About Us

Our Mission:

At Treasure Trunk Theatre, we create a nurturing space for children to develop their imagination, confidence, and creativity through the magic of storytelling. We encourage self-expression and celebrate individuality. We use the power of dramatic play to inspire each child to be their unique self, to connect with others, and to see the world in an empathic way.

Act, move, create, and play – where will your imagination take you today?  Treasure Trunk Theatre is a theatrical arts program for children that explores drama through imagination. In each class the students will incorporate movement, music, theatre games, and visual arts to express themselves and connect with the world around them. Here at Treasure Trunk, we pride ourselves on being a company that focuses on the journey – it is not about the final product, but rather what your child will learn through the process. We aim to provide a nurturing environment for children to develop and expand their creative energies. 

In 2013, our founder and CEO, Elisa Pupko had a dream of bringing her unique theatrical curriculum to the kiddos of Brooklyn and beyond. We are so proud to say that Treasure Trunk has now expanded to neighborhoods in Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and New Jersey. We have also recently fulfilled a huge dream of ours and opened the first ever Treasure Trunk Studio, located on Atlantic Avenue. Our flagship location hosts all your beloved Treasure Trunk classes and camps, full package birthday parties and special events. We also host some amazing other providers with their top-notch programs, check them out: Artists & Crafts, Hopalong Andrew, Lavender Blues, Mandarin Seeds, Play & Beyond, Puppetsburg, MAPS, JCC Brooklyn, and Mozart for Munchkins.

Come join us for a drop in class, a week long camp, or a full semester! We look forward to seeing you soon!

Read what parents say about our programs by clicking here.

Teaching Artists

Our amazing teaching artists are passionate about inspiring a love for the arts in children. All Treasure Trunk teaching artists are theatre professionals and have extensive experience working with young children. Their experience and knowledge, combined with the Treasure Trunk philosophy, provides our students with a unique educational and nurturing environment which aims to empower the personal and creative growth of our students.

Elisa Pupko

 
Founder & CEO

 Elisa is an actor and singer with a desire for igniting a  passion for the arts in young  children. In 2012, Elisa founded Treasure Trunk Theatre, to combine her love for  theatre and her devotion to teaching young children.

As a professional actor and childcare provider in New York, Elisa saw a need for programming that could allow young children to explore their imaginations and develop a strong sense of self. She sees the magic of theatre and make believe as a powerful teaching tool that instills empathy and compassion in children early on. Elisa is passionate about bringing the arts to underserved communities and runs an outreach program within Treasure Trunk that provides theatrical classes to communities in NYC.

She herself began performing at a  young age and thanks to an ambitious drama teacher, was cast in her first play: Hamlet(!) at  nine years old. She continued performing throughout her adolescent years both in school  and local community theatres. She received her degree in Drama from The University of Washington in Seattle. With over 18 years of experience working with children, she has taught theatre to children at Seattle Children’s Theatre, The Shoreline Arts Council, Ridgecrest Elementary, and Taproot Theatre, where she performed for elementary through high school students across the Pacific Northwest in anti-bullying shows. She has worked professionally with many New York theatre companies and regional theatres across the country. Proud member of Actor’s Equity Association. For more information about Elisa as an actor, please visit www.elisapupko.com.

In 2017, Elisa opened Treasure Trunk’s flagship location on Atlantic Ave to provide an inviting space not only for her own programming, but to provide an affordable space for other local artists/musicians/performers to run unique holistic programming for children.

Born and raised in Seattle, Elisa currently resides in Brooklyn with her husband, young daughter, and mini Aussie.


Eliza McCoy

Program Director & Lead Teaching Artist

Eliza McCoy is a New York City-based teaching artist, singer/songwriter and performer. She graduated from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts with a focus in Musical Theater. After graduation, it was clear that her passion for collaboration, program development and working with kiddos was leading her to the classroom. She has developed two music programs for students in Red Hook, Brooklyn and continues to volunteer as a music, performance and songwriting mentor for young artists. Over the last four years with Treasure Trunk, she has been thrilled to teach, and create programming for amazing kiddos all over Brooklyn, Manhattan, New Jersey, and now in the virtual world – beyond. You can catch Eliza in the classroom at Treasure Trunk, or behind the scenes helping with any and all of your registration needs, questions and inquiries! 


