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Berridge staff are a vibrant tapestry of creative talent from all corners of the globe, united by our love for Normandy—a region we have cherished and returned to for over 17 years. We represent a diverse array of passions and professions, including writers, meditators, producers, filmmakers, actors, nature-lovers, painters, craftspeople, designers, cooks, photographers, tinkerers, and deep thinkers. Together, we bring a wealth of experience and immense heart to everything we do.

Berridge staff look to inspire and be inspired, constantly seeking new ways to ignite creativity and foster meaningful connections. Grounded in a shared appreciation for the rich history and beauty unique to the Cotentin Peninsula, we find joy in both our art and our surroundings.  When we are not creating, you can find us chopping wood, stargazing, baking bread, taking long walks or immersed in lively conversation around the fire.


Andrea Mardon
Executive Director

Andrea founded Berridge Programs in 2008. After her initial visit to Normandy in 2007, she was inspired to fulfill her dream of hosting an arts program at the chateau. Born and educated in Canada, Andrea began her artistic journey with a degree in Costume Design, which laid the foundation for her keen eye for detail and creativity. Andrea eventually moved to California, where she trained as an actor, enriching her understanding of performance from both the design and acting perspectives. Her expertise led her to a prominent role as Executive Director of Oxbridge Academic Programs, where she managed study abroad programs for thousands of students across prestigious locations such as Oxford, Cambridge, Spain, and France. Andrea's dedication to drama education continued to flourish during her decade-long tenure as an acting coach and drama teacher in the UK. Now residing in France, Andrea brings her wealth of experience and passion to Berridge Programs, guiding hundreds of aspiring artists and students through immersive and transformative experiences.



Chris Gaggia
Communications Director

Chris studied creative writing and photography, but got his most complete education from working his way through college in the climbing/outdoor industry, where his love of human-powered adventure and storytelling put him on an unexpected career path. “Being a member of a climbing community or a trail running community is a journey—one only understood by experiencing it, by contributing to the culture, by working on common challenges together. I don’t think I would have found marketing if the work hadn’t rapidly entangled itself with simply talking about and showing the things we celebrated and cared about as climbers and trail runners. I didn’t even know roles like that existed.” Chris left the industry in the mid-90’s, going on to teach visual communication and journalism for 11 years at Bishop Union High School in California’s Eastern Sierra—a physically and spiritually transformative place for him. He returned to his roots in the outdoor industry to work for the outdoor clothing brand Patagonia where he spent 7 years, first as Catalog Managing Editor and Copywriter, then as Global Marketing Manager for Fly Fishing and Workwear.


Emily Calcara
Marketing Manager

Emily's journey with Berridge Programs began as an acting student in the summer of 2012. This initial experience abroad ignited her passion for travel and underscored her belief in the transformative power of exploring new cultures. Emily pursued a degree in Communications and Sociocultural Linguistics at UC Santa Barbara, where she further developed her appreciation for diverse perspectives and cross-cultural communication. Following her graduation, Emily embarked on a career in the travel and hospitality industry, channeling her enthusiasm for exploration. Her professional path then led her to a role as a Marketing and Content Director at a San Diego marketing agency, where she honed her skills in storytelling, branding, and strategic communication. In early 2023, Emily's journey came full circle when she rejoined the Berridge team. She now works as the Berridge Programs Marketing Manager, designing enriching experiences in both France and India. Emily's dedication to fostering personal growth through travel and education continues as she helps others embark on their own transformative journeys.

