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  Our Teachers    

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  Alison Kalmus  

Acting Instructor and Dramaturge


With over 30 years of film/ theater performance experience, teaching, directing, and producing, Ms. Kalmus has also been a Casting and Voice-Over Director for NASA’s Space Place in a Snap, NOAA’s Scijinx educational videos, Walt Disney Co. and Independent Shakespeare Co. She is a resource acting coach for L.A. and Orange County High School for the Arts.


Kalmus is an award-winning director of theater, musicals, and opera, nationally and internationally. For Sierra Madre Playhouse, she has directed the critically acclaimed productions of  A Christmas Carol Story (‘01, 02, ’04,) Narnia, The Sound of Music, The Gondoliers, A Christmas Memory, A Little House Christmas, as well as The Dream On Royal Street. In collaboration with the City of Sierra Madre and Los Angeles County Parks & Recreation, she produced and directed four seasons of professional Shakespeare in The Park.

In association with Pasadena Polytechnic School, Kalmus developed a curriculum and taught, trained, and supervised teachers for the nonprofit Noteworthy Music & Learning Systems for school drama programs throughout Los Angeles County. 


For more information on Alison Kalmus, please visit LinkedIn.

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  Gayle Bluemel  

Music and Vocal Instructor


Gayle brings years of experience with her, as an ardent advocate of Arts Education. Some of her credits include: 

  • Teacher, Administrator and Performing Arts Specialist

  • Founder, Pasadena Musical Theatre Program (GATE Summer Musical Workshop)

  • Vocal/Music Director for numerous student productions, such as Once upon a Ma+ress,

    Guys and Dolls, Oklahoma! and Company.

  • Performer/Singer-Songwriter with local bands

  • Writer/Composer/Arranger, including an original musical, The Girl Is Still Her​


Upon her retirement as Principal Emeritus from Sierra Madre School, the auditorium was renamed in her honor, with the following words: “Gayle Bluemel, The Singing Principal, recognized for her outstanding service to Pasadena Unified School District and the transformational role she has played in the lives of countless youth through the Performing Arts in Education.”​

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 Jean-Michelle Sayeg 

Choreographer and Movement Instructor


Jean-Michelle Sayeg is a graduate of St. Mary’s College of California and Pilates Certified (BASI).  She is on faculty at the Colburn School and Curtis Studio of dance.  For the last seven years she has taught master classes in a variety of dance styles at Arcadia High School where she choreographs all mainstage productions.    


Sayeg trained at Le Studio & San Francisco Ballet. She became a principal dancer with State Street Ballet and Smuin Ballet dancing title roles in Carmen, B.A.N.D., Medea, Giselle, Petit Mort and originated Trey McIntyre’s Oh Inverted World! Her multifaceted career includes performing internationally in Taiwan with State Street Ballet & throughout the US in Broadway’s National Tours of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats (Victoria) and Lerner & Loewe’s Camelot (Lady Sybil). She has been featured in Marie de la Palme’s award-winning aerial silk ballet Le Couer Illumine, as well as productions at Lincoln Center (My Fair Lady, Cinderella), Hollywood Bowl (Sound Of Music, Camelot) and LA Opera (Aida, Merry Widow, Ghost Of Versailles, Macbeth) 


Choreography includes Tie Up & Cover (Smuin Ballet), And As the World Goes Round (Interplayer’s Theatre), Picnic (Antaeus Theatre Company), Dancing Lessons, Emma (Ensemble Theatre Company) as well as original works in South Africa (CAPA) and the townships in Philippi and Gugulethu.

Awards include the Music Center Spotlight Award, Lester Horton Award, Palm Desert Dance Under the Stars Choreography Festival and winner of the Jerry Herman Award Best Choreography for Thoroughly Modern Millie. She enjoys teaching various styles to all ages and levels of dance. Sayeg is a proud member of Actors Equity, SAG-AFTRA & AGMA.

  Dianne Harmel  

Music and Vocal Instructor


Currently, Ms. Harmel is the CEO and artistic director of Foothill Academy of Vocal Arts (FAVA), a nonprofit organization she founded in 2006 to provide voice instruction and choral music opportunities for elementary and high school youth in the Greater Pasadena area. As a performer, Ms. Harmel is an accomplished mezzo-soprano soloist specializing in oratorio work; however, her passion is teaching others to sing.  She is an Adjunct Professor of Applied Voice at Azusa Pacific University and at Life Pacific College, where she also serves as Choir Director.  Additionally, Dianne has a private studio in her home in Monrovia where her current voice students range in age from 8 to 78. She received her musical education locally in Los Angeles, with a B.M. in Vocal Performance from USC and an M.A in Music (Emphasis in Vocal Pedagogy) from CSULA.

  Amy Sara Lim  

Alumnus T.A.


Amy Sara has been a member of AKT and SCLT with Alison Kalmus since the age of six. Credits include Lucy in Narnia, Little Fan/Belinda in A Christmas Carol, and NASA voiceover projects - all directed by Alison Kalmus. In 2021, Amy graduated from Chapman University, where, in five years, she earned her BA in English and her Masters Degree in Curriculum and Instruction. She hopes to pursue a career in teaching English and theater arts.

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