Our faculty are practicing professionals and dedicated educators
PROFESSOR, TECHNICAL THEATRE
MFA, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, LOS ANGELES
Professor Michael Buckley shows exceptional leadership as he instructs students in the art and craft of Technical Theatre Design. A master in scenic, lighting, and property designs, he has designed some 40 productions at Southwestern College. Michael is also a resident artist at Lamb's Players Theatre, where he has designed over 200 productions. Other theatres who have featured his designs are San Diego Rep, The Laguna Playhouse and SDMT. Recent favorites include The Explorer’s Club, Beau Jest, and Shadowlands here at Lamb’s and American Idiot at Southwestern College, where he teaches design and scriptwriting. Also a playwright, his romantic comedy The Hit had an extended run at Lamb’s and then the Horton Grand Theatre and his set earned Mike his fifth Patte Award. As an actor, Mike has appeared in many shows at Lamb’s, including The Nerd, Beau Jest, Johnny Pye and the Foolkiller and Boomers.
ASSISTANT PROFESSOR, PERFORMANCE AND ACADEMICS
M.A., MISSOURI STATE UNIVERSITY
Assistant Professor Ruff Yeager began has been guiding students at Southwestern College since 2009. Throughout his tenure he has helmed some 20 productions, including "Macbeth", "Anon-ymous", "The Bomb-Itty of Errors", "The Night of the Iguana", "Rent", "In the Heights", "You Can't Take it With You", "Simply Maria or The American Dream", and "American Idiot". He courses include Acting I, Acting 2, Audition Techniques, Play Analysis, and Introduction to the Theatre. He serves as Artistic Director for the Plays By Young Writers Festival, produced by Playwrights Project. A founding member of The Roustabouts Theatre Company, he has acted and directed productions for The Roustabouts, San Diego Repertory Theatre, Utah Shakespeare Festival, Intreprid Theatre Co., Ion Theatre, and many others.
M.A., SAN DIEGO STATE UNIVERSITY
Sandra Cortez recently directed "Oedipus El Rey", "Blood Wedding", "Anna in the Tropics", and "In the Time of the Butterflies" for the Theatre Arts Dept. An adjunct instructor at SWC for 20 years, she enjoys sharing her expertise in the areas of acting, academics, and stage management with the students of Southwestern College.
MFA, SAN DIEGO STATE UNIVERSITY
Omri Schein is a performer/lyricist/playwright. As a writer: Mambo Italiano, a musical based on the film of the same name (2019), Withering Heights (2017), Gary Goldfarb: Master Escapist (Published by Steele Spring Stage Rights and winner of the 2013 New York Musical Festival Award for Best Lyrics),The Grotesques (based on internationally-renown author Aharon Appelfeld's novella The Retreat), The Savoyard Murders, as well as an upcoming musical adaptation of “The Evolution Of Calpurnia Tate”. Recently as a performer he has been seen in All In The Timing and A Funny Thing…Forum, Persuasion, Noises Off, The Explorer's Club, Beau Jest, The People Vs. Mona (Off-Broadway/Cast Recording), Hell’s Belles, Henry V, Grease. When You’re in Love, The Whole World Is Jewish (directed by Jason Alexander). He has taught at San Diego State University and Marymount Manhattan College.
MICHELLE MARIE TRESTER
MFA, NEW SCHOOL FOR DRAMA, NYC
Michelle Marie Trester is a San Diego based actress originally from Kansas City, Missouri. After performing on local stages throughout the Kansas City area she moved on to earn her Bachelor of Science in theatre performance at Northwest Missouri State University - graduating cum laude. In addition to her undergraduate training she also spent a summer abroad studying in London - immersing herself in Shakespeare and musical theatre, attended the New Actors Workshop intensive - founded by Mike Nichols, George Morrison and Paul Sills, and finally spent a summer as an acting apprentice at the Williamstown Theatre Festival.