Interim Managing Director
CCTA is thrilled to welcome new Interim Managing Director, Kim Bryant. Previous director, Alex Franco married in May and a move to PA followed to be with her husband, a professor at Slippery Rock University. She remains heavily involved and assisting in CCTA’s development and grant activities.
Kim Bryant is no stranger to CCTA having worked as a volunteer. She volunteered with our Baltimore Outreach Program for many years, then eventually began teaching our Tots on Broadway Classes. While teaching she developed our Preschool Outreach Program and became the Preschool Outreach Coordinator. With a background in sign language and recreational therapy, she was one of two teachers leading CCTA’s ground breaking residential therapeutic theatre arts program at Kennedy Krieger Institute this summer which is it’s second session right now. Before joining CCTA, Kim was in Marketing with Adeo Strategy Partners and Market Builders, Inc. working on accounts for Black and Decker, 180 and Kelysus. She also has experience as Director for several Senior Retirement Communities in both Maryland and Virginia, which required overseeing the needs of the elderly, managing and marketing the company as well as supervising many employees. She is also a dedicated volunteer here in Howard County, working with the local food pantry and serving in the school system where her kids have been in school for the last 18 years. Kim initially began volunteering with CCTA after witnessing firsthand the impact CCTA’s theatre camp had on her son who has anxiety and is very shy. In one camp session, she watched him evolve from a painfully anxious child who would not give oral presentations in school or get up to sing with a chorus, to a confident young man singing, dancing and performing on stage for hundreds of people. She is excited to bring her business and marketing skills to this new position, to work more closely with Toby and the CCTA staff, and to watch more kids gain the confidence they need to reach their full potential.
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 Class 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.
Young Columbians Assistant
James Biernatowski 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. He has also taught with CCTA at Clarksville Middle School, Pointers Run Elementary, Waverly Elementary, Rockburn Elementary, and Broadway Prep.
Toby’s Youth Theatre
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 Associate Artistic 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.