Artistic Director (Ojai Valley Artists Theater Ensemble), Susan Kelejian, started acting professionally after running away to France at age 17 and landing a job in a commedia dell’ arte touring company.
Susan first came to Ojai in the 1990’s with the Ojai Shakespeare Festival (OSF) playing Prospera in The Tempest. which was the "play which changed my life" and started her on an in depth journey towards searching for a higher consciousness and knowledge in Esoteric Studies. She has returned to Ojai in 2017 after being away for a few years in Los Angeles where she became the founder and Artistic Director of Equine Dell Arte, the only professional theater company in the world to consistently perform Shakespeare on horseback.
She subsequently took the helm of the OSF internship program and has been involved with several educational outreach theater companies Susan is an award-winning playwright, actor, and director throughout Southern CA. For more information see www.ovate.org.
Her education is from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, Goddard College, USC (MSW) and MUW (MFA) and holds an LCSW for psychotherapy.
After years of studying neurodivergency, especially with creative types, Susan has developed her own theory and hypothesis on how the "non linear" brain functions, has applied her approach with over 100 patients in the last 15 years, and subsequently has reframed ADHD to a different diagnosis (AFS, or Attention Fluctuation Spectrum). She is currently writing a book on her research and experience. (2023).
"Susan has created a space for me to explore the depths of my soul and corners of my mind I wouldn't dare touch alone. The safe guidance and mentorship she has offered have allowed my truth to emerge and ground me. I've had a shift in consciousness that could only be delivered by her ability to show vulnerability through raw honesty." -A.N. 2023
Audacious, fearless, subtle, inventive, tender and relentless, Artistic Director, Susan Kelejian, could direct a wallflower to dance like a prima ballerina. Whether working with experienced or novice actors, Susan is exquisitely respectful of what actors bring to the stage, while being almost magical in choosing the odd prop or whatever is at hand to inspire actors to expand and refine their characters right before your eyes. I saw her hand a plate of cookies to an actress to transform a monologue from a recitation to an exhilarating bit of living theatre. I heard someone say, “Susan dusts her actors with gold.” Having been in her acting class, I feel duly gold-dusted.
Standing OVATION for Susan Kelejian!
I wish I had learned how to act from Susan years ago. Her method is clear and simple. Her direction gets incredible results tailored to your needs - audition or performance.
The best acting teacher I've studied with!
"I have never before been so inspired, treated with such nurturing respect, and moved by such extraordinary teaching as I have with this Coach. I stagger home from each class, my brain buzzing and my heart thumping with all of the incredible tools and actionable insight I have gathered.” Poosy Holmes
Check out this great video about the approach
Check out these testimonials after a KAST class!
KAST is sponsored by Ojai Valley Artists Theatre Ensemble (OVATE) www.ovate.org
We want to thank our friends at Starborn Healingin Ojai for providing the space to shoot the video and hold class. In addition, acknowledging the talents of Ray Singer and Claire Cleary who made it happen and the support of Eugenia Singer. Big thanks to OVATE Co- Founder Jolene Harrington and company members Hadley Julca, Rick Kuhlman, River Sauvageau, Laura Rng, Chance Kelejian, Aliyah Mora-Khan, Angelica Smith,.