Random Farms has a great reputation for developing young performers and their love of theater, which coincides with Disney Theatrical's mission to inspire the next generation of theatergoers and theatermakers… [Their] proximity and production expertise are added benefits.
Steve Fickinger, Disney Theatrical’s vice president for creative development (as quoted in The Journal News)
A Stage For Children, Created By A Student
The New York Times
Random Farms Kids Theater has acquired a reputation for being a quality children's theater company, and for offering a stepping stone for children who want to learn the craft. [voted “Best of Westchester” for theater classes in 2008]
Westchester Parent Magazine
In Westchester, Random Farms stands alone as a professional, yet child friendly theater.
The Journal News
It’s about the children, and not simply from a performing standpoint. It’s how they learn values like discipline and commitment.
The North County News
Random Farms Kids Theater Puts Children In Spotlight
The Reporter Dispatch
A highly regarded children’s acting school, Random Farms has nurtured the budding careers of hundreds of Westchester children who have gone on to roles in Broadway and Off-Broadway shows, national tours, films, commercials and voiceovers.
The Rivertowns Enterprise
We just wanted to reach out and thank you for all that you have done for Sasha this summer. She really could not get enough! As always the shows were all wonderful. Our family and friends love to come and continue to be impressed by the caliber of the productions. It is truly remarkable the way that the children all support each other. Sasha is learning such valuable lessons about friendship and teamwork. These are things that can't be taught but are rather developed when a person is lucky enough to find themselves a part of a community that values that. Random Farms has given this to Sasha. Sasha is always so appreciative when friends from past shows or alternate casts come to see her shows and always insists we bring her to see the performances of her Random Farms friends. It is such a beautiful thing to see as a parent. Her best friends in the world are the friends she has made over the last four years at Random Farms. As a parent there is no greater gift than seeing your child happy, connected and passionate about something. Random Farms has given this to her and we are truly grateful.
Brett and Dana Forman
Random Farms Kids Theater is simply incredible! My daughter has been involved in at least 10 RFKT shows and every experience has been positive and exciting. The staff is not only easy to work with, but they seem to know just how much each child can handle. They are masters at keeping each production age appropriate and professional at the same time. Each workshop is an opportunity for the children to grow and learn and flex their acting muscles. It is the authenticity of each show and the attention to detail that makes each cast feel professional. It is a gift for children to experience theater that is as unthreatening as it is polished. These are the qualities that make RFKT the safest and most enjoyable way for kids of all ages to experience musical theater.
Like many other children in Westchester County and the tri-state area, my daughter Marissa’s love for performing was nurtured at RFKT in the workshop and mainstage productions Anya developed for kids to experience the magic of theater in a fun and professional environment. Marissa’s experience with RFKT led to several opportunities including the 30th Anniversary National Tour of Annie where she performed the title role over 500 times to an audience of nearly one million in theaters across the country, and at Madison Square Garden. Marissa’s training at the Random Farms Kids Theater was instrumental to her success and I highly recommend it to any child interested in the performing arts!
Patricia O’Donnell (daughter performed in Broadway’s Shrek (original cast) and as “Annie” in the National Tour and Madison Square Garden production of Annie)
While it is too early to tell if my seven-year-old daughter is headed for Broadway, I can tell you that her experience with Random Farms has been positive and enhanced her feelings of self-esteem and awareness by learning to work with others.
Anya and her staff at Random Farms have found the perfect introductory formula for children’s theatre by allowing it to be a fun, nurturing, and very magical experience – where children experiment, learn from mistakes, and feel good about being part of a professional production.
I applaud Anya Wallach for her creativity and confidence to build an institution with such a demanding clientele. Stardom does extend way beyond the footlights—and I see it in my child when she draws detailed storyboards with her writing, emotes character expressions when reading aloud, and creates beautiful scenery and music after hearing a story. Her imagination has no boundaries… and that can only be good. Thank you, Anya.
Random Farms Kids Theater is, without a doubt, the most wonderful kids’ theater group in all of Westchester. It is not only an incredible training ground for young actors, it is a place for kids to develop poise and self confidence while having the time of their lives. The experience you get at Random Farms is absolutely second to none. We became involved with Random Farms about 4 years ago when we went to see a Random Farms performance at SUNY Purchase. It was the most professional and incredible kids’ theater I have ever experienced. My daughter, then 6 years old, has never been the same. She immediately got involved in Random Farms workshops and found such a passion in musical theater and acting. To say her life has been enriched is an understatement. The poise and confidence that she has gained, not to mention the singing and dancing experience and training, has been truly remarkable. Being a part of this amazing group has been a truly incredible experience.
