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Russell Leavitt

Derrick Spiva

Russ Bio-stagecraft and animation.jpg

With over 35 years of experience behind the scenes in performing arts, Russell Leavitt has been engaged in production at both the professional and academic level. His past work includes scenic design for The Colored Museum at the African-American Shakespeare Company in San Francisco, Little Shop of Horrors and The Night No One Died at the Edward James Olmos Teatro de las Americas, West Hills College where he was also Technical Director, and instructor of theater design, lighting, sound and video production. His set and lighting design experience extends into television, designing 12 seasons of the Through Our Eyes, Create your Nature, and The 411, children and youth programming series on PBS television where he directed programs for television as well as the Urban America Network and the Black Family Channel. Mr. Leavitt studied film and television at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco while working in the industry with clients from Lucasfilm. He earned a BA in Art with an emphasis in Computer Art from California State University. He is the lighting designer for the annual choreographer’s dance concerts at San Francisco City College and the Technical Director for Reel Pride Film Festival in Fresno California for the past 20 years. Currently, he teaches animation and virtual reality in 19 countries through Udemy while in production on animated film shorts.



Dr. Spiva has a Ph.D. in Vocal music, an MFA in Musical Theater from UC Irvine and a California teaching credentials is music theater and dance. 

Derrick Most recently played “Jesus” in a San Francisco production of “Godspell” and leading player in “Funky Town” at the

San Francisco Palace of Fine Arts.

Other theater productions

 include “Dream Girls”

and  "Sophisticated Ladies”

at Roger Rocka’s Dinner Play House in Fresno.


Television and film credits over many years include hosting and producing

“Through Our Eyes”

and “The 411” for PBS,

the Black Family Channel

and the Urban Television Network over 12 seasons and the motion picture “The Blues Brothers”. 

He is a lecturer of Africana Studies,

theater and dance

at San Francisco State University. 

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