|What an amazing experience CFT has been for Noah. While she has performed in theatre before, the level of professionalismand comraderie
that was evident at CFT was absolutely amazing! - Claudia Coplein
|A family friend attended one of the Alice performances. Her words were, "there are no words.. this is a professional theater group!"
I agree! - Jodi Peikes
|THANK YOU for providing such a great experience, not only for all the kids, but for the audience as well. A friend of mine, who teaches in
Boston, came for the Sunday show with her family. During the opening number, she leaned over to me and whispered "I can already tell this is
going to be really good", and then at intermission said "I've seen a lot of childrens' theater, and this is the most professional show I've ever
seen" - Melissa Milan
|I just wanted to say THANK YOU so much for the simply incredible theatre experience you gave these kids. Kerrie had a great time and learned
so much. The show was fabulous, of course, but the real beauty lies not in the production itself, but in the experiences, knowledge and life
lessons you give the kids. - Betsy Maguire
|It takes a few years to fully understand how crucial early relationships are in helping you become who you will be. As a grandmother I feel
fortunate that the girls have Lori Solak and the experiences of children's theater as part of their development. Everyone acknowledges the
importance of cultural experience, that is a given, but the environment of that experience is equally important. And it is that nurturing
environment that CFT creates - a place where all children - with all their quirks -- can grow. - Catherine D'Italia
|We have found Lori's program so beneficial that we travel from Wilbraham MA every Saturday (45 minutes) so our daughter can be a part of
something so special. - Jennifer Boudreau
Harlo is a rather shy child who has benefited from his theater experiences by gaining self-confidence, making new friends,
and becoming exposed to the arts. He's learned about working hard for the rewards of putting on a great show. And let me tell you, every show
that I've seen which Lori has directed has been a great show. It's amazing what she can do, even in a short time, and even with kids who are
inexperienced. I've also seen her work with children with certain “challenges” such as developmental disabilities and speech problems and
those children have shone. - Heidy Alletzhauser
CFT was a life changing exerience for me because you work with people in entirely different age groups and people who are your age. Even
though I was the nasty Villains.... Jafar and Gaston... I had the most fun with these characters! I also was able to figure out different things and
develope great comedic roles. I look back at the amazing times I had in the studio and on the stage. The memories from this company will live on
forever. Thank you to everyone for an unforgettable experience.
Sincerely the Nasty Villain, Dean Marino
WOW! I was so impressed! It's really amazing how quickly your program has grown. I think that is a testament not only to you, but to the team
of teachers you have put together. I can't tell you how important it is to me, as a parent, to have my daughter work with teachers who are not
only well qualified, but foster such a positive, family environment for my child. - Bruce Terrill
I could'nt be prouder of Emily and more grateful to Lori Solak and the rest of the people involved in the Performing Arts for Youth program. They
have all had a profound and lasting impact on my daughter’s life and I know she will continue to pursue her love of performing and singing. I am
sure that virtually all of the children involved in this wonderful program can recount similar experiences as my daughter’s, Lori has instilled in
all of them a sense of confidence that has allowed them to do something that many adults would never have the courage to attempt.
- Chris Senecal
I feel blessed to be a part of Miss Lori's theatrical family. She is a very talented, creative director and
I am certain that my son's fondest memories of childhood will be of those times he spent acting in Miss Lori's productions. - Christine Vespa
The theater means a lot to me because it’s tons of fun and I meet lots of new friends every session. I love performing and to have people
watching me on stage and cheering me on. Also, it gives me a chance to learn new things and work with an awesome director! - Allie Kaehrle
|By developing their own gifts, and working cooperatively and supportively with each other, our children develop self-esteem, discipline, and
respect for themselves and for others. Before our very eyes, we see our children transform from children with a lot of potential to children who
have created something larger than themselves. There are adults who cannot say they have participated in something so powerful and so
beautiful, and yet here are our kids, at a very tender age, experiencing the joy and magic of being together in this way. - Nina Elgo
|We can't being to thank you, Lori and the entire CFT family, for the incredible experience Brian has had while performing with CFT, making lasting
friendships, learning so much both in acting and in voice and just having fun at what he loves so much. You've helped Brian recognize his
passion in pursuing acting and singing. The show has been over for just over a week, and we are already looking for the audition schedule for
next show. It's difficult to find the words to express our appreciation and gratitude, but a huge Thank You! Lori, you are truly a terrific director,
and look forward to working with you again!
- The Hanshaw Family
|Thank you beyond words for the experience you've brought to me, and everyone who's joined the CFT family!