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Cage Pierre
Program Director

Cage's experience with Berridge began in 2011, when he arrived as an eager acting student. That summer became a turning point, igniting his passion for acting and creativity. After earning his BFA from the University of Minnesota/Guthrie Theatre BFA Actor Training Program and a Master's in Design for Social Impact from Paris College of Art, Cage emerged as a versatile artist—actor, choreographer, producer, and designer. He draws inspiration from a diverse array of influences, from Pharell Williams to Shakespeare and Hip-Hop Culture. His professional journey has seen him grace the stage of the Chicago Shakespeare Theater and lend his talents to countless theater, film, and television productions. In early 2023, Cage's journey came full circle as he assumed the role of development director and acting faculty at Berridge. He guides the students with his own teaching philosophy, that we're born with all the answers and life is about being curious and courageous enough to ask the right questions. Cage’s favorite part of the Berridge experience are the moments of discovery this space creates. Whether it's a new room in the chateau they didn't know existed or a new artistic concept or practice, this space fosters discovery, curiosity, and connection to something just a bit bigger than ourselves. His favorite moments include watching students' individual projects merge into collaborative masterpieces.



Brian Dwyer

Based in Cork, Ireland, Brian is a member of the film faculty and full time filmmaker. His passion for storytelling began during his studies at St John's College, where he initially explored the art of filmmaking. Since then, Brian's cinematic endeavors have taken him across the globe, with his films gracing the screens of prestigious festivals such as Raindance and the London Short Film Festival. Currently, Brian is at the helm of several ambitious projects, with a number of short films and two feature-length films in development. His creative prowess has garnered recognition and acclaim, culminating in his recent achievement as the recipient of the prestigious Puttman Award at the Fastnet Film Festival. This accolade will provide the funding needed to bring his latest film script, "Wireless," to life—a testament to Brian's talent and vision as a storyteller.

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Shauna Medinah

Shauna has guided young musicians at Berridge since early 2022. Based in Los Angeles, Shauna is a diverse musical talent, encompassing writing, performing, producing, scoring, engineering, mixing, and editing. Shauna's musical journey has taken her around the world as a member of countless artistic projects from crafting the evocative score for the documentary "Occupation 101" to lending her vocals to the enchanting world of the Sony animated film "The Swan Princess." One of her crowning achievements lies in her collaboration with Grammy award-winning artist Ce-Lo Green on the soundtrack of "The Obama Effect," where she not only wrote and sang but also co-produced, infusing the project with her signature blend of creativity and passion. Along with her musical passions, Shauna is a creative coach, helping artists realize their passion, potential, and professional path.

Laurens Boersma
Studio Art

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Laurens Boermsa joined the Berridge studio art team in 2022. A professional painter hailing from the Netherlands, Laurens' passion for art was cultivated at the esteemed Academy of Visual Arts in Groningen, where he honed his craft amidst the rich tapestry of artistic heritage. His works are a testament to his mastery of various mediums including watercolor, acrylic, oil, pastel, and pencil. Laurens also specializes in en plein air, open air painting, a practice which takes him from the coasts of Normandy to the forests of the region to paint detailed landscapes outdoors. As an avid exhibitor, Laurens' paintings grace galleries and exhibitions across Holland, Germany, and France. But his artistic journey took a transformative turn when he relocated to the serene landscapes of Normandy, where he transformed an 18th-century farmhouse into a studio and gallery.

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Amber Montgomery

In early 2023, Amber joined Berridge Programs as Acting faculty and Co-Director. Based in Chicago, Illinois, Amber weaves together her talents as a producer, program manager, and multi-disciplinary artist. Her journey into the realm of the arts began with the pursuit of a BFA from the University of Minnesota/Guthrie Theatre Actor Training Program . Driven by a desire to enact positive change through artistic expression, Amber is currently pursuing a Master's degree at Central St. Martins- UAL. She explores the transformative power of radical imagination, art, and culture in shaping global power dynamics, politics, and the lives of individuals. Amber's impressive resume includes serving as the Associate Artistic Director at the Shattered Globe Theatre, where she has produced over 60 plays, including nine American and World premieres. Prior to her role at the Shattered Globe Theatre, Amber lent her talents to organizations such as Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education, where she served as a Program Coordinator, and the renowned Steppenwolf Theatre Company, where she held a Multicultural Fellowship. At Berridge, she brings her wealth of experience and passion for the arts to inspire and empower the next generation of performers, nurturing their talents and guiding them on their own transformative journeys.


