Creative Team

Annie Loui
Artistic Director

Annie LouiAnnie Loui works as a director/choreographer, an educator, and creator of devised theater works. She trained with dancer Carolyn Carlson at the Paris Opera, and studied in France with physical theater masters Etienne Decroux, Ella Jarosivitcz and Jerzy Grotowski. Original physical theater pieces have been seen in France, Monaco, West Germany, and in the United States at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, among other venues. She has choreographed for the American Repertory Theater, Trinity Repertory Theater, and off-Broadway for the Signature Theater. Longtime member of the Brandeis Theater Arts Department; she also taught extensively for the Institute for Advanced Theater Training at Harvard before coming to the University of California, Irvine, where she runs the Movement Program for the MFA Actor Training. She has received a Massachusetts Choreographer’s Fellowship, a Belgium Artist’s Abroad Award, a Beall Center for Art and Technology Grant and an NEA New Forms Grant. Favorite directing projects include two world premieres of Chuck Mee scripts; CAFÉ LE MONDE and WAR TO END WAR, and her devised theater adaptation of JANE EYRE created with Counter-Balance Theater. Intermedia performance creations include READING FRANKENSTEIN at the Beall Center for Art and Technology, and IN THE GRACE OF THE WORLD commissioned by the Orchestra of St Luke’s NYC. Her FALLING GIRL inter-active video installation with Scott Snibbe was exhibited at the Berkeley Art Museum and at the ArtRock Festival St Brieuc, FRANCE. Her book The Physical Actor is published by Routledge Press.


Joel Veenstra
Production Manager

member_76495252Joel Veenstra is a professional stage manager, a production manager, a producer, a filmmaker, and an improviser. He has stage managed productions at the Laguna Playhouse, El Portal Theatre, the Margaret A. Webb Theatre, the Matrix Theatre, The Norris Center for Performing Arts, and the Richard & Karen Carpenter Performing Arts Center. He is proud member of the Actors’ Equity Association.

Most recently Mr. Veenstra served as Production Manager for the nationally recognized Cornerstone Theater Company based in Los Angeles. He oversaw the critically acclaimed production of Café Vida, written by Lisa Loomer and directed by Michael John Garcés, in partnership with Homeboy Industries and presented by The Los Angeles Theatre Center operated by the Latino Theater Company. He also coordinated Creative Seeds: An Exploration of Hunger, a one-of-a-kind 14-day festival comprised of 33 events in 20 different locations throughout Los Angeles with over 1,000 attendees. Mr. Veenstra also worked as a Story Editor at Alcon Entertainment, which produced films including My Dog Skip, Insomnia, and Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, distributed through Warner Bros. He worked on the release of Richard Donner’s 16 Blocks and Neil LaBute’s The Wicker Man. He also earned production credit for his work on Richard LaGravenese’s P.S. I Love You, which starred Hilary Swank and Gerard Bulter and grossed over $156 million worldwide, One Missed Call, and Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2. Mr. Veenstra earned his MFA in Drama from the University of California, Irvine and his BA in Communication Arts and Sciences, with a Theatre Focus, from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Lonnie Rafael Alcaraz
Lighting Design

LRA-Headshot-bwLonnie Rafael Alcaraz is a Professor at UC Irvine and a professional lighting designer. He has designed at various regional theatres, such as The Oregon Shakespeare Festival, South Coast Repertory, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Sierra Repertory Theatre, Arena Stage, Laguna Playhouse, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Pasadena Playhouse, The Great River Shakespeare Festival, Utah Shakespearean Festival, Syracuse Stage, Arizona Theatre Company and East West Players. Lonnie has a long standing relationship with Culture Clash having designed The Birds at both South Coast Repertory and Berkeley Repertory; Culture Clash in AmeriCCa at South Coast Repertory and San Diego Repertory; and their national touring show, Radio Mambo. Lonnie is an Associate Artist with critically acclaimed Cornerstone Theater Company which has given him the opportunity to create site-specific lighting designs throughout California. In addition to his theatrical experience, Lonnie designed for Universal Studios Islands of Adventure’s Lost Continent Island and for Universal Studios, Japan, where he designed the live shows Terminator 2 in 3D, and Monster Makeup, the attractions Jurassic Park the Ride and Snoopy Studios, along with exterior architectural facades throughout the park. He is a member of the United Scenic Artist /IATSE – Local 829. To view his complete professional portfolio please visit his website:

Mark Caspary
Sound Design

Mark-Caspary-HeadshotMark Caspary is sound designer and composer with a diverse background in a variety of the arts. He is currently working as a Southern California based freelance designer and composer. His Recent Counter-Balance shows include, sound design and composition for Elsewhere, The Odyssey workshops in Arezzo, Italy, and at UCI, As well as the UCI and Counter-Balance production of a Christmas Carol in 2014. Recently he has been heard at Hollywood Fringe Festival, South Cost Repertory Theater and the Lincoln Presidential museum in Illinois. Mark has spent time with the Thinkwell Group helping to design sound for themed installations across the country and abroad.  Mark is a multi-instrumentalist specializing in percussion, piano, and guitar. He is happy to be a part of Counter-Balance Theater and is looking forward to many upcoming adventures. Examples of his work can be found at

Penn Ross Jackson, Jr.
Stage Manager

Penn Ross Jackson, Jr.Penn Ross Jackson, Jr. is an eclectic theater professional who specializes in stage management while remaining active in the realms of producing, production management, and lighting. He has stage managed a variety of productions that span musicals, non-musicals, improv, festivals, and dance. His dance credits include work with renowned choreographers such as Arleen Sugano (The SuganoSystem), Michael Bearden (Ballet West), Lorin Johnson (CSULB), Melissa Allen Bowman (ABT), and Bill Hastings (Peridance and Broadway Dance Center).

Recently, Ross took part in the ATPAM Diversity Initiative Internship, which allowed him to work with Company Manager Erica Norgaard and 321 Management on the 1st National Tour of Peter and the Starcatcher. Soon after, he began work as Production Assistant for Culture Clash’s Muse & Morros. Culture Clash is a Chicano-American performance troupe celebrating its 30th anniversary.

Other credits include: Cabaret, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Once Upon a Mattress, Topdog/Underdog, Coup de Comedy Festival, and A Christmas Carol, adapted and directed by Annie Loui in the style of Counter-Balance. Ross began his journey with Counter-Balance with The Dwarf since its original inception in January of 2013.