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.
Seven years ago, 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!
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 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.
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!
Program Coordinator & Lead Teaching Artist
Rachel Brudner is an actor and theatre educator who graduated 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
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.
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!
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
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!
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
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.
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.
Lead Teaching Artist
Jamie is a multi-hyphenate performer (actor-comedian-poet to name a few) who graduated from Pace University’s International Performance Ensemble program, which allowed him to travel and study theatre in both Spain at the Institute of Arts Barcelona and in Poland at the Grotowski Institute. Jamie is a founding member of NYC theatre ensemble Rum & Choke whose work has appeared at The PIT Loft and with Sitting Shotgun. Jamie’s childcare experience is lifelong, as his mother ran a daycare out of their home when he was a child, and he later went on to work at Willow Lake Day Camp in Lake Hopatcong, NJ. Jamie is so excited to unite both his passions to work at Treasure Trunk!
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.
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.
Lead Teaching Artist
Allison Houser is a Brooklyn-based performer, director, producer and teaching artist with a focus on ensemble-based, collaborative work. She received her BFA in Drama from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London. As a performer, Allison spends most of her time creating devised work with Bated Breath Theatre Company where she is a resident member of their Devising Ensemble. She is also a member of the No Name Collective, a collective focused on reimagining Shakespeare’s cannon. As a teaching artist, she works for Brooklyn Acting Lab where she directs both musicals and devised work for young audiences. When she is not performing, teaching or devising with these companies, Allison is freelancing as a director/and or producer. She has produced, directed and assistant-directed Off-Broadway and in many other venues in NYC. You can learn more about her and her work at https://www.you-can-call-her-al.com/.
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!
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 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
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.
Greta Keating is a singer-songwriter born and raised in New York City. She graduated from SUNY Purchase with a BA in playwriting and screenwriting. She loves storytelling, singing, dancing, and creating imaginative worlds.
Larissa Marthe Jeanniton is a recent graduate of Pace University’s BA International Performance Ensemble, Acting program. Her acting career has taken her to Thailand and Switzerland as well as several theaters in the NYC area. Being the eldest girl in a family of well over a dozen cousins, Larissa was the resident babysitter and “fun cousin” who made up engaging games to play with the little humans when looking after them. Since moving to NYC, Larissa has looked after the children of several families in the Brooklyn area. Watching a child’s eyes light up with a story to tell is one of her favorite things. With a passion for devising original theater and having experienced the joy of theater in her own life, Larissa is excited to bring this magic to the classroom.
Marjie is an actor, dancer, singer and cabaret artist in Brooklyn. Originally from Minnesota, she moved to New York to earn her degree in Dance and Human Rights at Barnard College of Columbia University. Professionally, Marjie has worked on stage and screen in a variety of capacities, in musicals, straight plays, immersive productions, television and film. She is the associate choreographer to Brandon Powers and a regular collaborator with Jennifer Jancuska + The BringAbout. She recently wrote, produced and performed her solo show, What Would Judy Do? A Judy Garland Cabaret, in NYC and Minnesota. As a teaching artist, Marjie has worked with Artists Striving to End Poverty (ASTEP), teaching musical theatre at an arts camp for children at Shanti Bhavan Children’s Project in southern India. She has also been a childcare professional for many years, and growing up with both parents teaching arts in public schools, Marjie developed a passion to help kids learn how to express themselves and relate to others through their imagination and the arts early on.
Jesse Hampsch holds his Master’s degree in Choral Conducting and enjoys all forms of creating from music-making, woodworking, to cooking delicious food! He is a composer, multi-instrumentalist, educator, and music director, to name a few. He has worked with various youth musical theatre organizations for the better part of the last decade, with extensive experience with early classroom methods and music teaching systems for developing ages. Jesse loves working with all ages, but children provide a particular joy because of their joy in discovery and play!
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.
