Student Testimonials

WHAT STAGE LEFT MEANS TO ME



“Stage left is my life. I've met so many new friends here that I will have forever. I love it, the singing, the dancing, and the acting, all of it!”

Jessie Savoy, age 10


“Famed British actress Juliet Stevenson once said, "I sometimes think that theater is a torture." At this point in time I couldn't agree with her more! In June 2000, Stage Left Children's Theater opened its inaugural production of Mary Poppins. We rehearsed in a small church while our moms worked on making our costumes. We had two backdrops, one that was so long it formed a puddle of fabric where it met the stage and one that was three feet too short, requiring additional black fabric on the bottom to mask the Home Underground. There were 30 of us in the cast and we had the time of our lives. And now look at us: a three weekend run, extravagant sets and costumes rented from across the country and a cast of 80, still having the time of their lives. Over these past 10 years I feel so privileged to call Stage Left my home hence the torture that comes with “moving out.” As I travel through this year of “lasts” and “goodbyes” there is not one more dreaded than the one I have to make to Stage Left. SLCT has been a blessing to myself and each young actor that has passed over the Ritterhausen’s stage. Nowhere else in the world is it possible to find warmth, compassion, hilarity, education, and growth on Saturday’s from 10-4. It is in these six hours that a group of 80 children come together to make a magic memory that will be cherished for a lifetime. Stage Left has meant the same thing for its entire ten years in existence Stage Left means not being judged, not feeling uncomfortable, being able to be you. Stage Left means a place where you can come to work hard and a place you can come to hang out with friends. To me, Stage Left means family and more specifically, home.”

Scott Galina, age 17


“Even though I have only been a member of Stage Left for two years, I have had the greatest experience of my life. Not only did I grow as a performer, but Stage Left has given me the confidence and the motivation to do what I love in college and beyond. I now look forward to continuing Musical Theater for the rest of my life. But SLCT has provided so much more than extra practice; it has given me a home away from home and the best friends I could ever ask for. If I could go back in time, I would have joined the theater much earlier, but I wouldn't give up my experiences at Stage Left for anything else in the world.”

Melissa DiMateris, age 18


“Stage Left Children's Theater has been the best thing that has ever happened to me. I have made the most amazing friends and worked with the most amazing directors who have become my second family. They have joined me in performing the most amazing shows and without their support, I would not be the performer, or the person I am today. I will miss my SLCT family next year but I know it will always be a part of me.”

Ian Brodsky, age 17


“Stage Left has opened a whole new world for me... a world of fun, a world of learning, and a world full of talented, caring and amazing friends! Thanks to everyone at Stage Left. Break a leg (but not a foot)!”

Patrick "The Beast" Gambuti III, age 17


“Stage Left is a place that I can talk to anyone; all it needs are beds and it would be exactly like a home away from home!”

Elisha McGinnis, age 15


“I came to Stage Left shy, insecure, and lacking a sense of self. Now, as I leave for college, I truly know who I am and where my passions lie. I have made friendships here that I believe are strong enough to handle anything, and I know now that no matter how far away I may go I'll always have this place to come back to. To me, Stage Left is every Saturday afternoon. It’s countless hours spent building a staircase or practicing a step. It's all the laughter and tears that I've shared with the most beautiful people I've ever known. To me, Stage Left is love. I can't imagine my life without it.”

Matt Prigge, age 17


“I can’t believe this is my last year. Every person in every show at SLCT has truly touched my heart. I found my family here, and I adore every brother, sister, and the many BEST FRIENDS that I have made. Ayn, thank you for dealing with me for seven shows!! Thank you for understanding that I make up my own harmonies and usually listen to the person next to me. Thank you for getting used to the fact that I’ve never memorized an audition song. Thank you for eating with me, and most of all, thank you for giving me the opportunities of a life time. You have formed the actress I am today. Thank you. Ian, I feel like we’ve been through this SLCT roller coaster together. The amount of chemistry that we have formed on stage over the years is just incredible and I hope it can last forever!!! Scott, you’ve been my best friend for 10 years. We have been through a lot. All I have to say to you is, “Fait brought us together, and fait will keep us together”. I love you with all of my heart. Nothing will ever change that. Stage left, you are my home. You are my family, my shoulder to lean on. I have made so many fabulous memories with you all. One last thing…Never take the bow to the mall!! Give it back to Ayn right after the show!!! I love you all, and this is not the end of HEATHER LEHRMAN. I will be BACK!!!!!!”

Heather Lehrman, age 17


“Where do I begin? Stage Left has been my life for the past four years and I think I may even spend more time at the theater than I do my own home! When you see an SLCT shirt and read the words "The Magic of the Theater", you can't fathom how magical it really is. Stage Left is like a parent hearing their child's first word, seeing the Grand Canyon for the first time, stuffing your face when you're upset, or finding twenty bucks on the street. I have never been so appreciative for something in my entire life. As cliché as it may seem, Stage Left is the best thing that has ever happened to me and I will never forget the ridiculous and amazing memories we've made, when I have to leave the theater behind.”

