About Us

The Rising Sun Experience | History | Mission Statement | Production Team | Environmental Standards

Rising Sun’s Production Team

Artists serve as messengers bringing hope, insight, and understanding to their viewers and listeners, honing their talents and techniques into powerful and effective tools for uniting and transforming the communities and societies around them to help humanity dwell harmoniously on a vibrant, healthy planet.

It takes a whole community (if not the world!) to bring these shows to you, but here are the people who have dedicated themselves to helping the sun rise on the performances, classes, and events we offer.

Ronn Reinberg

Ronn Reinberg, (1947-2010) Founder/Visionary
Ronn formed and guided Rising Sun Dance & Theater into being through his spiritual depth, rigorous thought, and genuine love and passion for the performing arts. Though he passed away in 2010, his spirit and philosophy permeate this company, still.

Lighting Designer, Stage Manager, Technical Wizard (1985-2010), Theatre Manager Nexstage Theatre, Sun Valley ID (2000-2005) Cabrillo College, Santa Cruz, CA (1987-98).


Rivera Sun Cook,
Artistic Director, Playwright, Performer
Rivera, the compulsive creative powerhouse of Rising Sun, writes the yearnings of our listeners’ hearts into wisdom stories for the stage, creating enlightening entertainment for all.

B.A. Dance Bennington College, VT(2004) ; Artistic Director, Cook ‘n Company, Santa Cruz, CA(2005-‘09), Performer/Playwright, West End Studio Theatre, Santa Cruz, CA, Santa Cruz (2008-); Artist In Residence, The 418 Project, Santa Cruz, CA (2006). LEARN MORE>>


Dariel Garner, Company Manager
Dariel’s vision and drive built Rising Sun from dreams and inspiration. Behind the scenes he works the nuts and bolts of business, bringing the juiciness of artistic ferment to the plate of every person. Dariel has a long and varied business career having participated in the formation of over forty different businesses. In his estimation Rising Sun Dance and Theater is the most rewarding of all and has the ability and calling to touch everyone. It is only limited by our lack of imagination.


Robin Aronson

Robin Aronson, Director
Robin loves theatre, marvels at its infinite permutations and life-enhancing powers, and revels in its collaborative, creative fun. Robin has a Ph.D. and M.A. in Theatre Arts and a B.A. in Environmental Studies. She teaches in the Theatre Department at Cabrillo College, directs shows for theatre companies in the region, and performs with Theater of All Possibilities. Directing credits include: The Ibsen Follies, The Last Noel, Arcadia, Anon(ymous), Happy Days, The Search For Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe, Fiddler on the Roof, Singin’ in the Rain, Beauty and the Beast, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Machinal, Vinegar Tom, Accomplice, etc. As Artistic Director of the Young Playwrights’ Festival at Santa Cruz Actors’ Theatre and the Young Women's Theatre Collective in Eugene, OR., Robin has helped to bring many a new theatre piece into existence.

Tammi Brown

Tammi Brown, Composer
Tammi Brown is a sultry songstress and musician receiving broad praise for her rich tones, elegant phrasing, and stylistic versatility. Jazz guitarist Stanley Jordan calls her “a vocalist of immense talent.” Tammi has appeared on stage and in the recording studio with some of the industryʼs best known artists. Her live performances have taken her from the Apollo Theater in New York City to Yoshi’s in San Francisco to Mumbai Stadium in India.

Tammiʼs early influences include legendary artists Aretha Franklin, Walter and Tramaine Hawkins, Chaka Khan, Ella Fitzgerald, and Dusty Springfield. By age four, Tammi was playing the organ and singing in church, where she developed an enhanced ability to play music by ear.

Her career highlights include an invitation by jazz guitarist, Stanley Jordan, to sing background vocals for the tune Steppinʼ Out on his 2008 CD release, State of Nature, which received a 51st Grammy Awards nomination. Another highlight was co-producing with Tom Schuman of Spyro Gyra, the song, Thatʼs How it Goes, which gained a tremendous ‘buzz’ among industry insiders.

