Jonathan Shmidt Chapman, artistic director of the Trusty Sidekick Theater Company, Dr. Patricia Spargo, Tara O'Boyle and Peter Kramer from The Journal News, at a forum discussion at the School House Theater. To view the New York Times Article about Mr Shmidt Chapman's production click here:  ‘Up and Away,’ for Young Audiences Who Don’t Want Surprises

Jonathan Shmidt Chapman, artistic director of the Trusty Sidekick Theater Company, Dr. Patricia Spargo, Tara O'Boyle and Peter Kramer from The Journal News, at a forum discussion at the School House Theater.

To view the New York Times Article about Mr Shmidt Chapman's production click here:  ‘Up and Away,’ for Young Audiences Who Don’t Want Surprises

Our Story:

The Yellow Finch Project is based on the "Red Kite Drama Time" curriculum created by Jacqui Russell, Artistic Director of the Chicago Children's Theater, and David Rench, Special Education Teacher at the Agassiz School in Chicago.   We were trained by Jackie during a hurricane and have since taken the world by storm.  Combining the best of several educational and theatrical disciplines, Yellow Finch Project has created a unique program that opens doors for children who struggle with communication to celebrate their creativity and cultivate new connections to the community.

YELLOW FINCH Team

TARA O'BOYLE, Artistic Director

Tara co-founded The Yellow Finch Project in 2012 and is also co-owner of Tanata Productions, where she has produced a variety of projects including original video, graphic animation, and museum installations. Recently, Tara was the Producer of "The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds" and "A Living Documentary" at The Schoolhouse Theater in Croton Falls. Prior to that, Tara was on staff at Batwin + Robin Productions and the Public Theater in NYC.  As an actor, Tara appeared Off-Broadway at Here, The Piano Store, Dominion Stage, the Abingdon on 42nd, Interlude Theater and Regionally at New York Stage and Film and The Schoolhouse Theater.  Education: BA in Drama from Vassar College and a graduate of the Circle in the Square Professional Acting Program. SAG/AEA

BETH HOWES, M.A., CCC-SLP 

Beth is a speech/language pathologist with twenty-three years of experience with young children, and has worked with many types of speech and language impairments including language delays and disorders, learning disabilities, speech and phonological issues and pragmatic/social language difficulties.  Beth co-founded The Rivendell School in Brooklyn, NY in 1995, and currently provides speech and language services to preschoolers in home and at school.  Education: MA Speech/Language Pathology Northwestern University.

BETH SULLIVAN, M.A., Special Education

Beth has been a Special Education teacher for over twenty years. She originated self-contained classes in two local school districts, and has worked with students with varying levels of need and abilities. Beth is currently providing Early Intervention services in home and school settings.  Education: MA Special Education Lehman College + 30 additional credits.

PATRICIA SPARGO, Ph.D., Clinical Psychology

Patricia has been a licensed Clinical Psychologist since 1990, and is experienced in evaluation and treatment (behavioral problems, autistic spectrum disorders, anxiety, mood disorders, parent/child relationship issues), predominantly with young children and their families. Previously, she was a Montessori teacher and developed educational programs.  In the distant past she was a dancer, actress, and stage manager.  Education: BFA & MFA, Dance Theatre, New York University School of the Arts; Ph.D., Clinical Psychology, New School for Social Research.

DONNA REILLY, Special Education

Donna Reilly is one of the Yellow Finch Project's extraordinary volunteers.  She was a special education teacher for 32 years and brings not only her extensive knowledge to Yellow Finch, but also endless creative ideas and positive energy.  In addition to volunteering for the Yellow Finch Project, she has a flower business called "Flowers from Wonderland" and plays in a band with her husband and a group of friends.  We want to extend extra thanks to Donna for creating the props for our "Bookmarks" production and our signature "Yellow Finch Song".

PATTY LITZEN, Actor

Patty Litzen is another enthusiastic and dedicated volunteer with the Yellow Finch Project.  She has a Bachelor’s degree in Theatre Arts from Buffalo State College, and acted in and directed shows at The Present Company, Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center and Fringe NYC many, many years ago.  A mom of two boys now living in Westchester, she is thrilled to be a part of the Yellow Finch Project.  Patty performs in our Bookmark productions and joins us in the classroom at Westchester Exceptional Children's School.