Sacagawea may be best-known as the Native-American woman on the dollar coin, but for those of you who may have forgotten some U.S. history, she was the guide that helped Lewis and Clark  explore new territory.  That’s what we’re doing at the Children’s Acting Academy this year.

We’re breaking with our tradition of doing only established musicals to go in not one, but two new directions this season.

We’re working with the multitalented Ivy Vale and Rick Reil to produce the world premiere of their astounding new musical, OUT OF MY COMFORT ZONE. With an all new original score and book, OUT OF MY COMFORT ZONE is a middle school-age musical that deals with issues of self-identity, gender, love, expectations, stereotypes, bullying, and friendship. We’re holding auditions on Sunday, October 5th,  with a premiere date TBA in February, 2015.


Recording a song from OUT OF MY COMFORT ZONE.

We can’t wait to not only premiere the show, but to tour it in middle schools around the area.

Our second venture into new territory is the play AND A CHILD SHALL LEAD, a powerful and moving story of young children in the Terzin concentration camp.  The play deals with suffering  from a unique perspective, and is written to be cast as multiracial and multiethnic. We hope to make this a truly educational experience, with visits to local museums, discussions and possibly guest speakers.

We don’t know exactly where this new path will lead, but can’t wait to go down it with a dedicated, talented group of people who are, much like Lewis and Clark, willing to take a leap of faith, and let us be their Sacagawea.



Chainsaws, a Princess, and an Evil Villain


Mermaid for MusingsThe title conjures up visions of a horror movie, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

What, then?

Disney’s The Little Mermaid JR. at the Lumberjack Festival in Deposit, NY of course!

We had our annual “summer stock week” (actually 10 days) at Scott’s Resort last month, and what a wonderful experience it was!  Our troupe went up together in a school bus on a Friday afternoon.  We got settled in on Friday night, and held auditions and cast the show on Saturday.  We performed it the next Friday…only six days later!  Fully costumed, staged, choreographed, with hand-held mikes.  Amazing!  Parents who send their children for the first time always start out by saying, “How are you going to do that?”, and we suspect they don’t have high expectations, but when they see the show a week later, that completely reverses to “I can’t believe you did that!”.

Well, we couldn’t do it without such a truly talented, dedicated cast.  Every cast member takes it very seriously (but has fun in between rehearsals swimming, tubing, tie dying, playing in our first annual soccer game, seeing shows at night, going to our traditional closing night bonfire, and more!) but also love and enjoy what they do.

What an achievement they accomplish every year.  We’re always so, so proud of them.  But you know what?  From the time they get on the bus to the time they walk off the stage, they ;the cast of 8 to 15 year olds never doubted for a second that they could do it.



Where are all the boys when you need them?  I guess that depends what you want them for.  Basketball; no problem.  Football; more than enough.  Soccer; easy.  Theatre; not so much.  That’s been the bane of my existence over the past few months.  The end of the world?  No.  But when you’re running a theatre company and trying to cast shows, it makes life a little difficult.  But sometimes things have a funny way of working out for the better…

When we were deciding on the last few shows of the season, the one that kept coming up was GREASE.  When we announced it, we kept hearing ” When are the auditions?  When will we know the cast?  What are the show dates?”  Unfortunately, you can’t do GREASE without boys.  We had Pink Ladies up the wazoo, but no Danny Zuco.  What to do?  Send out emails!  Put up fliers!  Take out ads!… nothing.  No John Travolta, but lots of Adele Dazeeems.

We had to change course. What show can we do with all girls?  There aren’t that many.  Then we thought about  BEEHIVE THE 60’s MUSICAL.  Perfect.  Lots of great songs, and we can cast it with a bunch of girls and split up the parts.  We called all of the usual rights holders to license the show, and nobody had it in their catalogue.  Who owns this, and how do we find them, we wondered.  We searched for several recent productions, and called the theatre companies.  Found it being represented by an agency.  The show went up a few weeks ago, and was a huge success.  The parents, for maybe the first time, were all able to sing along with all the songs they grew up with, and the agents and managers appreciated all of the talented girls on stage.  The comment we constantly heard from the audience was that they wished they could come back over and over to see it.  You can’t ask for more.  It was a huge win all around, especially for all the girls… now the next one.

