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.
imagine That! restores our faith in what is possible when people work together and treat each other well. Lola will be co-teaching drama at the second camp with Michael Moloi
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.
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 at the first camp.
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 fourth camp.
Art and Drama
Michael Moloi an artist, dance choreographer, Animals vocal mimic. Born in the notorious apartheid-era township of Katlehong, south-east of Johannesburg, South Africa. Michael displayed an amazing talent for sports, arts and dance at a very young age. He began his dance career at age 14 as a member of the highly acclaimed South African dance company Via Katlehong, performed a mix of dance forms known as Pantsula/ Gumboot and Zulu dance. In 1998 Michael become an artist director of the successful dance troupe and toured over Africa and Europe (France, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Spain)for since 1996. Michael choreographed rhythmically intricate routines that incorporated the different dance style, which has their origins in their culture and the Tradition. In December 2006 Tumelo Michael Moloi joined Cirque du Soleil, as “Sugar Plum Fairy”, a role he played for eleven years and recreated the same role/character in 2016 for the production of Beatles LOVE show. Michael will be teaching art at the first camp and co-teaching drama with Lola at the second 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. 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
Jonathan Bilenki is a man of music. He has been working in Eugene since 2000. Primarily a teacher, Jonathan also enjoys writing, recording, playing, learning, preparing and arranging music. Over the years, he has played various instruments in a handful of local bands. His most prestigious and unusual job title is “Ballpark Organist.” Jonathan played Eugene Emeralds’ home games for four summers straight! Nowadays, when not teaching, he enjoys focusing his musical creativity of producing electronic music. You can hear some here: https://soundcloud.com/washingtonalleystudio. He is excited to return to the Imagine That! teaching staff in 2020. Jon will be teaching music at the fourth 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. Currently a preschool teacher at Teton Science Schools near Grand Teton National Park, she engages with children through creative inquiry and exploration of the natural world. During her time with the youngest humans, she enjoys wondering, exploring, observing, and constructing knowledge through different artistic mediums both inside and outside the classroom. Previously, Elise’s work at the Child Development Center in Bellingham, WA shaped how she encourages children to guide their learning through curiosity and fascination with the world. At other times, she is traveling, creating, and outside playing, learning with people she loves. She returns home every summer to immerse herself in the beauty of Eugene and the fun of Imagine That!
After having experienced Imagine That! as a camper from the ages of 8-14, Rachael is excited to return as a drama teacher for her second year. Born and raised in Eugene, she is now studying environmental science and creative writing at Western Washington University, but is thrilled to go back to her roots in Eugene for the summers. Her passions include writing, travel, outdoor adventure, and playing ultimate frisbee. During the school year she works for the YMCA as an after-school educator, and finds working with the younger generation to be one of the best ways to keep life creative and fun. Having done theater through her childhood and into high school, she is excited to combine her loves of drama, creativity, and small friends during the first and third camps this summer. The Imagine That staff has been consistently blown away by Rachael’s expert assistance at camps over the last few years and we got clear that Rachael has the spirit, energy and talent to come on board as a drama teacher. Rachael will be teaching drama at the second and third camps.
Jessilyn Brinkerhoff is a muralist, illustrator and teaching artist from the Pacific Northwest. She works to bring beauty and inspiration to the walls of communities, schools and businesses, and shares her passion for larger than life imagery as an artist-in-residence in local schools through Lane Arts Council. Inspired by the incredible history, nature and ecosystems of her Northwest home, her murals incorporate individual stories inherent to each place she visits. She is delighted to be joining Imagine That! again to teach art at the second camp. Jessilyn loves collaborating with the campers to transform the stage with epic scenes and costumes.
Native Oregonian, movement nerd, lover of silly ideas, Amalia has noticed that dance is what spontaneously occurs when you are having the most fun. She danced and then taught with the EDGE (elite dance gymnastics exhibitions) for over 10 years, including 4 years as the pre-EDGE director. Amalia has dipped toes in many dance disciplines, exploring choreography, ballet, modern, charleston, swing, lindy hop, lyrical, and jazz. She worked for 7 years at Bounce Gymnastics and Circus Arts Center, has led classes in various styles for both kids and adults, and in one of her more inspired moments, created a class for people who think they can’t dance but maybe have always wanted to. Amalia is an RYT 200 hr., currently teaches yoga and loves it, but is so excited to carve out time for more dancing!
Other things Amalia loves are big group games, playing music, hiking, cold water dips, and family beach days. Amalia will be teaching dance at the first camp.
Aaron O’Gara is a songwriter, singer and musician who has been performing in Eugene from the age of eight. He began teaching piano in middle school, and has expanded to helping students develop skills in guitar, songwriting, performance and digital audio production. Currently, Aaron attends the University of Oregon studying Journalism, and is working in contract video advertising. Aaron will be teaching music at the third camp this year.
ADMIN KELLI GILLES
I am a native Oregonian, born in Eugene, raised in Portland and returned to Eugene to be closer to my family. I became part of the Imagine That family when I came to a performance (I didn’t even have any kids in the actual performance) and was hooked. I laughed so hard I cried, and then I actually cried a little. These kids and teachers were then, and are now, amazing. I had to become a part of Imagine That! Since I can’t sing, dance, act or paint, I had to think of something. Utilizing my administrative and organizational skills, I convinced Lola that she couldn’t live without me and the rest is history. So far two of my grandchildren have attended camp, loved it, and were asking to come back next year before their current session was even done. I love seeing the excitement on the kids faces of the first day of camp, which transitions to beaming pride on the day of the final show. I can’t imagine spending my summer any differently than being part of the Imagine That family.