Meet the NYC Children’s Theater Team

From our supportive board, to our tireless staff, to our talented teaching artists, these are the people who make NYC Children’s Theater the premier children’s theater and educational program in New York.

Our Board

We would like to thank our Board of Directors for their wisdom, guidance and unwavering support.

Anika Larsen

Anika Larsen

Position - Board Member

Anika Larsen is an actor/singer who has performed on Broadway, Off-Broadway, on tour and regionally for over 20 years. Anika most recently played the mom in Broadway’s Almost Famous the Musical. read more

Asad Khan

Asad Khan

Position - Board Member

Asad Khan is a senior Finance and Technology professional with over 30 years in the industry. Asad is currently with S&P Global and has held senior positions at Bank of America Merrill Lynch and other large companies. read more

Barbara Zinn Krieger

Barbara Zinn Krieger

Position - Artistic Director

Barbara Zinn Krieger founded New York City Children’s Theater (formerly Making Books Sing) during her tenure as Executive Director of the Vineyard Theatre. read more

Erin Eisenberg Blaz

Erin Eisenberg Blaz

Position - Board Member

Erin Eisenberg Blaz is a civic entrepreneur, currently working as the Senior Advisor to the Chief Program Performance and Financial Management Officer at the NYC Department of Social Services. read more

Hope Helfenstein, CFP

Hope Helfenstein, CFP

Position - Board Member

As a Certified Financial Planner and Vice President of Investments at UBS Wealth Management, Hope Helfenstein manages over $125 million in client assets. read more

Kimberly Marshall

Kimberly Marshall

Position - Board Member

Kim Marshall is the Director + Founder of Wilson Marshall PR+Events, a New York City based boutique company performing public relations and special event services for diverse clients. read more

Marilyn Yanowitch

Marilyn Yanowitch

Position - Board Member

Marilyn Yanowitch has spent most of her career in advertising, first as a copywriter and then as Executive Creative Director for large NYC ad agencies. read more

Matthew Quint

Matthew Quint

Position - Board Member

Matthew Quint is the Director of Columbia Business School's Center on Global Brand Leadership, the leading global forum on branding issues. read more

Melanie Weinraub

Melanie Weinraub

Position - Board Chair

Prior to her time on the Board, Melanie Weinraub worked for 7 years at Lincoln Center Theater as the Associate General Manager. There she helped produce over 35 Broadway and off-Broadway shows such as the Tony Award winning Contact. read more

Melissa Hurd

Melissa Hurd

Position - Board Member

Melissa Hurd has been a Director of Marketing in the Global Merchant Services team with American Express since 2012. read more

Michael Schmitt

Michael Schmitt

Position - Board Member

Michael Schmitt is an architect who has known Barbara Krieger since 1985 when he worked with her on the design for the Vineyard Theater in Union Square. read more

Richard Hua

Richard Hua

Position - Board Member

Richard Hua is a Managing Director of Quantitative Research with the Corporate Investment Bank at JP Morgan Chase & Co. Since 2014, he has led a team of quant researchers focused on various analytics, pricing, and optimization initiatives for the Prime Finance business. read more

Warren Kudman

Warren Kudman

Position - Board Vice-Chair

Warren Kudman is a global IT executive with over 20 years of experience in aligning enterprise-wide IT strategy and programs with business strategy. read more

Our Staff

Andrea Palma

Andrea Palma

Position - Associate Director of Education

Andrea Palma pursued her Bachelor's degree in Music Education at the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam, and her Masters in Voice from the Chicago College of Performing Arts read more

Aurie Ceylon

Aurie Ceylon

Position - Artistic Coordinator

Aurie Ceylon is a New York City-based actor, writer, teacher, and the creator of Monster Classroom! She is madly in love with the arts and is over the moon to dive in as an official member of the NYCCT team! read more

Barbara Zinn Krieger

Barbara Zinn Krieger

Position - Artistic Director

Barbara Zinn Krieger founded New York City Children’s Theater (formerly Making Books Sing) during her tenure as Executive Director of the Vineyard Theatre. read more

Barry Hamilton

Barry Hamilton

Position - General Manager

Barry Hamilton, who first served NYCCT as the Technical Coordinator for the award-winning A Band of Angels in 2015, has a wealth of experience in theater production. read more

Cathy Hung

Cathy Hung

Position - Executive Director

Ms. Cathy Hung is proud to join the New York City Children’s Theater family. Formerly the Executive Director for the Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning and Deputy Director for the Flushing Council on Culture and the Arts, Ms. Hung was the first Asian American immigrant woman to ever helm a CIG cultural institution. read more

