Mrs. Franco joined the CCTA staff in June 2012 as the Young Columbians Parent Liaison, Theatre Instructor and Camp Counselor, and became Managing Director in February 2014, and now acts as the Director of Development. Alex began her relationship with CCTA at the young age of 7, when she started taking classes under the direction of Toby Orenstein. She received her Bachelor of Arts in English and American Literature from Brown University, while continuing to study theatre and perform in musical productions. She also served as the Musical Director and a vocalist for the “Chattertocks”, an Acappella singing group. She went on to receive her law degree from Brigham Young University, receiving a Scholarly Writing Award, and working as a contributor and editor for the Utah State Juvenile Court Handbook.
Returning to Maryland, she worked for The Law Offices of Deborah Steelman as a lobbyist in healthcare in Washington, D.C., before staying home to raise her four sons. Throughout those years, she volunteered in many capacities for various school, church, and nonprofit organizations. Because of the tremendous impact, CCTA had on her life – and the life of her sons – she returned to her roots and her true passion. Perhaps the most important part of her job is to establish working relationships and cooperative arrangements with community groups and organizations and represent CCTA to agencies, funders, and the general public.
Office Manager, Baltimore Outreach Coordinator, and Instructor
Gerald Jordan is thrilled to be a part of the staff here at CCTA. He is a Maryland native who attended Hofstra University before making the switch to University of Maryland, Baltimore County to finish his degree in Political Science. Having worked at CCTA since 2013, Gerald serves as the office manager and works closely with the staff and clientele. Gerald truly cherishes the opportunity to be a lead instructor/director for many of CCTA’s programs, where he gets to work with young talent. From his own personal experience, he knows how much of a difference the arts can make in someone’s life, and he works diligently to help provide the best experience for everyone within our programs.
Marketing Director, Class Instructor
James Biernatowski comes to CCTA having previously worked at Toby’s Dinner Theatre. A Baltimore native graduated from Towson University in 2008 and was a Maryland Distinguished Arts Scholar in 2004. He has performed and choreographed several shows over the past several years in the Baltimore/DC area. In the CCTA office, He also teaches five days a week with CCTA at Clarksville Middle School, Pointers Run Elementary, Waverly Elementary, Rockburn Elementary, and Broadway Prep.
Kime Hess Smith
Director of Special Projects
Toby’s Youth Theatre Director
Kids and Junior Teen Professional Theatre Summer Camp Director
Kassidy Sharp is no stranger to CCTA; she became a part of the CCTA family in 2005! She has been working as a director, choreographer, and counselor in our after school programs and summer camps for over ten years. Her CCTA credits include: Beauty and the Beast, Alice in Wonderland, High School Musical 2, Hairspray, Legally Blonde, Annie, Les Miserables, Peter Pan, Footloose, Aladdin, and Tarzan. Kassidy graduated summa cum laude from East Carolina University with dual degrees in Theatre Education and Theatre for Youth. After graduating, she began performing nationally with various touring children’s theatre companies; performing and teaching over 20,000 students across the country. Alongside working for CCTA, Kassidy is the theatre teacher and director at Glenelg High School.
Young Columbians Director
Larry Friedman is a native Washingtonian with extensive experience in the Entertainment Industry. From live theater to film and television, his career has earned him membership in all three unions, AEA, AFTRA, and SAG. At the age of 6, he was chosen by The Washington Ballet to appear as Fritz in The Nutcracker Suite. He was then hand-picked by The Bolshoi to appear in their Washington D.C. debut. He began performing for Toby Orenstein at The Cynthia Warner School and became one of the first Young Columbians, performing in such venues as The Greenbriar, Wolf Trap, The Kennedy Center, The Capital Center, Disney World, and ultimately at The White House for The President of the United States. Stage credits comprise leading roles that include: Joseph in Joseph…Dreamcoat, Jesus in J.C. Superstar, Godspell, Linus in You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown and Pippin in Pippin.
In addition, he prepares rising high school seniors for college auditions. His students have been awarded vocal and performance scholarships to High School and Colleges such as: NYU Tisch, AAMDA, University of Michigan, Boston Conservatory, Elon University, Shenandoah University and many others. Former student performance credits include: National Tour of A Chorus Line, National Tour of Elf, Disneyworld, Disney Cruise Lines, Ford’s Theater, Debbie Allen Dance Academy, Toby’s Dinner Theater and The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Larry has directed shows for The Talent Machine Company and Severna Park High School. He has vocal coached for Glenelg Country School and Music Directed for Crofton Middle School. He has also served as the Co-Host or as a presenter at The Baltimore Cappie Awards Show for the last 4 years. When he’s not singing commercials for clients such as The Discovery Channel, The Learning channel or The Maryland Lottery, Larry produces recording artists at The House of Jam Recording Studio. Larry currently resides in AA Co with his wife Debbie and their 17-year-old daughter Kaila.