Creative Kids Playhouse Children's Theatre of Orange County
Creative Kids Playhouse Children's Theatre of Orange County is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing fun theatre opportunities for children, and entertaining children's theatre productions for the community. Every child can experience the exhilaration of performing. Every child can enjoy the theatre experience!
Our most important core value is that the children in the cast have fun, learn, and feel proud, happy, and confident in a job well done at the end of each show. The exhilaration of successfully performing a rehearsed piece on stage and receiving feedback afterward is one of the largest affirmations of worth and achievement that a child can get, similar to winning a scholastic award or athletic championship. Realizing that they have talents worth applause is a lesson in self worth that can provide life long benefits. Musical theatre helps children with reading skills, memorization skills, public speaking, music and movement, imagination and creativity, self-discipline, problem-solving, and working as a team. These moments instill the value of working hard to achieve a goal, and inspire them to aim even higher in the future. We are unique in that we work hard to give every member of the cast a moment in the spotlight. In our mainstage shows, every part is a speaking part.
Creative Kids Playhouse is available to provide a customized musical theatre program for the youth of your church, school, or community group. From one-week immersion camps to full length productions, we can create a program that meets your needs.
Originally of the San Jose Area, Michele first fell in love with the theatre at the age of 10 when she was cast as the princess in the San Jose Children's Musical Theatre's production of The Frog Prince. Dozens of roles in musical theatre later, Michele graduated with a BFA from the prestigious theatre program at University of California, Irvine. She went on to perform on stage in New York City, Germany, Switzerland, onboard the msWesterdam, and regionally throughout the United States. Michele designs musical theatre programs for children that are fun, nurturing, organized and creative. She creates safe opportunities for kids to challenge themselves, express themselves, and execute a performance of which they are are truly proud. Michele is eager to share her love of children and musical theatre with your child! Michele@CreativeKidsPlayhouse.com
Elizabeth Green Ramirez, Business Director, Co-Founder
A native and current resident of Lake Forest, California, Jennifer comes to us with an expertise in vocals, and is our primary Voice Coach. With a Bachelor of Arts from Arizona State in music, Jennifer has over twenty years of experience performing in community theatres and choirs throughout Southern California. Jennifer's earliest childhood memories involve singing and performing for any willing audience. Jennifer has extensive experience in performing and voice instruction and is the creative force and instructional talent behind the Creative Kids Playhouse Performance Choir. Jennifer's passion is to share her love of music with others and bring it back to the community and home.
About Creative Kids Playhouse Children's Theatre
Creative Kids Playhouse ® Lake Forest, CA
Michele Sheehy Bowren, Creative Director, Co-Founder
Elizabeth first fell in love with children's theatre during a summer program with the Peacock Players in Amherst, New Hampshire, when she was nine years old. She is eager to create a similar experience for your child. Despite her early ambition to become the next Julie Andrews, Elizabeth has, until recently, kept the arts as a hobby while earning an Engineering degree from Carnegie Mellon University, working as a mechanical and biomedical engineer, and enjoying her husband and four children. As our founding Business Director, Elizabeth brings many of her professional and creative talents to benefit our organization. Elizabeth@CreativeKidsPlayhouse.com
Jennifer Beaver Estrada, Creative Team, Spotlight Singers Choir Director
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Maureen Russell, Creative Team
Maureen is a seasoned voice and musical theatre instructor and is continually delighted to combine her gift of music with her love for children. She spent 12 years in New York City as head of the singing program for Applause NY, where she created and developed a performance-based singing class and private voice studio, using her own fun approach to teach kids to appreciate and perform in all different styles of music. Not only does Maureen hold a B.A. in Musical Theatre from the University of Colorado, she is a professional singer and songwriter with an international resume and extensive performance experience. Maureen released her first EP, The Bittersweet, in June 2012 and currently fronts the rock cover band Sugar Shack. Young actors and singers eagerly respond to Maureen's fun and energetic teaching style.
Ms. Colleen Brown brings a treasure trove of theatrical experience to Creative Kids Playhouse Children's Theatre of Orange County. Over the course of her career, Colleen has worked professionally with several theatre companies as Production Manager/Director in impressive venues such as Caesar’s Palace, The Aladdin, the Imperial Palace and more. Ms. Brown spent 25 years teaching theatre in the elementary, middle and high school levels. During that time she earned the prestigious award for “Most Innovative Theatre Program in the United States.”
Having raised five children she understands the challenges and blessings of working with young students. Every young actor that Colleen works with experiences her hope for them to each experience the joy and fun of being in theatre. Her love of theatre is contagious!
Colleen Brown, Creative Team
Catharine Bishop, Creative Team
A native Orange County resident, Caty Bishop earned her Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance/Music Education from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. Involved in musical theater from a young age through the Laguna Playhouse, Caty made the transition from the stage to behind the keyboard while at Vanderbilt, using her talents to direct shows such as Urinetown, Nine, I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change, and The Last 5 Years. A frequent collaborator with local elementary, middle, and high schools, Caty toured Italy this past summer as assistant conductor and accompanist for Santa Margarita Catholic High School. Caty has continued to perform throughout Southern California as a cantor at St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church and with the Saddleback Chorale. Her most recent accomplishment is successfully directing a fantastic 52 member cast in The Wizard of Oz for Creative Kids Playhouse. After dedicating many years of her life to enriching children’s lives through music and performance, Caty is overjoyed to be on Creative Kids Playhouse’s dynamic production staff.
Creative Kids Playhouse
Children's Theatre of OC
25281 Ginger Road
Lake Forest, CA 92630
Naomi Murden, Creative Team
Naomi is a Southern California native and has always been interested in the arts. Her mother is a music teacher, so her first passion has always been music, which led her to musical theatre and many other art forms. She earned her BA in Theatre from Concordia University Irvine in 2011, where she performed consistently in the productions that took place, including The Cherry Orchard, Hamlet, Into the Woods, The Crucible, and A Year with Frog and Toad. Throughout her career Naomi has worked as a performer for the Children’s theatre group The Imagination Machine, directed shows both for adults, and for children overseas in China. Her passion for creativity has taken her all over the globe, but she loves nothing more than sharing that creativity with children, and is blessed to be a part of the Creative Kid’s Playhouse.
Jennifer is an Orange County native who has been crazy in love with performing since second grade. From that harrowing stage debut as a Conquistador at Newland Elementary School, Jenn has professionally performed on various stages in Orange County and at sea with Royal Caribbean Cruise Line. Delighted to introduce children to musical theater as a natural expression of joy, Jennifer is proud of who they are and what they can do. Energy, love and patience – plus a handful of circus tricks – help her relate to even the newest cast member. Jennifer is honored to be a part of this truly Creative Kid’s Playhouse!