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Character: Kermit the Frog
Power: Turning into a small tabby cat whenever I want
Storybook Land: Dictionopolis
Melissa is a creative arts teacher at the Rabbit Hole and psychology student at the University of San Francisco. When she isn’t in the classroom, she enjoys crossword puzzles, painting, and walks with her dog, Stevie.
Character: Princess Mombi
Power: To eat as much dairy as I want
Storybook Land: Labyrinth
Bee is The Rabbit Hole resident prop maker. Outside of the Rabbit Hole Queendom, she is a sculptor and an illustrator. You can sometimes find her drawing people on windows around town.
Storybook Land: Camelot
Mary has been a teacher at The Rabbit Hole Children’s Theater for the last four years. You can find her teaching a class, creating activity books, dressing up and performing for kids or jamming at a birthday party!
A recent graduate from San Francisco State University studying Theater and Communications, Mary loves to help children unlock their imaginations and motivate them to create the wonderful ideas in their mind!
Character: Sailor Moon
Storybook Land: Neverland
Mel is an eclectic, curious and creative individual who has learned and experimented with many different arts & crafts forms since she was a little kid.Fascinated by the healing power of art and its ability to express our inner worlds, she has pursued and completed studies in art, early childhood education and psychology.
Mel has taught bilingual exploratory art to children during the last 5 years and now she makes use of her passion for creativity and children’s education to bring The Rabbit Hole Children’s Theater ideas to life for kids all over the world to enjoy!
Character: Wizard Merlin
Storybook Land: Middle Earth
Strider Patton is founder and director, Brooke’s husband, and partner in The Rabbit Hole. A third-generation self-taught artist, Strider grew up appreciating and making art.
He is a professional contemporary visual artist himself, specializing in sculpture, murals, and studio art. When he is not in his studio or on an installation, he is working with the Crew at The Rabbit Hole. Building sets, designing products, creative planning, and the occasional puppet show keep Strider involved with the company from many angles.
He has worked with youth and communities since he was young, valuing the role that creative expression plays in communities and individual lives.
Power: Flower Power
Storybook Land: Flower Power
Ariella Cooley has been teaching and creating at The Rabbit Hole since 2017. As a lead teacher, she uses theater games, song, dance, masks, puppetry, and crafts to tell stories with the kiddos in her class. As sound designer, she pulls from her classroom experience to make the Rabbit Hole Queendom come to life aurally. Crafting whimsical underscores, creating kooky sound effects, and finding expressive character voices make her tasks endlessly enjoyable!
Ariella earned her B.A in Theatre Arts from UC Santa Cruz, focusing primarily on acting and directing. Her work as a vocalist and songwriter inspired her expansion to audio production and theatrical sound design. At Rabbit Hole, she is able to tap into all of these artistic loves and fold them into her work with children.
Character: A drowsy cat with a cupcake farm
Storybook Land: Narnia not under the white witch’s rule
Meryl Theo Press has an affinity for play. She brings humor, music, visual art, and empathy to her work with the Crew at The Rabbit Hole. With these tools, she enjoys creating magical worlds for kids to inhabit, in order to stimulate their imaginations, encourage self-expression, and nourish joy.
In the classroom, her focus is on “seeing” the child. In her illustrations, Meryl appreciates detail and seeks a thread of storytelling. In summoning voices for The Rabbit Hole’s audio plays, she digs deep and scoops out the absurd characters within. She uses her longtime love of singing to bring musical elements to Rabbit Hole classes and productions.Meryl studied printmaking and painting at California College of the Arts and has performed with various bands in San Francisco, the United States, and Europe. She has been a part of The Rabbit Hole since 2016. Meryl’s 9-year-old daughter Vida is her most treasured and valuable collaborator.
Power: Ice Magic
Storybook Land: The Shire
Brooke Patton spent that last decade in the classroom developing an imaginary play method designed to nurture creative confidence in early childhood education. She’s the leader of the Crew, having founded The Rabbit Hole Children’s Theater in 2012. Having spent the first eight years in the classroom, she’s created heartfelt experiences for kids both in and out of the school. She’s developed lesson plans, theatrical kits, creative classes, and productions designed to nurture children’s creative development.
She came from a strong foundation in theatrical arts and graduated from The American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City, where she studied Musical Theater. Brooke also holds a strong passion for human development linking the connection play servers for children’s creative development. Her method is rooted in celebrating the creative process and honoring ideas that come from the child—allowing kids to discover the depths of their creative potential and grow up with a sense of worthiness around their ideas. She is a mother to an incredible little girl and loves her family with her whole heart.