imagine That! Staff
Founder & Director | Drama
Lola started these camps in 1993 and after all these years, Imagine That! is still the highlight of Lola’s summer, a perfect antidote to her more serious other life as a therapist. She loves watching the magic of a group of children collaborating with each other and a crew of inspired teachers in creating a shared playful vision. Limitations slip away as we all spend time in this realm of possibility. Again and again, this journey enlivens campers and teachers alike, Imagine That! restores our faith in what is possible when people work together and treat each other well. Lola will be teaching drama at the first camp and co-teaching with Taj in the third camp.
Lauren is an artist and arts educator that has worked in the education and social work fields for over 15 years. As a museum educator, Lauren discovered her true passion for teaching, and after working for several years on the administrative side of the world, she realized her heart belonged with the kids. Now a student at Pacific University, Lauren will earn her MAT in 2017 and hopefully be teaching art at a public school near you! In addition to painting and printmaking, Lauren is a part-time yogi, cat mom, events contractor, house and pet sitter, and lover of cooking, astrology, and walks in the woods. She is thrilled to begin her first summer at Imagine That! and has been in love with the camp since attending last summer’s performance. Lauren will be teaching art at the fourth camp.
John Munyaradzi Mambira is involved in many forms of art – acting, singing, dancing and playing music, from regions of southern Africa including Botswana, Zimbabwe, and South Africa. He has worked with various groups, both amateur and professional, and has taught workshops at many festivals. He is a phenomenal drummer, marimba player, and singer with a wide vocal range who has performed with his band, Bongo Love, all over the world, as well as with local groups in Eugene.
In 2016 John became a permanent resident of Oregon, where he continues his lifelong journey to teach people of all abilities and aspirations. Combining his talents for creativity, patience, nimbleness, flexibility, lightness of heart, and kindness of touch, John has quickly become an endearing figure through his work at St. Vincent de Paul in Section 8 housing units, at Lane ESD as an educational assistant in special education classrooms, and on the streets of Eugene as a member of the city’s cultural services department, staffing EugFun activities in parks and streets all summer long.
More than just a cultural arts teacher, John has a natural ability to address difficult situations with rapid response while shifting the environment back to a place of learning and positive transitions.
John will be teaching dance at the fourth camp
Nate K. Beard
Nate K. Beard is a writer, performer, and educator who has championed art-based youth empowerment for over a decade in Oregon. Currently a teaching artist at Hamlin Middle, he is a collaborating member of ArtCore, a 4-year arts integration and research initiative designed by local creatives, Lane Arts Council, and EPIC. Previously, the lead facilitator for the Courageous Kids Theater troupe at PeaceHealth, Nate has a passion for art with meaning! When he’s not collaborating with other artists or young people, he is enjoying the beauty of nature. He has been on the Imagine That! team since 2011. Nate will be teaching drama in the second camp.
WILLOW NORTON is a Director and Teacher focused on new work development. Norton was the 2016/17 & 2013/14 Artist in Residence at Lane Community College where she directed Constant Revolution and In The Next Room or the vibrator play. Recent projects include END OF THE ROPE for NW10 at Oregon Contemporary Theater; LUNA PARK and RAIN AND ZOE SAVE THE WORLD workshops for Oregon Performance Lab, where she is Artistic Director; Goodbye Avis at New York Theatre Workshop; ¡Bocón!, RENT, and A Thousand Cranes for The Majestic Theatre; S.H.A.V.E.D. at HERE Arts Center; and Instructions Included for The Midtown International Festival. Norton is a 2012 Lincoln Center Director’s Lab West Alumni. Norton holds a BFA in Theater: Original Works from Cornish College of the Arts. Over the last three years, Norton resided as Associate Treasurer at The Shubert Theatre working on MATILDA The Musical on Broadway. Willow will be teaching drama at the fourth camp.