Jenna Dunlay, age 17


“Stage Left is...a community; a home; a family. We come in eager to learn ~ we leave as teachers. We begin trying to act like someone else. We end with a new sense of self. The misconception is that actors want the spotlight on themselves. But the theater is where we truly learn to work together. At first, we have no idea what we're capable of. When we're through, we have no sense of boundaries - just reassurance of how far our dreams can take us. I love you all....”

Shannon Carey, age 15


“This is my 6th year at Stage Left, but only my 3rd mainstage production, but either way, the classes and the productions mean so much to me. Everyone is so nice here and the productions always come out looking like a professional Broadway show. I plan on staying at Stage Left until I am a senior in high school.”

Carly Kaplin, 14


“To me Stage Left is my home away from home and my other family. Beauty and the Beast was a really fun and awesome experience. Break-a-leg!”

Natalie Tromer, age 10


“Stage Left has been my home-away-from-home since I was 6 and I couldn't LIVE without my Leftie Family!”

Madi Deming, age 13


“SLCT is a place where I can cool down, be myself and have fun!”

Julianne Watson, age 9


“Stage Left has been a part of my life since the age of 7. Now being practically 17, I honestly can’t imagine what I would do without it. Stage Left is truly one big dysfunctional and crazy home filled with laughing, crying, hugging, peeing, aqua net, and love.”

Sam Weinstein, age 17


“I am a lonely (only) child but at the theater I have a lot of big sisters and brothers. My mom brings me there ALL the time to see them. Matt picks me up over his shoulder, Sam does my homework with me and Jenna calls me "Doody". I love to be at the theater. It is so fun!”

Hannah Moore, age 6


“Stage Left is the greatest thing that's ever happened to me. It's my home away from home. The people and the atmosphere here are so incredible. I couldn't imagine my life without Stage Left. I love everything about it. Everyone here is like my extended family. I would be completely lost without it. Stage Left is everything to me.”

Rachel Nichols, age 16


“SLCT means alot to me. It means love, friends and a whole lot more. So sit back and enjoy the show and see why I love it so much.”

Elizabeth Petit-Clair, age 10


“Stage Left is my Second Family and my Second Home!”

Eliza Rosenwasser, age 12


“To me, Stage Left means building friendships that have grown through the years. It is a place where I can express myself and always feel at home. Over the years, Stage Left has grown to be like my second family.”

Kelly Foley, age 13


“To me, Stage Left Children's Theater is like a haven; a place to go where comfort and acceptance are never in short supply. It is where all of us can escape the stress of school and everyday life and just be with family. It is here where I can be myself and feel at ease all while growing and learning from the most talented people I have ever met. The productions that are put on by this theater exceed my expectations with every passing show. The talent of the actors coupled with the talent and support from our directors is indescribably brilliant. But above the quality of what is on stage is the quality of who is on stage. These people have become my life and have become my family and I wouldn't trade my home at Stage Left for anything in the world!”

Rachel Karlin, age 17


“Stage Left Children’s Theater is my home. I cannot even put into words how much this theater and everyone here means to me. Being a part of a place where everyone cares and is unbelievably talented is almost impossible to find. But at Stage Left, I found it. I cannot imagine SLCT without all the amazing people involved, I've grown so much here and can't thank everyone enough. I love you all!”

Bri Miller, age 14


“Since the age of 10, SLCT has been my home away from home. I have made lifelong friends here. Being a part of this beautiful family has been an honor. I have learned so much from every single person in Stage Left. I want to thank you all for allowing me the opportunity to be a part of this theater group. I have grown as a performer and person because of all of you. From Seussical to Cats, The Wiz and now BATB it just keeps on getting better. To all the seniors that are leaving, I want to thank you for everything you taught me. I will always remember the memories. I truly consider you my role models, Good luck in your new journey. I will miss you so much. I look forward to seeing you perform in the future. I consider myself lucky to be part of such a wonderful FAMILY. I love all of you.”

Sammie Weisberg, age 15


“It’s like a big family. We all work hard, but the effort is really worth it. SLCT means a great deal to me. Stage Left Children’s Theater is a place you can go to act, dance, and sing. Everybody supports one another.”

Emily Berberich, age 10


“Since my first mainstage production of Cats, I've felt at home. I consider SLCT my second family, and I love all the people here. Thanks to everyone and enjoy the magic of the theater!”

Erica Watson, age 14


“SLCT is a fun way to make new friends and do what you love. It is a great experience and performing on stage is the best part!”

Sara Bernstein, age 12


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Testimonials