Applause Westchester is dedicated to instilling children and young people, age one to 18, with a love and appreciation of the performing arts. The company offers a large array of classes and programs for children of all ages and skill levels, including Broadway Babies and Rock ‘n’ Roll Babies for little ones age four months to three years; Broadway Little Stars and Rock ‘n’ Roll Little Stars for three- and four-year-olds; Broadway Stars and Hip-Hop Stars for four- and five-year-olds; and other age-designated classes. A summer camp and birthday parties also are offered.
Here, it’s okay if your kids are little divas. The theater instructors have seen it already, being showbiz pros who work—right now, not years ago—in all areas of the entertainment biz, from Broadway to film. Applause offers classes for kids as young as four months, though “we’re not doing entire ‘book shows’ or trying to put on a full play with kindergartners,” says Director of Operations Heather Capelle. Instead, the focus is on teaching acting through improvisation, games, and the nuts-and-bolts of pitch, diction, and projection. So, by the time older kids move on to master classes, rehearsing for shows that are eventually performed in a real Off-Broadway theater, they’re full of confidence and enthusiasm, not quivering lips and knocking knees.