Meet Your Teachers


Sandy Sainvil • Dreamcatcher Junior Director


Sandy Sainvil is part of the staff of Elefante Music and School for the Performing Arts. As a teaching artist, Sandy has been a staff member at Dreamcatcher Repertory Theater's Summer Theater Conservatory, Premier Stages, and Very Special Arts of New Jersey. As an actor, Sandy's work includes the lead role of "Yolanda" in The Theater Project production of Crowns, "Disciple" in the Bullet Theater Collaborative's all-female cast production of Godspell, "Trixipop" in LiveIn Theater's flashmob film project, "Rozie" in Dreamcatcher Repertory Theater's The Electric Baby, and "Sister Robert Ann" in Edison Valley Playhouse in Nunsense II: The Second Coming. Sandy is also Drama Director at a local church, and has written and directed four plays.

Vanessa Parvin • Musical Direction and Voice


Vanessa Parvin has loved singing and the stage since childhood. In addition to a variety of jobs as a musical director and vocal coach, she has been fortunate to perform with Broadway’s Ben Vereen, Carol Lawrence, Sally Struthers, Nancy Anderson, Burke Moses, and Eden Espinosa, among others. Favorite stage roles include Cinderella in Into The Woods, Marsinah in Kismet, Irene in Hello, Dolly!, and Jenny in The Threepenny Opera. She appeared most recently at the Goodspeed Opera House as part of the Angel City Four in City Of Angels. Vanessa has been featured in a number of shows at Disneyland, and has been a professional holiday caroler for over a decade. She is the soprano for MAC Award-winning vocal quintet Marquee Five, recently described as “Manhattan Transfer for the new millennium.” With Marquee Five, Vanessa has appeared at 54 Below, SOPAC, Feinstein’s, the Metropolitan Room, the Laurie Beechman Theater, and Don’t Tell Mama. You can hear her on Marquee Five’s debut CD “8-Track Throwback,” now available on iTunes. Vanessa holds a BA in Music from UCLA and a MFA in Theater from Brooklyn College. When not performing, she teaches private voice and piano in her South Orange home. Visit Vanessa’s Web site

Jessica O'Hara-Baker • Acting Instructor


Jessica O’Hara-Baker is a Manhattan-based actor and Dreamcatcher ensemble member. She was last seen onstage in two of Dreamcatcher’s mainstage shows last season at Oakes Center in Summit, playing The Woman in Sharr White’s haunting The Other Place and leading the cast of the hit comedy Rx as Meena. This is Jessica’s fifth year teaching and directing at the Summer Theater Conservatory, and she is particularly excited to write a new, original show with the students. (Last year’s “Don’t Touch That Dial” was a hit!) Jessica worked with the LAByrinth Theater’s Intensive Ensemble last June, and is developing a new play with playwright Clare Drobot. She is a Tisch School of the Arts graduate and a member of the Actors’ Equity Association.

Laura Ekstrand • Artistic Director

Laura Ekstrand

Laura Ekstrand was co-founder of Dreamcatcher in 1994. She has appeared at Dreamcatcher in Motherhood Out Loud; Shakespeare in Vegas; The Neighborhood; Shooting Star; This; Parallel Lives: The Kathy & Mo Show; The Great God Money; You Miss Them; Wonder Of The World; Expecting Isabel; Match; Old Friend; Anton In Show Business and many others, and is a member of the improvisational comedy group Multiple Personality Disorder. She has also been lucky enough to perform at several other New Jersey theatres, including Passage Theater, 12 Miles West, The Theater Project, Luna Stage, and Pushcart Players. In New York she has worked at Naked Angels, Ensemble Studio Theatre, and New Georges, among other theatres. Laura has been featured in such films as Split Ends, High Art and I Shot Andy Warhol, and on television on Hack, Sex And The City, Law & Order, and The Guiding Light. Some of the plays she has directed at Dreamcatcher include Rx, The Language Archive, Next Fall, Distracted, Melancholy Play, Pride’s Crossing, Full Bloom, and Crumbs From The Table Of Joy. She is a private monologue coach and holds a B.A. from Yale University and an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College. She is a member of AEA, SAG, AFTRA, and the Dramatists Guild. She lives happily in Livingston, NJ with her two favorite guys.