The mission of the St. Marys Children’s Theatre (SMCT) is to provide performing arts education that inspires and enhances the cultural life of the southeastern coastal Georgia community by offering a stimulating, creative, and supportive outlet to children and youth, helping them build self-confidence and character, while developing self-expression, independence, and responsibility.
St Marys Children's Theatre, Inc was founded by Megan Kaufman in January 2014 in response to the growing need for family-oriented arts education programs for Southeast Coastal Georgia and Northeast Florida. Through her vision she created a theatre arts program for youth ages 6-18 that involves their families and the surrounding community.
SMCT achieved its tax exempt status in December of 2015 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization enabling us to engage in fund-raising, allowing us to continue offeringg programs for many years to come.
St Marys Children's Theatre is committed to providing theatrical opportunities unlike any other, through arts programs that uplift youth, teens, young adults and families in our community.
SMCT is a driving force behind performing arts, offering a season of two main-stage productions and two SMCT Jr. productions, multiple acting and theatre tech workshops, summer programs and local "arts in schools" programs. For those in front of the curtain, they experience, first hand, the thrill of a standing ovation and multiple curtain calls. For those behind the curtain they see the fruits of their labor in splendid costume designs, set creations and sound and lighting applications.
SMCT's productions engage entire families as we build self-esteem, confidence, strong work ethic and socialization skills. Participation on the productions and programs serves to increase reading, language and memorization skills, as well as physical agility and mobility. The technical side of the theatre provides additional training in sound and lighting, costuming and make-up, and set design and construction.
SMCT endeavors to actively engage local youth and their families regardless of economic status or physical or mental challenges. For our productions, there is no cost to children or parents other than time. Some workshop and class programs have a participation fee, however we attempt to remove any economic barrier through donated scholarships. Physically or mentally challenged children participate in our productions both on stage and behind the curtain. Upon enrolling we have specific question sets directed at determining any challenges the child may face, allowing us to make reasonable accommodations for them. We make every effort to find creative ways to address their special needs and accommodate them as needed.
Imagine the world of opportunity that appear when the curtain rises at the St Marys Children's Theatre!
1. Today's Youth to Tomorrow's Leaders - SMCT believes that every child has the potential to be a leader or a positive force in society.
2. Reaching Out - SMCT believes that all families and children deserve the opportunity to discover their full potential through programs that engage the entire community.
3. Diversity and Inclusion - SMCT believes in the value of every individual and that diversity and inclusion creates a global understaning of the importance of acceptance.
4. Cultural Heritage - SMCT believes that providing a cultural eduction develops passion, creativity, imagination, and confidence which are critical for coping with society's challenges.
The Friese Studio of Music
Home of the St Marys Children's Theatre
President and Founder and Music Director of St Marys Children's Theatre, also the Owner and Vocal Instructor of The Friese Studio of Music. Mrs. Kaufman is the Music Director for St Marys Little Theatre.
Mrs. Kaufman has a Bachelors of Music from The College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University - Chicago, and a Masters of Music - Vocal Performance from The University of North Florida
Vice President and Chorographer for St Marys Children's Theatre, Owner of Lisa Allen's Dance Works, Coreographer for the St Marys Little Theatre
Technical Director -
Co-Director SMCT Jr.
Vocal Instructor - Friese Studio of Music. Ms. Kessler is also a 2nd Gr Teacher at St. Marys Elementary School
Co-Manager Saltwater Players - Director and Choreographer. Sophia has been performing mostly in Musical Theatre since she was 5 year old. After graduating with her AA in Theatre from College of Marin, she started directing. This has been a newfound passion; she really enjoys bringing a show to life.
Lisa Allen's Dance Works
Home of the Choreography & Workshops for the St Marys Children's Theatre
College of Coastal Georgia
Home of the Performance Venue for the St Marys Children's Theatre
Technical Director – Marci has a Bachelor’s degree in Art Education from the University North Florida and a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Texas Arlington. She taught art and media production with the Nassau County School District for 13 years where she was a Teacher of the Year Finalist in 2012. Prior to working with Nassau County schools, she spent 6-years as a social worker with abused and neglected children. She is currently employed as an art and gifted resource teacher at Sonshine Christian Academy. As a “Jack-of-All Trades”, she has designed sets, props, and costumes for numerous community and religiously affiliated performances over the course of 20 years,
President: Megan Kaufman
Vice President: Lisa Allen
Secretary: Brandilyn Kessler
Treasurer: Jan Shiff
Director: Polly Johnson
Director: Emily Boyle
Director: Jennifer McGhan
Director: Kevin Knight
Treasurer - Operations Director for St Marys Children's Theatre. Vice President and Operations Director for The Friese Studio of Music and Performing Arts.
She has a Bachelor's of Business degree from Northern Illinois University and 25 years experience in corporate operations and mergers and acquisitions.
Advisory Board Members