There is no one like Anya Wallach; she is truly a star in every aspect of what she does with these children. There is no one we have ever met that has Anya’s gift of getting each child to perform to their true potential while learning and having the time of their lives. It is a non-threatening, comfortable environment where wonderful friendships are made. It is also the most special group to be a part of. I cannot say enough about how lucky we feel to have found RFKT and to have Anya Wallach in our lives. My daughter’s life is truly enriched because of RFKT.
Random Farms not only exposed our son to all aspects of one of the most pre-professional theater experience he's ever had, but the entire staff made him feel, in the immortal words of Rogers and Hammerstein, like he could "Climb every mountain, ford every stream, follow every rainbow, till [he] finds [his] dream."
Cindy Shmerler and Ford Levy
Living the American Dream: that’s what RFKT means. It’s a children’s theater open to all kids who have a passion to learn and perform. It encourages them to test their limits, work outside their comfort zones, and to dream big! RFKT challenges all its performers – from the smallest ensemble part, to the star of the show – to be a part of something that’s bigger than them. It encourages team spirit and camaraderie… the attitude that puts “us” before “me.” And what an important attitude that is to teach our children as they grow. How lucky we are to have an organization such as RFKT: a theater group which instills the wonderful values of quality, focus and commitment into our children.
I am a parent of a child who has been involved with RFKT since she was six years old. My daughter is twelve now and still loves every show and opportunity to perform. She started out doing workshops, learning to sing, dance, “dress up” in costumes and have fun on stage. She auditioned and auditioned and auditioned and finally… A Mainstage production! How excited she was! Now she’s a veteran of many Mainstage shows and has progressed from ensemble roles to featured parts. As a parent, it is gratifying to see how she has matured through the years and grown in confidence – not just as a performer, but also as a young adult. From her point of view, I’m sure she’d just say how much fun she has and how great it is to make new friends… from classmates to Broadway stars! Anya Wallach IS RFKT and I couldn’t ask for a more committed, talented and smart individual to be a role model for the children. It is my great pleasure to be involved in the amazing organization that is The Random Farms Kid Theater.
The experience we’ve had with Random Farms has been awesome and significant. We originally signed our daughter up in 2009 for her first Jellybeans program, The Wizard of Oz, to help her gain self-confidence. She was very socially uncomfortable around other kids in school, birthday parties, playground, ballet class, etc, and would always stay by herself. She wouldn’t perform with her ballet group that year; not even for dress rehearsal. The Random Farms approach and all of the directors are so supportive and create such a nurturing environment. I’ve seen it with other kids who come in for the first time and are uncomfortable. By the 3rd week they are participating and, by show time, they are having a ball and looking forward to the next Jellybeans. I attribute a lot of my daughter’s positive social development to her experience at Random Farms.
Without overstatement, RFKT has dramatically improved our daughter's life. In addition to finding a love for theatre and Broadway, our daughter is more confident and performs better in school. She does not shy away from public speaking or active participation in class and other activities. It is so enjoyable for us to see her work so well with younger kids in mixed age groups and converse confidently with adults – all talents that were honed by RFKT. The confidence gained by being on stage, the attention to detail and the study habits needed for the plays and rehearsals have helped our daughter in numerous ways. RFKT has a great program with the best of directors and staff.
My daughter, who is now six, started doing Jellybeans workshops at Random Farms right before her fifth birthday. She was being teased at school and her self esteem had suffered. She did her first Jellybean workshop, where she played the Lion in The Wizard of Oz. Since then, she has done four other workshops. I have found the workshops have greatly improved her confidence and sense of self worth.
In the Jellybean productions (for children Kindergarten thru second grade), each child gets several lines and a solo. No child feels they are unimportant in the cast and every child gets a chance to be in the spotlight. The focus on the workshops is on the process, not just the end product. The ratio of staff to students is excellent. There are only about fifiteen children in each production and at least two teachers and two assistants.
The staff has always been wonderful in knowing how to work with small children. The kids not only practice for the show in their weekly rehearsal, but play theatre games and make friends in a very safe atmosphere. Although the productions are not the focus of the workshop, the productions are very professional. The children perform in a real theatre and the costumes and sets are always exceptional. The shows are 20-30 minutes in length, which is the perfect amount of time for holding their attention span and reducing stress.