Phoebe Kaniewska
Studio Art

A London-based artist and educator, Phoebe Kaniewska joined the Studio Art team at Berridge in early 2023. Phoebe brings with her a wealth of expertise and a passion for the creative arts. With a diverse array of skills spanning sculpture, illustration, painting, drawing, film photography, and jewelry making, Phoebe is deeply committed to fostering creativity in every corner of her community. For Phoebe, art is not just a medium of expression—it's a conduit for healing, connection, and transformation. Whether guiding students through the intricacies of sculpture or facilitating therapeutic art sessions in hospitals and community settings, she believes in the transformative power of creativity to uplift and inspire. Phoebe is currently an Artist in Residence at CW Plus Charity and Arts St George's.

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Simon Purse

Since the second year of Berridge Programs, Simon has lent his expertise and and unwavering commitment to his creative craft to hundreds of young artists. Living and working In the heart of London's vibrant theater scene, Simon Purse has a passion for acting, directing, filmmaking, and teaching. Armed with a degree from the University of Durham and training from the esteemed ALRA (Academy of Live and Recorded Arts), Simon leads the Shakespeare program at Berridge. For seven years, Simon honed his craft as a member of the Original Shakespeare Company, immersing himself in the timeless works of the Bard. But his influence extends beyond the stage, as he has dedicated himself to training actors in OSC cue script techniques across the globe since 2001. From Stanford University to Singapore and the halls of Oxford University, Simon has taught aspiring actors across the world. His expertise has been sought after by prestigious institutions such as Loyola Marymount University, Drama Studio London, and LAMDA (London Academy of Music & Dramatic Art.)

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Kristy Hasen

Leading the On Camera and Writing disciplines since Berridge’s first year, Kristy Hasen is a versatile artist and performer. After earning a BA from Yale, an MA in Film from Columbia University as well as honing her craft through a 2-year Meisner acting program at the William Esper Studio, Kristy is now an actor, writer, editor, and producer in New York City. She has starred in award-winning films, performed her one woman show at Ars Nova and was recently a finalist on NPR's The Moth. She has worked for Oxygen, Sundance, USA, BET and Food Network. Inspired by artists like Carol Burnett, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, and Julie Andrews, she believes that acting is all about listening and, only then, responding. She loves to get to know the students and understand what they think and feel about the process, offering tools and ideas that they can take forward in their work. Kristy’s favorite part about Berridge is the morning after everyone has flown in. She says that, yes, the orientation games are to help us learn each other's names and share a little about ourselves but with kindred spirits in a magical place, it feels less like anxiety and more like adventure. Kristy’s favorite Berridge memories include the open performance nights - where students and faculty alike are encouraged to try something new and be bold in a safe and encouraging environment.


Greg Ainsworth

Greg has been an integral part of the Berridge team since its inaugural summer in 2008. Based in Los Angeles, Greg has carved out a multifaceted career as an actor, writer, and producer. His talents first garnered significant attention when his drama pilot was nominated for the prestigious Humanitas New Voices Award, a testament to his skill in crafting impactful stories. This project is now in development with the legendary Norman Lear. In addition to his writing accolades, Greg has made notable strides as a producer. He produced the thriller "Never Here," featuring acclaimed actors Mireille Enos and Sam Shepard. His work extends to the realm of documentary filmmaking with "The Longest Game," a poignant film for PBS. Greg's foundation in acting was built through rigorous training with Diana Castle and a comprehensive two-year conservatory program at the William Esper Studio. These formative experiences have equipped him with a deep understanding of the craft, enriching his performances and productions alike.