Brian Hampton

Operations Director

Brian Hampton started his career as an actor in New York City leading and creating educational birthday parties at the Central Park Zoo and the Museum of Natural History. He then went on to be the Director of Children, Youth, and Families programming as well as the producer of “The Puzzle Theatre Festival” at Marble Collegiate Church. Most recently, he worked with the Marquee Events team at Universal Studios Hollywood with their Lunar New Year / Kung Fu Panda celebration, and he’s super excited to be returning back home and part of the Treasure Trunk Theatre team. As a teaching artist, Brian has taught playwriting for adults, teens, and kids at over 50 elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, theatre companies and colleges/universities across the country (including Northern Stage Theatre Company, Treehouse Shakers, Wright State University, Georgia State, On Broadway PATP, Attic Salt Theatre Company, Auburn University, and the Ensemble Theatre Company of Santa Barbara). His plays include “The Jungle Fun Room,” “Checking In,” and his teen/middle school plays: “Gossip” and “Username” which are produced worldwide (across 5 continents).  As an actor, Brian has performed on stage in NYC, regional theatres, and national tours as well as in film and TV. www.brianhampton.net 


Rachel  Brudner

Program Coordinator & Lead Teaching Artist

Rachel Brudner is an actor and theatre educator who graduated Summa Cum Laude from Muhlenberg College with degrees in Theatre and Communications and a minor in Spanish. Rachel has worked as a Teaching Artist Assistant at Tada! Youth Theatre, taught English at an international school in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and led a community outreach theatre program at a local elementary school while she was in college. Her professional acting credits include theatre for young audience shows as Sally in Cat in the Hat and Fern in Charlotte’s Web, and she can also be seen in videos for “Mother Goose Club” and heard in “Little Fox” audiobooks. She’s excited about encouraging self-expression, imagination, and growth in kids to show them they can achieve anything they set out to do! rachelbrudner.com


Mila Milosevic

Lead Teaching Artist

Mila Milosevic is an award winning actress, classically trained singer and teaching artist living in Manhattan. Mila’s been a teaching artist at Treasure Trunk for over 5 years now! She was born and raised in Europe, and has been developing her performance skills since a very early age. She played the flute, sang in choirs, and performed solos across the continent before she eventually moved to the US to pursue her passions professionally. Mila currently trains at the highly acclaimed MN Acting Studio, and does improv and musical improv at the Magnet Theater. She has appeared in numerous national and international commercials, feature films and TV shows. She is fluent in English, Hungarian and Serbian, and is a proud member of Mensa. Mila loves working with children, and in the past decade she’s been teaching them about performing, singing and music in fun and creative ways. Combining her love for children and performing, Mila has found the best of both worlds at Treasure Trunk Theatre! For more information please visit: www.milamilosevic.com.


Kelsey Schergen

Lead Teaching Artist

Kelsey Schergen has been a proud teacher and fan of Treasure Trunk Theatre for over 3 years now!  She graduated with honors from NYU Tisch with a BFA in Musical Theatre and Minor in Education.  A Seattle native, Kelsey has performed in the national tours of Fame the Musical and The Wizard of Oz. Regional credits include Ariel in The Little Mermaid, Tiger Lily in Peter Pan, and Lisa in Mamma Mia. Kelsey is passionate about helping her students discover new ways of expressing themselves and connecting to others through theatre. She is thrilled to continue sharing her passion for the performing arts with the next generation!


Kristin Parker

Lead Teaching Artist

Kristin Parker is a Brooklyn based actor/playwright as well as a teaching artist and child care provider. She’s also a feminist a francophile and a foodie! Teaching for Treasure Trunk is one of the most joyful parts of her life! Kristin has been lucky enough to work with children for the last 15+ years, through child care, teaching, and acting. She has had the pleasure of starring in numerous TYA shows in the city and around the country including Pinkalicious the Musical, The Velveteen Rabbit, and A Christmas Carol. Kristin began acting at age 4 and hasn’t stopped since. Her work can be seen on numerous television shows, web series, and films as well as on stage. For more information please visit www.KristinParker.com


Ally Barrale

Lead Teaching Artist

Ally Barrale is an actress and musician based out of New York City. She recently returned to America from working with Norwegian Cruise Lines. She has been  working with children for over 10 years,  including volunteer teaching in West Africa and substitute teaching in Manhattan. She is currently getting her Masters in Music Therapy at NYU. Ally is eager to implement her two worlds together and create theatre with the amazing kids at Treasure Trunk!


Joyah Spangler

Lead Teaching Artist

Joyah is a highly caffeinated multi-hyphenate currently based in New York City. She grew up in Northern California before leaving to pursue her BFA in Musical Theatre with a minor in Dance from Otterbein University. As an actor, Joyah has performed at many prestigious venues including Off-Broadway at The Jerry Orbach Theatre, Williamstown Theatre Festival, A.C.T. San Fransisco, New York Musical Festival, The New York Fringe Festival, and 54 below. As a teaching artist/ director Joyah has traveled the country working with students from infancy to retirement at venues such as Reckless Theatre, Steelstacks PA, and Archbishop Mitty High School in California. She is also a celebrated choreographer, recent productions include Not For Resale: Queer As Performance (NYU), Simone (Reckless Theatre), The Dolls of New Albion (National Theatre For Student Artists) , Bubble Boy (5th Floor Theatre), Ghost Girl: The Webseries.


Ellie Swartz

Lead Teaching Artist

Ellie Swartz is so excited to be joining the Treasure Trunk Team as a Teaching Artist! She is a classically trained singer, professional actor and has been teaching dance and theatre to children for over 8 years. Ellie graduated Magna Cum Laude from Muhlenberg College in May 2019 with a B.A. in Theatre and Music. She studied Physical Theatre and Commedia dell’arte at the Accademia dell’Arte in Arezzo, Italy. In addition to teaching theatre this year, Ellie is touring around the country as Peter Rabbit in the National Tour of Peter Rabbit Tales. Regional credits: Bring it On (Eva), The Sound of Music (Liesl von Trapp), Beltsville/Rockville (Mol), Sprouted! (Mo the Cow). Ellie is also a composer and songwriter and is currently producing her own EP. She is so excited to explore the magic of theatre with students at Treasure Trunk! 


Kerry Warren

Lead Teaching Artist

Kerry Warren is a New York based actor and teaching artist. She strives to create a classroom of joy and rigor and hopes to make classical texts such as Shakespeare more relatable and accessible to her students. She is a graduate of the Juilliard School where she received The President Polisi Prize for Artist as Citizen. She has taught with Harlem Children’s Zone, Lincoln Center Education, Hunts Point Alliance, Project Art, Arts Connection, Creative Arts, and the 52nd Street Project. As an actor she has performed on Broadway, Off Broadway, and regionally. Some of her favorite credits include The River with Hugh Jackman, Much Ado About Nothing with the Mobile Unit at The Public directed by Kwame Kwei-Armah that toured to prisons and community centers in all five boroughs and Romeo and Juliet at Dallas Theater Center. Catch her on this season of New Amsterdam on NBC.


