The Irvington Conservatory Theater (ICT) is a conservatory-style theater program at Irvington High School, a public Visual And Performing Arts (VAPA) magnet high school located in Fremont, CA.
ICT is part of the Center for Creative Arts (CCA), the arts magnet program offered by the Fremont Unified School District. Students with specific artistic talents and interests may apply to participate in CCA by transferring to Irvington from other high schools in the district. ICT also offers classes for college credit through the Ohlone College concurrent enrollment program.
Every school year, ICT mounts two major theatrical productions, including a fall play and spring musical, participates in competitions, and hosts a myriad of events and fundraisers.
We have an accomplished staff of teaching artists, and work to maintain the highest levels of professionalism and artistic achievement.
We encourage community involvement and support in the form of donations and volunteer opportunities. We are proud members, supporters, and alumni of both the Fremont and wider Bay Area theater community.
Meet Our Staff
IHS Theater Arts Teacher / ICT Director
Matt Ballin holds a BFA in Theater from UC Santa Barbara, an MFA from The Ohio State University, and spent a year abroad in the Tel Aviv University Overseas program. The 2021-2022 school year will be Matt's 21st year teaching Theater Arts in Fremont, and his 7th at Irvington High School after 14 years at Washington High School just down the road. He has acted and choreographed fights throughout the Bay Area, and is an Associate Artist with The Livermore Shakespeare Festival. Matt is a member of Fremont's Temple Beth Torah. His wife Pamela is a sometime actress / vocalist herself, and a full time elementary school speech and language pathologist. Matt lives in Livermore with Pam, their two children, Emmy and Moss, and their dogs.
Contact Mr. Ballin at firstname.lastname@example.org
ICT Vocal Director
Erin Reis is a bay area vocalist, actress, director and private vocal instructor with 18+ years of performance experience in Musical Theatre, and over a decade of experience in teaching music. She holds her Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre Arts and Music from San Francisco State University and runs a private vocal studio in the East Bay. Over the years Erin has performed in over 45 Musical Theatre productions/ staged concerts in the San Francisco Bay Area and has worked with a wide variety of Theatre companies, including DMT, SBMT, Coastal Rep, PCRT, Stage1, Tri-Valley Rep, The Victoria Theatre and GSTP. Erin enjoys directing and vocal directing for summer youth theatre camps/ and various High Schools in the East and South Bay, but loves calling ICT her home. Outside of the Arts, she is passionate about traveling, good food, rescuing dogs, and loves going on adventures with her two mutts Jiminy and Walter.
Nicole McAllister has always had a passion for performance. She started training in acrobatics and gymnastics at the age of 5, and began her first formal dance education at Abraham Lincoln High School in San Jose, CA. Thanks to the Performing Arts Magnet program and tons of family support, Nicole thrived in their dance, drama, and Musical Theatre departments. She then went on to earn a BA in Dance from San Jose State University with her primary emphasis in Jazz, secondary in Modern, and tertiary in Ballet. Nicole has worked at a variety of Bay Area Dance studios and high schools, teaching dance technique and Competitive Teams earning her multiple Top Teacher & choreography awards. She went on to perform and work for the Oakland Raiders as a Raiderette and Ambassador for the NFL, and was Director & Choreographer for San Jose State University's Spartan Spectrum Dance Team for 9 years, as well as the resident choreographer for Evergreen High School's Musical Theatre productions. She boasts that the best part of her job(s) is watching her students grow and flourish in the arts, and that they inspire her every day.
ICT Costume Designer
Elizabeth Whitaker is a physical therapy assistant for a living, but has been building and coordinating costumes at Irvington High School since 2002. She is thrilled to still be working behind the scenes on every IHS show with some of her favorite people!
ICT Technical Supervisor & Sound Designer
Ryan Willer is a math and leadership teacher at Irvington High School. He has been teaching for fifteen years and his favorite class to teach is trigonometry. In 2012, he volunteered to help with ICT's fall play play "The Hobbit". Since then he has been helping design lighting and sound for nearly all ICT productions.
ICT Set Designer / Stagecraft Teacher
Will Rontani is a self described "theatrical generalist" that has worn multiple hats over the years. Will graduated BA in Theatre Arts at CSU Chico and has worked over 20 years in the Themed Entertainment Industry as a performer, director, stagehand and musician. He also holds a Master's Equivalency (MEQ) which is codified as a Career Technical Education Teaching Credential in Arts, Media, Entertainment industrial sector certificated by the Orange County Department of Education. He is currently seeking his GE Theatre Credential from CSU East Bay. His passion for education started 8 years ago and has been teaching at the Mt. Diablo Unified, Fairfield-Suisun, and Martinez School Districts. His academic specialty is in Early English Drama (or English drama upto and including Shakespeare), holds two ACTF Meritorious Achievement Awards in Acting and is a member of both the California Education Theatre Association (CETA), and the United States Institute of Theater Technology (USITT) and graduated with Alpha Psi Omega honors. Prior to coming to Irvington, he was the technical director for the Huskey Theatre at Washington High School.
Martha Garcia (she/her)
Martha is the parent of an ICT CCA/PAC alumnus, and has enjoyed giving back to the program as our volunteer Webmaster since 2015. She has 30+ years of professional experience as an Executive Assistant, and 40+ years of musical experience as a percussionist for several Bay Area music ensembles and theater companies (including Fremont's StarStruck Theatre). When not working, performing, or volunteering, Martha can often be found cheerfully attempting to correct as many of Mr. Ballin's grammatical and spelling errors as possible before posting information to the ICT website.