Staff

Chase Leyner

Chase Leyner Artistic Director

Chase founded Hoboken Children’s Theater in 2002. Close to a hundred productions later, HCT has become one of the premiere children’s training programs, with students going on to Broadway, films, national TV commercials, and competitive BFA programs. Chase got her degree at Skidmore College, danced at New Jersey Ballet, and studied at L’Ecole de Danse de Princes Grace in Monte Carlo. She studied acting with Sandford Meisner, William Alderson, Estelle Parsons and Sam Schact. Credits include stints on One Life to Live, As the World Turns and Law and Order. More recently she starred as Mrs. Graham in the short film Pause and as Martha in the short film Martha and Chloe, which is currently making the rounds at film festivals. As a member of the Phoenix Theater Company, Chase had the honor of working with fellow company members Michael Patrick King (Executive Producer of Sex and the City), Tony award winner Harriet Harris, and SAG and Emmy Award winner Tracy Poust. In 2009 Chase was awarded the Park Theater Showtime Award.

Molly Alvarez

Molly Alvarez MollyAlvarez.com

Molly has choreographed for a variety of theaters, troupes and schools in Los Angeles and New York. Her work for the award-winning Troubadour Theater Company earned nominations for the Ovation Award in 2011 and 2012, and she won a Back Stage Garland Award in 2012 for her choreo­graphy of A Christmas Westside Story. Molly has choreo­graphed and directed for the acclaimed Transcendence Theatre Company in Sonoma, California, for the past two summers. Her choreo­graphy credits also include work at the Cicada Club, NBC Universal, Meadowlands Stadium, the Getty Villa, Viva Las Vegas, Cipriani Wall Street and the Waldorf Astoria; her corporate-enter­tainment choreo­graphy clients include Holland America Cruises. Tap dance is Molly’s number one love; she offers private tap lessons to students of all ages in and around New York City.

Don Brewer

Don Brewer

Don grew up in Michigan and graduated from Western Michigan University with a BFA in Musical Theater Performance. His credits include: Broadway: Les Miserables (original Broadway production), The Pirate Queen (original cast member), Les Miserables (2006 revival production). Broadway National Tours: The Who’s Tommy, The Will Rogers Follies, Les Miserables. Regional Productions: Mamma Mia! (Las Vegas Broadway production), Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris (Capital Rep Theatre), The Apple Tree (Goodspeed Opera House), On the Twentieth Century (Goodspeed Opera House). Television: Rescue Me (guest star—FX Network), The Unusuals (guest star—ABC network). Don is a member of the nation’s premiere Four Seasons tribute act, The Unexpected Boys. He is the proud husband of Lisa Capps and the proud father of Georgia.

Lisa Capps

Lisa Capps

Lisa began her professional career at the age of 13, appearing in numerous commercials. At age 17, she landed a recurring role as Debbie on the hit ABC series Growing Pains for three seasons. After graduating from USC’s Professional Acting Program, where she received the prestigious James and Nony Doolittle Award for Outstanding Achievement in Performance, Lisa landed the national tour of Les Miserables. One year after understudying and performing the roles of Eponine and Cosette, she was promoted to the leading role of Fantine on the Les Miserables National Tour and Broadway. This made Lisa the only woman in the history of Les Miserables to have the honor of playing all three leading roles. Throughout her nine-year involvement with Les Miserables, Lisa worked closely with Claude Michel Schoenberg (composer), John Caird (original director) and Lea Salonga (Tony Award winner for Miss Saigon). Lisa soon rejoined Ms. Salonga in Miss Saigon as the American wife, Ellen. As a director and an educator, Lisa is the Director of Theater Education for Waterfront Montessori of Jersey City. She recently directed Les Miserables at Hoboken Children’s Theater and is the director of HCT’s newly developed Summerstage Pro series. Lisa is currently pursuing her Master’s in Educational Theater at NYU.