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Brandon DeLany

In 2021, Brandon joined the Berridge family. Originally taking the helm of the film program at Berridge High School Summer in Santa Barbara, California, Brandon then extended his reach across the Atlantic to Normandy, France, spearheading the Creative Semester film program. Brandon's cinematic journey traces back over two decades, sparked by his creative influences such as P.T. Anderson, Harold Pinter, David Mamet, and Aaron Sorkin. Today, Brandon stands as an Emmy-nominated producer, director, and writer whose talents have taken him around the world. His portfolio boasts original content for renowned platforms and personalities including Netflix, Amazon, GE, PBS, Will.I.Am, VH1, James Patterson, Marvel Entertainment, Bill Burr, and HBO Max. As the co-founder of Champion Turf Inc., Brandon's imprint can be felt in monumental productions such as Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts. Yet amidst the bustle of his Hollywood career, Brandon finds solace in the intimate, hands-on approach of the Berridge experience. Believing in the power of immersive learning, Brandon leans into his teaching philosophy that when students are thrown in the deep end, they are often delighted with how quickly they learn to swim. Among the cherished memories of his time at Berridge, Brandon’s favorite is the birth of 'The Painter,' a student-led film that blossomed from concept into a masterpiece of its own, a testament to the transformative magic that unfolds at Berridge Programs.

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Duane Daniels

Duane's connection with Berridge Executive Director, Andrea, traces back to the vibrant theater scene of the 90s in San Diego, California, where Andrea served under Duane's guidance at his theater company. Since those formative years, Duane has become an integral part of the Berridge acting faculty. Beyond Berridge, Duane boasts a rich and diverse career spanning three decades in stage, film, and television. Influenced by artists such as Dick Van Dyke, Bill Irwin, Stephen Sondheim, and Suzan-Lori Parks, among others, Duane has left an indelible mark on the industry. From his role as Principal Van Clemmons in the acclaimed series "Veronica Mars" to over 3000 performances in "Triple Espresso," his journey has been adorned with accolades including Drama-Logue, ACT, Patte, and Blitz Awards. As an educator, Duane's philosophy centers on the uniqueness of each performer, likening himself to a locksmith who seeks to unlock their individual potential with the distinctive key that they each require. His favorite memory at Berridge speaks volumes of the program's ethos of inclusivity and empowerment—when Andrea went above and beyond to fulfill a student's dream of costume design, ferrying a van full of supplies from England to France. This act of dedication continues to inspire Duane. BTW, this student is now a professional costumer! At Berridge, Duane finds joy in witnessing the blossoming camaraderie among students, as they support one another, take risks, and conquer their fears. From Saturday night performances to impromptu dance parties and the cherished tradition of "cheese of the day," each moment at Berridge embodies the spirit of unity and growth that Duane holds dear.


Dan Milne

Dan joined the Berridge team in the second year of the summer program. He is a multifaceted artist based in London, England. His journey into the realm of performance began with rigorous training at Drama Studio. Further enriching his artistic journey, Dan pursued higher education at Cambridge University, where he obtained an MA. He is now a professional actor, director, and film producer. Recent highlights in Dan's illustrious career include captivating audiences on the world tour of "Lionboy" with Complicité and gracing the stage of the National Theatre in "From Morning 'til Midnight." Dan has also collaborated with esteemed institutions such as the Royal Shakespeare Company and was a company member at the renowned Young Vic Theatre for six years. Beyond the stage, Dan's passion for nurturing the next generation of talent shines through in his roles as an educator. From teaching at the prestigious Drama Centre and Central School of Speech and Drama to sharing his expertise at East 15, Dan is committed to fostering creativity and excellence in aspiring actors.


Bogdan Silaghi
Head Chef

Bogdan's multifaceted career is a vibrant blend of culinary arts and performance, reflecting his diverse talents and passions. Originally from Romania, Bogdan has made a name for himself in London as both an actor and a chef. His journey has taken him from bustling kitchens around the world to captivating stages and film sets. Bogdan honed his acting skills at East 15 Acting School, where he earned an MA in Performance. His training laid a solid foundation for his career, allowing him to excel both in front of and behind the camera. His recent work as a Script Supervisor includes credits on the TV series "Psyched!" and the short film "Stay," where his keen eye for detail and narrative coherence ensured seamless productions. Bogdan has equal experience In the culinary world. He has worked in kitchens across the globe, bringing a rich tapestry of flavors and techniques to his cooking. Bogdan's journey is a testament to his passion for storytelling and artistry, whether through a well-crafted performance or a beautifully prepared dish. Bogdan now lives year round at the chateau in Normandy, France.


