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About Us

Since 2011 Kids Creative Collective has provided the under resourced kids and teens of NYC with premiere TUITION-FREE arts programming IN SCHOOLS and IN PRIVATE WORKSHOPS.

Some core aspects of our work include:​​​



Body Learning

KCC serves all young people, but we have developed an effective way of mainstreaming and socializing children and teens who have special needs, as many of them thrive through ‘body learning.’ We have created curricula which highlights the physical aspects of acting training. This type of work in the classroom, a few days a week, can really offer an opportunity for the children our society labels ADHD or on the Autism Spectrum to put their physical energy to good use, in service of their teachers' learning objectives.

Dramatic Structure

A comprehensive understanding of how the theatre works, how a play is created, story structure, how the professional theatre is structured; these factors enhance how a young person experiences not only a play, but also television and film.


Helping Teachers

We help teachers incorporate theatre into their curricula which allows them to experience their students in a more positive way. Quite often the students who prove to be the most creative collaborators and enthusiastic actors are those who have behavioral issues; a great deal of young people are starved for ways to use their energy to positive effect - especially when the bulk of their education has asked them to sit still behind a desk.

Career Paths

The work of KCC gives teens access to career paths they may not have been aware of; not only as performing artists, but in production and technical theatre as well. We also offer internships and connect students with employment opportunities at colleagues' organizations.


Character Education

Collaboration, empathy, discipline, and self expression are the building blocks for personal and collective growth. These are at the heart of what we do with drama education and are more important than ever as our world becomes oriented around screens and computers.

Life Skills

Performance helps children and teens to share themselves and to present themselves with courage and dignity. These skills continue to be of service as they need to present material in schools and in college and job interviews. Making sure the young people we work with understand this practical application is a core component of the work KCC does.


Teaching Artists


Stacey Linnartz

Co-Founder & Artistic Director / Teaching Artist

Stacey is a NYC-based professional actor, producer and teacher of acting and a proud Co-Founder of KCC. MFA, NYU Tisch Graduate Acting Program. Off Broadway: LIFE SUCKS & ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE (Wheelhouse), STRANGE BARE FACTS (Signature), GOD OF VENGEANCE (The Barrow Group), THE SNAKE AND THE FALCON (La Mama), MODOTTI (The Acorn/Theatre Row), AMENDMENT 13 (Clubbed Thumb), GHOSTING, LOST IN LIGHT (The Public Theatre), HEAVEN CAN WAIT (Actors Studio), DOWN THE ROAD (ATA). Regional: SHIPWRECKED! (Capital Rep), A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE, UNCLE VANYA (New Harmony), ECLECTIC SOCIETY (Walnut Street), ROMEO AND JULIET, AS YOU LIKE IT (Smoky Mountain Shakespeare). London: OLD TIMES, SIROCCO (Royal Court). Film: AWAY, THE LAST 48, THE WEEKEND, SWINGING IN BETWEEN, SHALLOW POINT, THE FIRST BORN, GODZILLA. Web: FIRST WORLD problem, COUPLES, DINNER WITH MOM, 12 MONTHS OF JUNE. Television: GOSSIP GIRL, AS THE WORLD TURNS, ED, RESCUE ME, THIRD WATCH. Stacey is also Producer / Partner Saint Sarah Productions which produces film, online content and theatre in NYC.


Jeremy rishe

Co-Founder & Board Member / Teaching Artist

Jeremy is a co-founding producer of Saint Sarah Productions - for which he also acts, writes and occasionally directs. He holds an MFA from NYU's Graduate Acting Program and is also a proud Co-Founder of KCC. He’s currently filming the supporting lead, Pastor Samuel Knight, in Jay Craven’s next feature, LOST NATION. Other Select acting credits: TV/Film: INVASION (Apple+), ELEMENTARY, THE GOOD WIFE, BLUE BLOODS, & MADAM SECRETARY (cbs), LAW&ORDER: SVU, LAW&ORDER (nbc), THE BLACK BOX (abc), 3 BACKYARDS (Sundance audience award), JEWTAH, THE WEEKEND (feature: co-writing, producing, and acting credit), TWO NIGHT STAND (Amazon). Select Off-Broadway credits: THE SABBATH GIRL (59e59), THE MEGILE OF ITZIK MANGER (Folksbiene), SEX ON SUNDAY (Urban Stages), STARRY MESSENGER (tfna), JEWTOPIA (West Side Theatre). Select Regional credits: SCHOOL FOR LIES (Arkansas Rep),  OVER THE TAVERN (Alabama Shakes), THE CHOSEN (Cleveland Playhouse), THE CRIPPLE OF INISHMAAN (Pioneer Theatre Company), THE TEMPEST, A MIDSUMMER NIGHTS DREAM, STREET SCENE, and THE SKIN OF OUR TEETH (Chautauqua Theatre Company).


