James Brendlinger is the Producer of the Central Florida Theater Festival, Chairman of Penguin Point Educational Theater, and the Owner of Penguin Point Productions at the Oviedo Mall. For 21 years he served as Chairman of Arts and Communication at Lake Howell High School, where he taught Acting, Directing and Stagecraft and produced over 160 plays and musicals. Prior to that, he taught theater classes at Wilson High School in his native Pennsylvania. He can be heard every Saturday night on WPRK 91.5fm as radio host Jimmy Popular.
James served as Chairman of Florida State Junior Thespians for 5 years, providing statewide leadership for all middle school Thespian activities in Florida, and hosting the annual FSJT Theater Festival for over 5000 students at the Orange County Convention Center. Previous to that, he spent eight years producing theater festivals for District 5 Thespians in Orlando and District 3 Thespians in Seminole, Volusia, Flagler, and Lake Counties.
In addition to his work as a producer and teacher, James has dedicated himself to providing costume, prop and set building resources to local schools, theaters and churches across the State of Florida. Through Penguin Point Productions, he has produced plays at the Orlando International Fringe Festival each year since 2006, including such titles as Mysterious Skin, Anne Frank Superstar, Bare: a Pop Opera, HOODIES: The Trayvon Martin Project, and Zanna, Don’t!
In the summer of 2014, James received a scholarship from the English-Speaking Union which enabled him to study at the Globe Theatre in London, where he performed as Brutus in a midnight production of Julius Caesar. In the summer of 2017, he received a scholarship to study Creative Writing at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.
James has been the recipient of several awards in recent years, including LHHS Teacher of the Year, FATE-Florida Association of Theater Educators Outstanding Theatre Arts Educator 2014, Florida Theatrical Association Director’s Award, Orlando Fringe Veteran Producer Award 2013, Don Smith Community Service Award 2015, and The Spirit of the Fringe Award at the Orlando Fringe Festival 2015.
Kirk Bonacci is an actor/comedian here in Orlando. Kirk got his start studying short-form improv with SAK in 2006, and received further education in both short and long-form improv with the Groundlings, and the Upright Citizens Brigade.
He's performed comedy for over a decade, touring around the United States and Europe. During this time, Kirk has opened for Carlos Mencia, Tony Rock, Nikky Glaser, and has performed on stage with The Second City in Las Vegas.
He has additional experience in acting and improv. In 2013/2014, Kirk spent a year living in Madrid, where he co-starred on the Disney Channel Europe show "The Avatars." At this time, he also co-founded an English speaking improv school and troupe in Madrid called "MAD Improv," which is still active to this day.
Edna has dedicated her life to helping people discover their gifts and talents in the area Theatre Arts. She is a teaching artist, arts integration specialist, certified educator, and puppeteer. As a teaching artist, she had the privilege of honing her skills at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, the Globe Theater in London, England, and Lincoln Center Education/The Julliard School in New York City. She conducts nation-wide arts education workshops and also an arts workshop in Rome, Italy.
Prior to her career in education, she worked in the entertainment industry for 15 years including such companies as The New York Emmy Awards, and Sony Music Entertainment.
As a puppeteer, the was mentored by Carroll Spinney, “Big Bird”, and Dr. Loretta Long “Susan” from Sesame Street. She was a puppeteer for two seasons for Jane Henson’s Nativity. She was also the former Vice President of the New York City Puppetry Guild and President of Pinocchio’s Marionette Theatre in Altamonte Springs, Florida. Recently, Edna was one of the featured artists for the Living Objects: African American Puppetry exhibit at the Ballard Instute and Museum at the University of Connecticut.
She is the creator of Lovely Day Arts, a company that focuses on educational and inspirational projects through the use of her original puppets, and Sock n’ Sew that creates puppet kits for workshops and after school programs.
A native New Yorker who spent 12 years in Denver, Swann now lives in Orlando, FL where he is excited to introduce Talk to the Camera to the Sunshine State. His experience in education is quite diverse and includes edutaining elementary students as "Solar Swann" for Mad Science as well as teaching physical exams to medical students at the University of Central Florida College of Medicine. As a professional actor for over 10 years, he has performed in films, commercials, TV shows, internet videos and works regularly as a performer for Universal Studios Orlando.
"Talk to the Camera"
Sarah is an accomplished dancer, performer, and teacher. As a child, she received comprehensive dance training in the Vaganova Method in Sarasota, FL at the prestigious Florida Ballet Arts school. She continued her education and experience with an apprenticeship with the Sarasota Ballet of Florida in the 90’s. She took a short hiatus and graduated with a BA in English Literature from UCF in 1997. In 2004 she began teaching dance in Central Florida and we’re more than excited to welcome her and her 12 years of dance experience. Sarah’s passion for dance instruction spans the spectrum of teaching little ones the basics of ballet all the way up to the most advanced pointe students.
Jordan is currently a college student in pursuit of his Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts. His passion for Theatre was ignited when he worked on his first show in High School “Brat Pack Anthology the Eighties” where he was on the set and build crew for the show. Jordan is a graduate of Lake Howell High School where he first met and worked with James Brendlinger for 4 years. During his time at Lake Howell he logged thousands of hours of work in the theater and oversaw the AV Department as the student rep for two years. After High School Jordan enrolled into Seminole State College on a Theatre scholarship and has continued to pursue his passion for theatre. Upon completion of his Associates Degree in the Spring of 2019 Jordan is enrolling into the University of Central Florida. In May of 2018 Jordan was able to start his own freelance Lighting Design and Technician Business where he has worked multiple shows. Some of his most recent work includes the Orlando International Fringe Festival where he worked as the technician in the Blue Venue along with productions of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and “On Golden Pond” were he worked as a Lighting Designer for both shows and also Lighting Technician for “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”. Jordan would like to thank James for the many opportunities he has given him such as the opportunity to work with Beth Marshall and the opportunity to work with him here at Penguin Point Productions.
Tech Theater Instructor
Steven Seidman is a screenwriter with a decade of experience crafting narratives. His passion for story has yearned since he was a child and as a result, lead him to work for companies international and national to develop and create story-driven content. Steven teaches screenwriting at a Penguin Point Productions to middle school and high school students. He also works for Capitlight, a game studio in Orlando, FL as a narrative designer. He enjoys video games, movies, and adventure!
Elise Smith is a professionally certified makeup artist out of Central Florida. She graduated from Joe Blasco’s School of Makeup Artistry in 2017 with extensive training in cinema, stage, lab production, and special effects makeup. After school, she interned with Blood Moon Labs in Orlando, where she took part in the production of a few local horror films. Elise collaborated with local public safety on triage preparation events, where workers respond to the special effects injuries on volunteers in a made up disaster situation.
While she was pursuing her Bachelors in History from the University of Central Florida, Elise worked at Ulta Beauty as a Clinique Consultant. She had the opportunity to educate people of all ages, ethnicities, and genders on how to feel beautiful and how makeup can be fun. In addition to Ulta, she freelanced in the field on weddings and photoshoots.
Before she went to school and worked professionally in the field, Elise found her love of makeup in her highschool theatre. She assisted on her first show, Fiddler on the Roof and soon rose to Head of Makeup and Hair on shows: Hairspray, Night of the Living Dead, and Our Town. She also took two shows, The Lottery and Opening Night, to the Florida Thespian Festival in her district in 2014 and 2015, in which she was rated highly for her stage makeup work. In addition to her high school theatre, Elise volunteered locally, working with kids ages 5 to 18 on productions: Annie Kids!, Legally Blonde, Aladdin Kids!, and Into the Woods.