Gallo Center Repertory Company


Our Team

Ryan Foy

Ryan Foy (Director of Produced Theatre & Special Programming/Director, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee)

Originally from Denver, CO, Ryan attended the University of Michigan Musical Theatre program and studied at the National Institute of Dramatic Arts in Sydney, Australia. While based in New York City, Ryan appeared onstage in numerous national/international tours and regional productions across America, Australia, and Asia, including performances at Radio City Music Hall and the New York International Fringe Festival. A skilled director, Ryan has also helmed a wide variety of musical theater productions from coast to coast. Ryan's theatrical experience extends beyond the stage, with work in company management, Broadway marketing/advertising, and theatrical design and production. In the 24/25 season, Ryan directed Winter Wonderettes, and in 24/25 will direct The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.


Jewel Whitaker

Jewel Whitaker (Special Programming and Events Manager /Stage Manager for GCRC)

Jewel Whitaker has stage managed a variety of GCRC productions, including All is Calm, On Golden Pond, To Kill a Mockingbird, Of Mice and Men, and most recently, Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express and Winter Wonderettes. She also stage managed and co-directed (along with Jim Johnson and Wes Page) Twisted Tales of Edgar Allan Poe. An active part of Modesto’s performing arts community, Jewel has performed with Prospect Theater Projects’ Radio Cavalcade since its inception, with Center Stage Conservatory in 2019, and with Opera Modesto in their 2022 World Concert. She is married to local makeup artist extraordinaire, Vance Whitaker, and worked as the Marketing and Development Manager for Opera Modesto for the past few years. She is now the Special Programming and Events Manager for the Gallo Center for the Arts, overseeing all Rentals and Resident Companies and their partnerships with the center.


Jim Johnson

Jim Johnson (Director, Born Yesterday)

After 40 years of service at Modesto Junior College as a Professor of Speech & Theatre, plus Dean of the Arts, Humanities and Communications division, Jim is retired and now dedicates his time to the local theatre community. He recently stepped down from his role as the Artistic Director of the Gallo Center Repertory Company which he volunteered his time to for over a decade. He previously served for six years as the Gallo Center Arts Education Coordinator in the Pathways to Creativity program. Jim’s recent directing assignments include: The Piano Lesson, Freedom Riders, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Stand and Deliver, The Odd Couple, All Is Calm, To Kill a Mockingbird, and Twisted Tales of Edgar Allan Poe. Jim currently serves as a Board of Trustee member for the Gallo Center for the Arts, and he is also a committee member for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration ceremonies. His community awards include: MJC Purdy award for excellence in education, Stanislaus County Arts Council Lifetime achievement in the arts, Stanislaus County PFLAG special honor and the Stanislaus County NAACP Special recognition. Jim holds B.A. and M.A. degrees in Communication from California State University, East Bay and a PH.D. in Communication Arts and Sciences from the University of Southern California.

Laura Dickinson-Turner

Laura Dickinson-Turner (Director, 1984)

Laura Dickinson-Turner was born in California and grew up in Modesto, smack in the heart of the Central Valley. She received her BA in Theatre Arts at CSU Stanislaus, after which she lived in NYC for four years, first working on Broadway for 101 Productions, Ltd., then in the not-for-profit sector as an Executive Assistant at the Institute of International Education. She returned to Modesto in 2009 and found her theatrical home at Prospect Theater Project, where she has acted, directed, taught, volunteered, and provided administrative support ever since. After her return to the Valley, Laura was the full-time Department Coordinator for the Theatre Department at CSU Stanislaus from 2010-2015. She received her MA in English Literature from CSU Stanislaus in 2014 and transitioned to college teaching in 2015, as adjunct faculty for the English department at Modesto Junior College. In 2017, Laura moved to Los Angeles to further pursue her education, receiving her MFA in Television, Film, and Theatre/Acting Option in 2020 from Cal State LA. While in LA, she performed at the Hollywood Fringe Festival, was a member of Son of Semele Ensemble, and served as the Department Coordinator for the Theatre and Dance Department at Cal State LA from April 2021-June 2024. In the 2024-25 season, she joins Prospect as Associate Artistic Director, working alongside her beloved friend Jack Souza. In the 2025-26 season, Laura will succeed Jack as Artistic Director of Prospect Theater Project, and looks forward to many years of theatre-making at her theatrical home in California’s thriving Central Valley. You can find her at lauradickinsonturner.com.

