Martha Cataldo, Founder and Artistic Director, Choreographer, Dance Teacher
Martha began her theater career at age 5 at the King-Coit Children's Theatre in NYC, performing in such classics as The Tempest. As a teen she performed at the Chase Barn Playhouse, an Equity summer stock theatre in NH. After receiving her Bachelors at Columbia University, she performed in Showboat, George M, Oklahoma and Fiddler on the Roof in dinner theatre and summer stock. She then joined the 1st National Company of Fiddler on the Roof, playing major cities including the Majestic and Shubert Theatres in Boston and Philly and the Place des Arts in Montreal. Off Broadway, Martha performed in Finian's Rainbow, Paint Your Wagon, Fiorello and The Apple Tree. She choreographed six musicals for the St. Barts Theatre, NYC and the Gallery Players in Brooklyn. Most recently, as a member of the Off Broadway Woman Seeking Theatre Company, she performed in five of their productions, including Midsummer Night's Dream (Bottom, Starveling, Moth) and Wild Dust (Marian-lead role). She also choreographed two of their productions and performed in Midsummer at the OOBR Awards Ceremony at the Daryl Roth Theatre, at which Woman Seeking was honored.
Martha earned an M.A. in Dance Education from Teachers College, Columbia University and is a NYS Certified Performing Arts Educator. She taught dance and theater in the NYC public schools for over 20 years, presenting hundreds of children's dance and musical theater productions. She is Co-Founder of the New York City Dance Educators/UFT, for which she produced Citywide Dance Festivals, bringing hundreds of children together to perform. She founded CurtainUp Kids in 2006.
Gwendolyn Boniface, Drama and Vocal Teacher
Between acting and singing, Gwen has been on stage regularly for almost a decade. During college, she appeared in everything from Shakespeare to classic musicals and performed on the American Shakespeare Center’s stage. In 2010, she traveled to London and Stratford to study theatre. The following year, she directed the world premiere of Lend Me a Mentor, a new one-act play.
After earning her bachelor’s degree from Mary Baldwin College in acting and directing, she returned to her home town and continued to hone her skills, both onstage and as a teacher. This year, Gwen finally followed her dream of moving to New York to pursue a full-time career in theatre. She joined the CU Kids staff in the summer of 2014.
Barry Solowey, Consultant Vocal Teacher and Musical Accompanist
Barry received a B.A. cum laude from Queens College, C.U.N.Y., and attended graduate school at the University of Chicago, studying composition with the late Ralph Shapey. In New York, he studied piano with the legendary pianist Kurt Appelbaum, was a member of the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop, and was choir director and pianist for the Presbyterian Church of the Ascension, East Harlem.
Barry taught music at the nationally recognized public elementary school, Central Park East 1 from 1978-2004. The CPE Music Program included an annual performance by the CPE Opera Company. Among the notable out-of-school performances by the CPE Mixed Chorus were concerts with Pete Seeger, the New York Choral Society in Carnegie Hall, and annual concerts at the Museum of the City of New York. Barry is also on the faculty of Philosophy Day School as music teacher. The PDS Chorus has appeared in public concerts as recently as March 15, 2008. He joined the staff of CurtainUp Kids in 2007 as Music Director and Teacher.
Eliza McCoy, Drama and Vocal Teacher
Eliza is also a dedicated and passionate teaching artist. She has taught preschoolers all the way up to teenagers in the New York City and Brooklyn areas. She has developed a brand new music program for the Red Hook Arts Project, a non-profit that brings art and music to the students of Red Hook. She teaches ukulele through Jalopy School of Music at the public schools in Red Hook as well. Eliza is thrilled to be sharing her love of music and theater with the next generation of artists!