CAFETERIA KIDS THEATER STAFF
Aimée Guillot- Founder, Co-Director, and Teacher
Aimée is a theater artist and educator who began her career as an actor. Off Broadway she appeared at the Brooklyn Academy of Music Next Wave Festival in the Obie-award winning production of Big Love directed by Les Waters and written by Chuck Mee.; Canard, Canard, Goose? (Here Arts Center), directed by Steve Cosson with original music by Michael Friedman; and Xtravaganza ( St. Ann’s Warehouse), directed by Marianne Weems. She is also an original member of the New York based theatre group The Civilians. Her regional credits include: Big Love (The Goodman Theatre, Long Wharf Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville- Humana Festival of New American Plays), Wintertime (Long Wharf Theater); The Importance of Being Earnest (La Jolla Playhouse). In the Bay Area, she was in the West Coast premiere of Eurydice at Berkeley Rep directed by Les Waters and written by Sarah Ruhl. Also, The Typographer’s Dream (Encore Theatre, Shotgun Players), directed by Anne Kauffman and written by Adam Bock, Big Love (Berkeley Rep), Fingered (Yerba Buena Center for the Arts). In Europe she has performed at Kaaitheater, Brussels; the Rotterdam Schouwburg; Le Maillon, Strasbourg; Mousonturm, Frankfurt; Le Volcan, Le Havre. As a teaching artist she has worked in classrooms in San Francisco, Berkeley, Oakland, Palo Alto, San Jose and Napa. She was also a resident teaching artist for TheatreWorks’ Children’s Healing Project at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital in Palo Alto. In Napa she has taught drama to students at Blue Oak School, Pueblo Vista Alternative School, Yountville Elementary, Northwood Elementary, Redwood Middle School, Calistoga Elementary, NVLA, Saint Helena Elementary School, St. Helena Primary School, Napa Montessori Children’s House, and American Canyon Middle School. As a director she has staged productions at The Napa Valley Opera House, The Little Theater @ NVC, Lincoln Theater, and the Napa Valley College Performing Arts Center. As a director with Cafeteria Kids Theater she has co-directed productions of Peter Pan, Willy Wonka, Shrek the Musical, Mary Poppins the Musical (2019 Arty award winner for Best Youth Musical), and Matilda the Musical. Aimée received her Bachelor of Arts in Literature from SUNY Purchase (Cum Laude), and her Master of Fine Arts in Acting from UC San Diego, where she was voted one of the top 100 teachers. Additional acting training: NYU/Tisch School of the Arts; Oxford School of Drama. She is an adjunct faculty member in the Theater Arts Department at Napa Valley College. Aimée founded Cafeteria Kids Theater in 2007, and formally founded the non-profit Lunchtime Productions Inc. with Olivia Cowell in 2014.
Olivia Cowell- Co-Director and Teacher
Olivia is an award-winning director, choreographer, and actor who focused her attention on teaching drama to children while obtaining her M.A. in Drama from San Francisco State University. She joined forces with Aimée Guillot as a teaching artist in 2007 and became co-director of Cafeteria Kids Theater when the organization transitioned into a nonprofit in 2014. Local directing credits include: Matilda the Musical, Mary Poppins, Shrek the Musical, Roald Dahl's Willy Wonka, Peter Pan, A Chorus Line, Private Eyes, Late: a Cowboy Song, Eternity, Lend Me a Tenor, The Wizard of Oz, Seussical Jr., and Alice in Wonderland. Olivia has taught drama to students throughout the Napa Valley. Schools and theaters include: Blue Oak Lower and Upper Schools, St. Helena Primary, Napa Christian Campus of Education, Yountville Elementary School, Pueblo Vista Alternative Elementary School, Calistoga Elementary School, Silverado Middle School, Redwood Middle School, Cybermill Technology Inc., Hopper Creek Montessori, Vichy Elementary School, Bel Air Elementary School, Napa Valley Performing Arts Center at Lincoln Theater, The Napa Valley Opera House, and Napa Valley College Performing Arts Center. Olivia is also adjunct faculty in the Theater Arts Department at Napa Valley College where she teaches a variety of theater courses.
She has worked as a choreographer throughout her career, having trained with UK-based Royal Academy of Dance in classical ballet. Olivia is also trained in contemporary, jazz, and musical theater dance styles. As a Napa Valley native, wife to a theater professional and mother of two young children, she is elated to be an educator in this community.
