and San Francisco casting for the feature film Beyond Redemption by Britta Sjogren. Amy received her MFA from Brandeis University, where she was also an artist-in-residence. A coach to hundreds of actors and business people, she taught acting at Mills College and workshops at Berkeley Rep’s School of Theatre, as well other Bay Area venues. Amy is a member of the Casting Society of America and a recent Artios Award nominee for Outstanding Achievement in Casting.

  • 3/9 Dena Martinez

    Dena Martinez is a Talent Agent with Cast Images Talent Agency, and has previously worked as a Casting Director with Playwrights Foundation, Cal Shakes., The Speakeasy, and SF Playhouse. Dena has over 30 years of national professional acting experience. She has toured nationally, with The San Francisco MimeTroupe, Culture Clash, and with the acclaimed El Teatro Campesino, where she was a company artist for four years. Her theater credits include: leading roles at Denver Center Theater Company, Marin Theater Company, Berkeley Rep., Word for Word, Campo Santo, San Jose Rep., San Jose Stage, B Street, Magic Theater, Theaterworks, Pacific Rep and Shotgun Players. She has workshopped and created many roles for national playwrights including Octavio Solis, Marcus Gardley, Caridad Svich, and Josefina Lopez. She has starred in two childrens television series for PBS. Emmy award winning You Can Choose and Short Stories and Tall Tales. And her voice over work includes Pixar and Coppola/Zoetrope Productions.