Faculty and Staff
Click on names to view faculty and staff profiles and additional information.
For nearly 50 years, College of Marin students have studied with Jim Dunn. He founded the College of Marin Drama Department in 1964, taught full time for 30 years, and continues to teach on a part-time basis. Dunn served as Chair of the Drama Department until 1994, directing more than 250 plays. Among his most notable is a 1971 Wild West production of Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew which was invited to perform at the Edinburgh Festival in Scotland. The production won the award for Best production at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and was given a command performance before Princess Margaret and her family. To the delight of students and audiences alike, Jim continues to teach Shakespeare and direct spring productions.
During his tenure at the College, Jim received several honors, most notably, six Bay Area Critics Circle Awards for Directing; the Los Angeles Dramalogue Award for Directing, and the San Francisco Dramalogue Award for Directing. He was also nominated for the Hayward Award for Excellence in Teaching and received an Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Arts in Marin County from the Marin County Cultural Society. He also received a Milly Award for Achievement in Theatre Arts from the City of Mill Valley, California. Jim was honored to receive the 2012 Heroes of Marin Lifetime Achievement Award granted by the Pacific Sun and the Lifetime Achievement Directing Award from the San Francisco Bay Area Critic’s Circle. In 2012 the Board of Trustees unanimously approved the dedication of the College of Marin’s- James Dunn Theatre in recognition of his commitment and achievement.
Outside of the College, Dunn has been the artistic director of the Marin County Mountain Play for the past 28 years. He has also worked as a visiting director at the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco, the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego, Denver Center for the Arts in Colorado, the Julliard School in New York, and the Marin Theatre Company.
Paul Killam is an internationally known teacher and performer of improvisational theatre. Paul started improvising with Seattle Theatresports/Unexpected Productions, and continues to be an active Main Stage Company member and teacher at BATS Improv, where he served as the first Artistic Director. He was a performer with Pulp Playhouse and helped found True Fiction Magazine. Theatresports has taken Paul to Seattle, Toronto, Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, New York, Los Angeles, Orlando, Helsinki, Melbourne and Sydney, Australia. Paul is also a film, voice and commercial actor, has toured several productions of Shakespeare, and has toured with the San Francisco Mime Troupe.
With a B.A. and Masters degree from of San Jose State University, he began his teaching career at Boise State University in 1968. Since returning to the Bay Area in 1970, Ron, in addition to his work at COM, has created sets for many Bay Area Theatre companies including, professional, educational and amateur: The Mountain Play, SF Ballet, Marin Theatre Company, Porchlight Theatre Company, Ross Valley Players, Napa Valley Community College and numerous independent theatre productions, to name a few. Outside of theatre, Ron has created theatrical environments for both retail and tradeshow clients throughout the US and internationally as well.
Ron has earned awards for both industrial and theatre projects throughout his lengthy career.
Currently residing in Petaluma with his wife Diane, Ron is the proud Pop-Pops of six perfect grandchildren.
Lisa Morse is the Chair of Drama at the College of Marin where she teaches Theatre History, Acting, Introduction to Theatre, Improvisation, and Directing. Before coming to Marin she was a teacher of Acting and Directing at Morehead State University in eastern Kentucky. Lisa was also Artistic Director and Co-founder of Artz for Kidz Youth Performance Group in Lafayette, California. Her research interest in Sicilian puppetry has taken her to Palermo where she studied the work of puppeteers Vincenzo Argento and Enzo Mancuso. She has presented at conferences in the US and abroad including the International Conference on Performing Objects in the 21st Century in Storrs, Connecticut and the Southeast Asian Puppetry Seminar in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. She is currently working on a contribution to a collection of essays on puppetry to be published by Routledge titled Material Performances: New Perspectives on Puppets and Performing Objects.
Molly Noble is a Bay Area actor and director. She serves on the faculty of COM teaching Voice for the Actor, Introduction to Theatre, and Acting One. Recent productions at COM include Mary Zimmerman's Arabian Night, Brian Friel’s Dancing at Lughnasa, Charles Mee’s Big Love, and John Cariani’s Almost, Maine. She is a company member of PlayGround, (the Bay Area's leading playwright incubator) and founder and former artistic director of Porchlight Theatre Company.
Patricia Polen has designed over 100 shows for both Professional and Academic Theater in her 39 years as a Costume Designer, receiving several Bay Area Critic’s Circle Awards along the way. In addition to her Design work, she teaches Production Stagecraft, Production Preparation for Costume and Hair, Production Crew, Stage Makeup: Theory and Practice, and Introduction to Theatre. She also works as a Make-up Artist for the San Francisco Opera and is the Wig and Make-up Designer/Supervisor for the Portland Opera. She has a growing interest in the design and construction of puppets and hopes to share that interest in future productions.
Richard Squeri is a Fight Choreographer with 35-years of experience. He is a former Stuntman/Stunt-teacher who was trained by, and taught with, Paul Stader, at Stader’s Stunt School in Los Angeles. He is an Adjunct Faculty member at the College of Marin and East Bay Center for the Performing Arts, where he teaches Stage Combat and is their Combat Artist in Residence. Richard’s fight directing credits at COM include: Almost Maine, Othello, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Hamlet, Arabian Nights, Macbeth, and I Hate Hamlet. Other local venues include: “The Barn” in Ross, Spreckels Performing Arts Center, 6th Street Playhouse, the Glazer Center, and Marin Shakespeare Company. In addition to numerous East Coast and Film/TV credits, Richard is the Founder-Lead Teacher (“Gogy”) of the Art and Practice of “Flowing Dragon Swords”, founded in 1989.
W. Allen Taylor’s theatre career began in 1979, and includes performances in many regional theatres around the country, as well as in NYC, with such critically acclaimed off-Broadway theatres as the Negro Ensemble Company and La Mama E.T.C. He has also been seen on Broadway in August Wilson’s “Seven Guitars”, and has appeared on network television and in feature films.
In addition, Allen co-founded the O’lac Repertory Ensemble, an Audelco Award nominated theatre company in NYC, dedicated to producing original plays by African-American playwrights. He served as co-producer and performed with this off-off Broadway company for seven years.
His solo show, "In Search Of My Father...Walkin' Talkin' Bill Hawkins", which he wrote and performed, made its professional debut at the Marsh Theatre in Berkeley, CA in 2006 and won the Best Solo-Performance Award from the San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle.
Allen received his MFA from the American Conservatory Theatre, and led the theatre programs at Laney College and the East Bay Center for the Performing Arts before coming to the College of Marin in 2000, where he has taught acting and directing, and directed many plays as a part of the Drama Department faculty.
David White, the Drama Department’s Technical Director since 1986, was born in Minneapolis. It was there at the age of 5 or 6 his parents took him to the first show that he remembers: Oklahoma! Coincidentally, it was also the first show that he worked on as a technician while a junior at Berkeley High School. In the five years between his high school graduation and employment at the College, David worked in the Bay Area professional theater world, learning new techniques and honing his stage craft. In his many years at COM, he has built, lit, and sometimes even costumed well over 100 shows for the Department. During his summer vacation David works for a design-build firm constructing displays for the California State Fair where he received numerous awards including Best of Show. Married for twenty-five years and father of two sons, David enjoys volunteering with the Boy Scouts of America in his free time.