Roberta Inscho

Roberta Inscho (Director, All is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914)

Roberta Inscho is a director/choreographer from Modesto, California, with a deep passion for musical theatre and Shakespeare. She has her MFA in Directing from the University of Memphis, where she recently directed The Rocky Horror Show. Roberta has been a company member of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF) for three seasons, including the upcoming production of Jane Eyre, as well as Twelfth Night (Associate Director/Movement Director) and Merry Wives of Windsor (F.A.I.R Assistant Director). During the pandemic, Roberta directed and produced a virtual 10-episode series of Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida with her company All the Web's A Stage. Recent productions include Romeo and Juliet (Director; Tennessee Shakespeare), Legally Blonde (Choreographer; Occidental College), Paradise Blue (Intimacy Choreographer; Aurora Theatre), Beehive (Associate Choreographer; Center Rep), Mamma Mia (Choreographer; College Prep), and Dance Nation (Intimacy Choreographer; UMass). IG @_robertaevelyn_

Polly Vasché

Polly Vasché (Music Director, All is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914)

Polly Vasché taught 5 choral ensembles during her 30 years at Thomas Downey HS, Modesto. Among those was a 40-voice men’s choir which performed throughout the state, most notably at music conferences in Sacramento and Pasadena. Polly was also vocal music director and conductor of the pit orchestra for numerous full-scale Broadway musicals while at Downey. She holds degrees from Stanford and CSU Stanislaus and has received many state and regional awards. Polly is Founder and Board Chair of the Central Valley Youth Chorus, and she and husband Burt are founding and continuing members of the Modesto Symphony Orchestra Chorus. Polly is ever grateful for a life in choral music.

Traci Sprague

Traci Sprague (Director, Boeing Boeing)

Traci Sprague has directed and performed locally at Prospect Theater Project, Center Stage Conservatory, Stage 3, Merced Shakespearefest, Murphy’s Creek Theater, Playhouse Merced, Phoenix Collective, and Shakespeare on the Vine. She earned her BA in Drama from CSU Stanislaus, studied crafting political theatre with San Francisco Mime Troupe, Viewpoints with Alexandra Billings, and Improv with Sills/Spolin Theaterworks. She led several workshops at Opera Modesto and Stanislaus County schools including using theatre to teach creativity in the classroom at the County of Education Arts Symposium. Traci Sprague served as the Artistic Director for Center Stage Conservatory located in downtown Modesto where she developed a teen summer theatre conservatory in classical theatre. Some of her favorite experiences directing include The Aliens, all-female Julius Caesar, Dry Land, The Wolves, and Mother of the Maid. Traci has spent the last few handful of years focusing on shows that empower lgbtq+ voices and women.

Jamie Johns

Jamie Johns (Music Director, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee)

Jamie Johns has had a varied career in commercial theater, opera, chamber music, musical theatre, and academia. After serving six years on the road as the music director of the North American tour of The Phantom of the Opera, Jamie was briefly on faculty at Penn State, before joining the theatre department at Stanislaus State. Highlights from Jamie's conducting career include Sunday in the Park with George, Avenue Q, Rent, Smokey Joe's Café, The Marriage of Figaro, The Abduction from the Seraglio, La Traviata, and Hansel and Gretel. He also served as MD on workshops for Josh Schmidt's A Minister's Wife at The Writers Theatre in Chicago before the show was produced at Lincoln Center.

Josh Christensen

Josh Christensen (Scenic Designer & Head Carpenter)

Josh Christensen is a native of Alberta, Canada, where he received his technical theatre and design training before relocating to NYC in 2012. He previously served as the Resident Scenic Designer and Technical Director at Shadowland Stages in Ellenville, NY before relocating to California’s Central Valley in 2019. Josh previously designed for GCRC’s 2023 productions of Murder on the Orient Express and Winter Wonderettes. Other memorable design credits include Sunday in the Park with George and the world premiere of Roger Bean’s ShBoom - A Christmas Miracle at Sierra Repertory Theatre, K2, Memoirs of a Forgotten Man (East Coast premiere), Disgraced, Papermaker, Shear Madness, The Roommate (Shadowland Stages). Ripcord (Seven Angels Theatre, Connecticut), Men on Boats, Matilda the Musical (Playhouse Merced). Upcoming design credits include: Born Yesterday (GCRC), Little Shop of Horrors (Sierra Rep), Rocky Horror Show (Stanislaus State Theatre), Oklahoma! (YES Company), and Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer (Sierra Rep).

Noelle Souza

Noelle Souza (Costume Designer)

Noelle Souza (Costume Designer) is excited to be back working with GCRC! For the stage, she has recently designed The Addams Family, Annie, YES Co.’s 30th Anniversary Concert Spectacular, and Singin’ in the Rain for YES Company, On Golden Pond, Holes, All is Calm, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, Little Women, To Kill A Mockingbird, A Christmas Story, Of Mice and Men, Murder on the Orient Express and Winter Wonderettes for GCRC, and Mother of the Maid and Rough Crossing for Prospect Theater Project. For television, she has worked as the wardrobe stylist for over 15 national commercials for the brand, Grocery Outlet. Ms. Souza holds a degree from the University of San Diego, and you can find more information about her work on her website: www.noellesouza.com.