Administrative Staff

Lyazzat Cohen

Financial Analyst

Lyazzat Cohen has more than 20 years of experience in finance, both in the private and public sectors. Her experience resides in different areas of finance such as accounts payable, accounts receivable, treasury and general accounting, budget operations, and fiscal management.

Lyazzat earned a Business Administration Degree with honors from Las Positas College in Livermore, Cost Engineering Certificate from U.K. Training Board, and certificates in Financial and Managerial Accounting from UC Berkeley Extension.

She has lived in Central Asia, the Netherlands, and the United...

Ben Dillon

Director of Marketing & Communications

Ben Dillon oversees comprehensive messaging from TDPS to the campus and wider community. Students, faculty, and staff may contact Ben with questions regarding TDPS marketing, box office operations, event promotions, social media, and website management.

Ben previously served as the communications coordinator for the Department of History and as a community relations specialist for nonprofit organizations in the Kansas City area. He has a bachelor's degree from the Missouri School of Journalism (emphasis in photojournalism) and a professional certificate in graphic design from UC...

Jean-Paul Gressieux

Department Manager

Jean-Paul Gressieux has over 19 years of experience in nonprofit management, including 17 years in the San Francisco Bay Area theater scene. As Company Manager of Berkeley Repertory Theatre from 2012–2019, Jean-Paul supported and collaborated with hundreds of artists, artisans, and other producers of theater. With Berkeley Rep, he helped bring over 50 mainstage productions and countless events to fruition and worked with the organization's leadership to secure sustainable long-term artist housing in Berkeley.

Prior to Berkeley Rep, Jean-Paul spent several years at California...

Laxmi Kumaran

Undergraduate Academic Advisor, Continuing Lecturer: Technical Theater

Laxmi Kumaran has been with TDPS for over a decade. In addition to her role as Undergraduate Academic Advisor, she is a Continuing Lecturer for Technical Theater courses. She also teaches Stage Management in the Theater & Performance Studies Department at Stanford University. Laxmi spent several years as the Production Stage Manager at California Shakespeare Theater and at San Jose Repertory Theater. Before moving to the Bay Area, Laxmi stage managed in Chicago for a variety of theaters, including the Goodman Theatre and the Court Theatre. Laxmi has taught in the theater...

Megan Lowe

Program Associate

After graduating from UC Berkeley in 2012, Megan was hired as the Office Manager for TDPS. She is now Program Associate, and her current duties include: course scheduling, enrollment, event coordination, and work-study supervision. She also teaches master classes on contact improvisation, dynamic partnering, creative movement, and release technique principles for the department.

In addition to working for TDPS, Megan is a dancer, choreographer, performer, singer-songwriter, filmmaker, teacher, and administrator of Chinese and Irish descent, creating dance art in...

Avy Valladares

Graduate Student Services Advisor

Dr. Avy Valladares is the Graduate Student Services Advisor for the Ph.D. program offered by the Graduate Group in Performance Studies. He received his Ph.D. in Italian Studies with a Designated Emphasis in Film and Media from the University of California, Berkeley in 2015. He holds an M.A. from the University of Pittsburgh and a B.A. from UCLA.

He is currently an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Arts and Cultural Studies at Berkeley City College. He believes in the power of education for opening...