We were the first company to revive 13 in NYC after its Broadway run several years ago.  It’s a show that 13 year olds love; even boys.  They can relate to it, and it’s one of the few shows where every cast member plays someone their own age.  But it has boys.  The show starts with the lead character singing about his Bar Mitzvah.  Oy Veh!  Now what?  We were a lot luckier this time around.  Boys were wanting to do the show, and we had a great audition and casting process.  Just had the first rehearsal, and it couldn’t have gone better.

Out of adversity came triumph.

Now, before our June opening, we all have a little more homework to do.  13!




We’re in the middle of our camp season.  One of the highlights of the summer is our 9 days of “summer stock” at Scott’s Family resort in Deposit, NY.  We performed WIPEOUT! at the resort last Friday, and did two shows at the annual Lumberjack Festival on Saturday. Our amazing students learned the entire show, including choreography and songs, in a week, and did an incredible job!

It was hard to keep up with emails during the week, but one caught my attention.  A producer of ‘America’s Got Talent’ was looking for 5-7 year olds for a shoot with Nick Cannon based on a very popular commercial running now.  The show wanted video submissions, and we scrambled to contact our students.  Since everyone we know has an iPhone, it was easy for them to shoot.  We submitted one video from the resort. Onee parent was in the middle of Times Square, and submitted the video from the middle of Broadway.  When we heard back the next day, 4 of our students were cast!  The shoot was on Sunday, and the promo. is airing during the America’s Got Talent results show tomorrow, (Wednesday) at 9:00 pm.  It should be very funny. Hope you can watch it!



I love what I do! Every day is different.  And those of you who have gotten emails from me at 4:am know that my days are sometimes pretty  long.  Odd hours go with the territory.  That’s the nature of running a business, especially one that doesn’t follow the “normal” work week.

Our students at The Children’s Acting Academy all work  hard.  They have different and varied goals.  Some want to “be in the the business”, and several students are.  Just this year we’ve had students in the Broadway Shows MARY POPPINS, CHAPLIN, EVITA, and one of the 4 girls who are MATILDA .  That’s very rewarding,  knowing that our students have gone on to work in a professional capacity on the greatest stages in the world.

But it’s also rewarding to know that students who have little desire to pursue an acting career, or don’t yet have any idea what they want to do,  also get so much out of our classes.  The shy boy who now has confidence to speak in front of his class, or the girl who becomes much more expressive, all make it so worthwhile.  And more often than you’d think, we hear back from parents who are so grateful for what we’ve given their children.  I just want to share some of their unedited comments.


Hi Mimi,

Thank  you and all of your stuff for such a great show. The kids were amazing!

There is a quote which fully applies to you: “A truly special teacher is very wise, and sees tomorrow in every child’s eyes”



Hi Mimi,

Barely had time to exchange a few words with you before or after the shows but I had to take a moment and share my thoughts and feelings with you.
I have always been a great supporter of you, from the moment I met you for an interview with Ness I could see that you have high standards and you strive for perfection up to the last moment and it is truly admirable.
I have seen my kids and other kids grow as performers and people throughout the time they spend under your wing.  Becoming dedicated, responsible, creative and risk-takers in their performances.  They are little professionals, paying attention to details and the true test is when tackled with glitches during the show, which amazingly they handle with resilience and charm time after time.
To top it all off, your inclusion of Quinn in the show was a brave move but to see the camaraderie and the rest of the cast guiding her and helping her make her cues on time is just heartwarming and sends a huge message to the children in the cast and the audience about humanity.
You are an inspiration to all of us.
Thank you!


Hi Mimi!

Great class today!  I love watching the kids and the way you direct them.  Its awesome. Charlotte loved her time in it!


