Anne Merino Headlines May Collaboration LAB

The May LAB's theme is “Accelerants: What helps you accelerate the development of your works?” 

By: May. 19, 2024
Anne Merino Headlines May Collaboration LAB
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An award-winning screenwriter, choreographer and novelist, former internationally touring ballerina, and current adjunct faculty for William Jessup University, Anne Merino will share her work as the headliner of the May 26 Collaboration LAB. The May LAB's theme is “Accelerants: What helps you accelerate the development of your works?”  The monthly LAB themes help to elevate the artist / audience feedback and discussion. After a few key presenters and the headliner, host Matt Heyer encourages audience members to share their talent on the open stage. Creatives from all artistic and cultural disciplines, and general audience members, are welcome to this FREE event.

Joining Anne Merino at the May LAB will be singer / songwriter / musician Craig Dunlap with his hauntingly beautiful folk rock originals, and an interactive creative activity offered by Placer Rep Artistic Director, T.S. Forsyth, followed by the open stage, that features area musicians, poets, comedians, visual and performing artists from actors, singers and dancers to magicians, designers and any other creatives looking for a happy, fun, warm open stage at which to share their talents and works in progress.

All who attend may have a free slice of pizza on Placer Rep and may be eligible to win the monthly drawing. This month, the giftbag donations are from local businesses, including a Starbucks donation, and four tickets to the New Works Showcase in July, plus more, to be announced. Presenters and attendees must reserve their FREE seats in advance on and be present during the drawing to be eligible to win.

Collaboration LAB is located on the Roseville/Rocklin border at Cool River Pizza & Taphouse, which offers wine, draft microbrew beers, soft drinks, and the full menu of items available for purchase. Patrons may have dinner at Cool River, see a free show and maybe win a prize! Visit Placer Repertory Theater on to reserve your seats for this free live event (  

Placer Repertory Theater ( is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with the mission to offer educational and quality-of-life enriching professional performing arts and cultural programs relevant to the people of Placer County and surrounding areas, while supporting local organizations and acting as an economic engine for the region. Follow Placer Repertory Theater on Facebook (PlacerRep), Twitter and Instagram: @PlacerRep and subscribe to their YouTube Channel (Placer Repertory Theater).



Graduate of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette where he received his BFA in Theatre, Matthew won the Irene Ryan award for his ensemble work in 2018 and for his performance as Elliot in Completeness in 2019.His favorite mainstage productions include Stanley in A Streetcar Named Desire, Charles in As You Like It, Thomas Putnam in The Crucible, and Shakespeare in The Bard on Broadway. Having studied IPA, Matt performs duties as a Dialect Coach for Placer Repertory Theater productions. As an actor, for Placer Rep in 2021, Matthew has played the characters George and Milo in From the Mind of Scott Charles, and the title role in “An Evening with Sherlock Holmes” featuring a new play based on The Sign of the Four by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. In 2022, Matt was part of the ensemble cast for Haunting History, and the ASM and Understudy for two roles in the mainstage world premiere of Ghosts of Placer County. In 2023, Matt starred in the titular role of Uncle Vanya, produced by Placer Rep.

Teresa Stirling Forsyth – Lab Producer, Co-Host

With an MFA in Dramatic Arts and an MS in Business Management & Leadership, this former Silicon Valley high-tech VP and critically acclaimed professional director/playwright also plays the role of Producing Artistic Director for Placer Repertory Theater.  Previously, the artistic director for two San Francisco theater companies, and founder/board president of an economic & workforce development nonprofit organization for Santa Cruz County, her performing arts background includes international tours as an actor/singer/dancer and produced and published director/playwright for national and international touring productions with renowned performing artists, such as Brenda Wong Aoki, and companies like the Dell'Arte Players. She has instructed and directed at numerous educational institutions, including UC Davis, University of San Francisco and University of Minnesota. Projects on which Forsyth worked performed at venues such as the Kennedy Center, the Smithsonian, Dallas Theatre Center, San Diego Repertory Theater and famous venues in Europe, Asia and South America, and received Dramalogue Awards, Critics Circle Awards, and an Indy Award: Best Spoken Word Album. While with Placer Rep, her projects have won Broadway World Awards, the Gloria Burt Fellowship and Gold Country Media awards. Her prior works have won numerous grants from the NEA, CAC and corporations. She is a member of the professional organizations: The Dramatists Guild, SDC Stage Directors & Choreographers, and The Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE).

FUNNY ROBERT – Comedian, Technical Director

A graduate of the San Francisco Comedy College, Robert is a regionally known comedian who has performed throughout California, as well as in Reno, Las Vegas, and Austin, Texas. As an Emcee / comedian, he has hosted professional comedy shows, as well as open mic nights for professional clubs, and has been seen briefly on TV in programs like Last Comic Standing. Among his favorite performances are his evening at The Improv in San Jose and performing as a featured comedian at Rooster T. Feathers in Sunnyvale. He draws his comedy from his family, work and the tragicomedy that is human existence.

ANNE MERINO – HEADLINER. Award-winning novelist, screenwriter & choreographer

Merino began her career dancing for notable companies such as American Ballet Theatre and the London Festival Ballet and is currently the artistic director of Placer Theatre Ballet. A prolific choreographer, she won the Vanguard Award for Choreography. Merino's traditional theatrical training was received at Chicago's Goodman Theatre, Second City with Del Close and John Belushi and later trained under Alan Rickman at the British American Drama Academy. As an actress, and former member of AEA, SAG/AFTRA, Ms. Merino performed with The Groundlings and Tim Robbins' The Actors' Gang and is a member of the theatre department faculty at William Jessup University. As a writer, she recently won film festival awards for her screenplay, “The Season of the Wolf,” and received critical acclaim for her recently released novel, Hawkesmoor.


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