It’s my personal goal to find a way to reach each of my actors and help them to blossom and grow in self-confidence, ability and maturity. —LeCee Johnson, Artistic Director
About Our Program
Polaris Productions provides a learn-by-doing theater experience for kids. It begins with the audition and ends with the final curtain. The most direct way for kids to learn about theater is by taking part in it. Classes and workshops are limited in what they can teach. There’s no substitute for the experience of performing live theater, and that’s what Polaris offers.
If a musical theater kid wants more opportunities to perform, we can help them do more of what they love.
Polaris Productions creates a kind and supportive theater community in which kids can grow and learn. It’s a great way for kids to experience the joy and satisfaction of performing great musical theater. The kids also learn valuable life skills that they will take with them, no matter where their star leads them.
What the Kids Say
Emily Lang (Hunter College High School ’19) has been with Polaris Productions since 2012. She’s been in eight major Polaris shows, and now it’s time for her to move on, and will attend Muhlenberg College in the fall.
Jazzy Cores (Rye Neck High School ’19) has done one show with Polaris (Thoroughly Modern Millie). She is attending Coastal Carolina University in the fall.
Gillian Bennett (Winston Prep ’19) has been with Polaris Productions since 2017. She did two shows with us — Les Mis and Thoroughly Modern Millie. Gillian is attending Sacred Heart University in the fall.
Our shows are made possible by the dedication and enthusiasm of a growing community of parents, friends, volunteers, donors and theater professionals. It’s a safe, kind and non-competitive fellowship which allows children to grow and learn. Most of all, Polaris is a place where kids can develop their creativity to its fullest potential.
By giving kids the opportunity to perform, Polaris is nurturing the theater artists, supporters, and patrons of tomorrow.
The kids work together to tell a story in words, dance and song. Our young actors develop self-confidence, artistic ability and emotional maturity. The kids learn to appreciate each other and respect each other. They create lasting bonds of camaraderie and friendship, and have tons of fun!
About shyness. Being in a show works miracles in the life of a shy person. We’ve seen it, again and again. Taking part in theater can transform the lives of shy kids. There are many theater professionals who were shy as kids — and still are. But they’re no longer defined and limited by it.
Taking part in a Polaris musical is a wonderful, life-changing experience. Youth theater
- helps young people grow in self-confidence, ability and maturity
- teaches creative problem solving skills
- develops critical thinking
- encourages cooperation
- fosters peer acceptance, mutual respect
- teaches self-worth
- is rewarding and fun
- builds inner confidence
- encourages responsibility and self-organization
- teaches self esteem
- helps to connect with others
- creates a sense of community
- teaches empathy and understanding for others
A Polaris Productions musical is also a great way to meet other kids and make new friends. You can meet a few of our performers here.
Our young performers create lasting memories. They learn important, practical skills that they need as they begin to find their place in the world.
LeCee founded Polaris Productions in November 2010 with her husband, Glen Johnson and with support from their triplet daughters. She graduated cum laude with a B.A. in Drama from the University of Dallas. LeCee has trained and performed professionally in New York and regionally as a dancer, singer and actress. She has studied dance with Rosemerry Hanian and Alfredo, Andra & Ernesta Corvino. LeCee received her acting training from Patrick Kelly, Anthony Mannino and Paul Mann, among others. Her vocal coaches have included Abe Polakoff and Steven Lutvak (“A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder”).
Since March of 2008 she has been producing, directing and choreographing musical theater for New York City kids and teens. Her years of experience have deepened her understanding of educational youth theater and its many benefits in the lives of children.
Previous directing credits include Into the Woods (spring 2008), The Boy Friend (spring 2009), Annie (spring of 2010), Little Shop of Horrors (winter 2010), Honk! (spring 2011), A Christmas Carol (winter 2011), Bye Bye Birdie (spring 2012), Guys and Dolls (spring 2013), Me and My Girl (spring 2014), Disney Beauty and the Beast (spring 2015) Shrek (spring 2016), Into the Woods (spring 2017), and Les Mis School Edition (spring 2018). Her junior productions include The Little Mermaid Jr. (fall 2015), The Sound of Music Jr. (2016) and Fiddler on the Roof Jr. (fall 2017). LeCee has also produced summer programs for kids ages 6-13, including Willy Wonka Jr., The Wizard of Oz, Seussical Jr., The Lion King Jr. and Annie Jr.
