Cherise Mantia, born and raised in San José, and has resided in Gilroy for 16 years. Upon moving to Gilroy, she resumed her education at Gavilan College in 2003 and graduated from the Theatre Arts Program with honors in 2006. After finishing her transfer work, she attended San José State University in 2010, earning the honor of being named both a Dean’s Scholar, and a President’s Scholar. Upon graduating with her B.A. in Theatre Arts, she began Grad School at San José State and in 2016 Cherise earned her Master of Arts Degree in Theatre Arts with an Emphasis in Costume Design with her thesis, Developing an Understanding of the Imaginative and Creative Processes Utilized in Theatrical Costume Design.
Cherise loves to perform on stage and receives great joy from being in front of a live audience. She has been fortunate to play on the vaudevillian stage and in the off-Broadway show, Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding in both San José and San Francisco. You might have also seen her in one or two local commercials. Cherise has also directed on the Gavilan stage, as well as San José State’s Hal Todd Theatre. Not only does Cherise enjoy the laughter of the crowd, she has also been recognized by her mentors at San José State with the Bernice Prisk Award for Excellence in Theatrical Costuming in 2012.
Cherise knew that she wanted to come back to Gavilan and give back to her community by sharing her knowledge, and love of theatre with the students of Gavilan College. After teaching at San José State, she is happy to be back at Gavilan for the last 2 ½ years.