My daughter has been in several larger productions with other groups. These other companies always have more children, and most of younger children get parts in the chorus, and there is usually a ratio of 1 adult to 25 children at best. RFKT is by far the most wonderful, as well as age appropriate company I have seen.
Random Farms Kids Theater has been a journey for each member of our family. Our two girls did their first workshops at ages five and seven and continue as they turn ten and eight this year. (They are still working on their older brother to join).
We have seen the girls blossom as their voices have emerged from within. Interpretations of the parts they play have gained life; their understanding of what it means to commit to oneself and one’s cast mates in making a show has become their own, instead of adult reminders of these important lessons.
And we have felt our own growth in the patience of learning and gaining experience, and the significance of instilling those values in our kids.
Anya seems to have an innate sense of creating a safe, nurturing, yet realistic entrée into musical theater for our children. She and her directors, administrators, and volunteers work tireless, endless hours to help our children to become a part of the workshops themselves and the performances (which a relative we brought to the last show said topped any Broadway production she had seen.)!
The Workshops and Mainstages can provide limitless opportunity for our children to develop poise, confidence, and great pride in their accomplishments. Their flushed, happy energy when they leave each session keeps us driving quite a distance to bring them back again and again.
In this changing world of electronic bombardment, and decreased communication and interaction, RFKT is an oasis for those lucky enough to have come upon it. We thank Anya in our home each day for what she has brought to all of us.
Karen Resheff (younger daughter performed in Broadway’s Shrek (original cast), Mary Poppins, The People in The Picture (original cast) and Billy Elliot)
Our daughter's first experience with The Random Farms Kids Theater was in the Workshop Program. She was ten and in the last few months of her fifth grade year. She had a part with a solo line of singing and a few lines of dialogue. As her parents, of course, we thought she was the best one in the whole show! Actually, we were struck by how talented some of the kids were in this little workshop. They were projecting vocally, acting competently and seemed seasoned as performers. Some of them were really tiny, too! Naturally, we were very proud of our daughter's effort. At that point, we wouldn't have categorized her as a child with the potential or desire to make a career in theatre. She was really there to make new friends and perhaps find a new hobby. This month, our daughter completed her sixth RFKT production. Her desire and ability is now at a completely different level. She is very committed to educating and bettering herself in dance, singing and acting. She has definitely developed a real love for theatre through her involvement with RFKT.
RFKT has enriched our daughter’s life in many ways. She has made many new friends as a direct result of her interest in theatre and involvement with RFKT over the last 20 months. RFKT opened so many new doors and experiences our daughter. She has a newfound love of tap dancing. Her experiences with vocal music and acting have been continued and enriched. However, the most meaningful and important aspects of her personal growth through RFKT are the strides made socially, the new relationships formed, the confidence gained, and the happiness experienced.
As a performer, she is in a completely different place than she was just 20 months ago. The “on the job” training provided by the staff at RFKT cannot be duplicated in a classroom setting. As a parent and former educator, what sets RFKT apart for me is the care that goes into every aspect of the program. The people selected to work with the children are well screened. RFKT hires people who have a content area competency and an ability to work with young performers in a way that builds self esteem. The people working with the children are well suited for the task on every level. Another area where the program shines is organization and planning. The participants are almost always actively engaged and the rehearsal time is well structured and planned. There is never a six hour rehearsal where your child is reading a book on the sidelines for five and a half hours. It just doesn’t happen at RFKT.
Through her experiences with RFKT, our daughter has developed a level of competency as a performer that enables her to feel confident auditioning on a professional level. She recently auditioned for a Broadway play, a National tour, an Off-Broadway show, a regional production and several agents have even requested meetings. All of this has been very exciting. Many new possibilities for career and education have come to light. None of these opportunities were even remotely on the radar just 20 short months ago. RFKT has been just a real life enhancing place for our child to grow in every way. The most valuable has been the personal growth and friendships made through the program. We are very grateful for RFKT as it has had a profound positive impact on our daughter’s life.
I want you to know I am thankful to RFKT for giving my children something that makes them believe in themselves, and allows them to explore their talents, make new friends, and love acting and singing and dancing… Thank you so much!
My two daughters, ages seven and nine, have only participated in a few workshops with Random Farms, but they are already completely hooked. We have taken many other theatre classes, but the difference between these classes and Random Farms is “dramatic.” The class is not solely about giving your kids the experience of being in a production; it is about learning to be an actor. Every role is a “starring” role and every child has the opportunity to be an important contributor to the final product. It is truly an incredible gift to give a child.
