Daena Bleu Santoyo
Co-Artistic and Producing Director / Executive Director / Instructor / Publicity and Marketing
Daena joined the OYES team of artists, directors and producers in 2012, and immediately became an integral part of OYES’ program development and growth. With OYES, Daena directed several Broadway Junior productions including, Into The Woods Jr (2014), Disney’s Sleeping Beauty Kids, (2015), Once On This Island, Jr (2016), produced OYES’ production of A Year With Frog and Toad (2015), and most recently, co-directed and produced The Lion King, Jr (2017). Daena studied various acting modalities at Ventura College, the Malibu Playhouse Conservatory, and with Dwier Brown of Theatre 150, and is a trained Speech Level Singing vocalist.
As Executive Director, Daena has worked with the OYES team and co-artistic director, Megg Sicotte-Kelly, to create a foundation for OYES in the Ojai Valley community. In addition to working with grant-writers, launching and co-producing The Ojai Wine Walk, developing new projects such as Dr. Who Drama Club, Daena developed the new website for OYES, and the new Meet The Artists campaign designed to feature the artists and professionals, contributing to OYES’ youth productions. “We strive to provide a quality work and entertainment experience for our young cast members,” says Daena, ” and it’s important to us that we acknowledge the professional contributions that help us meet this goal. We see the reciprocation of respect and professionalism in our young actors and audience members — it’s truly a rewarding experience for all!”
Daena’s background in architectural design and drafting proved valuable in the set-design planning for The Lion King, Jr and she worked with engineers and contractors to design OYES’ new lighting grid.
Philosophy: Working with children to better their life experience and development is a life-passion. It is an honor to continue and expand the success of Ojai Youth Entertainers Studio, initiated by Krista Kim in 2011, and fulfill the mission of our organization.
Other fun projects: Daena directed and co-produced SPEAK-EZ Cabaret 2013 (an immersive jazz cabaret experience) with Kytriena Payseno, and is currently co-producing and appearing on the Entertainment Web Show, New Age Girls in addition to directing, producing and development for Ojai Youth Entertainers Studio.