An Award-winning professional actor and educator for the past sixteen years in theatres, conservatories, schools, and training programs in the U.S. and Canada. Bay Area performances as an actor with ACT, MTC, SF Shakes, Center Rep, TheatreWorks and San Jose Stage Co.. Professional Awards include an Emmy (Motion Capture Specialist, ZDTV), Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle, Dean Goodman, and Shellie Best Actress Awards. Leader in the development of Theatre Arts in Alameda County and City of Oakland Public Education. As Performing Arts and Theatre Director at Oakland Technical High School, founded the student company OakTechRep, adapted Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Are Watching God for the stage, directed two documentary shorts, and produced one full-length film of the play Oakland: Inside Out, a verbatim theatre piece developed with student company OakTechRep (which has been used in Stanford University’s Docu-Drama curriculum). Recognized nationally with the American High School Theatre Award (Top 50 Nationally) and selected to perform at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland, 2010, to sold-out houses. The OakTechRep version of Naomi Iizuka’s Hamlet: Blood In the Brain has performed at CalShakes, Stanford University, and high schools across the Bay Area. Trained with Carnegie-Mellon, USC, and the International School of Comic Acting/Teatro del Viccolo (with Maestro Antonio Fava). Teaching credential in English/Drama, and MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts from the California Institute of Integral Studies’ Interdisciplinary Arts Program, with a focus in directing. Formal mentorships with Les Waters, Jonathan Moscone, and Anne Bluethenthal. Assistant Director for MacBeth at Cal Shakes and most recently Creator/Director of the devised theatre piece "The Last Night of the Barbary Coast" with her company, The Idora Park Theatre Co. Founding Director of the Oakland Theatre Arts Initiative, training classroom teachers to instruct in the Performing Arts.
Berkner: "I hail from a family committed to social justice. My grandfather marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., while my grandmother administered food and housing for Cesar Chavez and thousands of farm workers as they marched on the California state capital. My mother, a sculptor, brought this heritage to her public works, or “Peace Memorials,” which include life-size statues of Dr. King, Chavez, St.Ignatius, and others. As the mother of one beautiful daughter, Kamala Lily, age 8, I seek to model and uphold my family’s legacy of service, creating works of theatre committed to an increased compassion for humanity, often with underserved communities."