Kyle Schaefer

Kyle Schaefer is a professional actor with an extensive dance & music background. As a founding member of the theater company Recent Cutbacks, he still frequently gets to play like a kid. He holds an MFA from the American Conservatory Theater, and has performed at the Williamstown Theater Festival, Berkshire Theatre Festival, A.C.T., Arkansas Rep, Second City Training Center, Peoples Improv Theater, Shakespeare & Company, New Harmony Project, Kennedy Center, and internationally in Canada and France. He has performed and toured in numerous children’s theater productions throughout his career, and teaches collaborative theater-making with Recent Cutbacks. www.kyleschaefer.com


Anna Catherine Smith

Anna Catherine Smith is thrilled to join the Treasure Trunk team! Anna is an actor/singer and high school theater coach who graduated from Pace University with a BFA in musical theater. Anna discovered her passion for teaching kids two years ago when she became a teacher/coach for middle school and high school through the ACE Awards. (Knoxville, TN) Her recent performance credits include Belle in Beauty and the Beast and Ariel in The Little Mermaid. (Timber Lake Playhouse) Annacatherinesmith.com 

 


Jada Temple

Jada is a San Diego native with 20 years worth of theatre experience. Her introduction to theatre started young and she is overjoyed to now be sharing her passion for creativity and creating, with children. She is a Brooklyn based actor with a BFA in musical theatre from Pace University. She was most recently featured on CBS and in an ad campaign for MAC Cosmetics, and works as a part time nanny all over New York City. 


James Smart

James Smart is an actor, musician, composer, teaching artist, and air guitar competitor. He has studied classical performance, musical theatre, and new play development at Roosevelt University and Columbia University, and has performed with the Classical Theatre of Harlem, Chautauqua Theater Company, First Folio Theatre, Underscore Theatre Company, and Three Brothers Theatre. His original music has been performed in a variety of productions across NYC. James has led Shakespeare workshops with The Young Company and offers guitar and voice lessons. 


Erin Pollack

Erin Pollack is a professional writer, producer, and transmedia designer based in New York, although she is originally from Culpeper, Virginia! She is currently a producer and staff writer at Lindo Productions LLC based in Brooklyn, as well as a Game Master at The Puzzle Parlour (an escape room company) in White Plains. Erin graduated Magna Cum Laude from SUNY Purchase College as a double major in Theatre & Performance and Playwriting & Screenwriting. During her time in college, she traveled abroad to study Site-Inspired Writing and Devising for Performance at the Atelier Nomad theatre school in Cotonou, Benin, West Africa. Her original plays have been featured and produced in festivals such as New Plays Now and Making New Plays. While her ultimate career goal is to be a writer, her goofy personality aligns well with children’s playful curiosity. When she isn’t producing or writing, she is doing yoga, meditating, tending to her flower and herb garden, and practicing Reiki crystal healing.


Morgan Kirner

Morgan Kirner is an Actor/Singer/Dancer, teaching artist and certified fitness instructor who is based in NYC! She graduated with her BFA in Musical Theatre from the Boston Conservatory and is currently pursing her MFA in Vocal Pedagogy at Rider University! Morgan most recently was on tour with Hello, Dolly where she played “Ermengarde” in 25 cities across the country. Other favorite roles include “Anne” in A Little Night Music and “Ariel” in the Little Mermaid. Morgan is a teaching artist and Stage Manager with Dreamstreet Theater company (Brooklyn-based 501-c3 for adults with developmental disabilities) and is a proud volunteer artist for Sing For Your Seniors in NYC and virtually!


Delia Kemph

 Delia Kemph is an actor, comedian, and teaching artist based in New York City. She has worked for numerous arts education companies and early learning centers in the tri-state area, including Hoboken Children’s Theater Company, CenterStage Stars, The Little Gym, Village Wholehearted School, and Broadway Bound Kids. Delia graduated with a BFA in Drama from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, and splits her time between choreographing, acting, teaching, and performing stand-up comedy around New York City. She is the co-creator and co-host of Energizer Honeys, a live show which strives to highlight up-and-coming female, LGBTQ+, and BIPOC voices in the comedy world. 


