"The idea of School and the idea of Theatre are nothing but the same idea. They were born together."
~ Jean Cocteau ~
LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS - Summer Theatre Conservatory 2008
photo by John Ong
Created and founded in 1987 by director | musical director | theatre educator, Diane Feldman, the award-winning CHILDREN’S CIVIC LIGHT OPERA Theatre Company - (affectionately known as, "CCLO") - is a comprehensive performing arts program dedicated to providing quality experiences and opportunities in the Theatrical Arts.
Our celebrated company specializes in musical theatre, non-musical theatre, educational theatre, exploratory creative dramatics, and social/emotional wellness through theatre, for evolving young performing artists ages 5 - 25. Additionally, CCLO provides experiential training and internships for students interested in pursuing theatrical design, technical theatre, theatre education and theatrical management and producing.
Through productions, classes, workshops, and conservatories, CCLO opens doors for creative exploration, expression and performance, and we encourage students to excavate and discover unknown talents, cultivate the undeveloped ones, and expand upon their existing skills. We guide students toward manifesting and applying their full theatrical and personal potential.
At CCLO, we teach participants to have trust in each other and in themselves, as individuals and as part of an ensemble. We provide space for students to experience the power and magic of live theatre as performers and observers, thinkers and commentators. Everyone's thoughts, ideas and suggestions are encouraged and welcome. We believe each student possesses unique energies and unlimited capabilities, and we honor each student as a valuable contributor to every process and project.
Our professional staff of dynamic teaching artists impart skills that can be applied both on, and off of, "the stage." Parallels and connections are consistently drawn between theatrical learning and life. A variety of creative educational modes and methodologies are integrated into rehearsals, classes, and processes to ensure our participants grow into thriving, well-rounded, self-assured performers, and thriving, well-rounded, self-assured people. CCLO prides itself on creating and maintaining a safe, supportive, energetic, engaging, activated, bolstering, validating and nurturing environment where students always feel comfortable attempting, exercising, challenging and growing their theatrical and personal skills, and can apply them confidently in rehearsal, performance, and beyond.
Every Theatrician is celebrated! Every Alum is cherished!
*Visit our Alumni Archives to catch up with castmates!
Some Fun Facts
CCLO company members, as well as their families, return to work and volunteer with CCLO long after their "graduation" from our programs. Close and long-lasting friendships have been established: some staff, alumni and families are celebrating more than 30 years together!
Pictured here: Zed Cowan (8 years as a performer with CCLO, 4 years on Staff as an Assistant Stage Manager and Technical Director.) Now, Zed has a Master's Degree in Stage and Production Management from Guildford School of Acting in England and a Bachelor's Degree in Honors Drama and Theatre Studies from Royal Holloway, University of London. Brava!
We are still in contact with 85% of our alumni! We have had the joy of working with some in their adulthood AND we have the joy of working with the children of our alumni!
Pictured here: One of our original cast members from 1987: Traci Cray Adams! (center, in a loving exchange with CCLO Founder, Diane Feldman.) Traci's son and daughter are in front of her, AND her parents, our dear, original Sound Designers, Teri Cray (of beloved and blessed memory) and Michael Lanham (SEQUOIA SOUND) are standing next to Diane. Three generations! What a gift!
Many who grew up in CCLO have worked/are working on Broadway in productions such as HAMILTON, PIPPIN, MAMMA MIA, CHICAGO, EVITA, PARADISE SQUARE. Others have travelled with Broadway Tours, and are working in Television, Film, Music and Theatrical Design. Our alumni have worked alongside renowned artists such as Kristin Chenoweth, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Leslie Odom Jr., Beyonce, Bruno Mars, Justin and Hailey Bieber, Sherri Shepherd, Jayma Mays, John Legend, Chrissy Teigen - just to name a few.
Our alumni are enjoying so many incredible careers! They are lawyers, professors, scientists, writers, nurses, photojournalists, inventors, talent agents, photographers, realtors, animators, therapists, composers, doulas - and the list extends. All are in agreement - participation in theatre supported their confidence, communication skills, and lives post-CCLO. Thrive on, alumni!
We have had the privilege and pleasure of working with so many
extraordinary artists over the years!
Photos and bios of these treasured team members will make their debut soon...
