Launched in New York City in 1999 and in Peekskill in 2006. The Children’s Theatre Company (CTC) is a non profit organization dedicated to Building Character Onstage™. While experiencing an exhilarating introduction to the incomparable magic of theatre, children develop a keen sense of citizenship in tandem with their artistic achievements. CTC promotes theatre as a tool for active and analytical thinking, combining collaborative performances directed by professional artists with an innovative character and ethical education curriculum. The emphasis is on a culture of inclusivity and service through the arts. Children’s Theatre is theatre by children for grown-ups – fostering in young performers a profound conviction that they are the voices of positive change in society. CTC serves hundreds of children a day through the public schools. The CTC Community Development Model is being implemented in a growing number of communities, resulting in many Satellite Productions such as in Boston, Maryland, Virginia and in Los Angeles, London, UK and Cape Town, South Africa.
Our mission is to introduce children and youth to the incomparable magic of theatre, in a safe, loving and accepting environment. Theatre is seen as a tool to help awaken children to their highest potential, build self confidence, and develop moral character, in order that they may contribute to their own well being and the well-being of their communities.
Rehearsal: Cast members meet from October through February on Saturdays to rehearse and learn the play. Emphasis is given to teamwork, respect, self discipline and having fun. We believe the process and journey is as important than the final product so we take the time to help our cast build bonds of friendship and community.
Performance: Performances typically take play in early February with 4 performances over two weekend. The entire community of staff, students and parents are part of the production team. CTC aims to build community by involving the families and community members who model community service to the participants.
Participation: our program is open to all children all. We will not turn down a child based on financial difficulties, so we fundraiser annually in order to provide scholarship. We also allow parents to set up payment plans and make a monthly payment should they need to.
Kristy Boyd Filipowski
Kristy holds a degree in Musical Theatre and a minor in Leadership Studies from Marietta College in Ohio, and another degree in Interior Design from the Art Institute of New York. She works as an Interior Designer at a small firm in Saddle River, NJ. Kristy first began working with children in a theatre setting when she was the Education Intern at the Pensacola Little Theatre in Pensacola, Florida. Since then it has been a passion of hers to work with children and teach and direct theatre. Kristy Has been part of the CTC Peekskill team since 2006.
When Susan Cody was a pre-schooler, her father’s barber shop quartet taught her their songs and she’s been singing and “doing music” ever since. She attended Ithaca College as a piano and voice major and has been teaching music from her home studio in Somers since 1979. Her musical teaching experiences include private and class room, from birth to adult. She developed a course for school age children in the elements of music called “What’s That Sound” and has served as music director for the Children’s Theater Company of Peekskill since it’s inception. She also serves as director of the One World Youth Choir for NECS.
Brooklyn born and bred, Eileen now resides in Croton on Hudson with her husband and two daughters. She moved to the scenic Hudson Valley in 2000 to raise her own ducklings. In addition to the study of theatre and dance, Eileen spent 10 years traveling the world as a dancer. She worked with the “Le Masquerade” entertainment company, which brought original and “Broadway” inspired performances to the audience. Eileen has also produced and choreographed many shows for the children in her local school district.
Searching for an opportunity to share her love of theater with her children, Leslie Fields-Cruz joined the staff of CTC in 2008 with her own kids in tow. Since then, Leslie eagerly looks forward to the fall season where she, Kristy, Susan, Eileen, Ridvan and CTC’s incredible community of children and parents create the magic that is theater. Leslie served as the Artistic Director of City Lights Youth Theater in NYC from 1998-2000, and spent years as an actor performing on stages in New York and Los Angeles. When she is not playmaking at CTC, Leslie spends her time funding and distributing documentary films that explore the cultures of African Americans and people of the African Diaspora. She is the Executive Director of the National Black Programming Consortium (NBPC), and produces the PBS series “AfroPOP: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange”. Leslie lives in Cortlandt Manor with her musician husband Gerry Cruz, and their three daughters, Maya, Sumara, and Cierra.
CTC Peekskill Founder & Producer
Ridvan Foxhall is the founder and producer of the Peekskill Chapter of the Children’s Theatre Company. Ridvan also runs New Era Creative Space a creative educational center for children. Guided by the belief in the principle of the Oneness of Humanity, Ridvan is committed to promoting in young people the conviction that they can be the voices of change in the world. To this end, over the past 20 years she has taught, developed and produced programs for children that emphasize the moral and ethical component of education which is all to often missing in current educational programs. Ridvan is a pediatric occupational therapist. Originally from Nigeria, she currently resides in Peekskill NY with her husband and two children who are a constant source of inspiration. She enjoys reading, dancing, playing tennis and hiking.
Natalie Arneson has been performing professionally since the age of fifteen. In New York she has appeared onstage with Playhouse Creatures, MCC, and the New York Musical Festival. She graduated from the Guildford School of Acting in England. As a teaching artist, Natalie has worked with children in the arts for nearly 20 years. She ran Spotlight Performing Arts School in Manhattan, and many of her students were accepted to performing arts high schools, appeared in national television commercials, and even performed off and on Broadway. She lives in Putnam Valley with her husband Kent and children Chloe, Julian, and Nikolai.
John grew up in the beautiful Fingerlakes region of New York, but has long lived here in the more beautiful Hudson Valley, where he earns a living as a draftsman. John is also an artist and illustrator, a pleasure he hopes to turn into a vocation. In the past, he has contributed to the character education effort at the Children’s Theatre Company of Peekskill. He enjoys gardening when he can find the time for it, reading, and the world of ideas. His life’s goal is to help save the world from its’ many troubles by contributing however he can to our awareness of the oneness of humanity.