Instructors

Gina.jpg

Gina Chapman

A native Californian, Gina has mentored, directed, and performed her whole life, and is excited to mentor & guide performers at Meraki Studio.

 

Gina began her violin and choral studies at the age of seven while professionally acting, modeling, and dancing. Her early education spans from San Domenico Conservatory of Music, Rocco Dance, Marin Town Players, to Marin Theatre Company.

 

She attended Marin Catholic High School and continued violin, vocal, dance studies, and cheerleading. Gina graduated from the University of Redlands with a BA in Theatre Arts with Honors and a Vocal Music Performance Minor.  There, she performed in musicals, dance, and theatre productions, a capella groups and chamber choirs. She sang in many choral concerts including Mozart’s Requiem at Carnegie Hall, and directed & choreographed numerous productions.

 

Gina studied Classical Acting at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts (LAMDA) and supplemented her dance training at Danceworks. After college, she trained in musical theatre at New York Film Academy, and coached the JV Dance Team at Marin Catholic. 

 

Gina moved to New York City and trained at Actor Therapy with Lindsay Mendez & Ryan Scott Oliver, performed Off-Broadway while performing as an actor, singer, dancer and violinist at various venues including 54 Below and off Broadway Theatre on St. Mark’s. Gina has often performed in roles that incorporate the quad threat - singing, dancing, acting, and playing violin.

 

Gina has received extensive physical theatre training under Yorgos Karamalegos’ Physical Lab. She attended Physical Lab’s Residency in Crete, Greece, as well as workshops based in New York City and London.

 

Performance Credits: Cathy in The Last Five Years, Fraulein Kost/Violinist in Cabaret, Juliet/Violinist in For What It’s Worth, Violinist/Woman in Quilters, Little Red in Into the Woods, Calphurnia in Julius Caesar, Cinderella in Into the Woods

 

Directing Credits: Last Five Years, All in the Timing, Little Women

 

Choreography Credits: A Chorus Line, War of the Roses, Sweet Charity A Capella, Marin Catholic Dance Team

 

When not mentoring or performing, Gina loves to swim, surf, scuba dive, practice yoga, travel, and hike with her daughter Kaia and dog Rylie.

57467995_10157573987987214_7893893970126
Mariya.jpg

Mariya Shpungina
 

Mariya has a BA in Theatre Arts and Anthropology from the University of Redlands. There, she taught Shakespeare, classical and contemporary drama in conjunction with the university’s English Department. She performed in shows like Little Woman and The Giver, and sang in two a cappella groups. Mariya earned a certificate in classical acting from London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts.  In London, she attended additional musical theatre dance training at Danceworks. 

 

After college, Mariya worked in Artistic/Casting roles. This included dramaturgical work for upcoming shows and staged readings. She wrote script coverage for new works in their final and draft phase. Through the casting and workshop process she was able to work with a variety of creatives Included directors from the Bay area, LA, and NYC. She worked in Sales and Marketing for Theater Venues (PianoFight, CalShakes) and had the opportunity to connect with music, theater, and comedy acts that are native to the Bay Area and those that tour through San Francisco.

 

Directing: Actor’s Movement Ensemble 

Choreography: A Chorus Line, War of the Roses

 

​When she isn't teaching or performing, Mariya enjoys rollerblading, hiking, and drawing.