meet the board
Jackie Brenneman (she/her)
Jackie has been involved with theatre for most of her life as a performer, director, producer, and lyricist. Theatre has given Jackie confidence and killer memorization skills, has taken her across the globe, and most importantly, it has introduced her to life long friends. Jackie’s performing has taken her to Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, New York University, and right here to Los Angeles. Jackie is passionate about bringing high-quality and innovative theater to Los Angeles.
Jackie moved to Los Angeles for law school. However, Jackie continues to perform throughout the Los Angeles area both on stage and screen. Some favorite roles include, Winifred (Once Upon a Mattress), Roxie Hart (Chicago), Charity Valentine (Sweet Charity), The Witch (Into the Woods), Marian Paroo (The Music Man), and Maria von Trapp (The Sound of Music). Jackie has been involved in all of Conundrum's productions and her most recent role with Conundrum was Fanny Brice in Funny Girl.
Jackie has a day job she loves as the General Counsel & Director of Industry Relations at the National Association of Theatre Owners and has two adorable kiddos. For more, visit jackiebrenneman.com.
Lisa Sedares (she/her)
Lisa Sedares is a a Space Systems Engineer at the Aerospace Corporation for NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory as well as a classically-trained pianist, composer, and music director. She has been on Conundrum's Board of Directors and Resident Music Director for the last 4 years and is excited to continue on as treasurer. Some of her favorite shows with Conundrum have been Andrew Lippa's Wild Party, Into the Woods, Fun Home, and Seussical.
Lisa lives in Pasadena with her husband, daughter, and dog. You can find her on TikTok playing accompaniments of your favorite musicals. She is currently working on a new musical with Conundrum co-founder Jackie Brenneman.
Nikki Yates (she/her)
Nikki is a PhD candidate studying educational psychology at the University of Southern California. Her parents like to say she could sing before she could talk, which makes sense, given her love of performing. When she's not working on a research project or tearing up a karaoke bar (pre-COVID, of course), she enjoys playing with her dog, running while listening to podcasts, and baking overly complicated pastries.
Jess Jani (she/her)
Jess Jani has been surrounded by performers her whole life, which only solidified her passion for the theatre. Her journey with Conundrum began as an actor, gracing the stage in roles such as Medium Alison in "Fun Home" and Cinderella in "Into The Woods." Most recently, she made her directorial debut with Conundrum’s production of Little Shop of Horrors. Beyond her theatrical pursuits, Jess works at AV Squad, a company specializing in crafting movie trailers, demonstrating her commitment to storytelling in various forms.
As a member of the Conundrum Theatre Company's board, Jess Jani's vision is to foster an inclusive, accessible, and thriving theater community on the West Coast. Her gratitude towards Conundrum for rekindling her passion for the stage knows no bounds, and she looks forward to the endless opportunities they provide for everyone in the community to explore their artistic boundaries.
Jordan Kaiser (she/her)
Jordan Kaiser's love of the arts began at an early age - she began working in theatre as an Assistant Director at her local community theatre during her teenage years, and later attended Chapman University, where she was both the president and publicity chair of their musical theatre student organization.
In her time on the board of Conundrum, she has directed our sold out run of RENT, produced our production of Little Shop of Horrors and our A Weekend of One Acts festival, assistant directed our run of Cabaret, and held various roles in our productions of Urinetown, Seussical, Into the Woods, and The Wild Party.
Pursuing her other passion for film, Jordan currently works as a film publicist at Sony Pictures Entertainment. She loves that Conundrum provides a creative outlet for artists who work full-time in other industries.
SHAWN RIOS (TheY/ThEm)
Shawn is a life-long lover of the stage. From the first time they saw The Lion King at the Pantages, they were hooked to the spectacle and artistry of live theater. Their life shifted when they made their stage debut with Conundrum in our production of Rent. Finding a group of like-minded, passionate artists encouraged Shawn to continue working with Conundrum in many capacities. From acting, to costuming, to directing in our New Works Festival, Shawn has loved every moment of learning and creating with our loving and supportive community of artists.
In their daily life as a project manager for LA County Public Works, Shawn has seen the importance of creative outlets, and exuberantly invites other working professionals to join in free expressions of themselves with Conundrum.