About Kidz theater

Kidz Theater is a professional development company for young performers who are seeking a career in the musical theater.  We offer classes and productions for performers ages 8-18 and strive to teach professionalism, discipline and strong technique within a supportive, family environment.  Currently our students are playing leading roles on Broadway, in National Tours and Regional productions, and our alumni go on to the top BFA Musical Theater programs.

A Short Documentary Directed by Taylor Wildenhaus, NYU Tisch Film Student. This documentary follows the rehearsal process of our Spring 2012 production of Les Miserables School Edition

A Note from Artistic Director, Kristen Caesar...

At the age of 13, I wanted to start my own theater company. After surveying the tiny drama program at my school and scouring San Diego for theater opportunities, it became clear that the options were few and far between. Even as a teenager, I could see the detriment this apathy toward the performing arts had on the development of children. I had experienced first hand the powerful affects performing arts education had on my self-esteem and confidence, and I was outraged to realize that these opportunities were not readily available to all children. Being passionate and headstrong, I decided to take matters into my own hands, and create my own theater company.   

I found space to rehearse and perform, and a group of children who were eager to participate, and in 1996, Kidz Theater was born. For many years, I was a one woman show--I produced, directed, choreographed, musical directed, and designed all of our musicals. I also ran every business aspect of the company, and as a teenager, it was a challenge. However, the time I spent working with children made each challenge and obstacle worth while. Watching my students confidence grow exponentially, and witnessing them develop socially, cognitively and artistically made the pressures fade to the background.

As the years passed, and I gained maturity and insight, I began making strong changes in the way I worked with children. I broke down the teacher/student wall and developed personal relationships with each child, making my impact more significant. I began to see how my work was affecting lives. The process of participating in a musical builds confidence in your capabilities to perform correctly that which has been taught to you, speak in front of an audience, memorize and bond with your peers. I watched children who were once too shy to look an adult in the eye become bubbly and outgoing, and children who were once unable to make friends become outgoing and more socially confident.

Eventually, after graduating from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, I took the risk of moving Kidz Theater to Manhattan, and presented my first NYC production to sold out audiences. To date, I have produced over twenty musicals, worked with a few hundred students, and accommodated thousands of audience members. With a small staff of passionate peers that are equally excited about working with children, Kidz Theater is turning out energetic and passionate productions, and setting up classes in which children can refine their skills. I am currently working to fill a serious hole in New York City performing arts education by keeping each Kidz Theater mainstage production completely free to participate in.

In the years that Kidz Theater has been thriving in Manhattan, we have been working hard to help professional level performers to meet their goals.  We've helped Broadway performers make the transition from child to adult performer.  We've helped children book Broadway shows and National Tours.  Our students have been accepted to the top Musical Theatre College Programs including NYU, Boston Conservatory, Carnegie Mellon and CCM.  We believe deeply in the capabilities of young performers and present them with college level training at a young age.  Our students technique and skills far surpass those of their peers.

In 2008, I went back to NYU and received a Master's in Educational Theatre, and I’ve now realized that the work I do with children is my life’s passion. Not only am I building confidence and creativity in the children I work with, but I am transmitting that energy and enthusiasm to the thousands of audience members that view Kidz Theater shows. Kidz Theater has been an incredible vehicle to help children, and I plan to continue my work for years to come.