"Jess sings and we had a conversation when she first started working that revealed this [to me]," said Zahn. "I told her 'you really need to do something with this one day' and after I became familiar with the Wicked soundtrack I basically told her we needed to find a place to do this particular duet because it was so perfect."
Kelly said having Zahn as part of the board is invaluable for the young business that was only born about three years ago. A golf instructor by trade, Kelly never had any theatre experience until her 10-year-old daughter fell in love with it. Since she was constantly traveling everywhere but Saratoga to feed her daughter's interest, it quickly became apparent to her that Saratoga County needed an outlet outside of the schools for young actors to massage their passion.
"She loves theatre, the whole reason I'm in it is because she has so much passion for it," said Kelly.
The theatre company runs four productions a year and doesn't charge children to be in them. About 55 kids are in the cast and crew of the upcoming performance, "You're a Good Man Charlie Brown" on Jan. 29 and 30. Kelly said making summer camps and classes affordable is an unwavering principle of the company and one of its greatest assets.
"We didn't raise fees for summer camp this year, just because of the economy, because we want this to be affordable," said Kelly. "We want to make sure we're getting that child involved who doesn't do sports or play an instrument; we're giving them another outlet."
Kelly said 100 plus children go through performance camps each summer. This year's camps are "Annie," "Seussical" and "Oklahoma" and target ages five to 18, depending on the particular show or program. Classes are also offered throughout the year and target skills used on stage and off stage.