Cara Cooper

Cara Cooper

A graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Drama, Cara is currently appearing on Broadway as Mary Delgado (Frankie Valli’s wife) in the Tony Award winning musical Jersey Boys. She has also appeared on Broadway in Elf, Legally Blonde, The Wedding Singer, All Shook Up, and Urban Cowboy. She has also been seen across the country in the national tours of Spamalot, 42nd Street, and The Who’s Tommy. She also studied Shakespeare at London’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts where she played Cordelia in King Lear. Favorite role: Mama to Elin!

Caleb Damschroder

Caleb Damschroder

Caleb is a composer/lyricist and a member of the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop. He is currently working on a musical adaptation of Brian Friel’s Molly Sweeney. As an actor he has been seen in Miss Saigon, The Phantom of the Opera, Cinderella, My Fair Lady and Thoroughly Modern Millie. He is currently on Broadway in the hit show Cabaret.

Lisa Capps

Jessica McCuiston

Jessica is a musical theater graduate and former faculty member of Bryan College in Tennessee. Her NYC choreography credits include Pace University, The Secret Theatre, and Broadway Bound Kids. Jessica currently works as a teaching artist for Bronx Arts Ensemble and as a director/choreographer for Hoboken Children’s Theater.

Scott Pearson

Scott Pearson ScottPearson.net

Scott is a proud member of the Actors’ Equity Association. A native of Pittsburgh, Scott has performed throughout the United States and internationally. He is a graduate of Point Park University’s Conservatory of the Performing Arts and holds a BFA in Musical Theater. Scott is also a classically trained pianist with over 17 years of training. Some favorite credits include: L.M. (Pump Boys and Dinettes), Guido Contini (Nine), Homer Collins (Floyd Collins), Baron Von Gaigern (Grand Hotel, Kennedy Center), Jinx (Forever Plaid), Bartell D’Arcy (The Dead, regional premiere). Scott also tours the world singing the music of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons with The Unexpected Boys, a world-class tribute group. Piano Forte! is the dueling piano act he created with Million Dollar Quartet and Once star David Abeles; it can be seen whenever both of their schedules coincide. Scott is also an accomplished vocal coach who enjoys working with singers of all ages and skill levels.

Ryan Ratliff

Ryan Ratliff

Ryan received his Bachelor of Music Education and Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance, Theatre, and Vocal Pedagogy Performance from Ohio State University, where he earned Outstanding Undergraduate two years in a row, achieved first place in the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) competition, and won third place in the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) National conducting competition. After college, Ryan performed in regional and summer stock theaters, theme parks and cruise ships. Arriving in New York, Ryan portrayed Jinx in Forever Plaid and starred as Mark in Altar Boyz on the National Broadway Tour, taking over the role in the NYC production. After leaving the New York stage, Ryan began traveling the world as a guest entertainer for cruise lines, before settling in New Jersey as an orchestrator and arranger for Royal Caribbean and a private voice teacher. Ryan is currently teaching voice while attending Columbia University's Teachers College to earn his Master of Science in Speech and Language Pathology.

Trista Redavid-DeFilippis

Trista Redavid-DeFilippis

Trista graduated magna cum laude with a BFA degree in Dance from the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University. She was awarded a scholarship from the American College Dance Festival to study at the Nikolais/Louis Dance Lab in NYC. Trista remained a scholarship student at the Lab for one year when Murray Louis invited her to join the company. She traveled nationally and internationally with the Murray Louis and Nikolais Dance Company for many years and was featured in works of both Alwin Nikolais and Murray Louis. In addition to her work with the company, Trista has also performed with BEYONDANCE, Inc., Janetti/Haver, Acrodanse Theatre, FreeFall Dance Company, KDNY, and Thomas/Ortiz Dance. She has performed original works by Claudia Gitelman, Don Redlich, Ronald K. Brown, Amy Pivar, Bill T. Jones and Beverly Blossom. Trista received her MA in Dance and Dance Education, graduating with the highest academic honors from New York University. She went on to teach creative movement for two years at the Stevens Cooperative School in Hoboken. In 2002, she joined the faculty at High Tech High School in North Bergen, NJ where she is the head of the dance department. She has single-handedly developed the dance program at High Tech into a pre-professional college preparatory program. Trista is a member of Dance NJ and NDEO. She currently resides in Hoboken with her husband and three children.