Meet the Collective
Laura Espino is a Mexican actor and teacher. Born to Mexican immigrants in San Francisco, she is a San Francisco native and a teacher in the San Francisco Unified School District, teaching in Spanish and English. Currently, she teaches freshmen at the Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of The Arts. As a casting professional, she has cast projects at Golden Thread Productions, Marin Theatre, Playwrights Foundation and SF Playhouse. As an actor, her credits include work with Theatreworks, The Magic Theatre, Playground, California Shakespeare Theatre, and Playwrights Festival. She is a proud company member of TheatreFirst in Berkeley and also a Theatre Bay Area Award Finalist. As an MLA Candidate at Stanford University, Laura is a fierce advocate for interdisciplinary art. She lives in San Francisco with her partner and two (soon to be three!) kids.
Dori L. Jacob, CSA
Founder & Casting Director
Dori Jacob was born and raised in the Bay Area and has been working in the local, regional theatre scene in myriad capacities for the past 12 years. Pre-pandemic, she served as the resident Casting Director at San Francisco Playhouse and Marin Theatre Company consecutively. Prior to MTC, Ms. Jacob was the Director of New Play Development for Magic Theatre and dramaturged the world premiere productions of Octavio Solis’ Se Llama Cristina, Linda McLean’s Every Five Minutes, Christina Anderson’s pen/man/ship, and John Kolvenbach’s Sister Play. Further Bay Area credits include: Assassins (Shotgun Players), Marilee Talkington’s The Creative Process (SOMArts), Laura Schellhardt's The Comparables and Elizabeth Hersh’s Shelter In Place (Playwrights Foundation), Colman Domingo’s The Brother(s) and The Kilbanes’ Weightless (Z Space). As Magic's producer for all new play development, credits include: 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 & 2015 Virgin Play Series, the 2012 Asian Reading Series, and the 2013 Costume Shop Festival. Ms. Jacob previously served on the executive board and literary committee for the National New Play Network and is a graduate of UC Santa Cruz and NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. As a daughter of an immigrant and a mother to a child with Autism, advocacy is in her bones and The Casting Collective is the answer to Ms. Jacob's desire to make a lasting, positive impact on her community and her field.
Leigh Rondon-Davis (they/them) is a performer, dramaturg, and director from both New York City and the Bay Area. They attended Wellesley College and were a member of Oakland's Laney College Fusion Theatre Project. Leigh’s performance credits include: Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again. and Inked Baby (Crowded Fire Theater), Port Stories (Idiot String), Variety Pack in 2018 and 2019 (Cutting Ball Theater), Where The Boys Are (FaultLine Theater), A 24-Decade History of Popular Music (Curran and Magic Theatre), and Hamlet and Dance of the Holy Ghosts (Oakland Theater Project). They have directed and dramaturged at Shotgun Players, Oakland Theater Project, PlayGround, Aurora Theatre Company, Crowded Fire, TheatreFirst, Playwrights Foundation, Moxie Arts NYC, 3GirlsTheatre, The Bowstring Collective, and Magic Theatre. Leigh is on staff as Shotgun Players’ first-ever Associate Artistic Director and Crowded Fire Theater’s Curator of Online Programming, where they host a weekly Twitch Stream and are also a Resident Artist. They are also an Artistic Company Member at Shotgun and Oakland Theater Project, Board Member at Cutting Ball Theater, and Producing Director at The Forum Collective.
As a Bay Area native, Mariel grew up knowing there was something unique about her hometown “the city” but she also recognized that there was a world full of imagination and creativity to explore outside of her everyday reality. She attended San Francisco School of Arts for her first year of high school but realized early on that her talents were better suited behind the scenes and not on stage in front of an audience.
In 2005, she volunteered for two local filmmakers, Benjamin Morgan and Brant Smith, to help with a grassroots outreach and marketing campaign for their feature film Quality of Life. Since then, she has independently sought out opportunities to cast student films, indie projects and music videos for the credit and experience while continuing to work full time as an administrative assistant. She applied and was accepted for a Casting Associate Internship at the San Francisco Playhouse in 2019 where she met and worked closely with casting director Dori Jacob, and after some time away from the industry in 2020, Mariel is excited and looking forward to what the future holds as she joins this amazing team of professionals at the Casting Collective.
Anina Baker is an actor, casting associate, and EMT, native to the Bay Area. She is arecent graduate of UC Berkeley holding degrees in Sociology and Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies. Anina has also had extensive training at the American Conservatory
Theater in San Francisco where her interest and passion for casting was born. She worked closely with Dori Jacob as a casting associate for the San Francisco Playhouse, assisting with casting and programming for their 2019-2020 season.
Growing up as a Chinese Jewish adoptee in an LGBTQ family, social justice and advocacy has been an essential part of her upbringing and identity. She is committed to making others feel
heard, understood, and connected to the world and those around them through her work. Anina is so excited to be part of the Casting Collective and for the resurgence of live theater in
the Bay Area!
Kieran is a Bay Area director and dramaturg focused on devised performance and the development of new plays. Their work has been produced at The Forum Collective, Quantum Dragon Theater, FaultLine Theater, Fuse Theater, Dragon Theater, Utopia Theater Project, and more. A TITAN Award winner and two-time CA$H Grant recipient, Kieran is also a company member at the Oakland Theater Project, a former artistic director of the U.C. Santa Cruz poor theatre performance lab, Barnstorm, and a founding member of The Forum Collective. They currently serve as the Literary Development Director for The Forum Collective, and are a former Associate Literary Manager for the Bay Area Playwrights Festival.