“All The World’s A Stage”- Shakespeare

Aspiring actors and actresses come to New York City to make their dreams come true every day. There are a host of neighborhood theater classes, acting programs and Improv studios targeted for teens and young adults. But, the love of art and theater starts in childhood.  Having young children of our own who participate in various activities within the downtown Manhattan community, we noticed a gap in the market for theater. We created Spotlight Kids NY to give our youngest new yorkers the opportunity to create, build, and perform in a real, on stage theater show.

Backstage Crew

TAMRYN SHAMI | Co-founder

Graduating from F.I.T. in 2001  with a BA in fashion management, Tamryn has had the amazing opportunity to work and travel across the globe to design and develop for top fashion retailers. Throughout her career, she participated in retail forums to share her knowledge of fashion and business.

In 2013, Tamryn and her husband welcomed their twins. And in 2018, welcomed a new baby girl.  To keep up in the industry, she started teaching at a local university. Tamryn’s teaching experience was rewarding in that she loved to share in her fashion experience and expertise to the next generation. Tamryn’s love for community & passion for creativity still comes through in various ways as she participates in the community and within her children’s school.  Tamryn’s desire to foster her own children’s talents is really what inspired her to bring Spotlight Kids NY to the downtown neighborhood.



Receiving her MFA in Costume Design from Tulane University. Danielle has worked on various projects in Fashion, TV, Film, and Theater, which included Law & Order SVU, She’s Funny That Way and Vinyl.  She also had the amazing opportunity to work as an assistant costume designer for the TV Series, Gotham for which she was nominated for an Emmy in 2015.

Danielle’s love of theater began when she was a young child. Now that she and her husband are raising their two small children in downtown Manhattan, she wanted to give NYC kids like hers a glimpse of how creativity and passion can truly start at any age.  She is thrilled to bring Spotlight Kids NY to the community she and her family have grown to love.


Meet Our Staff

EMILY WEXLER | Creative Director

Emily Wexler is a Brooklyn-based teaching artist/singer/actor aiming to harness the transformative power of the performing arts in education as a tool for community building, as well as for self-growth, self-knowledge, and individual story-telling. Emily is a Teaching Artist for ENACT, a performance-based drama therapy organization that engages the city’s vulnerable youth to help transform their behavior in school and in life through performance.

She is also a Teaching Artist at Bank Street School for Children. At Bank Street, Emily co-runs a Shakespeare after school program for 9-13 year-olds, teaches voice lessons, conducts and co-runs the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grade choruses, choreographs and co-directs the 8th grade musical, and runs the vocal portion of the Rock Band program for 5th-8th graders. She also directs a drama program at The International High School at Laguardia Community College, called EarSay Youth Voices, a theater program for new immigrant teenagers to build community, tell their stories, feel empowered in their own narratives, build confidence, and practice English. Along with her work as a Teaching Artist, Emily acts and sings professionally.

Benjamin Shaffer |  Co-Teacher

Ben Shaffer, originally from sunny San Diego CA, moved to New York City to pursue his BFA in Acting for Film, Television, Voice-overs, and Commercials at Pace University (2018). He’s appeared in numerous plays and musicals, as well as independent films, web series, and sketches. Most recently, Ben performed in The Polar Express Train Ride (NJ), South Pacific at Pace (NY), as Groucho Marx in A Night in the Ukraine (CA), and made his TV debut on the Investigation Discovery Channel. When not performing, Ben’s often watching others in New York theatre, collaborating on writing projects, or teaching for early development. 
Ben began performing at a young age on his little tikes slide, and grew up harnessing his love for theatre through the help of teachers at San Diego Junior Theatre and Coronado School of the Arts. He hopes to have the same impact his teachers had on him as an Arts Educator for today’s children. 


SALOME EGAS | Head Teacher

Salomé is an Ecuadorian actor, dancer, activist, translator and arts educator.  She obtained her Bachelor’s degree from Skidmore College in Dance and Theater, attended the “Shakespeare Programme” at the British American Drama Academy (UK); and obtained a Master’s degree from NYU Gallatin, focusing her studies in International Education, Mythology and Performing Arts. She is also a 2018 fellow of the Hemispheric Institute’s Emerging Artist Program for political performance, EmergeNYC. Salomé’s works aim to combine her passion for the performing arts and social justice with the goal of helping her Latinx and many other immigrant communities to heal through applied dance, art and theater.



EMILIE PAAP | Head Teacher

Emilie Paap, born and breed in New York City, has had a growing love for fine arts and theater ever since she was a young girl.  Emilie is the trifecta to say the least. A Dancer, Singer and Actress,

Emilie shares the passion and enthusiasm to allow children to express their creativity. She understands the power of performing arts and the beauty it holds. Allowing a child to discover a new character, build confidence, and experience all the elements of what the theater can do.

Emilie continues to pursue her career within theater and film industry, and has joined Spotlight kids NY, with the hopes to give the next generation a chance to experience the magic of art and theater.



Sarah Bartley moved to NYC when she was 18 to pursue her dreams of acting. Sarah recently graduated from The New School For Drama with a BFA in acting, where she spent 4 years perfecting her craft and engaging her community through art. During her time at The New School, she was a teaching artist at Casita Maria Center for Arts & Education focusing on acting and body positivity. She has been involved in theatre since she was young, and has dabbled in directing and writing as well.

Sarah has joined Spotlightkids NY, to continue on the path of giving the young children of downtown Manhattan a glimpse of what art and theater are truly all about. She’s excited to come on board in 2019, and be in the Spotlight.


Our Stage


Located in downtown Manhattan, Tribeca

104 Reade St. Basement Floor

New York, NY 10013