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Get to know our CHIEF CREATIVE ENGINEER:
HESTER SCHELL, MFA -
Creative Strategist & Arts Educator
Coaching – Consulting – Casting – Film Acting – Directing: Theatre and Media – Scriptwriting
Performing Arts Training – Visual Arts Workshops – Seminars
Weekend Retreats – Private Art Parties
Directed by Hester:
WORLD PREMIERE: SISTERS IN THE SNOW by Holly Johnson.
Fertile Ground Festival 2017.
A tale of time travel and the power of art: Two quarreling sisters vacation in Vienna in hopes of getting closer when one of them vanishes through a portal into Bruegel’s Dutch renaissance painting “Hunters in the Snow.”
WINNER! Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director and Best Comedy: ARTY Awards 2014
SAME TIME NEXT YEAR by Bernard Slade, Benicia Old Town Theatre Group. 50th Anniversary Production.
Tony Wade, Daily Republic: …”packed with love, friendship, and surprisingly, values; connects on many levels. It elicited belly laughs and then moved north to the heart with poignant moments as well. …the credit for that has to go to director Hester Schell. ” That instant payoff from theatergoers erupting into uncontrollable laughter after a setup and punch line can’t be faked. We ate it up.”
WINNER: Best of Fringe, 2013 SF
SINGULARITEEN by Patrick Brennan.
Fringe Theater Fest. “… well written, funny, and superbly directed.” Audience Reviewer
“The direction was great… Pacing, vitally important …” Audience Reviewer “Amazing! Fantastic play, great directing and really, really great actors.” Audience Reviewer
THE BIO – Writer, Director, Producer, Actor (SAG/AFTRA), Casting Director.
HESTER SCHELL, M.F.A. is an award-winning director, veteran acting teacher and recovering academic, who writes social good and environmental stewardship stories with roles for middle-aged women and seniors. Originally from Pennsylvania, she started out acting in New York City and evolved into a director after moving to the West Coast.
Schell is a sought after film acting teacher and coach. She is the author of the critically acclaimed volume,CASTING REVEALED: A Guide for Film Directors, now in it’s 2nd edition. Her column at Script Magazine focuses on acting and casting. Find Hester online at Facebook, LinkedIn and IMDb and IMDbPRO.
Hester completed principal casting on WEAPON OF CHOICE, a mixed martial arts feature film shot in the San Francisco Bay Area in the spring of 2013, casting over 26 speaking roles. Hester’s performing arts career began in kindergarten where she played the sugar plum fairy in the holiday pageant. Mom made her tutu. Her first summer after high school, Hester landed the coveted summer-stock intern spot at the Provincetown Playhouse where Eugene O’Neill’s plays were first produced. That fall, she moved to New York City to attend theatre school. After graduating from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, she trained and performed “Off-Off Broadway” with Terry Schreiber. After moving to the West Coast, Hester starred in the Oregon premiers of Sam Shepard’s BURIED CHILD and John Ford Noonan’s A COUPLA’ WHITE CHICKS SITTING ‘ROUND TALKIN’ winning best actress, produced by Artists Repertory Theatre in Portland. She launched her directing and teaching career in Portland, directing several productions including Noel Coward’s BLITHE SPIRIT and creating the drama program at a Portland high school. She completed her Master’s of Fine Arts in directing earning highest honors and a nomination to the honor society Phi Kappa Phi.
Hester arrived in the Bay Area after graduate school to teach film, theatre and acting, full time at a large South Bay community college, earning tenure as full Professor of Theatre. Serving as an adjudicator for the American College Theatre Festival (ACTF), Hester joined the faculty as adjunct professor at Notre Dame de Namur University. She is in private practice, writing screenplays and a novel in Portland Oregon. Career highlights include several feature films, and touring England with internationally acclaimed puppet company Lunatique Fantastique.
Master of Fine Arts, Directing: University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT
Bachelor of Arts, Theatre: Portland State University, OR
Conservatory Certificate: Trinity Square Repertory Conservatory, Providence, RI
Associates of Arts: American Academy of Dramatic Arts, New York.
SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS -
The British Film Institute, University Film and Video Association, San Francisco State University, St. Mary’s College, Connecticut Screen Writers Association, SF Black Film Festival, Bay Area Women in Film and Media and San Francisco Indieclub.
Private Practice, Film Acting Bay Area, SF School of Digital Filmmaking, Film Arts Foundation, various colleges and universities (tenured & adjunct), Art Institute San Francisco (Acting for Directors).
STAGE DIRECTOR –
Academic, professional/fringe. Provincetown Playwrights Fest, New England Russian Theatre Festival.
MEDIA: WRITER/DIRECTOR, SHORTS -
Ju$T Under A Million, 2007. Beverly Hills HD FF, cablecast on Hottv;
Blankets for Afghanistan, 2003. Free Speech TV.
CASTING DIRECTOR– commercials/industrials, independent film Bayareacasting.com
Welcome to the links.
Adventures in Staying Young:
Co-Creator, Writer, Producer, Show Runner
Cooking Show Spoof:
Writer, Director, Shooter, Co-Producer
Jugglin’ with Joanie
Writer, Director, Shooter/Editor, Co-Producer
Parking Meter Mania
Writer, Director, Shooter, co-producer
Writer, Director, Co-Producer
Poison by Elliott HayesDirector, Co-Producer.
World Premiere: WOMEN IN FILM/PDX Whitsell Auditorium, September 2016.
JU$T UNDER A MILLION: Short Film. Comedy. 2007.
4 Hollywood producers search for the next big hit.
World Premiere, Film Festival Screening – Beverly Hills HD Film Festival.
Air Time: cablecast on Hottv.com
SHOOTER/EDITOR Love is Like a Tractor by Larry Hosford
Trailer, COLONY COLLAPSE by Hester Schell
COMMERCIALS & TRAILER/PROMOS
PROMO Shooter/Editor – Hamlet, Half Moon Bay Shakespeare Festival, 2013, Season 2
PROMO Shooter/Editor – Singularteen by Patrick M Brennan, SF FRINGE FESTIVAL, 2013,
Winner – BEST OF SHOWm, + 4 sold out awards
PROMO Shooter/Editor - The New England Russian Theatre Festival: Original play submission, “Cup of Coffee” a spoof on the works of Anton Chekov.
MORE SHORT FILMS
DIRECTOR/SHOOTER/EDITOR: PACIFIC PRAYER by Laine Sainte-Marie, 2013.
SHOOTER/EDITOR: AMERICA’S CUP TRIALS. Short. 2012. San Francisco Bay
DIRECTOR, PRODUCER, WRITER, DP, Blankets For Afghanistan, Documentary
Mud Pie Productions, El Granada, CA For the American Friends Service Committee
Broadcast/Licensed: Free Speech TV.
Cable Cast: POSITIVE SPIN. Various markets in California.