Introduction to Theater
Introduction to Theater

Introduction to Theater

Lead Author(s): Derrick Spiva

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Enhance the student's ability to enjoy, appreciate and communicate the aesthetic principles of theatre as a collaborative and necessary art form.

Preface Acknowledgments 

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Introduction to Theater

Derrick Spiva Ph.D. MFA
Russell Leavitt  MS

Photos and Illustrations 
Julie Lance MA

Derrick Spiva Ph.D. M.F.A. recently published “The African American Music Survey”, “Sing Dance and Shout Through Oppression, Gospel Music workshop ” both digital fully interactive e-textbooks published through Top Hat Textbook Marketplace  Additionally, both are QOLT certified (see http:

“The Urban Playbook”, a collection of one act plays for urban youth and young adults was published in 2017; Dr. Spiva is currently a principle with, an Internet television network.

He is a Fulbright-Hayes Africana studies scholar in religion with post- doctoral seminar studies in Egypt and Israel. As an entertainment industry professional, he has performed professionally in theater and television for the past 25 years.

Derrick produced the hit series "Through Our Eyes" for PBS, and the Black Family Network for 12 seasons. He wrote and co-produced “Heresy” featured at the 1997 Reel Pride Film Festival for which he won a “Telly Award”. He co-created the “CEED” Broadcasting Internet Network. Derrick holds a Ph.D. in Theology from San Antonio Theological Seminary, a Masters of Fine Arts & Teaching Credentials from the University of California at Irvine,  and a Bachelor's in Communications and Business from California State University, Northridge. The NAACP and the United States Congress recognized him for outstanding service in educational performing arts and media (television and professional theater).

Russell Leavitt

Russell Leavitt is a producer and technical director working in theater and film since the mid 1980’s. He has been involved in many facets of art and performing arts throughout his life. Russell attended the Academy of Arts University in San Francisco as well as California State University with his focus on performing arts and art. He has his Masters in other fields of study as well.

His vocation started before college working in theater.  Both on and off stage, he understands the complexities of theater operations and performance. He was a theater crafts and film instructor at Teatro de las Americas, a performing arts division of West Hills Community College during the 1990’s. He has received awards for his work in television production during this time with programs airing on PBS regional and Warner affiliate stations. He has also designed lighting and stage productions in the city of San Francisco and assisted in productions for events presented by Salesforce for San Francisco. He is also the Technical Director for the Reel Pride Film Festival for 20 years in Fresno.

During his time at Teatro de las Americas, Russell worked with students, teaching the fundamentals of theater while working on methods of integration for theater production and television, bridging live theater with other forms of media.

Currently Russell works with a team of professionals in the Bay Area on methods of integrating theater with new technologies not limited to theater but also going into other venues as virtual reality online theater production education. His task as a Chief Technology Officer for CEED Enterprises is to provide advice and experience in the Internet and digital field for the online media markets as well as develop content for the constantly changing media market of CEEDTV.

Russell appreciates all forms of media. His background in theater, performing arts, and art over the years has translated to the digital world. His vision involves the integration of various media platforms to tell a story that is central to any art form.

Julie Lance

Julie Lance MPS 

is the owner of J LANCE Imaging Studios in Brooklyn, NY - San Diego, CA - Coalinga, CA.

  • Julie is a Professional Artist and an expert in Digital Photography and Photoshop Manipulation.
  • Julie has a MPS (Masters in Professional Studies - Digital Photography) from SVA (The School of Visual Arts in New York City). In addition, She has completed the classes for the MAED program at Grand Canyon University, but went on to complete the California Credentialing Program at University of Redlands. S he is dual credentialed in Art/ Technical education. In addition she is apple certified and adobe certified.
  • Julie specializes in Portrait and Dance Photography and in addition is an expert in photoshop retouching and manipulation. Adobe published 3 of her photos in the CS 6 Retouching book.
  • Julie has won multiple awards and honors for her work including First Place Over All Winner of the SAPPI award which awarded her close to $11,000.00 in photography equipment. She was a Recipient of Eddie Adams Barnstorm, a highly competitive yearly competition where thousands of photographers from around the world compete to get in but only one hundred are chosen. Julie has also won The Kids Faces juried show at 1650 Gallery Los Angeles, CA and her image; Chef Julio won a juried competition and was published in PDN's NYC Photobook. Julie also won many awards while in school including The Ronald Pretzer Merit in Photography Award, Senior Art Scholarship, Outstanding Student Award, First place student film, Best Story Line student film, Deans list every semester and Presidents list, and she graduated cum Laude from SUNY Geneseo with her Bachelors in Art with a concentration in Photography.
  • Julie has had several gallery shows with the most recent being at the Lockhart Gallery in Geneseo, NY where her recent work, Badass Biker, Raison in the Sun, and Good vs Evil photo manipulations were displayed. She had her Pin-Up Photography exhibited in the Folley Gallery in Chelsea, NYC. Her Black and White photo manipulations, including the award winning, It's Not Sonny in the Subway were exhibited at the Broadway Gallery in SoHo. NYC. And earlier her Surf Photography as exhibited in the LockHart Gallery in Geneseo, NY. She also had exhibits in the Opus Gallery, the Milne Library, and the Books and Bytes Cafe at SUNY Geneseo.
  • Julie's studio is located in the heart of Williamsburg in Brooklyn, NY and now in Hanford, CA. Julie shoots high-end portraits using the Hasselblad H4D medium format digital amera and Pro-Foto lighting setup. In addition, she has a state-of-the-art digital lab and Julie is always 10 steps ahead of technology and pushes everything outside the box. 
  • Julie Lance is an artist and spares no expenses when it comes to the quality of her work. She has done photography workshops with renowned artists; Calvin Hollywood in London, Greg Gorman in Hollywood, and surf photographer extraordinaire, Art Brewer in Puerto Rico. (Along with Malcolm Lightner from SVA). And in addition, she has assisted Heinze Klutemeir, photographer from Sports Illustrated (famous for the image and SI cover, Miracle on Ice)
  • J teaches digital photography and is a private tutor for photography, Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom.