OUR MISSION STATEMENT
Samantha McGuinness and Amy Hall formed Acting Like a Kid Theater Company to educate children in the fundamentals of music, theater, and dance. We intend to accomplish this by teaching weekly classes in music theory, voice, stage movement, improvisation, acting, dance, and theater production, complying with all the National Standards for music, theater and dance. Each class concludes in a final performance also benefiting the community by strengthening the cultural environment and providing an emotional outlet for those participating and observing. The performance will showcase how the students have benefited from their classes by displaying collaborative learning, combining three different expressions of art (music, theater, and dance), and by creating self-confidence in their new-found knowledge. The students also benefit by learning the history and culture of Music Theater and how to express themselves through the arts.
Samantha McGuinness grew up in North Carolina where she started studying voice at the age of 11. She was first runner up in the North Carolina Music Federation competition at the age of 17. Samantha went on to Meredith College in Raleigh, NC and majored in Music Education with a concentration in voice. She has performed in several roles in Capital City Opera Company including Barbarina in “Le Nozze di Figaro” by Mozart and the Dew Fairy in “Hansel und Gretel” by Humperdinck. After graduating, Samantha went to Conegliano, Italy and study voice, acting, and dance. In 2006 she moved to NYC to continue studying music and to teach. Since moving to NYC Samantha has had the privilege to perform with amazing artists such as Liza Minnelli, Sutton Foster, Marvin Hamlisch and with groups such as The Choral Union at Julliard and New York City’s Master Chorale. For seven years Samantha taught Kindergarten and First Grade music at P.S. 183 as well as teaching students of all ages’ private piano and voice lessons throughout the city. She is currently in the Masters program at Hunter College and teaching at Academy of the City in Queens. Samantha is extremely proud of all her students and feels inspired by their talent and dedication each student puts into their music. She is grateful to her husband, Brian, for helping her to achieve her dreams. Last but not least, she is one proud Mama of her three year old daughter and can't wait to see her on the stage one day!
Amy Hall graduated Suma Cum Laude from Salem State University in 2005 with a BFA in Theater Arts with a concentration in Performance. After moving to New York City in 2006, Amy became a founding member of Whirled Peas Productions where she produced and starred in several plays including Thoroughly Stupid Things which celebrated a highly successful and accredited run at the NYC Fringe Festival in 2009. But Amy’s “career” in theater truly began at The Performing Arts Conservatory in Grand Junction, CO where she participated in countless children’s and community theater productions from the age of 6 all the way through high school. “Having theater in my life from such a young age truly helped change and shape me as I grew into adulthood. It gave me immense confidence, poise, and an exposure to culture; it sharpened my mind, improving my concentration and memorization skills; theater strengthened my social skills and taught me how to both work within a group as well as be a leader. More than anything, though, theater was fun! I made some of my best friends and memories while doing children’s theater, and it’s always been my dream to bring theater to other children and perhaps change their lives in the way mine was irrevocably changed.”
Kelly Strain has been a drama queen since she started dance lessons at the age of 2. Her love for everything music theatre grew with voice lessons and finally her big moment on the stage as “flower #3 ” in her first grade production of “3 Billy Goats Gruff.” Many regional and school musicals later, Kelly went on to earn a BFA in Music Theatre from Elon University, NC. Upon graduation Kelly performed and toured with many theaters and educational children’s companies across the US. Her most notable roles were for the National Tour of Sesame Street Live as the only live performer “Sam The Mail Carrier” in “1,2,3 Imagine” and later had the honor to originate the role of “Terry The Fix It Gal” in “Out Of This World.” Once she finished tour with SSL she packed her bags and had the privilege to travel internationally as a featured singer with Oceania Cruise Lines. After all those years of living out of a suitcase she finally found her home in NYC. As a performer in the city she has been seen in many productions both off and off-off Broadway and has been reviewed favorably by the NY Times. She worked “on Broadway” for several years at the world famous, Ellen’s Stardust Diner as part of the singing wait-staff. Her most recent credit was being cast in the test group and informercial for the new dance based fitness program, CIZE. Her most favorite role to date is being a mom to her 2 beautiful daughters. Her love for children and education lead her to earn a Masters in Childhood Education from Hunter College. Being a part of Acting Like A Kid Company brings all her passions together and Kelly feels honored to pass on her experience and love for everything music theater to the next generation.
The Israeli native - New York based guitarist and composer stands out in his compelling yet sharp
and intense style and sound. Departing off of musical traditions advocating improvisation, intensity
and the stepping into imperfections - Idan’s musical storytelling is both intricate and primal.
The young guitarist had already established himself twice, working professionally from age 16: Once
as an in-demand musician in Israel, and again in New-York where he’s been rapidly acquiring a
reputation for his playing and composing since his re-locationing just a few years ago.
Beyond his constant endeavors as a bandleader, Idan has always been immersed in many different
projects, bands and styles of music - striving to confluence his personal sound and vision with that of
others - taking part in numerous performances and recordings, as well as composing for film and
His original music, Idan performs under the name I.M, and he can be heard in a variety of New
York’s iconic venues such as 55 Bar, Cornelia Street Cafe, Highline Ballroom, Rockwood Music Hall,
Pianos and many more in addition to his weekly trio concerts at InjeraNYC every Sunday night.
Idan had been studying music since the age of 6, beginning with piano and crossing over to the
guitar at the age of 10.
Beyond expanding and deepening his knowledge and skill through private lessons throughout his life
to present day, Idan has also attended Yigal Alon high school for the arts and sciences (Israel), The
Tel-Aviv conservatorium (Israel) and The New School for Jazz (NYC), and has taught privately and in groups for over 10 years.
Brandi Reinhard is grateful to be a part of this team of artists! She is originally from Ft. Lauderdale, FL where her love for dance and theatre began. She grew up dancing competitively, and in high school realized her favorite part of Dance was the storytelling. This was a quick transition into theatre. She got her BFA in Theatre Performance from Chapman University and minors in Education and Dance. She was the Assistant Director for American Heritage Drama Camp for 6 years, where she directed, choreographed, and taught dance. She was most recently in Theatricum Botanicum’s season in The Crucible and Coriolanus in Los Angeles, CA. She is currently pursuing acting here in NYC.