Jose-Maria Aguila

Teaching Artist

Jose-Maria Aguila is a Mexican born Actor, writer, and fight choreographer.

A grad of the NYU Graduate Acting Program, and has studied at the British American Drama Academy, Oxford and the National theater Conservatory.   

Credits include, SWAT (CBS/Paramount+), Pose (FX), Blue Bloods (CBS), Madam Secretary (CBS). Regional: Portland Stage, Williamstown Theater Festival, Denver Center, The Guthrie Theater.

Jose-Maria currently teaches and has taught stage combat/acting/movement for the actor at NYU Graduate Acting, The Stella Adler Conservatory, NYU Tisch Undergraduate Acting Program, The Dalton School, The 52nd Street Project, and Dream Yard. 

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Krystel Lucas

Teaching Artist

Krystel Lucas received her MFA from the NYU Graduate Acting Program after attending the American Musical and Dramatic Academy and attaining her BA from UNC-Asheville. She has been a freelance actor and teaching artist for over a decade. Some of her theatrical credits include Galboss Power Hour (Primary Stages); Hamlet (Shakespeare Theatre DC); Pride and Prejudice, Good People (Dorset Theatre Festival); Couriers and Contrabands (Barrow Group Theatre); Our Town (Triad Stage); Love’s Labour’s Lost (Shakespeare in the Park(ing) Lot); Twelfth Night, The Christians (Denver Center); Disgraced (Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park); Twelfth Night Short Shakespeare (Chicago Shakespeare Theater); Twelfth Night, The Book of Will (Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival);  In the Next Room or the Vibrator Play (Syracuse Stage and Repertory Theatre of St. Louis); A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Merchant of Venice (Old Globe Theatre); Good People (Alley Theatre); Death and the King's Horseman, Macbeth (Oregon Shakespeare Festival); The Sty of the Blind Pig (TheaterWorks Hartford); The Summer House (Passage Theatre Company). On television, she appeared in Jessica Jones (Netflix) and The Blacklist (NBC). She is a proud volunteer at the 52nd Street Project and a long-serving member of NYU’s Grad Acting Alumni Association.


Peg Denithorne 

Guest Director / Teaching Artist

Ms. Denithorne is a professional director and teacher who has been associated with Circle Repertory Company since the early '80s. She served on Circle Rep's staff as Casting Director for several years, and she also created and was the director of Circle's Outreach and Education Program which received local, state and national recognition. From 1995 - 2002, she was the Associate Artistic Director of the LAB Theatre Company (the artists formerly associated with Circle Repertory Company - now called Circle East Theatre). 

Ms. Denithorne has taught at numerous colleges and universities including the Graduate Directing Program at Rutgers University and the Graduate Acting Program at Catholic University. Her favorite directing experiences include the New York premiere of WHAT I MEANT WAS by Craig Lucas for the Ensemble Studio Theatre Marathon, A DOLL'S HOUSE at Juilliard and a national tour of NO, NO NANETTE. 

She was nominated for the Alan Schneider Directing Award in Washington, D.C., where her production of TALLEY'S FOLLY received a Helen Hayes Award nomination for Best Production of 2004. Her production of A SHAYNA MAIDEL at Rep Stage was named “Best Professional Production” in the Baltimore area in 2008. 

She currently teaches at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and the National Theatre Institute at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center in Connecticut. Peg holds an M.F.A. in Directing and is a member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers (SDC).


Zach Rothman-Hicks

Teaching Artist / Design and Tech Designer

Zach is a performer, director, designer, and educator who is interested in exploring the intersection between technology, performance, and interactivity while creating community-driven ensemble work. A recent graduate of the PIMA MFA Program at Brooklyn College, Zach has worked with youth since 2009 as a New York City public school teacher, where he has directed numerous ensemble-driven pieces which reflect themes of importance to the students, staff, and larger community. Additionally, Zach has been working on Gabbing with Gays, an archive of Emotional Intimacy in the LGBTQIA+ community, since April 2020. As part of this work, Zach runs a monthly Emotional Intimacy group, which focuses on building community and creating a safe space for discussion and art. Work from Gabbing with Gays has been featured internationally at the Vrystaat Kunstefees Festival based in Bolemfentein, South Africa, at Snug Harbor, and at multiple locations around New York City.

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Lynne Linnartz

Director, Early Education Programs

Lynne is a music teacher with 40 years of experience working with children ages 2 to 5. At her private studio, as a Licensed Kindermusik Educator, Lynne teaches musical concepts and the foundation of musical theory to countless kids in the Tri-State area. Lynne has her degree from Westminster Choir College.


