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Granite Hills Eagle Theatre (aka Granite Hills Acting Workshop/GHAW) has proudly served San Diego's East County since 1960.

This theatre program established a reputation for quality productions and professional trainings.  Many professional theatre actors and technicians began their careers in this theatre program!

We honor past Theatre teachers and students and look forward to many exciting seasons to come.

Artistic Staff


Kirsten Giard Branch


Kirsten Giard Branch taught theatre and directed over 100 productions at Valhalla High School in the Grossmont District from 1991 to 2014.  She has also taught at Emerald Middle School, Chaparral High School and IDEA Center High School.

She started her Granite Hills High School journey in the Fall of 2019.


She has a BA in Theatre from San Diego State University and a Masters in Theatre Design and Production from Southern Oregon University. She works as a teaching artist with The La Jolla Playhouse teaching Technical Theatre to incarcerated youth, as well as their Young Performers Workshop Technical Theatre Intensive. 

She has written Theatre curricular units for the San Diego County Office of Education, The La Jolla Playhouse, Teach Tech Theatre,  and Digital Theatre Plus in the UK.


She co-founded the San Diego Educational Theatre Association in 1996 and has served on their board since. Ms. Giard mentors a variety of theatre teachers at all grade levels and is co-owner/presenter of T3: Teach Tech Theatre.


She recently served on the Pickwick Players Board as Technical Director and has directed and designed numerous productions for local community theatres.


Dustin Holum

Technical Director

Dustin is a graduate of the University of California at San Diego with a BA  in Theatre with an emphasis in Theatrical Design. He has worked in TV, film, theatre, concerts and corporate live events.


Some of his projects include Walt Disney Animation Studios, Disneyland, NFL Superbowl, Qualcomm, DirecTV, Callaway Golf & Pyro Spectaculars.


Dustin served as Technical Director for Valhalla High School from 2004 to 2014 and has been on several district committees regarding theatre spaces and equipment.


 Dustin is the industry professional for Teach Tech Theatre and assists in keeping the technical theatre instruction current and relevant on the world of work.


Claudia Dyson-Hightower


Claudia Dyson-Hightower is a certified dance-aholic!  Dance isn’t her problem, it is her answer. You dance the way you live your life and life is an audition to the big dance floor in the sky. 


She’s professionally invested her entire soul in all arenas of art nationally and internationally.


If what you love is what you do best, then you truly truly have been blessed.


Thanks to God, her parents and her six major mentors. 


Beverly Claar

Technical Director

Beverly Claar has been involved in theatre production for over 30 years.


She served as Production Manager at East County Performing Arts Center as well as working at 3D Stage and Lighting.


Currently, she is Technical Director for West Hills, Valhalla and Steele Canyon High Schools. 

She was Resident Lighting Designer for Pickwick Players Community Theatre in Santee.

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