 “Fame was my daughter’s first performance in a musical. The experience was a nice mixture of professional expectations and careful nurturing. It allowed her to expand her own personal goals in dance, acting and singing. The highlight for her would probably be working with both new and old friends. For me, the highlight was seeing her conquer some of her fears seemingly without flinching.”
 “Saying that I grew as a performer throughout the production of Fame is an understatement. I auditioned because I wanted to dance but I learned that I also really enjoyed the acting and singing parts of the show as well. I made so many friends through the show and it was such a great group of people. Everyone cheered each other on and supported one another every step of the way. I’m sure I can speak for all of us when I say that Mimi was amazing and extraordinarily helpful, always looking to lend a hand and help us improve. My experience of Fame was truly positive and something that I will always remember.”


It means so much to realize that I’ve touched people’s lives in such a profound way.  I do what I do because I love it, and don’t know any other way to do it.  My own kids have had teachers who have affected them that way. From elementary school to getting my masters, I’ve had teachers like that.  Looking back, I  appreciate them much more now than then.  They’ve made me what I am today, and who knows where I’d be without them.

Here’s to all the teachers who see tomorrow in every child’s eyes!!  Thank you!!




Well, today is the first day of summer, and summer camp is starting just around the corner.

There are lots of options for summer camps these days that include day camp and sleep-away camp. We like to think that we offer one of the most unique camp opportunities for anyone looking for a theatre camp.  It’s a mixture of both day camp and sleep-away!

Our camp in NYC starts after the 4th of July week. It’s Monday-Thursday from 9:00am to 3:00pm. Each week we do something different. Industry professionals come in to teach areas of their expertise, including voice-overs, singing, stage combat, and other areas. For voice overs, we’ve had pros who have done many voices in animated television shows, the stage combat instructor for the soaps in NYC, and Broadway stars who teach singing. We also attend a Broadway matinee every Wednesday, and our choreographer teaches the campers a dance from the show that we perform at an open recital for parents on Thursday afternoons. It’s truly a great learning experience that’s also a lot of fun.
Our most unique week is when we go to Scott’s Resort in Oquaga Lake NY to put on a show. It’s 9 days of summer stock for kids. We’ve taken a bus to Scott’s, which is about 2 1/2 hours from NYC. We audition, cast, and rehearse, then perform a show on their stage Friday night, and two shows outdoors at the annual Lumberjack Festival. We’re performing on the day they have log cutting contests, but the day before the tractor pull!! How fun is that? In between rehearsals, and three great meals a day, we walk down to their lake for float rides and water skiing, volleyball, golf contests, shuffleboard, bowling, ping pong, bike riding, tie-dying and more. It’s really the best of both worlds. A place where the air smells like nature and you can see the stars at night. It’s unlike a lot of the theatre camps with multiple week sessions, where the pressure is on to get a part, and getting cast in the chorus is like being an outcast. Everyone has fun, but also learns to love their craft.

We top off the summer with a “British Invasion”. Last year was our first doing this, and the first question everyone asked at the end of the week was “Can we do this again next year?” We fly a great, dynamic teacher in from London, where they’ve done this for many years with a program called TheatreTrain. It’s an intensive (but always fun) week where the campers create their own show around a classic theme. We did Romeo and Juliet last year. Everyone learned a song from the West End hit Matilda, 7 months before it opened on Broadway, and the campers created their own, contemporary, NY version of the play, with songs, dialogue, choreography, and drawings. A true sensory experience!

I might sound like one of the kids, but I can’t wait for camp to start! Info. on summer camp is available on our site: http://www.childrensactingacademy.com



Woke up this morning to people sending emails and calling with congratulations.  It’s not my birthday, and I didn’t buy a lottery ticket.  But it feels like we just won the lottery!


Here’s a link to the post::  http://newyork.cbslocal.com/top-lists/top-5-broadway-schools-for-kids-in-new-york/

We’re thrilled to be in such good company, with The Barrow Group, TADA!, A Class Act, and The Broadway Academy rounding out the top 5.  Congratulations to all!