Elana Lagerquist

Executive Director

elana founder w800Elana Lagerquist is a teacher and teaching artist in San Francisco. She holds a bachelor of arts degree in Theatre Arts from the University of California at Santa Cruz and a master’s degree in Educational Theatre from New York University. She received her multiple subjects teaching credential with Cross-cultural, Language and Academic Development (CLAD) emphasis through San Francisco State’s Muir Alternative Teacher Education program in 1997. She has taught second and third grade at Alvarado, John Swett, and Sunset Elementary Schools and has been a tenured teacher with the San Francisco Unified School District. While in New York pursuing her master’s degree, Elana worked with The Creative Arts Team as a teaching artist in the New York City public schools as a part of the Annenberg Challenge grant for school reform through the arts. Elana has presented staff development workshops for artists and teachers at various seminars for arts and education organizations including Performing Arts Workshop (PAW), Young Audiences, KQED-SPARK, Arts Education Funders Collaborative (AEFC) and SFUSD arts professional development workshops, UC Berkeley Public Service Center, and the Tennessee Arts Academy. Elana serves as Diversity and Outreach Chair with the Arts Providers Alliance of San Francisco. As a teacher, arts administrator, and teaching artist, Elana is dedicated to working with all students and teachers to integrate the arts into the core curricula.


Carrie Paff

carrie founder w800Carrie Paff is an actress and educator. She has taught theatre as a means of empowering young people with Word for Word, Berkeley Rep, San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, Brava! for Literacy, Leap…imagination in learning, and the Richmond District After-School Collaborative, as well as independently at various Bay Area elementary schools.  As the Education Director of San Francisco’s Magic Theatre from 2004-09, she led the Young California Writers Project (YCWP), teaching playwriting to at-risk high school students. While in New York City she spent three years as an Actor/Teacher with The Creative Arts Team (CAT), teaching conflict resolution through drama to students in all five boroughs.  In addition, she was a playwriting mentor with the 52nd Street Project in Hell’s Kitchen. Carrie taught an intensive theatre workshop at the University of Thessaloniki’s Summer Language Institute in Greece, and was a visiting professor of Theatre Arts in the summer of 2010 at Sookmyung University in Seoul, Korea. Carrie is also an award-winning actress. Her theatrical credits include leading roles at American Conservatory Theatre, Aurora Theatre Company, Marin Theatre Company, Magic Theatre, San Francisco Playhouse, San Jose Repertory Theatre, Center REP, Word for Word, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, A Contemporary Theatre (Seattle),  Arizona Theatre Company,  the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and London’s Leicester Square Theatre. Film credits include Quitters, A Fighting Season, Love & Taxes, Presque Isle and Opal, as well as the educational films This Is Macbeth and This Is Hamlet. Carrie was recently named one of the “Ten Bay Area Actors We Love” by the San Jose Mercury News.  She holds a B.A. in Theatre Arts and Women’s Studies with honors from the University of California at Santa Cruz and a master’s degree in Educational Theatre from NYU.