Justin Baldridge, Musical Director
Justin Baldridge moved to New York City in 2016 to pursuing his directorial career and would, eventually, like to open and run his own theatre company. Prior to this he taught for 10 years and directed/musical directed more than 20 shows. During this time, he aimed to inspire and nurture the creative spirit of his students and cast through the art of acting. Through his efforts, his program at Redondo Union High School received nominations from the Jerry Herman Awards for acting and technical theatre and as well as awards at the Drama Teacher Association of Southern California’s Annual Festival. In addition, he taught private acting lessons for individuals and small groups. Justin has also been a guest workshop presenter at the Florida State Thespian Conference teaching Laban movement and Shakespeare to high school students from all over Florida. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Theater and English from California State University, Fullerton and studied at Roosevelt University, Chicago earning his MA in Theatre Directing.
Jenna Mee Dosch, Musical Director
Jenna graduated from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale in 2015, receiving a Masters of Music degree in Music Performance with an emphasis on collaborative piano. Undergraduate work was completed in 2013 at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, with a degree in piano performance. Jenna now lives in New York City where she has been a musical director for productions at The Studio in New Canaan, CT, Polaris Productions in NYC, at Staples School in Westport, CT and Three Act Theatre in NYC. She is also musical director for McLeod Summer Playhouse in Carbondale, IL each summer. She continues to collaborate with vocalists and instrumentalists for recitals and performances.
Dan Radzikowski, Musical Director
Dan is an educator, performer, and music director. After graduating from Carnegie Mellon, Dan attended New York University for graduate school, and was an Adjunct Instructor of Voice at NYU while completing his graduate work. Since graduating, Dan has taught at Pace University,Montclair State University, Pittsburgh CLO Academy and New York Film Academy.
As a teaching artist, he has worked for TADA! Youth Theater, the Open Jar Institute, Broadway Bound Kids, and Rosie’s Broadway Kids. Dan served as the summer season music director in 2008 at the Mt. Washington Valley Theater Company in NH.
He received two NH Theater Award nominations for Best Musical Director for his work on Cabaret and Fiddler On The Roof. Dan has also served as music director for the NYCHEA Players (now Polaris Productions) in New York City, music directing their productions of Into The Woods, The Boy Friend, Honk! and Annie. Dan is currently on faculty at Seat Of Our Pants Theater in Pelham Manor, NY and at The Studio in New Canaan, CT.
Jad Bernardo, Musical Director
Jad’s collaborative and music directing engagements include performances at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater, and recitals in Washington D.C., Florida, Tennessee, Alabama, and Louisiana.
A frequent collaborator with singers of opera and musical theater, Jad has performed with elite from both the operatic and Broadway communities. In addition to his collaborative work, he has been a featured artist on New York City’s Musaic Concert Series.
Most recent musical directing engagements have included The Fantastics for Millbrook Playhouse; Footloose and Ragtime for Regional Center for the Arts. Past successes include Five Guys Named Moe (featuring Nathan Best,Grammy Winner and member of the legendary band the O’Jays) and Evita for Knoxville’s Bijou Theater; Ain’t Misbehavin’ for Northern Stage; Sweeney Todd at the Gerald W. Lynch Theater in NYC; The Johnny at NYC’s 2008 Fringe Festival; seven productions for NYC’s Vital Theatre Company including Extraordinary (Int’l Fringe Festival 2005 Winner of Best Music and Lyrics) and the Off-Broadway hit PINKALICIOUS! During his graduate studies, he served as coach for Puccini’s Suor Angelica, Donizetti’s Lucia Di Lammermoor and Menotti’s The Telephone.
Jad holds a Masters from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and a Bachelors from the Florida State University. He studied piano with Dr. Christy Lee, James Streem and Ruben Malan. He won first place prizes in MTNA and FSMTA’s collegiate artist piano competitions and has appeared in recital engagements throughout the United States.
Since graduate school, Jad has coached for New York University, Singers Forum, Regional Center for the Arts, CAST Voice Studio, Broadway Babes CT, Brooklyn Theater Arts Academy, and American Dance and Drama Studio.