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STAR Arts Education Board of Directors

Marilyn Abad-Cardinalli

Marilyn Abad Cardinali (Executive Director)

Marilyn is an emeritus faculty member of Gavilan College taught Theater Arts, Television and Communications for 37 years. She is the Founder and Executive Director of the STAR Program. Along with her husband, Joe they serve on the Board of Directors of El Teatro Campesino in San Juan Bautista. She holds has a Masters in Theater Arts and Related Technologies from San Jose State University and Post Graduate Certificate in Video Arts from the University of Santa Cruz. Marilyn embraces the core values of STAR Arts Education: Love, Trust, Unity, Community, Imagination and Excellence.

Joe Cardinalli

Joe Cardinalli (Board President)


Joe is the Artistic & Executive Director of the World Theater at  California  State University Monterey Bay. He retired from the City of San Jose as Deputy Director of Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Services overseeing Administration, Grants/Contracts, Budget, Personnel, and Special Events. He began his career in the City as the Exhibit Designer Builder for Happy Hollow Park and Zoo.  Joe established Christmas in the Park Non-profit Organizatioattra and is the original Designer-Building of the Display which continues to bring thousands of visitors and community members to Downtown San Jose. Joe serves as Vice-President of the Festa Italia Board in Monterey. In addition, he is a Board Member of  El Teatro Campesino, CFO-All Arts Connect Foundation, and Board Secretary of the New Ave Mutual Water Co. He received a Master of Arts from San Jose State University in Theatre Arts and Related Technologies. Joe is a master set designer.  His list of designs include: Sets for El Teatro Campesino including: La Pastorela the film and redesigning  Christmas Production, La Pastorella in 2019 Zoot Suit on tour, I don't have to show you no stinking Badges, and Valley of the Heart.

Elaine Long

Elaine Marshall Long (Board Vice President)

is a graduate of Mills College with a BA in biology. Elaine is a STAR grandparent for five years which started when her grandson was enrolled in "Grease."  Then she and her family noticed the positive effect of the STAR family's environment which produced a wonderful framework of respect, self confidence and self esteem for the participants. We knew that it is something special. Over the years, we observed that as the children matured, they passed on this positive effect to the younger ones. It is continuing process and the effect can be magic!

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Phil Esparza (Board Treasurer)

Phil Esparza is the Media Production Specialist and Operations Manager at the World Theater in CSU Monterey Bay. He has been in the arts for over 40 years. He began his career as a technician, actor and company member of El Teatro Campesino. He has been associated with Luis Valdez and El Teatro Campesino for all his adult life and has developed his skills as a producer, managing director and now a board member. He has been fortunate to have been heavily involved with such groundbreaking projects as: El Teatro on tour around the world (over 100 different live, video and film productions), Zoot Suit (play & movie), La Bamba (the film) and The Cisco Kid (TNT Film). He has been extremely, pleased to work at the Japan American Theater, Marines Memorial Theater, The Mark Taper Forum, The Winter Garden Theater and Old Globe Theater in various audience development roles and as a producer. Besides being a board member for El Teatro, has been on the boards of WAA, CALAA, California Theater Council and the Pacific Peoples Theater Festival. He has served on various panels on the local, state, national and international theater and film scenes.

Janine Mortan

Janine Mortan (Board Secretary)


is a 4th grade teacher, past STAR Leader, and former STAR Kid. She holds a MA in Education from UC Berkeley and a BA in Creative Arts and Political Science from San Jose State University. Janine was a STAR Kid from 1994-1996 and then returned as a STAR Leader in 2003. Working at STAR marked the beginning of Janine's career in education. Her work at STAR continues to inform her teaching in the classroom and inspires her to make the arts a part of every child's education.

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Randy Earle (Member at Large)

Randy Earle, Professor Emeritus, taught stage and studio lighting design and technique at SJSU for thirty-eight years in addition to his first two years as an Instructor at Purdue University. Professional credits include lighting design for San Jose Symphony Opera Company, San Jose Dance Theatre, San Jose Civic Light Opera, California Actor’s Theatre, Cameo Productions, and Purdue Professional Theatre Company.  He has completed over one-hundred theatre consulting projects include Harker School, Castilleja School, Head Royce School, Menlo School, Morgan Hill Country Day School, Fremont Union High School District, San Jose Unified School District, Gilroy Unified School District, Mills College, California State University - Monterey Bay, Montalvo Center for the Arts, The California Theatre and Fox Theatre and The Barn Theatre. USITT service has included President, Vice President for Commissions and Projects, Vice President for Relations and Director. He is presently the Chair of the Fellows in addition to service on the Endowment Management and Grants and Fellowships committees.

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Connie Werolin

Connie is the founding president of All Arts Connect Foundation
and currently serves as the Vice President. All Arts Connect Foundation is a non-
profit arts organization that supports performing artists and students who are on a
pathway who love the theatre and performing arts. The goal of All Arts is to raise
funds and award scholarships to youth to attend music and theatre arts camps or
workshops. She is the Health Clerk at Ladd Lane School in the Hollister School
District and a Gold Ambassador for Plexus World Wide. Connie is a talented singer
and is an excellent karaoke entertainer. Connie has produced numerous fundraisers
and sings with the San Benito Oriana Chorale.

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Advisory Board Members

Moira Casey,  IBM

Greg Camacho-Light,  Alternative Education GUSD

Mary Ann Mukai , Gilroy High School GUSD

Emily Martinez Stein, Grant-writing

Antonio Villarreal, Youth Ambassador Gilroy

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