E.A. Meier

E.A. Meier

Position - Production and Operations Manager

E.A. Meier is delighted to be making her debut with NYC Children's Theater. She is an NYC-based performer and arts manager originally from Dallas, Texas. read more

Frank Ruiz

Frank Ruiz

Position - Education Coordinator

Frank Ruiz (He/Him) is a proud Nicaraguan-American Actor-Musician, Director, and Educator based in New York City. He attended The American Musical and Dramatic Academy, where he also served as a founding member of the Curriculum Review Committee. read more

Laura Pelcher

Laura Pelcher

Position - Grant Writer

Laura Pelcher is delighted to bring her experience in nonprofit operations and communications to the role of Grant Writer with the NYC Children’s Theater. From an early age, Laura has loved language and storytelling. read more

Madeline Calandrillo

Madeline Calandrillo

Position - Director of Education

Madeline Calandrillo is New York City-based applied theater practitioner, teaching artist, and theatre-maker drawn to creating accessible and diverse theatrical experiences for young audiences and their families. read more

Nicole Hogsett

Nicole Hogsett

Position - Director of Marketing and Audience Engagement

Nicole Hogsett is a seasoned nonprofit marketing professional, curriculum designer, and teaching artist passionate about educating and engaging children through theater and visual arts. read more

Sammy Lopez

Sammy Lopez

Position - Resident Director

Sammy Lopez is a curious theatre-maker dedicated to uplifting historically excluded voices & stories through the arts. He is proud to be the first resident director of New York City Children’s Theater. read more

Yvonne Roen

Yvonne Roen

Position - Director of Development

Yvonne Roen joined NYCCT as a Teaching Artist in 2014 and became a Development team member in 2018. She has used music and theater to create interactive learning experiences for children since 2006. read more

Our Teaching Artists

Alexandra Pawlus

Alexandra Pawlus

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Alexia Antoniou

Alexia Antoniou

Alexia Antoniou is a storyteller who is absolutely delighted that her work has lead her to NYCCT. read more

Ana Cantorán

Ana Cantorán

Ana Cantorán is a Mexican-born, NY-based Theatre Artist and Arts Educator. She is an actress, director, mover, singer, collaborator, teaching artist, space holder, and passionate theatre creator. read more

Becca Bernard

Becca Bernard

Becca Bernard is an Off-Broadway performance artist who blends physical comedy, music, and dance to communicate her ferociously optimistic perspective of the world. read more

Betina Hershey

Betina Hershey

Betina Hershey Russo is a native New Yorker born to a Broadway musician and a painter. read more

Betty Kean

Betty Kean

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Brian Feinstein

Brian Feinstein

Brian Feinstein began his career in entertainment at the USC School of Cinema & Televisionand completed his master’s degree at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program. read more

Brynne O’Rourke

Brynne O’Rourke

Brynne O'Rourke is a white, Transfemme director, multidisciplinary artist, teaching artist, and poet dedicated to anti-oppressive practices and imaginings for a more just world. read more

Caitlin Wees

Caitlin Wees

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Caitlyn McCain

Caitlyn McCain

Caitlyn McCain is a New York City based actor, singer and teaching artist. Originally from SoCal, Caitlyn moved to NYC to attend New York University's Tisch School of the arts, where she graduated with a BFA in Drama in 2019. read more

Carrie Ellman-Larsen

Carrie Ellman-Larsen

Carrie Ellman-Larsen is a born and raised New Yorker. She studied drama and psychology at NYU where she received her BFA in Drama. read more

Cheyenne Mesura

Cheyenne Mesura

Cheyenne Mesura is a NYC-based educator and director who started their work with NYCCT as an education apprentice in 2017. They create plays for young people that center LGBTQIA+ voices and challenge societal gender norms. read more

Claire Fleitz

Claire Fleitz

Claire Fleitz is an Educator and Creator. She is passionate about facilitating important conversations with young ones through theatre, play, and storytelling! read more

Claire Tumey

Claire Tumey

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Emily Batsford

Emily Batsford

Emily Batsford is a theatermaker and educator living in Brooklyn, NY. Their artistry prioritizes inclusion and accessibility and includes immersive and physical theater practices, puppetry, & experimental forms. read more

