Meet our teachers
Directing, Sketch Writing, Comedy Improv
Joseph is a CAA alumn and Writer, Director, and Performer who returned to New York after spending six years in Chicago. During his time in the midwest, Joseph performed on improv teams at the IO Theatre and worked as a writer, director, and producer on a number of Transmedia productions for web, television, commercials, as well as live theatrical events. A lover of television critical analysis, Joseph has also dedicated a lot of time working with publications such as the online scholarly resource "The Watercooler Journal" where he wrote journalistic articles on television studies. The creation of his autobiographical web series “A Good Sense of Tumor” was featured on NPR’s Studio 360 with Kurt Anderson.
Directing, Choreography, Voice
Natalie graduated from the Guildford School of Acting in England with a BA in Musical Theatre. While overseas, she played Princess Jasmine opposite Britt Eklund and Issy van Randwick in the pantomime Aladdin, toured in The Importance of Being Earnest, and Candide. She has worked extensively in her native Houston at the Alley Theatre, Houston Grand Opera, Arneson Productions, Houston Shakespeare Festival, Main Street Theater, among others. She performed her original show “Mama Drama” at The Metropolitan Room, The Duplex, and Don’t Tell Mama, subsequently winning the 2016 Manhattan Association of Clubs and Cabarets Award for “Best Female Debut.” Natalie has extensive experience in several teaching disciplines, including ballet, tap, jazz, singing, acting, and stage combat. Her career as an actress has expanded into that of director and choreographer of many children’s musical theater performances.
Acting, Directing, Shakespeare
Jonathan C. Kaplan
Jonathan C. Kaplan is a Tony Award nominated actor who has worked professionally in the New York City area since 1991. He has appeared on Broadway in Falsettos, for which he received a Tony Award nomination and Theatre World award, and in The Diary of Anne Frank with Natalie Portman. Off-Broadway credits include Forever Dusty, Rags, and The Loman Family Picnic. Film and Television credits include Learning to Drive starring Sir Ben Kingsley, What Just Happened, Life With Mikey, The Blacklist, Hostages, Elementary, The Good Wife, Law & Order: SVU, and Babylon 5. He has also worked at regional theaters around the country, including George Street, Denver Center, the Guthrie, Alabama Shakespeare, Hangar Theatre, Baltimore Centerstage, and a full touring year with the Acting Company. Jonathan holds a bachelor's degree from Stanford University and is a proud father and husband. Jonathan recently completed his second summer teaching Drama at Sprout Westchester and is thrilled to be a part of the CAA team.
Meredith has published books for kids about extinct animals, bank heists, and daredevils. She has taught at Gotham Writers Workshop, worked for Scholastic, and developed lots of reading and writing curriculum. She is a parent to a 6th and a 3rd grader, and is always ready to read—or write—a good story!
Japanese language, Origami
Kazuko has been teaching Japanese art & culture to children for more than twelve years. Her BOCES program, “Discover Japan through Art,” is taught in many Westchester and Rockland schools. It offers unique hands-on activities which stimulate children’s interests in another country and exposes them to a new and exciting culture. She also teaches private language lessons and an adult education course
Crafts, Paper Mache
Darcey Stewart McDonough
Darcey has been involved with creative arts since childhood. She has also worked as a Pre-K teacher for over twenty-five years, many of them spent at Childrenspace in Croton where she delighted many, many children with untold creative projects and her mastery in teaching. She has recently begun an adventure that involves paper mache creations. She calls them "Quirky Beings." Darcey believes that anything you can think of, you can create — almost. The only limit is your imagination, which she has in spades.
Drawing and Murals
Dillon is an award-winning mural artist, alum of CAA and Croton-Harmon schools, and graduate of FIT with a BFA in animation. Many of Dillon's own murals can be found in the Village of Croton on Hudson. He recently won a National award from Essentia Water to design a billboard mural which was displayed in NYC. Essentia featured him in this video. Watch a video of Dillon creating a mural for Pampered Pet in Croton on Hudson. Dillon collaborated with PVC students to make their creative ideas and visions a reality with a mural created in the school.
Resident Stage Combat Coordinator
Nic is a CAA alumn, stuntman, combat choreographer, actor, SAG-AFTRA member, certified with the Society of American Fight Directors, and has studied at the British Academy of Stage & Screen Combat. He has fight directed numerous comedic and dramatic works here and abroad for professional and community theatres, colleges, and high schools. Nicolas has worked with both children and adult actors. as a director and stunt coordinator. He is happy to educate young actors on how to act out violence on stage in a safe and clear manner.
Comic Book Drawing & Characters, Graphic Novels
Eleanor Kwei is a pen & ink artist and graphic designer, with a BFA in Illustration. For two decades, she worked in the publishing industry, designing and illustrating non-fiction books in Arts & Crafts for general readers. Returning to her illustration roots since moving to Westchester County, Eleanor is proud to have a portfolio of illustrated private estate maps, of townships, farms, and private homes.
Born in Athens, Greece, to diplomat parents, a childhood living on four continents enabled her an outsider’s power of observation. Eleanor's extensive knowledge of classical art styles and traditional techniques, and an original, authentic understanding of cultures and attitudes readily lends itself to any project that requires a sensitive and respectful approach to show case an estate, from broad outline to the finest detail.
An author of five books on art and craft, Eleanor has also worked on two self-publishing projects: My Mighty Hudson, a history of the Hudson River (2009), and The Thyroid Crisis and the Seaweed Remedy (2011). She is active in her local environmental action groups, and in two organic community gardens.