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Monarch Theatre

Julie Benitez, M.F.A.

Monarch Theatre

Monte Vista High

3230 Sweetwater Springs Blvd.

Spring Valley, CA  91977


​Tel:   619-660-3179

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"Great theatre is about challenging how we think and encouraging us to fantasize about a world we aspire to."

― Willem Dafoe, actor

Julie Benitez, M.F.A. 

Producer/Director/Technical Director


Ms. Benitez has been teaching theatre at Monte Vista High since the fall of 1996. She is very passionate about her sets and students frequently hear her wax philosophic about the importance of spattering and other texturizing techniques. 


Ms. Benitez received her undergraduate degree in Theatre and Education from Iowa State University and her  Master of Fine Arts from Arizona State's prestigious Theatre for Youth program. She is a co-founder of Survivor Theatre Teacher which became Teach Tech Theatre, and has taught numerous workshops and conferences over the last 15 years to other theatre teachers in the country about how to teach safety, the basics of technical theatre, and how to make your sets stand out. Ms. Benitez has been a Teaching Artist at La Jolla Playhouse since 2015, focusing on teaching technical theatre to youth. She is a Board Member-at-Large for the San Diego Theatre Educators Alliance (SDTEA) and heads up the Tech Fest that SDTEA does in conjunction with Grossmont Theatre each fall. She has won the Bravissimo Award for Theatre Teacher in 2006 and was honored as Teacher of the Year at Monte Vista High in 2018.



MJ Turner



MJ Turner has been a performer since she was 6 and has danced all over the world. She worked in film, television, and has choreographed in LA and in San Diego.


MJ has been improving Monarch Theatre's musicals since 2007 and she has inspired many students to improve their dancing after they realized the pure joy of her choreography. An oft heard phrase is "Who wants to play?" which leads to some quite memorable choreography full of lifts, jumps, and throws.

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