KATIE BLACKSMITH ADAMS - CHOREOGRAPHER
HILARY ANDREW - SET DESIGN and SCENIC PAINTING / ART DIRECTOR Just KIDding DIVISION
COURTNEY BRADSHAW - CHOREOGRAPHER
NOELLE BRITTON - CONSERVATORY STAFF / ACTING COACH
*KATIE BURTON - CONSERVATORY STAFF
*CHLOE TUCKER CAINE - RUN CREW / BACKSTAGE SUPPORT
COBY CHASMAN-BECK - ASSISTANT LIGHTING DESIGN / MASTER ELECTRICIAN
JASON COOSNER - CHOREOGRAPHER
*ZED COWAN - ASSISTANT TECHNICAL DIRECTOR / PRODUCTION COORDINATOR / MEDIA
TERI CRAY and MICHAEL LANHAM - SOUND DESIGN (SEQUOIA SOUND)
*TRACI CRAY - CONSERVATORY STAFF
RACHELLE FUHRER DAVIS - CONSERVATORY STAFF
*SEAN EADS - ASSISTANT MUSICAL DIRECTOR / REHEARSAL PIANIST
*REBECCA EISSLER - CONSERVATORY STAFF
DIANE FELDMAN - FOUNDER / DIRECTOR / MUSICAL DIRECTOR / PRODUCER
*CORY FITZGERALD - LIGHTING DESIGN and PROGRAMMING
JIM FLECK - SOUND DESIGN (SYNC-IT-UP SOUND)
ROB FRITZ (AirLight Design) - LIGHTING DESIGN and PROGRAMMING
*BRADY FROME - CO-DIRECTOR, Just KIDding Division
*ALYCE TAWIL GROSSMAN - ASSISTANT DIRECTOR / TEACHING STAFF / VOCAL COACH
MIRIAM DAFFORD HELLMAN - ART DIRECTOR / SCENIC PAINTING
NICKI HIRATA - COSTUME DESIGN
JAMES JONES III - LIGHTING DESIGN
RONI KOSMAL- HAIR and MAKE-UP DESIGN
TRACI LaDUE - COSTUME DESIGN
*EMMA LARAMIE - PRODUCTION COORDINATOR / TEACHING STAFF (Main Stage and Just KIDding Divisions)
*JACK LITTMAN - RUN CREW / BACKSTAGE SUPPORT
*BEN LOWE - SOUND
JP LUCKENBACH - SET DESIGN / TECHNICAL DIRECTION
JEFF MARKGRAF - CONDUCTOR
*GABRIELLE McCLINTON - RUN CREW / BACKSTAGE SUPPORT
*ANDREA NEVIL - RUN CREW / BACKSTAGE SUPPORT
SHARIE NITKIN - COSTUME DESIGN
*NICOLE O'KEEFE - CONSERVATORY STAFF
JOHN ONG - SET DESIGN / TECHNICAL DIRECTION / MASTER CARPENTER / PHOTOGRAPHER
REBECCA PAPPAS - CHOREOGRAPHER
*ROBERTO PASQUARIELLO - PIANIST / ASSISTANT CONDUCTOR
TAMMI PETRIE OBERSTEIN - CONSERVATORY STAFF
*BENJAMIN PITT - THEATRE STAFF / MEDIA / GRAPHIC DESIGN / SET DESIGN ASSTISTANT
*ALEXANDRA RING - RUN CREW / TECHNICAL CREW
ALEXIS ROCHLIN - CONSERVATORY STAFF
*ALEXI ROSENFELD - RUN CREW / TECHNICAL CREW
JOSEPH SCALZO - ASSISTANT SET DESIGN / CONSERVATORY STAFF
JAMES SCHIPPER - LIGHTING DESIGN
SARAH SCHUESSLER - COSTUME DESIGN
*JORDAN SEGAL - RUN CREW / BACKSTAGE SUPPORT
MATTHEW SHULMAN - ASSISTANT LIGHTING DESIGN / MASTER ELECTRICIAN
*MELISSA SHULMAN -RUN CREW / TECHNICAL CREW
ANDREA BURNS SOMMERS - SET DESIGN and CONSTRUCTION / COSTUME DESIGN
*BENINA STERN - PRODUCTION COORDINATOR / TEACHING STAFF (Main Stage and Just KIDding Divisions) / MEDIA
RICHARD STERN - PROGRAM and POSTER DESIGN
SHERYL STEWART - STAFF ASSISTANT
KELLY TODD - CHOREOGRAPHER / SET DESIGN / LIGHTING DESIGN
ALEXANDRA VENEGAS - STAFF ASSISTANT
DAVE VORHES - VIDEOGRAPHER
*ALLISON WEINTRAUB - ASSISTANT DIRECTOR / ACTING COACH / CO-DIRECTOR Just KIDding Division
TERESA WHITE - CHOREOGRAPHER
*EMILY WINNIE - Co-DIRECTOR Just KIDding Division / CONSERVATORY STAFF
SANDEE YAMAMOTO - HAIR and MAKE-UP DESIGN
*MISSY BECKER YOSHITOMI - ASSISTANT DIRECTOR, ACTING COACH
* Denotes CCLO Alum