Emma Mueller

Emma Mueller

Emma Mueller is an actress, writer, and teaching artist in NYC. She hopes to inspire joy, curiosity, empathy, and creativity in her students and is thrilled to be returning to teach with NYCCT! read more

Emmy Weissman

Emmy Weissman

Emmy Weissman is a theatre artist and arts educator based in NYC. She is committed to providing high-quality, accessible arts education to young people. read more

Frank Ruiz

Frank Ruiz

Frank Ruiz (He/Him) is a proud Nicaraguan-American Actor-Musician, Director, and Educator based in New York City. He attended The American Musical and Dramatic Academy, where he also served as a founding member of the Curriculum Review Committee. read more

Hannah Madeleine Goodman

Hannah Madeleine Goodman

An in-demand educator, Hannah Madeleine Goodman has also been a Teaching Artist for the Metropolitan Opera Guild, the Los Angeles Opera, and the Little Orchestra Society. read more

Jaclyn Randazzo

Jaclyn Randazzo

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Jamie Lowenstein

Jamie Lowenstein

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Jess Mount

Jess Mount

Jess Mount is an artist, educator, and choreographer whose central focus is arts access and limitless arts opportunities for disabled and neurodiverse artists. read more

Julia Sharpe-Levine

Julia Sharpe-Levine

Julia Sharpe-Levine is an artist, educator, writer, and activist living in Brooklyn. She has a Master's degree in Applied Theatre from CUNY's School of Professional Studies. read more

Kasia Klimiuk

Kasia Klimiuk

Kasia Klimiuk is a New York-based performance artist, teaching artist, director and arts administrator. She believes theatre has the power to transform and transcend into all aspects of our lives. read more

Kassandra Pérez

Kassandra Pérez

Kassandra Pérez: A Cuban-American born Jersey girl is an actor, creator, writer, performer, teaching artist and applied theatre practitioner based in the NYC area read more

Katy Morse

Katy Morse

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Kit Goldstein Grant

Kit Goldstein Grant

Kit Goldstein Grant is a New York City-based composer, lyricist, librettist and teaching artist. She is delighted to be teaching with NYCCT! read more

Laura Galindo

Laura Galindo

Laura Galindo is a theatre and music maker based in NYC. She believes deeply in the power of early exposure to the arts and is excited to bring her passion for theatre and music to the young artists of New York City! read more

Lily Lipman

Lily Lipman

Lily Lipman loves working with NYCCT as a teaching artist and is thrilled to join them this year as both a teaching artist and Accessibility Coordinator. read more

Lorena Bernasconi

Lorena Bernasconi

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Lynda DeFuria

Lynda DeFuria

Lynda DeFuria is a New Jersey born, Las Vegas raised singer, songwriter, actress and teaching artist currently living in New York City. read more

Marisela Grajeda Gonzalez

Marisela Grajeda Gonzalez

Marisela Grajeda Gonzalez is an actor and comedian. read more

Michael Schott

Michael Schott

Michael Schott is a musician and teacher from Manhattan, NY. read more

Nicole Hogsett

Nicole Hogsett

Nicole Hogsett is a seasoned nonprofit marketing professional, curriculum designer, and teaching artist passionate about educating and engaging children through theater and visual arts. read more

Nicole Serra

Nicole Serra

Nicole Serra is a theatre artist and educator. As a teaching artist, she has worked with Creative Arts Team, Leap, CentreStage, and Theatre Arts Center, among others. read more

Rachael Feldman

Rachael Feldman

Rachael is a teaching artist, facilitator, and performer local to Brooklyn. They hold a Masters in Applied Theatre from CUNY SPS, as well as a BFA in Acting from Adelphi University. read more

Remi Adewole

Remi Adewole

Remi is a versatile singer, actress and performer who delights in sharing her gifts with adults and children of all ages. She began her journey with NYCCT when she joined the cast of “FIVE” in 2018. read more

Ruchir Khazanchi

Ruchir Khazanchi

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Vanessa Vivas

Vanessa Vivas

Vanessa Vivas is a Venezuelan actress, director, multi-hyphenate creator, and arts administrator based in NYC. Raised in the city of Doha, Qatar, she has taken her hybrid identity and infused it into her work, focusing on multidimensional storytelling. read more

Zeynep Akca

Zeynep Akca

Zeynep Akca is a Brooklyn-based teaching artist and director. She is originally from Istanbul, Turkey. She’s an actor-teacher with NYCCT’s anti-bullying campaign. read more

Get in Touch

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