Chase Leyner, Artistic Director
Chase founded Hoboken Children’s Theater in 2002. Close to a hundred productions later, HCT has become one of the premiere children’s training programs, with students going on to Broadway, films, national TV commercials, and competitive BFA programs. Chase got her degree at Skidmore College, danced at New Jersey Ballet, and studied at L’Ecole de Danse de Princes Grace in Monte Carlo. She studied acting with Sandford Meisner, William Alderson, Estelle Parsons and Sam Schact. Credits include stints on One Life to Live, As the World Turns and Law and Order. More recently she starred as Mrs. Graham in the short film Pause and as Martha in the short film Martha and Chloe, which is currently making the rounds at film festivals. As a member of the Phoenix Theater Company, Chase had the honor of working with fellow company members Michael Patrick King (Executive Producer of Sex and the City), Tony award winner Harriet Harris, and SAG and Emmy Award winner Tracy Poust. In 2009 Chase was awarded the Park Theater Showtime Award.
Don grew up in Michigan and graduated from Western Michigan University with a BFA in Musical Theater Performance. His credits include: Broadway: Les Miserables (original Broadway production), The Pirate Queen (original cast member), Les Miserables (2006 revival production). Broadway National Tours: The Who’s Tommy, The Will Rogers Follies, Les Miserables. Regional Productions: Mamma Mia! (Las Vegas Broadway production), Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris (Capital Rep Theatre), The Apple Tree (Goodspeed Opera House), On the Twentieth Century (Goodspeed Opera House). Television: Rescue Me (guest star—FX Network), The Unusuals (guest star—ABC network). Don is a member of the nation’s premiere Four Seasons tribute act, The Unexpected Boys. He is the proud husband of Lisa Capps and the proud father of Georgia.
Lisa began her professional career at the age of 13, appearing in numerous commercials. At age 17, she landed a recurring role as Debbie on the hit ABC series Growing Pains for three seasons. After graduating from USC’s Professional Acting Program, where she received the prestigious James and Nony Doolittle Award for Outstanding Achievement in Performance, Lisa landed the national tour of Les Miserables. One year after understudying and performing the roles of Eponine and Cosette, she was promoted to the leading role of Fantine on the Les Miserables National Tour and Broadway. This made Lisa the only woman in the history of Les Miserables to have the honor of playing all three leading roles. Throughout her nine-year involvement with Les Miserables, Lisa worked closely with Claude Michel Schoenberg (composer), John Caird (original director) and Lea Salonga (Tony Award winner for Miss Saigon). Lisa soon rejoined Ms. Salonga in Miss Saigon as the American wife, Ellen. As a director and an educator, Lisa is the Director of Theater Education for Waterfront Montessori of Jersey City. She recently directed Les Miserables at Hoboken Children’s Theater and is the director of HCT’s newly developed Summerstage Pro series. Lisa is currently pursuing her Master’s in Educational Theater at NYU.
Jessica is a musical theater graduate and former faculty member of Bryan College in Tennessee. Her NYC choreography credits include Pace University, The Secret Theatre, and Broadway Bound Kids. Jessica currently works as a teaching artist for Bronx Arts Ensemble and as a director/choreographer for Hoboken Children’s Theater.
More staff bios to come!