Fair Lady Programs & Brands
Center Stage Players was created as an outgrowth from Kidz Kabaret, our non-audition children’s theater program. As Kidz Kabaret helped more and more students grew their passion for the stage, these actors increasingly sought out opportunities to pursue the theater on a more competitive level, whether in their high school productions, other community theater groups, or even formal study at the college level and professionally.
Kandiss Hernandez, Executive Director of Kidz Kabaret and our parent organization Fair Lady Productions recognized the need to provide these committed students with higher-level training and more advanced performance opportunities. She launched Center Stage Players in 2010 to fill this gap and help prepare actors for success in the real-life world of theater.
Center Stage Players also provides Fair Lady Productions with a dedicated avenue for outreach. Thanks to our extremely talented performers, Center Stage Players has graced the stages at Naper Settlement, DuPage Children’s Museum and the Chicago Toy and Game Fair. We regularly perform at local senior centers and elementary schools, for corporate events and community fundraisers. We are committed to providing the most unique and memorable performances anywhere in Chicagoland.
Center Stage Players is specifically designed for students who have experience in the theater and want to take their skills to the next level. This means we have high expectations for our students. Rehearsals are rigorous, and we cultivate a serious, disciplined atmosphere.
Center Stage Players productions are selected to challenge our students and stretch their range. A typical season will include children’s theater shows as well as innovative, more technically demanding projects. Recent productions have ranged from such family-friendly fare as The Cat in the Hat, Mulan Jr. and Blues Clues to Sweeney Todd, Steel Magnolias and RENT. This balance helps our students build the solid foundation they need to pursue the theater at the level they ultimately desire.
Center Stage Players is officially part of the Fair Lady Productions organization, our parent company that is dedicated to bringing the theater to the Naperville community. The Fair Lady family includes:
Our flagship non-audition children’s theater group
Center Stage Players
An audition-only youth theater program for experienced students
Center Stage Theater
Our community performing arts center
Our amazing team of staff directors helps us provide outstanding theatrical experiences. Their talents, creativity and energy are truly what make Center Stage Players possible!
Kandiss is both our Visionary and Chief Executive Officer. She manages our overall business operations and oversees the artistic program. Kandiss holds a BA in Theatre/Voice from Bradley University, attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City and is a member of the Actors Equity Union.
As one of the original cast members in the very first Center Stage Players production, Megan quite literally grew up in the theater. Having obtained her BA in Arts, Entertainment and Media Management from Columbia College, she is the director of Center Stage Players productions.
Dan Brennan has been involved with Fair Lady Production’s Center Stage Players since 2010. Since then, he has gone on to graduate from Carthage College with a B.A. in Theatre and Musical Theatre.
Frequently, former students who are currently pursuing or have earned theater-related degrees come back to us to help launch their careers and pay it forward to the next generation of students. These Center Stage Players alumni have served for us in such capacities as Musical Director, Show Choir Director and Choreography Director. We are always delighted to work with our former students in a professional capacity.