Ramiro Cantu

Ramiro joined the Berridge family as a film student in 2014, then later became a valued member of the film faculty team. Based in Austin, Texas and Los Angeles, California, Ramiro works as a director of photography and producer. Ramiro's passion for storytelling was further ignited at the University of Texas at Austin, where he earned his Bachelor of Science in Radio-Television-Film. His connection to the power of cinema was further solidified through his experiences at Berridge, where he not only honed his craft as a film intern but later returned to impart his knowledge and skills as a member of the film faculty. With over 50 projects under his belt, Ramiro's portfolio spans a diverse range of work, from commercials to feature films. One of his notable works, the short film "#RefugeesWelcome," serves as a poignant reminder of his ability to illuminate important social issues through the lens of cinema. This film garnered official selection at the prestigious South by Southwest festival, underscoring his talent and dedication to impactful storytelling.


Katie Royer

Katie's journey with Berridge began as an acting student in its inaugural year of 2008, marking the start of what would become a 16 year bond with the program. Drawing inspiration from visionary creators like Julia Ducournau, Melissa Febos, and Patti Smith, Katie has carved her path in Los Angeles as a full-time actor, writer, and producer. She wrote and directed the films Cremation, The Snow Factory and When We're Alone and starred in films including The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek that made the festival circuit including Sundance and Cannes. In her long time role as writing and film faculty for Berridge Programs, it's the people, the chateau, and the beautiful Normandy coastline that make the Berridge experience so special to her. Fueled by a profound appreciation for the uniqueness of Normandy, Katie's fondest artistic endeavor lies in facilitating the "People on the Peninsula" student documentaries—an homage to the many local figures of Normandy, from painters to lighthouse keepers, whose stories make Normandy such a special piece of the world.


RJ Root

With a BA in Music from Cal State Fullerton, specializing in Jazz and Commercial Music Performance, RJ has lent his musical prowess to the music department at Berridge Programs since 2022. Under the tutelage of masters like Bill Cunliffe and Kim Richmond, RJ delved deep into the realms of composition, arranging, and improvisation, honing his craft with an unwavering dedication to excellence. His mastery of Classical, Studio, and Jazz guitar, guided by mentors Carlos Gonzalez and Mitch Holder, further enriched his musical repertoire. RJ's talents have taken him around the world as a professional touring and session musician. From New York City to California and beyond, his melodies continue to resonate with audiences. Whether gracing the stage with his virtuoso guitar skills or lending his talents to studio sessions, RJ's musical journey helps guide and influence promising Berridge musicians.


Chris Gaggia

Chris studied creative writing and photography, but got his most complete education from working his way through college in the climbing/outdoor industry, where his love of human-powered adventure and storytelling put him on an unexpected career path. “Being a member of a climbing community or a trail running community is a journey—one only understood by experiencing it, by contributing to the culture, by working on common challenges together. I don’t think I would have found marketing if the work hadn’t rapidly entangled itself with simply talking about and showing the things we celebrated and cared about as climbers and trail runners. I didn’t even know roles like that existed.” Chris left the industry in the mid-90’s, going on to teach visual communication and journalism for 11 years at Bishop Union High School in California’s Eastern Sierra—a physically and spiritually transformative place for him. He returned to his roots in the outdoor industry to work for the outdoor clothing brand Patagonia where he spent 7 years, first as Catalog Managing Editor and Copywriter, then as Global Marketing Manager for Fly Fishing and Workwear.

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