About Applause

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Our Mission
Applause was conceived from the desire to infuse generations of children and young adults with a love and appreciation for the performing arts and the confidence to find their place in an increasingly crowded and challenging world. More than 25 years later, with hundreds of students finding careers in theater, dance, television and film, our core mission remains the same. Through expert instruction in the performing arts, an evolving and contemporary curriculum and a safe and supportive community, Applause supplies students from ages 3 to 18 with the skills and confidence needed to achieve life-long success — whether as entertainers and artists, patrons of the arts or in any vocation life may lead them.

Get to Know Us

Audrey Kaplan

Founder
Audrey Kaplan

Precious few get the chance to experience a single moment of profound clarity, when time stands still long enough to catch a fully-focused glimpse of your purpose in the world. Audrey Kaplan, the founder of Applause, has had two such moments. The first took place at 11, in the audience of the original production of Annie, when she discovered her destiny to be a performer. The next was at the 1995 opening of Applause, a theatrical training school and Upper East Side institution for the past 25 years.   

After years of performing on stage and television, and nearly a decade as a New York City public school teacher, Audrey merged her passions for theater and education by founding Applause. She has directed and produced hundreds of productions at Applause, while also coaching many children for professional work and auditions for performing arts schools and colleges over the years.

Applause success stories include Sebastian Stan, Skylar Astin, Erich Bergen , Sas Goldberg and Max Jenkins to name just a few of the former students who have become headliners in the entertainment business. Not only a training ground for actors, singers and dancers, Applause has also produced some of the busiest and most respected writers, directors and producers working in TV today. 

Starting out as a modest enterprise in the performing arts, Applause has steadily expanded over the past 25 years. Its staff of more than 50 expertly trained instructors offer a wide-ranging curriculum that reaches more than 4000 children annually, providing beginning to pre-professional training in acting, musical theater, dance and film acting. 

But it is her charitable work that Audrey considers her greatest contribution to the performing arts community. She has awarded hundreds of scholarships over the years to deserving children without the means or opportunity to nurture and hone their artistic talents. Many of her scholarship recipients have gone on to professional careers, as well as some of the most prestigious performance arts programs at universities across the country.

Audrey’s personal and professional mission is to make lifelong lovers of the arts. She's just as happy if her former students go into the business professionally, or go on to support theater through their patronage or by assisting groups and foundations that help the arts flourish and reach as many people as possible. 

Audrey’s educational background includes the Yale Shakespeare program at Oxford University and Carnegie Mellon's musical theater program. She received her B.F.A in Drama from Tulane University. She earned a Master’s Degree in Education from New York University.

Anthony Fazio
Creative Director
Danicah Waldo
Project Manager
Katelyn Onufrey
Chief Administrator
Melvin Logan
Producing Director
Kristina King
Director of Dance
Sean Potter
Production Manager
Warren Shaw
Film Editor
Christina Ramirez
Teacher
Alex Valdez
Administrative Assistant
Jeff Ostermueller
Teacher
Hannah Rable
Teacher
John Fischer
Teacher
Maxx Reed
Teacher
Tiana Hester
Teacher
Jamal Douglas
Teacher
Emily Esposito
Teacher
Renee Jonas
Teacher
Tony Guerrero
Teacher
Kevin Shotwell
Teacher
Sari Breuer
Teacher
Brian Beach
Teacher
Joey Dippel
Teacher
Alexandra Dominguez
Teacher
Paul Pilcz
Teacher
Lauren Capkanis
Teacher
Nick Wilders
Teacher
Ronald Galluccio
Teacher
Elijah Crocker
Teacher
Samantha Simone
Teacher
Lauren Storm
Teacher
Lisa Krainik
Teacher
Roy George
Teacher
Sarah Sosland
Teacher
Ana Marcu
Teacher
James Crichton
Teacher
Hannah Stephens
Teacher
Tim Russell
Teacher
Ryan Breslin
Teacher
Sas Goldberg
Guest Artist
Uton Onyejekwe
Teacher
Laura Irion
Teacher
Ronnie Rios
Teacher
Joe Moeller
Teacher
Gordon Greenberg
Guest Artist
Mark Saks
Guest Artist
Brandon Kalm
Guest Artist
Sean Grandillo
Guest Artist
Kerstin Anderson
Guest Artist
Marissa O'Donnell
Guest Artist
Erich Bergen
Guest Artist
Jeff Heimbrock
Guest Artist
Emily Rogers
Guest Artist
Skylar Astin
Guest Artist
Corey Cott
Guest Artist
Gideon Glick
Guest Artist
Sebastian Stan
Guest Artist
Jessica Queller
Guest Artist
Grey Henson
Guest Artist
Mike Faist
Guest Artist