Heather Cavalet Hsieh is a musical theatre actress and teaching artist. A graduate of the American Musical and Dramatic Academy and The New School in NYC, she has acted professionally on both stage and screen. Some of her favorite moments onstage involve performing theatre for young audiences! She toured nationally on large-scale productions including Nickelodeon’s Go Diego Go, Live! and Dora the Explorer, Live! and has been seen the past few years at the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx working along side Thomas the Tank Engine in Thomas’s Budding Adventure at the Holiday Train show. As a teaching artist, Heather also works as a director/choreographer at KJK Productions where she helps elementary school students experience the magic of musical theatre through junior productions. She is excited to join the team at Treasure Trunk Theatre and use those imagination muscles!
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.
Stephanie Orta-Vázquez is a New York based actor, model, theater-maker, collaborator and actor combatant born and raised in Puerto Rico, where she looked after her little brother and seven little cousins for most of her life, teaching them how to make papier-mâché masks and puppeteering before anyone else. Stephanie’s training is multi-faceted, ranging from Pace University’s International Performance Ensemble program to the Institute of Arts Barcelona in Spain and the Grotowski Institute in Poland, all of this alongside participating in countless productions such as Salome (Irondale Center), What You’ve Done (nominated for Best Actress at NY Summerfest), Warning! Contents May Be Hot! (Theater Row), The Else (New York State Puppet Festival), and her most recent modeling endeavor with Funyuns (the chips!). After working all summer long as a Live-Action Role Playing actor for kids driven by imagination, Stephanie is so excited to continue working with children who love theater at Treasure Trunk!
Mischa Ipp is an Actress and Producer based in Brooklyn. She has 11 years experience teaching, all ages (3-55), in most environments, and she adores it. Recent acting and producing highlights include being nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress & Outstanding Writing at the LA Webfest for her role in Then That Happened which she co-wrote, co-produced, starred in & edited, acting in Amazon and Funny Or Die‘s film Soojung Dreams of Fiji, performing and producing the solo-show Thread by Elena Zucker in Australia & New York, and performing with Punchdrunk on Sleep No More & Believe Your Eyes in NYC & Miami. Her company, Little y, are committed to exploring the power and complexity of marginalized women by starting with the question…y? www.mischaipp.com www.littley.co
Megan is a New York-based actor, who was born and raised in Northern New Jersey. She attended Montclair State University, where she received her B.A. in Theatre Studies, and later studied under Maggie Flanigan at the Maggie Flanigan Studio, a 2-year Meisner professional training program in Chelsea, New York. Megan works consistently in theatre, film, and web media in the New York City Metro area, and is currently a proud resident actor of Hamlet Isn’t Dead, a New York-based Shakespeare company that produces the Bard’s works in chronological order. Throughout her years of undergraduate and post-graduate training, Megan has formulated her style of teaching between her experience as a Taekwondo instructor, her 200-hour yoga certification, and over 10 years of both private coaching (recreational, professional, and college prep) and co-teaching group theatre classes for students ranging from grades K-12 at the Fine Arts Connection, a performing arts studio in Pine Brook, NJ. Along with being thrilled to work with the wonderful staff and kids at Treasure Trunk Theatre, Megan is the program director and teaching artist for Developing Artists Theatre Company. For more information, visit www.megangreener.com.
With over 15 years of experience working with youth in California and New York, Sam is delighted to be a part of the Treasure Trunk team. She is a voice and stage actor, aspiring puppeteer, and teaching artist. Sam has enjoyed teaching through the Shakespeare Society, Writopia Lab, MaineStage Shakespeare, Hunter College, Equalogy, Inc., Communicable Arts, and various dance studios. She holds a B.A. from UC San Diego, and has trained at Shakespeare Santa Cruz, A.C.T., Circle In The Square, and the Lorenzo de’Medici school in Florence, Italy. She is a core company member with Poetic Theater Productions and voices roles on various cartoons (Regal Academy, Snack World, The Jungle Book…) Sam loves to foster creativity in kids of all ages and is constantly blown away by how inspiring the children at Treasure Trunk are! For more on Sam, please visit www.samanthafcooper.com.
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.