Performing Arts Faculty

Drama – Ena Dallas
Ms. Dallas is the director of OakTech Rep, Oakland Tech’s advanced drama production class. She also created and teaches Tech’s “Art for Communication & Social Change” course. Ms. Dallas began her performing arts career as a circus theatre artist, and she began at Tech as the acrobatics coach in 2005, has been the director of the drama program since 2015, and a “Teacher on Special Assignment” since 2019. Her innovative theatrical curriculum has been highlighted on NPR, KQED, and the “Voice of Witness” website. She holds 2 Master’s Degrees; one in teaching, and the other in Educational Leadership from U.C. Berkeley.
Ms. Dallas teaches and leads from a place of Love, and it is her intention to nurture the Creativity and Agency in each of her students as they learn to think and act like Artists.

 

Dance – Sonja Travick
Ms. Travick transforms lives through performing and teaching dance of the African Diaspora, with an emphasis on dances from Senegal Guinea and Mali. Her dynamic and powerful performances captivate her audiences and challenge their preconceived perceptions of traditional African Dance forms. Her commitment to maintaining the authenticity of traditional African dance forms combined with her high energy and execution, have gained her the respect and support of her colleagues as both a performer and educator. Sonja was born in Pennsylvania where she began dancing at the age of six. She graduated from John Harris / Riverside Arts Magnet School and became the youngest apprentice (140 with the Joseph P. Cooksey Chameleon dance Company. Sonja continued her studies at Lincoln University, Lincoln University Pa, where she became a member of the University Dance ensemble. She graduated with a BA in Political Science and a minor in Russian language in 1988. In 1992 Sonja relocated to the Bay Area. Under the tutelage of bay area dance masters such as Carolyn Himes, Allasane Kane, Molonga Casquerlourd Jacque Barnes and Alseny Soumah Sonja soared in her mastery of dances of the African diaspora. In 1993 Sonja traveled to Brazil for a month long study of the dances of the Orixas, in 1995 she then traveled to Paris for a month long study of modern techniques fused with dances of Senegal and the Conga and most recently. In 1997 Sonja then traveled to Jamaica to study traditional Caribbean folklore and dance. In 2005, Sonja’s intensive study of West African Dance and culture sent her to Guinea, West Africa for an intensive study with the countries national dance company. Sonja’s goal is to restructure, review, and revive the communities’ connection to traditional African music and dance.

 

Music – John Harrington
Mr. Harrington has been a music educator in California for twenty years.He began playing trumpet at nine years old, earned his Bachelor of Arts in Music from California State University Fullerton, and has performed, recorded, and toured with a wide array of musical styles and groups.
Since 2008, Mr. Harrington has made his home in the Bay Area, raising a family while continuing to perform, record and teach music in OUSD at Redwood Heights Elementary School, Grass Valley Elementary School, and the OUSD Summer Jazz Camp. He has performed with Big O (OUSD Music Teacher Big Band) the SFJazz Monday Night Band, Stop Time, and Orbital Quintet. His latest project, Orbital Quintet Vol. 2, was recorded at the famed Fantasy Studios in Berkeley and released in 2018.
Mr. Harrington’s consistent dedication to music education, performance, and recording artistry have been his life’s work, and he looks forward to continuing to build the program and helping students at Oakland Tech achieve their educational goals.

 

Tech Techies – Caser Fern
Mr. Fern (Tech Techies, Beginning Drama, Stagecraft) is a teacher, builder, designer, stage manager, and performer. The 2020-2021 school year will be his 11th year at Oakland Technical High School as the director of the Tech Techies after school program, as well as his 2nd year teaching Drama and Stagecraft in the classroom. At Oakland Tech, Casey has trained countless students to play the roles of scenic designer, stage manager, technical director, lighting designer, sound mixer, prop master, and backstage captain for numerous Drama, Dance, and Music productions on the OT Auditorium stage (and played those roles himself whenever needed!) Casey holds a B.A. in Theatre from Seattle University, where he learned from a mixture of formal training in his classes and experience-based training in the university’s mainstage productions. Casey brings that spirit of multifaceted learning to his teaching at Oakland Tech, pushing students to develop new skills by jumping in to new roles and learning on the job whenever possible. Outside of Oakland Tech, Casey has been the Technical Director for Gritty City Repertory Youth Theatre since its beginnings in 2012. Originally from Hawaii, Casey now lives in Alameda with his wife Colleen Egan and their son Owen (the littlest Techie).