Michelle Dahlenburg (Artistic Director)
Michelle is a performer, applied theatre artist, audio producer, and graduate of the MFA in Drama and Theatre for Youth and Communities program at UT Austin. She facilitates theatre programs in jails, museums, community centers, public schools, and universities. Michelle currently teaches Creative Drama at Texas State University and is Program Manager for HATCH: Inspired Social Change, audio producer for the 4 Plus 4 Equals art + mental health project, and a story producer/performer for Mortified Austin. Michelle first worked with incarcerated women as a teaching artist in Chicago for Still Point Theatre Collective. For her MFA thesis project she created and facilitated “The Ghosts of Waller Creek,” which used site-specific performance workshops to facilitate public participation in the redevelopment of an abandoned urban creek area in Austin. She has been a teaching artist for the National Endowment for the Arts Your Town: Rural Design Institute, Creative Action, American Theatre Company, and a performer/teaching artist for the Paramount Theater’s Story Wranglers/Literacy to Life program.
Blanca Caldas (Teaching Artist)
Blanca worked as an ESL/EFL teacher for 11 years in Peru, her home country. Parallel to her education career, she studied theater at a non-profit art association for 3 years and performed for her own theater company founded with her former classmates for a couple of years in Lima, Peru. She obtained a M.Ed. in Bilingual education at Boise State University where she co-founded of Literacy sin Fronteras initiative, project that aimed at closing the achievement gap among Latino ELL students through biliteracy camps. Currently, Ms. Caldas is a doctoral student and the Spanish Proficiency support coordinator at the Bilingual/Bicultural education program at the University of Texas at Austin. Her love for both Theater and Education are combined in her research interests and future dissertation: the use of Theater of the Oppressed in the preparation of future Bilingual teachers.
Olivia Jimenez (Teaching Artist)
Olivia Jimenez joined Conspire as a facilitator in 2012. She holds a BA in Theatre, with emphasis in Applied Theatre, from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles where she trained as a performer, applied theater facilitator and educator. While attending USC, she participated in several student films and theatrical productions. She also helped facilitate theatre, art and movement workshops with homeless and in-recovery women. Additionally, she co-created bilingual theatre pieces with immigrants rights workers, at-risk and previously incarcerated youth and their mothers. Outside of theatre, Olivia is a yoga teacher, amateur chef, dance party instigator, animal lover, adventure enthusiast, and a teller of [mostly bad] jokes.
Lauren Johnson (Conspire Alum & Board Member, Guest Blogger)
A native born Austinite, Lauren has studied Business Communication at the University of Phoenix. She is currently a stay at home mom of three boys ages 9, 6,and 4. She has appeared in two episodes of Friday Night Lights‘ final season as an extra. Goal: To change the world, one drop in a huge bucket at a time.
board of directors
Morgan Lindsey Grace
Chandra Kring Villaneuva