As a long time singer songwriter who hails from Alaska, Emily Jensen has a special love of folk, soul and Americana music. That aside, she has a deeply versatile voice and set of skills. She studied music therapy and classical voice at Loyola University, New Orleans. Emily is thrilled to be the music teacher at the third, “Imagine That,” this coming summer . She brings a wide array of experience as a performer, band leader and teacher. Emily has sung with the New Orleans Opera Company, she has shared the stage with world class musicians like Taj Mahal, Sarah Jane McMahon, Bryan Hymel, The Everyone Orchestra, Galactic, The Motet, Ellis, Jason & Branford Marsalis and many others. Emily is currently focused on putting out great funk and soul tunes in the NW as the lead singer with the band, Eleven Eyes. Emily has also directed and developed many musical theater productions for the organization, Bridgeway House. As a board certified music therapist she has worked throughout the last 13 years in our community with individuals affected by autism spectrum disorder. Emily is truly excited to facilitate music making with Imagine That campers at the third camp!
Hailing from the Big Sky State of Montana in 1988, Scotty Perey graduated from the University of Oregon School of Music (Composition, ’94) and proceeded to build a community of nearly a thousand students and their families over the past two decades, both privately and within the 4J School District, as well as from the ten past seasons of imagine That! Enjoying everything from music to reading to writing to hiking to skiing, playing with his band, “The Sugar Beets” or traveling all over the world, Scotty can safely say that there is no job in the known universe more custom-tailored toward the very essence of his being than teaching music at imagine That! Scotty will be teaching music at the first and second camps this year.
Kellee was born and raised in Eugene and she loves teaching Imagine That! in her hometown. She is the director of Moving Joyfully, and she enjoys using her imagination and fostering creativity and self-discovery in her students. Kellee feels that working with children is a blessing. She uses stories and play in her teaching so Imagine That! feels like home to her playful heart. Though life has allowed her to teach in many places such as India and South America, Kellee will always look forward to her summers with the wonderful team and super Imagine That! kids. Kellee will be teaching dance at the second and third camps.
Mari Livie is a fibers and ceramics artist. Her work can be seen in galleries throughout Oregon. Most days she is busy stitching, snipping, piecing, and building in her home studio. During the school year Mari is also an Artist in Residence for Lane Arts Council. The summer months, however; she sets aside for Imagine That, where she is ceaselessly inspired by the quirky costume creations and innovative set solutions of the imagine That! campers. Mari will be teaching art at the second and third camps.
With twenty years experience teaching dance and drama to kids of all ages, Rachael expertly guides participants in the fine art of having fun. When she’s not boogieing with stellar Imagine That campers, Rachael oversees Sparkplug Dance, a nonprofit organization that offers ongoing dance classes for the children at the Relief Nursery of Eugene/Springfield. Rachael’s a proud mom of two wonderful kids, and one really big sled dog. Rachael will be teaching dance at the first camp.
Born and raised in Eugene, Elise began attending Imagine That! with her sister when she was 8 years old. Her love for the magic of Imagine That! has been growing ever since. Elise is currently a student at Western Washington University studying Early Childhood/Elementary Education and learning in various creativity and play-based educational settings. During her time with the youngest humans, she enjoys wondering, exploring, and constructing knowledge through different artistic mediums in the great outdoors and in the classroom. At other times, she is traveling, creating, and outside playing, learning, and guiding with loved ones and with WWU’s Outdoor Center. She returns home every summer to immerse herself in the beauty of Eugene and the fun of Imagine That! Elise will be teaching art at the first camp.
Torrey is a jazz keyboardist located in Eugene, Oregon. He graduated from the University of Oregon in 2014 with a Masters Degree in Music and was awarded “Most Outstanding Performer In Jazz Studies” the same year.
In addition to his performing career, Newhart teaches a general music class and leads two choirs at a local charter high school called the Academy of Arts and Academics (A3) and is an adjunct instructor of jazz at the University of Oregon. He also teaches a dozen weekly private students.
Torrey will be teaching music at the fourth camp.