Its a great teamwork process that is enjoyable for kids of all ages! Thank you for being an amazing director and changing the lives of so many
people! - Rachel Yalof
|I wouldn't be going to California, majoring in acting and wanting to make a career out of performing if it weren't for you. I cannot thank you
enough! - Molly Chiffer, 18, entering her freshman year at USC!
|WHY WE DO WHAT WE DO!!!!
Heartfelt words from students and parents.
|Our daughter has so enjoyed her experience with Connecticut Family Theatre. Coming home after Lori's workshops, we noticed that our
daughter was filled with joy and was generally happier. The instruction at CFT is superb and we know there are few people like Lori who will
leave a lasting imprint on our daughters life. We wholeheartedly recommend Connecticut Family Theatre!
| The change in our daughter since she has joined CFT has been nothing short of amazing! I still remember the apprehensive little girl going to her
first audition – not sure what to expect. Now, years later, she is a strong, confident young lady who thrives on the stage. She has learned about
the disciplines of theatre: be on time, be prepared and be organized. What is most striking are the many friendships she has cultivated at CFT,
from the youngest (6 years old) to the eldest (18 years old). In many ways, CFT is like a second family for our daughter. She has often said CFT is
her “most favorite place in the world.” - The McCoys
|A WONDERFUL, LASTING MEMORY FOR MISS LORI
I thought I would share with those of you involved in this wonderful world of theatre. A little girl came in today for her
second try at auditioning into Connecticut Family Theatre's On With The Show production class. On With The Show is an
advanced class that culminates in a musical production on our main stage. She didn't quite make it the first time. She
needed a little more training. She didn't give up. She took classes, came to our audition and vocal prep workshops during the
summer and worked very hard. She walked in with confidence, had an amazing audition and I could tell that she was very
prepared and wanted this so badly. I told her she did a great job and to have her mom come in so we could chat. I said "You
had a great audition. You remembered everything that we have taught you. You have grown so much and I am very proud of
you. I just have one thing to say." Her little shoulders shrunk and I could tell she thought I was going to say that she needed
to take more classes. I put out my hand out to shake hers and said "Welcome to On With The Show." She held my hand for a
moment, blinked, realized what I had said and started to cry. She was so happy that she cried. I cannot begin to describe that
moment. Of course, then I started to cry. Her mom started to cry and we were all one big jumble of hugs and tears. When an
8 year old child wants, no, needs to do something so badly that she cries when she succeeds, ya, that is the stuff.
THAT is why I do what I do.
|"Ms. Lori always picks the best plays - they are all very fun!" "I enjoyed the dance moves and the songs and I LOVED painting the sets. I learned to
not be afraid and to follow your dreams" - Grace, age 8
My son Gavin joined CFT when he was in Kindergarten! Over the past four years, he has developed his acting, vocal, and choreography skills in
CFT's Act II and On With the Show Classes. Performing in five CFT musicals, he has grown as a performer and gained experience and
confidence, all while having a great time. The skills he has developed at Connecticut Family Theater have opened the door to other exciting
opportunities - including successful audition experiences at Hartford Stage and WHCT, and he is excited to play the role of Gavroche in Les
Miserables this fall. --- Kristin Anderson
Russell has very much enjoyed being in CFT productions. He has become more confident on stage, he learned dance movements and
techniques to improve diction. He has also made new friends and enjoyed the supportive comradery among the student body.
- Harry van der Hulst
“CFT has provided Victoria the confidence and tools needed to stand out in an audition. She has not only strengthen her vocal skills
but also her character development skills. CFT offers a creative environment where students tackle physical, vocal, and emotional approaches
to different characters. The level of professionalism found at CFT has provided Victoria the tools and experience to grow as a performer.” -
|We can't express enough how much this youth program means to our family. Our son, Andrew, cannot ever get enough of singing and acting.
Having Lori for a director (she is terrific at casting) and doing these plays has accented his talents and really boosts his self-confidence. Lori is
wonderful with the kids. Andrew loves her sense of humor, she is very talented as a director and he always looks forward to going to
rehearsals. The only negative side to Andrew's experiences of working with Lori and being in these plays is how sad he gets when each one is
ending! - Marci Shipman Andrew went on to perform as Michael Banks in MARY POPPINS on Broadway!
|"Once on this Island was a brilliant youth production - I was enthralled by the young performers, their maturity, passion, and talent! From start to
finish this was a beautiful musical production from the sets, to the music, to the costumes. It was clear this is a group of young performers who
are flourishing under the careful eyes of the CFT staff including director, Lori Solak." - Patricia Rogers - former Old Vic theater actress, London