Arden Traynor

Teaching Artist / Dramaturg

Arden Traynor (they/them) is a New York-based actor, deviser, dramaturg, and writer. They hold a BFA from NYU Tisch, where they received cross-disciplinary training at Playwrights Horizons Theater School. They were selected to participate in the exclusive Stanislavsky, Brecht, and Beyond program in Berlin. While there, Arden had the privilege of taking masterclasses with Gob Squad, studying Lucid Body technique under Monika Gossman, and representing the United States at the Schaubühne’s FIND Plus forum. In 2019, They were a Fresh Ground Pepper BRB Retreat Apprentice. Arden’s work has appeared at the Exponential Festival, Dixon Place HOT! Fest, and Shakespeare in the Square. Favorite credits include BLOODSHOT: The Call, As You Like It, Civic-Minded Responsible Thrill-Seeking, sop ii, and FRANK. Arden has been creating work with students in the Saturday Conservatory program  since August 2020. They firmly believe that anyone can be an artist, and they’re thrilled to be a part of an organization with this philosophy at the core of all programming. Arden currently teaches public speaking and forensics at a middle school. 

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Emory Kemph

Associate Artistic Director, Ghost Light Collective / Teaching Artist

Emory Kemph (she/her) is a writer, performer, and educator based in NYC. She holds a BFA from NYU Drama, where she studied at the Playwrights Horizons Theater School and Stonestreet Studios. Emory teaches at KCC, the Brooklyn Green School, and other organizations around the city. Select acting credits: GEORGIA ROSE (winner of the Samuel French Off-Off Broadway Festival), A CHORUS LINE (Edinburgh Fringe), REGENERATION (Repro Freedom Arts), and the NYU REALITY SHOW (Barclays Center). She's dedicated to creating theater that contends with social issues, sparks joy, and invites questions.


Brendan Ahmed

Teaching Artist

Brendan Ahmed is an Egyptian actor/musician based in Brooklyn, NY. He is currently in Brooklyn College pursuing his BFA in acting. He has been in such works as MFWTH (New Workshop Theater),  No Easy Way To Be Free (Labyrinth Theater Company), Water By The Spoonful (Brooklyn College), @muse_me (Dir. Zachary Tomlinson), and numerous indie/student films. Outside of acting, Brendan enjoys producing music, playing basketball, and cooking food (in a sophisticated manner). He believes that everyone has an infinite amount of stories to tell and is fully committed to helping young artists grow and hone their craft in their own unique way.


Elliot Stewart

Teaching Artist / Mentor

Elliot is an performer/educator/choreographer currently residing in Brooklyn, NY. They have a BFA from NYU Tisch School of the Arts, as well as degrees in Anthropology and Indigenous Studies. Previous acting credits include Regeneration: Reproductive Freedom then and Now (performer/writer) and Rainy Day Artistic Collective's Cyrano de Bergerac (Cyrano). Elliot has been working with KCC since Summer of 2020, and has also taught at Wind Dance Farm and Earth Education Center, in their hometown of Berkeley Springs, WV.


Leyla Polozhani

Social Media Manager / Teaching Artist

Leyla is an NYC-based artist. She received her BA from Brooklyn College where she studied historiography, film production, and screenwriting. She showcases her passion for acting and filmmaking through her TikTok channel @leyla.chkaa. Outside of the arts, Leyla is a certified fitness coach who teaches one-on-one training and group classes for clients of any level. She is committed to helping people achieve their goals in various capacities, while also aspiring to create her sketch comedy.


Eklan Singh

Assistant Teaching Artist

Eklan Singh is a versatile South Asian artist hailing from The Bronx, NY, where he practices work as an actor, writer, teacher, and musician. He joined KCC at the start of 2024, bringing with him a wealth of experience and passion. Notably, he has taken on roles such as Cyrano in Cyrano de Bergerac, Antonio in Twelfth Night, and Ronaldo in All's Well That Ends Well. With a deep commitment to fostering connection, education, and personal growth through the arts, Eklan endeavors to inspire community and unity. He is also affiliated with social justice groups such as Dalit Solidarity Forum and Hindus For Human Rights.


Tyreek Franco

Student Teacher / Combat Coach

Tyreek Franco is a NYC based actor and theatremaker. With Creative Arts Team Tyreek has acted in several projects on stage and in film, including THE STRANGEST YEAR. Since 2016, with Kids Creative Collective, Tyreek has acted  in ORIGIN STORIES, HUMANS BEING, A CHRISTMAS CAROL REDUX, THE SATURDAY CONSERVATORY, THE TRIAL OF ROMEO, THE EXPERIMENTAL FILM WORKSHOP AND STAGE COMBAT SESSIONS. Currently enrolled in school for Stage and Film Combat, Tyreek is interested in pursuing a career as an actor and a fight choreographer.

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