Tammi received rave reviews for her performances as a featured vocalist with the White Album Ensemble and the Santa Cruz County Symphony and Monterey Symphony, in California. She is currently a featured vocalist with musicologist and two-time Grammy nominee, Linda Tillery and the Cultural Heritage Cho

Carolyn Collins

Carolyn Collins, Board Operator
Carolyn enjoys being active in the technical side of live theatre. She moved to Santa Cruz from Texas, where she completed a 30-year career as a hospital pharmacist. Since 2006, Carolyn has worked with several Santa Cruz dance and theatre companies such as Cook ‘n Company, Shah and Blah Productions, Commedia dell’arte/Iman Lizarazu & Julie Goell, Pisces Moon, West End Studio Theatre, Actors’ Theatre Group, Walking Light Productions, Theatre Temoin, Lampshade Productions, Red Egg Theatre, Cabrillo College, and Mountain Community Theatre. Carolyn is usually responsible for running either the light board or sound board, and often assists with setting up the stage lighting for productions. Carolyn is grateful for the opportunity to play just a small part in the awesome artistic process of putting a show together for presentation.

Eric DeAratanha

Eric DeAratanha, Sound Engineer/Design
Eric "Mogli" DeAratanha has played an ever growing range of musical instruments since he first picked up a guitar at age 17. Eric studied music at the University of Vermont before moving to Santa Cruz, California in 2009, where he currently composes music, works as a live sound technician, creative sound designer and recording engineer. Also, he performs his own original spiritual upbeat multi-instrumental singer-songwriter music. When his hands are not holding a guitar, you will probably find him drinking a cup of tea.

Janjaap Dekker

Janjaap Dekker, Photojournalist/Videographer
Janjaap Dekker is an award winning photojournalist, editorial and fine arts photographer and videographer. His work has been on display in numerous museums and featured in various solo shows. In his own words Janjaap says "Photography has always been a pre-eminent way for me to express ideas, observations and emotions. I strive for my images to reach and touch, to be felt as much as seen. My social awareness and conscience has led me to focus on documenting people in hardship, from Palestine to Chiapas to the gang barrio warfare in Salinas, California. As the inevitable drastic changes in our natural environment draw closer and become manifest, I am drawn to focus more on the beauty and wondrous intricacies of our immediate surroundings and the co-inhabitants of this earth." Not only does Janjaap capture the spirit of his photographic subject, he leaves behind his own special nourishing energy.

Janjaap was born in Holland, where he studied design and photography and worked for several years in theater. After coming to the USA and working in Northern California as an organic farmer, he has dedicated himself to photography. He was Director of Photography for El Andar Magazine (www.elandar.com) and has taught photography. Primarily a documentary photojournalist, winning awards for internationally published photos and photo essays, he also does editorial, fine art and nature photography. To view some of his photos that “touch the heart and engage the mind”, visit his website at www.janjaap.com.

Carrie Duncan

Carrie Duncan, Web Designer
Carrie has been active in the fine arts and dance community of Santa Cruz for many years. With over 10 years of web design experience, Carrie has designed web sites within our local theater arts companies, educational companies, and small to medium size businesses.




Alana Duvernay

Alana Duvernay, Actress
Alana is the next Lala. Alana has been studying theater and dance for most of her life. They are the passion of her life. Originally from Los Angeles she got her start at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center. She is currently studying Theater and sociology at UCSC where she is active in the Rainbow Theater and the African American Theater Arts Troupe. Alana is ecstatic to be involved with Rising Sun Dance Theater and is beyond thankful for everyday of her life.


Dawn Hayes

Dawn Hayes, Graphic Design
Dawn Hayes is a Visual Communications Coordinator, Yoga Teacher, and Student of all things. She is inspired by community and all the creations that result from this life. Yoga, tea, art, music, stories and the people that live them are her constant inspiration. She is honored to be a part of Rising Sun Dance and Theater and would like to thank Rivera and Dariel for all their love and inspiration.




