Jean Johnstone Co-Founder and Executive Director
In addition to founding and directing the Applied Theater Action Institute, Jean is the theatrical director for the David Herrera Performance Company of San Francisco, a modern dance/theater company focusing on works related to the Latino Diaspora. She is also a Theater Arts Resident at the San Francisco Arts Education Project.
Jean spent several years teaching drama and applied theater, and directing new work in Hong Kong, China, at the Hong Kong University Graduate Association College, and was a delegate at the IDEA International Arts Education congress. She has created and implemented curricula for several year-long drama courses for hundreds of students, taught workshops for teachers on using Drama in Education, and facilitated the creation of original theater pieces by young people on topics that mattered to them most, including the 2008 Best Script award-winner from the EMI Drama Festival, on the topic of global warming, and works about the migration of Chinese in 1947-49. Previously she was an artistic director of The Red Gate Performance Collective's Rococo Risque Cabaret (Best Theatre Ensemble SF Weekly 2005). She was a founding member of the Million Fishes Art Collective in San Francisco. Jean studied at The Moscow Art Theater in Russia. She holds a Post-Graduate certificate in Theater Arts from University of California, Santa Cruz, as well as a B.A. in Theater Arts from UCSC.
Deepti Sethi Co-Founder and General Counsel
Deepti Sethi is a public interest attorney engaged in policy level advocacy and direct representation of individuals. She has been involved in various arts programs for refugee youth and, prior to becoming an attorney, worked in the commercial arts industry. Deepti has held various leadership roles in coalitions and nonprofit organizations in order to increase accessibility to health care, provide criminal defense, and expand immigrant rights and further protection for foster children and youth in the dependency systems. She has testified in front of international, national and local government committees, and written testimony and arguments on behalf of individuals and coalitions appearing before Congress.
Deepti has been a member of the California State Bar since 2004. She graduated from UC Hastings Law School with a focus in nonprofit law and received her undergraduate degree from Hampshire College. Deepti has led numerous workshops and educational seminars to increase civic engagement and direct political lobbying by individuals, nonprofit organizations and coalitions of organizations. She remains deeply committed to the value of the arts as a unifying force and vehicle for social and personal change.
Ben Flax Chief Technology Officer
Ben Flax is an interactive designer with experience in effects, video production, and web development. He is passionate about global online citizenship and democratic action online. He is an experienced performer as well. His broad background in arts technology give him a unique breadth of perspective on the concept of remote theater. See digital work at www.transmografy.com
Kesty Morrison Youth Programs UK Director
Kesty trained at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. She has performed and taught all over the world, including London, Hong Kong, Germany, and India. She currently edits the online Bristol environmental and ethical website Ecojam, and is a contributing writer to Alistair Sawdays A Guide to Good Living.
Kesty has co-written, co-directed and performed in two educational musicals for children which toured Hong Kong. She has performed in children’s theatre across London and in India. She has taught drama in schools in Hong Kong to hundereds of students and for the Clevedon, Long Ashton and Portishead branches of Stagecoach. She is currently teaching drama and singing for the Bristol School of Performing Arts. Kesty also trained as a yoga teacher in India, and teaches regular classes in Bristol and Bath. She is part of Wellbeing at Coexist, a therapeutic community based in Bristol, and Community Conscious, a brand new organisation aimed at bringing alternative therapies to disadvantaged groups.
Theatre work includes Mariana Pineda at The Gate Theatre, The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe with the Royal Shakespeare Company, Hamlet at The Globe Theatre in Germany, The Trouble with Boys at the Young Vic Studios, Dating Agency at The Riverside Studios and The Lyric Hammersmith, Strawberry Fields national tour of the United Kingdom, Twelfth Night national tour of India, Same Old story, one woman show at Le Rideau Theatre Hong Kong, Oleanna at the Hong Kong Arts Centre, Whiff Whaff at The Bristol Old Vic, and The Arcadia Stage Live Show at Glastonbury Festival 2011. Television work includes co-presenting on No Naked Flames (HTV) and co-presenting Dish of The Day (TCC). Film work includes The Fourth Wall (Film installation) at The Barbican Theatre London and Badmouth, Raindance Film festival Best Short nominee. Alongside all this she performs as a singer with her band Cazal in prestigious venues such as The Book Club In London and Bristol's Colston Hall and The Tobacco Factory. Her travel writing has been published by The Bristol Evening Post.