Instructor Bios

Karen Gedissman

Karen Gedissman was first heard singing at the age of 2, both in English and Spanish, due to her Argentine roots, inspiring her parents to send her to the Tony Award Winning Regional Theatre,  South Coast Repertory,  leading to her stage debut in A Doll’s House and The Time Of Your Life.
Karen was a member of SCR’s Young Conservatory Players for 6 years, completing all their Acting training programs.
In the summers, she starred in Musicals through her Orange County Ballet Company, that she also was a student/member of for 6 years.
During her teen years, she earned Vocal Awards with “Bank of America” and “The Rotary Club.” Moving into adult life, her comprehensive training led her to be accepted to the Renown Musical Theatre Workshop at the Los Angeles Music Center.  Karen and Phil Randall share the history of both having participated in that workshop.  Karen has is a proud member of AEA, SAG-AFTRA and AGVA, and her adult theatrical life has included Bilingual Teaching of the Arts (Voice, Acting, Dance), in Los Angeles, both in group workshops and private coaching.  Karen’s Theatre highlights: “80 Days,” The La Jolla Playhouse with Des McAnuff.  Award-winning roles in: Maggie inA Chorus Line, Polly Peachum in Three-Penny Opera, Sheila in HAIR (20 Year Anniversary), The Mistress inEvita, Violet in Violet, Judy Garland in Babes, and Star of Barrio Babies at The Jon Anson Ford Ampitheatre, Los Angeles.  Karen has toured the world as aHeadliner with herCabaret Act for Princess Cruises, L.A.’s Catalina Jazz Club, The Hollywood Roosevelt’s infamous, Cinegrill, and a special appearance in Mexico City as April O’Neill in the musical version of “The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” produced by Pizza Hut at “El Palacio De Los Deportes.”  Film: Indie Feature Chavez Ravine, Directed by Critically Acclaimed,  Prime Time Television Director, Norberto Barba  TV: Hard Copy. Karen is thrilled to have also shared the stage with Ben Vereen, Jane Lanier (Fosse, Sweet Charity),  Paige Davis (of HGTV’s, “Trading Spaces”), Latin Musician, Louie CruzBeltran, among other incredible artists.  Working as the National Quadruple Understudy in Menopause, The Musical®, GFOUR Productions®, Karen debuted her roles at The Luxor, Las Vegas; as well as, a 3 week run, taking over for “Paige O’Hara,” Belle in“Beauty and The Beast,” at Harrah’s, Las Vegas. Karen is now a true quadruple-threat!

Phillip James Randall

Phillip James Randall began performing at the age of 3, began working as a professional at the age of 6 and has continued to work in entertainment ever since.  As an actor, he has appeared in New York in 5 Broadway shows, on off-Broadway (OBIE nominee), performed with Second City, worked on stages in 44 of the 50 states, as well as in England, and on television as a regular in two series and a guest on many more. He has produced four motion pictures, directed over a hundred theatre productions, run 5 theatre companies, overseen the entertainment at the 1984 Olympics for AT&T and written several produced scripts in all media. In Las Vegas, he supervised the first 5 Fremont Street Holiday Parades, themed and staffed Roxy’s Diner at the Stratosphere, production stage managed the Rockettes, Second City, de la guarda, Menopause the Musical and several specialty shows and served as production stage manager for Robert Goulet for twelve years; he serves on the Board of the Arts Management College at Oklahoma City University.  He studied at the Pasadena Playhouse, the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, the Second City and the Los Angeles Civic Light Opera Musical Theatre Workshop.

Rob Schaefer

Before moving to Las Vegas, Rob Schaefer spent many years performing magic in Chicago while pursuing his bachelors degree in Theatre from Columbia College. As a magician, Rob opened for Vegas headliner, Marie Osmond. After graduating from Columbia College, Rob focused his talents on the Chicago theatre scene where he worked, directed, or produced at Victory Gardens, Chicago Shakespeare, Chicago, Bailiwick, and Auditorium Theatres. Rob has also worked with the Chicago Park District's Theatre on the Lake, Remy Bumppo, Lookingglass and The Artistic Home Theatre Companies. Currently, Rob is a special education teacher and a board member for Super Summer Theatre.