About Applause New York

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

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.