Pipa Pinon

Pipa Pinon, Composer
Pipa Pinon, singing since she was a child in the high deserts of New Mexico...
Pipa Pinon has been writing for and performing with dance companies since 1983. Mamalution Dance Collective was the first theater dance company she performed with. For 4 years she weaved her musical magic between the dance steps of these wonderful women. She went on to perform and collaborate with Sara Wilbourne in ‘Somebody’, toured with Tandy Beal in ‘Blakes Window’, Rita Rivera in ‘Walk in Beauty’, Thearse Adams, Eric Stern and Carl Schaffer, Plan B and the list goes on...She has written and performed 3 plays ‘Bridges Between’, Da’Liberty Show’ and ‘The Doll Box’, recorded 8 collections of music, beginning with a vinyl album in 1985 with Triune recording ‘Desert Night’ to the present with Dreambeach, her soon to be release 4th CD with co-producer Daniel Vee Lewis of Dreambeach. She was vocalist on the late Michael Hedges recordings project ‘Princess Escargo’, with Geena Davis and his CD ‘Taproot’, worked with her dear friend, Clifford Henderson, in many of her plays and projects, including Gertrude Steins ‘Ladies Voices’ and ‘A Circular Play’, ‘Big Fish Eat little Fish’, performed in the improve troupe ‘Sapphos Laughos’. Pipa is a vocal teacher and recording artist and loves the life she has chosen, or did it choose her? Which way does that work? In either case, love is the key signature to all of Pipas songs.

Debbie Reinberg

Debbie Reinberg, Business Consultant
Debbie retired for two weeks after spending 34 years in the music business. She now is a business consultant to a very select few incredibly blessed arts and spiritual organizations. We value her wise thinking, acumen and judgment, appreciate her spiritual depth, her great sense of humor and laugh at her jokes. Sometimes we even take her advice.




David Rhodes

David Rhodes, Composer
David Rhodes is a composer, arranger, and recording artist who draws on his classical piano training, work with jazz, fusion and folk groups, and study of world music traditions. David's recordings include the critically acclaimed "TRACES OF EDEN," "FLUID DAYS" and "MOONBIRDS." He paints an acoustic canvas with piano, harmonium, zithers, synthesizers, voice and percussion, and is a composer for film and video production. His independent music label is MOONBIRDS MUSIC.


Mathew Schreiber

Mathew Schreiber, Sound Designer, Operator
Mathew Schreiber, a native of Santa Cruz CA, draws on music elements from all over the world. He finds inspiration in recordings of natural soundscapes to form organic, evolving, layered music. He has created sound design and original music for theater productions such as "Tomas And The Library Lady", "Tomato Plant Girl" and "The Yellow Boat" for the West End Studio Theater Academy. Red Egg Theater provided the opportunity to create rich atmospheres for "What Happened In Hamelin?", written and directed by Gina Marie Hayes and "Dead Mans Cell Phone" directed by Gerry Gerringer. He has also produced music and sound design for Cook and Company's "Stone Soup" and "Jimmy/Joan." He has performed as sound operator for numerous theater and dance productions including Shakespeare Santa Cruz's "Shipwrecked" and "Lion in Winter", "Mariama - a Tale of Freedom and Grace" written and performed by Marian Oliker, dance concerts for Cabrillo College, and dance performances by Sharon Took-Zozaya, Per Holland, Lerelee Whittle, Bruce Lee and many others.


Mark Sveen

Marc Sveen, Sound Designer
Marc Sveen is a talented and accomplished Audio Engineer with 15 years experience. His college degree is in Music with the option in Recording Arts from CSU Chico. Marc currently mixes sound at many Santa Cruz and Bay area venues like Kuumbwa Jazz Center, Villa Montalvo, Inner Light Ministries, and many others. Where there’s a sound system, Marc has probably mixed on it.

Marc’s musicianship and sense or production has brought him to record two albums with his previous band “2 beans and a Grape” as well as producing cds for local artists and health care professionals.


Sylvie Vray

Sylvie Vray, Lighting Designer
Sylvie has created magic with light all over the world. Her spirit of design has taken her to work in France, Germany, Australia and finally to her home in Santa Cruz. Her goal is to create light environments for meaningful work that delights the hearts of the audience. Sylvie has worked locally for Santa Cruz Ballet, Cabrillo College Dance, Watsonville Taiko, Tandy Beal and Company, Villa Montalvo music productions, UCSC Opera, Actors Theatre, and other local and international groups.



David Wright

David Wright, Composer
Music has been such an important part of David's life that he has never thought about it and never known why. David has toured nationally with many reggae bands, embodying the Nyabinghi drumming tradition he has studied from Jamaican elders.



Education Partners
Partnering with Rising Sun Dance & Theater to bring arts education to a school near you!

Pacific Collegiate School, Cindy Gorski
Georgiana Bruce Kirby School, Beth Pettingell-Riley
West End Studio Theatre, Terri Steinman