As teaching artists, we offer a safe, creative, and inclusive environment in which actors of all ages and levels can explore the craft of theatre at their own pace and comfort level. The courses we offer are designed to not only teach the skills required for performance, but also to enhance each student’s self-esteem, public speaking skills, and self-confidence. By participating in the performing arts, students become in tune with their mind and body.

A limited number of scholarships

may be available.

Please contact us at

for more information.

Be Honest — Be Engaged — Be Connected — Be Heard — Be Inclusive — Be Generous — Be Curious — Be Brave 

JanLee Marshall


B8 Theatre Artistic Director / Teaching Artist / ACTOR / DIRECTOR

JanLee Marshall, B8 Theatre Company Artistic Director and Director of Education is a longtime teaching artist, actor, clown and director bringing over 25 years of experience to her work in theatre.  JanLee has taught with educational theatre programs of Berkeley Rep School of Theatre, Florida Studio Theatre, Kaiser Permanente Educational Theatre Program as well as having taught at schools such as the Meher Schools and UC Davis.  JanLee continues to teach, act and direct as her schedule permits while keeping things going year round at B8 Theatre Company.

sophie nelson


Teaching Artist / ACTOR

Sophie Nelson recently graduated from UC Berkeley with a BA in Theatre and Performance Studies and a minor in Education and is excited to put her learning into practice. An actor as well as a teaching artist, she has been lucky to assist some incredible teaching artists in the Bay Area, including at the California Shakespeare Theater and Berkeley Playhouse. Having studied commedia dell'arte at the Accademia dell'Arte in Italy, Sophie hopes to bring to the classroom the same spirit of silliness, fun, and creativity that she garnered there. More than anything, she hopes to continuously work toward creating classrooms that engage students' own knowledge and lived experiences, helping to guide them toward their own unique understandings of dramatic expression. 



Teaching Artist / ACTOR / IMPROVISER

Samantha Rasler is an actress and improvisor based in the Bay Area.  She received two BAs (Drama and English) at the University of California, Irvine in 2016, where she also discovered her love of improv.  There, she was a member of Improv Revolution, with which she performed in regular shows and traveled to comedy festivals around the state.  She also brings training in improvisation, Shakespeare, and musical theatre.  Recent credits include Nick Bottom in A Midsummer Night's Dream (Ninjaz of Drama) and Glory/Villian/Marvalyn/Marci/Rhonda in Almost, Maine (B8).

spring 2018 Classes

Creative Kids — Pre-K to K (ages 3 to 5)

Come play and use your imagination while exploring stories through acting, singing, and dancing.  Using theatre games and activities, these Creative Kids will explore their own ways of expressing themselves while learning the building blocks of theatre. Our adventures will be shared with an audience of family and close friends during our last class.


For the beginner to the advanced actor, Acting Techniques will build your skills both on stage and off. Students will learn acting techniques, including playing intentions, creating honest emotions, vocal projection, stage direction, active listening, and much more. Our class includes a little bit of everything during this 18-week acting workshop.  We open with four weeks focusing on ensemble building and improvisation. Then we move into eight weeks of scene study which will continue to be fine tuned throughout our last six weeks of monologue study.  Our class will culminate in a showcase open to family and friends and where all can experience improvisation, scene work and monologue performance. Students should wear comfy clothing that is movement friendly and closed- toe shoes to all classes. 


Looking for a new experience for the new year?  Wanting to be on stage without having to memorize a script?  Wishing for a safe and fun space to try out new characters?  Then improv is for you!  This class will serve as an introduction to all the basic rules of improv, including "yes and," working as a team, and speaking with confidence.  It will focus on comedic short form improv, with an introduction to long form as well.  The class will end with a showcase for the students' friends and family. Students should wear comfy clothing that is movement friendly and closed-toe shoes to all classes.



All class prices listed below are for the full term.
To register online using a debit or credit card,
please go to,
search for B8 and click on the class of interest. 

To pay by cash or check, call 925.890.8877 for information.

$25 discount for registrations received before December 31!

Creative Kids: Ages 3 – 5

Tuesdays, January 16 - May 15

(no class April 2-6)
10:00am to 10:50am


Young Actors 1: Acting Techniques

for 2nd and 3rd Graders

Thursdays, January 11 - May 17

(no class April 2-6)
4:00pm to 5:15pm


Improv for Middle and High School Students

Tuesdays, January 9 - May 15

(no class April 2-6)
4:00pm to 5:00pm


BE Engaged - B8 theatre education