The Dragon’s Staff
Co-Artistic Director: Bora “Max” Koknar max (at) dragonproductions.net
Bora “Max” Koknar (he/him) is a Turkish-born actor, director, writer, educator, producer and the Co-Artistic Director of the Dragon. In his professional career of 15+ years, Max has entertained over 500,000 people as a performer; produced a touring program serving over 100,000 children a year across the west coast; founded an education program designed to increase language fluency and communication skills of 100s of at risk youth in partnership with local elementary schools and the Ohio State University; created site specific and immersive experiences entertaining 1000s of people in partnership with venues including the SF MOMA, Fort Mason, and San Jose Japan Town with Epic Immersive; and collaborated with international tech giants such as Google, Apple, Facebook, Box, Intuit, Genentech, and Paradox Interactive as director, performer, executive coach, training facilitator and experience designer.
Co-Artistic Director: Alika U. Spencer-Koknar alika (at) dragonproductions.net
Alika U. Spencer-Koknar (she/her) is a native to the Bay Area who graduated from Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts in 2006.
As a performer, Alika also focuses on creating new and devised works. She has created self produced works and collaborated with companies like Golden Thread, Bindlepunks, foolsFury, First Person Travel,
Managing Director: Kimberly Wadycki kim (at) dragonproductions.net
Kimberly Wadycki (she/her) graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a bachelor’s degree in political science. While pursuing her degree she was very active at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts – she was the founding producer of “On the Rocks,” a series of student written, directed, and produced one-acts, sat on the Administrative Board of the Krannert Center Association for three years, and was the sole student campus representative on the search committee to hire the new Executive Director of the Krannert Center. After moving back to St. Louis, she was heavily involved with St. Louis Shakespeare and Magic Smoking Monkey Theatre where she worked as a Stage Manager, Board Member, and Production Manager. After a 6 year hiatus Kim has “un-retired” to become active with Dragon Productions Theatre where she has worked in various capacities since 2010.
2nd Stages Director: Karen Altree Piemme 2ndstages (at) dragonproductions.net
Karen Altree Piemme (she/her) is an accomplished director, actor, dramaturg, workshop facilitator and acting instructor, specializing in community access to the arts. Ms. Piemme spent 21 years with San Jose Repertory Theatre, where she was the Director of Outreach and Resident Dramaturg. She also serves as the Director of the Red Ladder Theatre Company, the nationally-acclaimed, award-winning resident outreach company, which empowers disenfranchised populations in our community by helping them develop positive life-skills through the art form of theatre. Ms. Piemme is proud of the positive impact Red Ladder has had on the community as it works to meet the needs of the diverse populations the program serves. Through her expertise in the field, Ms. Piemme has been asked to mentor other artists through the process of creating their own programs based on Red Ladder’s philosophy and methodology, and has successfully launched two other companies on this model. Ms. Piemme’s facility for innovative program design has led her to develop a wide range of interactive arts programs, such as the Creative Playshop program, which have been lauded by others in the field of arts education and have been replicated by theatres nationwide.
Ms. Piemme has directed productions, conducted dramaturgy, taught classes and delivered workshops locally, nationally and internationally for over twenty-five years. In 2011 she received the Champion of Arts Education Award from the City of San Jose, and in 2012 she was honored as one of the “35 Faces” of Theatre Bay Area. She serves on the Theatre Services Committee for Theatre Bay Area, is on Playwrights Foundation’s play selection committee for the Bay Area Playwrights Festival and teaches classes at San Jose State University.
As an active Bay Area community leader, Ms. Piemme served for two years as the Executive Director of the San Jose Leadership Council. She is a founding member of the Kids in Common Action Network, has participated as a mentor in the Enterprise Academy Mentoring Program and at the Foundry Community Day School, has led workshops for the Young Audiences Arts in Education Institute, the City of San José’s Arts Express Celebration, the Bay Area California Arts Project and the South Bay Arts Education Collaborative. She has been a guest speaker on the topics of arts education and community partnerships at local, regional and national conferences and community organizations. She has participated in training residencies for artists and conducted workshops in the creative process both nationally and internationally, most recently in Santiago, Chile and Anchorage, Alaska. Ms. Piemme was educated in both New York and London, and received her degree in Acting & Directing (graduating Magna Cum Laude) from Syracuse University. Ms. Piemme is a member of Actors’ Equity Association.
Box Office Manager, Volunteering, and Ticket Donations: Ellie Pershing tickets (at) dragonproductions.net
Ellie Pershing (she/her) is a recent college graduate from Guilford College in North Carolina, and a new transplant to the Bay Area. She has been a part of various theatre communities throughout her life, participating as an actress as well as working on set construction, lighting, costumes, props, and stage management. The shows she participated in include Thoroughly Modern Millie, Chicago, and Godspell. She has also worked as a camp counselor at several summer theatre programs for children. Ellie loves theatre and is very excited to be working with the Dragon Theatre as their new Box Office Manager.
Production Manager: Charlotte Tani charlotte (at) dragonproductions.net
Originally from London, England, Charlotte (she/her) has lived in the United States since the early 1990’s. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in stage management from The Theatre School @ DePaul University in Chicago and a Master’s degree in production management from the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts). Since returning to the Bay Area she has been involved with productions with Silicon Valley Shakespeare and Sunnyvale Community Players, usually as a Stage Manager or as Production Manager. Outside of the theatre world Charlotte has worked in the Entertainment Production division of NBCUniversal at Universal Studios Hollywood as an Assistant Production Manager on the annual Halloween Horror Nights event. Most notably Charlotte was a member of the production teams for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the London 2012 and Sochi 2014 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Venue Rentals and Company Contracts: Mae Linh Blake rentals (at) dragonproductions.net
Mae Linh (she/her) is currently the company manager for Dragon Productions Theater Company. Finally, a position that combines her love of theater and scheduling! She is no stranger to working on the production side of theater as a production manager, stage manager, or costumer, but she likes to get out in front of the lights every now and then.
Inquiries about classes for children and adults: Justine Bechler classes (at) dragonproductions.net
Justine (she/her) is a professional actor, singer, director, and vocal director and has a passion for theatre education for all ages and mentoring teenagers to be leaders and future teaching artists through internships. Justine is extremely dedicated to the success of each of her students as individuals as well as an ensemble. She loves passing on the knowledge of how the vocal instrument functions to impart proper singing techniques and helping actors overcome their challenges while simultaneously instilling confidence to students. She loves watching theatre bring people from all different backgrounds together and collaborate on a common goal. Justine is very excited to work with the students in this community to be the best performers and technicians they can be!
Inquiries about corporate workshops and team builders: Bora “Max” Koknar max (at) dragonproductions.net
Graphic Designer: Maggie Ziomek maggie.ziomek.sf (at) gmail.com
Graphic designer. Illustrator. Copywriter. Chocolate connoisseur. In that order. For the past 20 years, Maggie has helped entrepreneurs, non profits and small- to medium-businesses tell the world their story. Recent projects include logo design for Redwood City Youth Theatre, naming and logo design for an investor startup, bios and website content for a real estate team, email campaigns for an award-winning architectural firm, show art and design for Dragon Productions Theatre Company’s 2015-2019 seasons, and book cover concept, art and design for self-publishing authors. She is happy to consult with you about how to tell your story.