Keleigh Principi

Lead Teaching Artist

Keleigh is a Brooklyn based actor, theatremaker, and writer. She graduated from Pace Performing arts with a degree in acting. Her program focused on ensemble-devised theatre, and it was there she learned of the importance of generating new work. In 2015, she banded together with a few friends to create her own theatre ensemble, Don’t Trust the Postal Service. Since graduation, Keleigh has shown original work throughout the tri-state area. She made her international theatre debut at the Exploriment Festival in Bangkok, Thailand. Her most recent show was developed at Drop, Forge, and Tool creative residency in upstate New York, and made its NYC debut at Dixon Place. She is currently making her foray into film, with several original projects set to hit the festival circuit later this year! Keleigh is also an avid reader, roadtripper, and diner enthusiast. She is so excited to be sharing her passion for theatre and acting with all the wonderful kids at Treasure Trunk! www.keleighprincipi.com 


Maggie Hood 

Lead Teaching Artist

Maggie is an actor, teaching artist, and producer. She graduated with a BFA from NYU’s Tisch School of The Arts a semester early with a degree in Theater while also studying child development. Maggie co-founded a little but fierce female-led theater collective focused on making Shakespeare accessible and fresh. She is committed to showing that Shakespeare is in fact not boring! Maggie has also been working with children for well over a decade babysitting, teaching classes and camps, and traveling with kiddos. A Brooklyn resident, she is a self-proclaimed lover of board games, folk music, and British television. She fills her time auditioning, working with children, spreading the magic of theater and creating opportunities for women. It is only fitting that her worlds collide as children remind us to play, use our imaginations, maintain a fully expressive emotional life and stay in the moment! Sounds like acting.


Katharine Robinson

Lead Teaching Artist

Katharine is an actor, singer, writer, and director originally from Central New Jersey. She attended The Juilliard School for acting, where she received the Elizabeth Smith Prize for voice and speech. Since graduating Katharine has been involved in devising and performing immersive, physical work in shows such as Sleep No More, The Bad Years, and We Are Here, a new piece by Harry Potter choreographer Stephen Hoggett. While working in theater Katharine has also been creating her own film projects including Kiosk, an Instagram original series and a short film about healthcare currently in post production. As a teaching artist Katharine has taught Shakespeare with The Public Theater as part of the Mobile Unit, traveling to prisons and shelters to make theater accessible to communities around the city. Beyond New York she has taught singing in central Florida, storytelling in Guatemala, and acting at Snow College in Utah. 


Ryan Hotes

From my home in the Pacific Northwest, to the Concrete Jungle of NYC, I enjoy working and exploring wherever there is a story to be told, in whatever form it appears. I am a graduate of Pace University in NYC where I received my BFA in musical theatre, and I now work full time as an actor. While I’m not on stage or in a studio, I love spending time volunteering, gardening, writing, going on road-trips, and working on my personal art projects and personal growth. I am more than delighted to be teaching with Treasure Trunk Theatre. I hope to help my students find joy and confidence in storytelling, as this will permeate throughout their everyday lives.

 


Madeline  Mojallali

Madeline Mojallali is a NYC actor, singer, musician, and teaching artist. She attended James Madison University where she received a B.A. in Musical Theatre and a major she created herself, called Theatre for Social Change, Healing, and Education. Madeline has a passion for working with youth and loves creating new works of theatre with them. She is thrilled to continue helping young people tell their stories and explore the world of theatre with the Treasure Trunk team! Most recently, Madeline worked as a teaching artist at Nantucket Dreamland Theatre, and understudied the role of Eamon in Once at the Arden Theatre Company in Philadelphia.


Adrienne Littleton

Adrienne is an actress and dance teacher currently living and working in Los Angeles.  She grew up helping out with her mom’s dance classes, even when she was just a kid herself.  When she was nine she decided she either wanted to be an actress or a teacher, and as she got older she realized she didn’t have to choose!  After graduating from the University of Washington with a Drama major and a Dance minor, she toured with Taproot Theatre’s Road Company, performing around 250 shows for over 100,000 audience members a year.  In Los Angeles, Adrienne teaches ballet at Releve Studios and musical theatre at LEAP Academy.  She is so excited to have the opportunity to share her love of dance and storytelling with Treasure Trunk Theatre!  For more information on Adrienne, please visit www.adriennelittleton.com.