My daughter has participated in two of the Workshops at RFKT and my husband and I have been very pleased with the professionalism of the staff and the knowledge our daughter has gained about acting and performing. The staff has a way of instilling confidence and making all the performers feel a part of the group. We are very pleased.
My daughter just finished her first workshop performance. It was a splendid experience. It is rare to find an organization that values the process as much as, if not more than, the product, and that puts on such a great show without screaming at the kids. My daughter is looking forward to doing another Random Farms workshop.
My 11-year-old son, Ryan, had such a fabulous experience in both High School Musical, Jr. and The Wizard of Oz. He is a happy boy, always smiling and always seeing the bright side of life, but I have never seen him so happy than the last two weeks. It is priceless to see him so exuberant! Ryan looked at me with the biggest smile and with great joy in his eyes and said, "Mom, I found my thing!" To say he loved his experience would be an understatement! So , thank you all for your hard work and dedication. You provided a nurturing, fun environment where Ryan blossomed!
Aidan, our family, plus a few close friends, are still reeling from last weekend’s Seussical performance. The children were amazing… I was really impressed… blown away, actually! You all deserve a round of applause and a medal for your coaching, diligence, talent, patience with the children, and especially your nurturing way with the children. Aidan always left his rehearsals with a smile, a skip in his step and a song on his lips. He looked forward to going and never complained. He is a better kid from this experience.
Aidan had such a wonderful experience with Random Farms and I am so thrilled that he loves singing/acting/dancing/preforming so much and wants to continue. With four boys, this experience has been a refreshing relief from sports, sports, sports! Thank you again, to everyone at Random Farms, for being so good to Aidan!
Ann Marie Cooleen
I really don't know where to start. RFKT made my dreams come true! Anya has taught me more than I will ever learn from one single human being. I look forward to class every week. I am not exaggerating - acting with RFKT is my favorite thing ever to do. It lead me to a job... a whole new world! I will always remember you, Anya, and the great times we shared.
Ali, age 11 (Broadway’s Mary Poppins and Sunday In The Park With George)
I loved being a part of the Random Farm Kids Theater. I learned a lot about teamwork and what it takes to put on a show. Anya makes everyone feel special. I made lots of friends and I had a blast. The things I learned at RFKT have helped me in every production I’ve been in.
Lila, age 14 (Broadway’s Mary Poppins)
I used to watch my older sister in workshop performances at Random Farms when I was little. I was really jealous, and I couldn't wait until I was old enough to join. Then, I finally had my turn to be in a show. It was the most fun I ever had in my life! I thought I would be nervous on stage, but it was so much fun, I forgot all about being scared. The directors are super nice. They helped me to learn so much about acting. I always feel sad when the show is over, but I can't wait to be in the next one. Thank you, Random Farms!
Shannon, age 8
When I was six years old, I was really happy when my mom signed me up for my first musical theater workshop at Random Farms. I was a penguin and chimney sweep, and I learned so many new dance steps and songs. As my group got closer to our show, I couldn't wait to try on my first costume. You get to wear costumes that make you feel like you are in a real Broadway show! I go back to the workshops over and over again. I have had so many different roles and opportunities. It doesn't matter what you do – you learn so much in every part you get. You meet so many new friends, and the directors are the greatest! It is the best place for a kid to be who really loves acting.
Ashley, age 10
Wow! Wow, wow, wow! I love Random Farms. I am 11-years-old and Random Farms is the best place to sing, dance and act. Their Workshops rock! They teach you all about working as a team. They want you to understand that every role, no matter how small, is important to the overall performance. Hey, kind of like life, don't you think? I have so much fun with RFKT. RFKT has truly helped me grow as a performer and, even better, be comfortable with who I am. I would encourage any kid, no matter what age, size, shape or talent to give Random Farms a try. I bet you will have as good a time as I do. Oh, and the best part is my MOM loves it, too.
Stephanie, age 11
Whether it be singing, dancing or acting out a scene, Anya was always there during the process to make me even better in everything I did. During my years at RFKT, Anya’s training prepared me to go out on the road with the 30th Anniversary National Tour of Annie. The wonderful people, shows and professionalism I experienced at RFKT will remain with me for the rest of my performing career.
Marissa O’Donnell (Broadway’s Shrek and Annie)
Random Farms is just like home. I am always safe there; nothing bad can happen to me. I know I will never be made fun of, or have to deal with mean girls and all the silly fights there. Everyone 'gets' me and we all love the same things. Random Farms is like a family.
Dahlia, age 9