Vivian B. McLaughlin, Musical Director
Vivian has a BFA in Musical Theater from New York University. She performed on Broadway and starred in the television show Out of the Box currently streaming on Disney+. She has performed in Russia and Argentina, recorded several children’s audiobooks, and can be heard on Volume I and II of the Playhouse Disney CD Series. Vivian has filmed industrials and commercials for companies such as Western Union, Sun Microsystems, MSN, and Visa. She is a proud member of SAG/AFTRA and AEA. Vivian was the head of the theater department at Justin-Siena High School where she taught acting and choral classes, and directed their musicals and plays. After leaving the position, she returned to the school to music direct and conduct the orchestra for their yearly spring musicals. She has been an adjunct faculty member at Solano Community College where she music directed for Solano Youth Theatre and was the acting Artistic Director for the Teen Touring Company. A multiple Arty Award winner/nominee for her music direction, Vivian has also taught at several other schools including: Fairfield High, Benicia High, Will C. Wood, American Canyon High, Rodriguez High, Sun and Stars Montessori, Stone Bridge School, St. John’s Catholic, St. John’s Lutheran, Pueblo Vista Elementary, Northwood Elementary, Matthew Turner Elementary, and Oakbrook Elementary. Vivian has also been the music director for the J & S Center for Performing Arts and at the Missouri Street and Lincoln Theaters. In addition to Cafeteria Kids Theater, Vivian currently works with Starbound Theatre and Musical Mayhem Productions, and offers private voice/piano lessons. While some of her students can now be heard singing on Broadway, Vivian hopes to impart an appreciation for musical theatre and the art of singing, regardless of whether or not her students choose to pursue the arts as a career. She feels extremely lucky to be part of the Cafeteria Kids Theater family and to have landed the roles of “wife” to Bret and “Mommy” to daughter Julien.
Sophie Heflebower, Teaching Artist and Lead Intern
Sophie has been an acting student of Cafeteria Kids Theater (CKT) since she was 15, when she played Grandma Josephine in CKT’s production of Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka. She has been an intern for 3 years and is currently training with CKT as a teaching artist. Other roles include the CKT/NVC Theater Department productions of Shrek the Musical as the Mad Hatter, Mary Poppins as Katie Nanna, and Matilda the Musical as the Magician/Big Kid Ensemble. Sophie has been nominated for Youth Volunteer of the Year Award for The Center of Nonprofit Leadership’s Heart of Napa Awards for her work with CKT. In 2016 she won September Student of the Month for Academic Achievement from the Napa Valley Unified School District Board of Education. A Napa Valley Independent Studies graduate, she is currently attending Napa Valley College majoring in Musical Theater. She is looking forward to continuing her work as a Teaching Artist with CKT.
Tessa Mello, Lead Intern
Tessa started acting with Cafeteria Kids Theater in 2015 and became an intern for them in 2017. She started learning guitar and vocals at 5 years old and started acting at 10. Tessa is a 2020 graduate from Vintage High School and will be attending college in the fall. She spent three years of high school in choir where she had the opportunity to perform at Disneyland and go to New York to perform at Carnegie Hall. She has taken part in dozens of CKT summer camps and classes as an actor and an intern. Tessa has also been in many of the CKT productions including Peter Pan, Shrek the Musical, Mary Poppins and most recently had the honor of playing the role of Miss Honey in Matilda the Musical. She was also an Arts Council Napa Valley’s visual and performing arts (VAPA) student of the month winner for the month of December 2019. Tessa is so excited to be an intern for CKT’s virtual summer!!
Francisco Sipiora-Guiterrez, Lead Intern
Francisco began studying acting with Cafeteria Kids Theater (CKT) at age 14 when he participated in an after-school class for teens. He has since been an intern for CKT working with children of all ages in camps and workshops throughout the last four years. He has also continued his acting training and was cast in two of CKT’s fall productions presented in partnership with Napa Valley College. In 2018 he played Bert in Mary Poppins, and in 2019 he played Mr. Wormwood in Matilda the Musical. He was also cast in the Napa Valley College Theater Department’s production of Treasure Island. A four-year honor student, Francisco was awarded a membership to the National Art Honors society in 2019 and 2020, and in March was elected the Visual and Performing Arts Student of the Month by The Arts Council of Napa Valley Education Alliance. A recent graduate of New Technology High School in Napa, Francisco was accepted to The University of Oregon and Oregon State University and plans to pursue a career in music production and marketing. He also intends to continue acting and performing any chance he gets!
Cafeteria Kids Theater Board
Board of Trustees:
Holly Finkelstein & Diana Zapolski- Co-President
Michael Higuera- Treasurer
Anna Marie Longo- Secretary
Founded in 2007
Cafeteria Kids Theater is part of Lunchtime Productions Inc., a non-profit tax exempt organization
Cafeteria Kids Theater is part of Lunchtime Productions Inc., a non-profit tax exempt organization