Outstanding Children’s Theater in Annapolis

In the words of our late founder, Bobbi Smith, The Talent Machine Company is “a magical mystery tour, the most rewarding experience of my performing life, my favorite people.” A dancer and performer, Bobbi founded this children’s theater company to fulfill her dream of giving young people the chance both to spread their theatrical wings and learn the value of dedication, commitment and teamwork.

Bobbi’s legacy continues to touch lives through her daughter and Talent Machine Company president, Lea Capps, her sister, Vicki Smith, and hundreds of alumni, donors, and long-time show attendees who also believe in Bobbi’s unique dream.

The Talent Machine produces three full-length, professional-quality musicals each year, and is committed to bringing the joy of musical theater to audiences everywhere, from school fairs and senior centers to community fund-raisers and special events.

Many of the children who have performed with the Company over the years have gone on to professional careers as directors, choreographers, composers, and Broadway dancers and actors.

The Talent Machine Company, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) organization that relies on ticket sales, grants and donations to share Bobbi’s byword – ENERGY – with its cast members, families, audiences and the entire community.

Teacher and child
Photo credit: Allison Zaucha

Our Vision

Our vision is a community where all children have the opportunity to experience the joy and power of musical theater to develop creativity, build confidence, and teach the value of commitment and teamwork.

Lea Capps
Photo credit: Allison Zaucha

Lea Capps

A performer since the age of three, Lea Capps has been in such shows as Evita, Singin’ in the Rain and A Chorus Line, and has performed on national television and at the White House. For the past 20 years, however, Lea’s most inspirational role has been to lead The Talent Machine Company – an organization dedicated to giving children the opportunity to experience the joy and power of musical theater. Lea took over as Executive Director after the unexpected death of her mother and Company founder, Bobbi Smith.

In addition to her leadership role with the Company, Lea also often serves as director and choreographer for Company productions and supports area middle school theater programs as well. Lea has a degree in psychology from UMBC and considers two of her best “credits” her husband, Michael Blonder, and their daughter, Samantha Blonder, a Talent Machine alum and now a marine biologist.

Our Mission

To make that vision a reality, we produce professional-quality performances, setting an expectation for excellence in children’s theater, involving youth from the Central Maryland region.

Our Values

We believe:

  • In the inherent potential of every child.
  • That an investment in musical theater for children and youth is an investment in a healthy community.
Bobbi Smith, Company Founder
Bobbi Smith, Company Founder

We are guided by our dedication to:

  • Creative expression: exploring and discovering the joy of performing.
  • Responsibility: doing one’s best to achieve a goal.
  • Commitment: a willingness to work hard.
  • Teamwork: accountability to the greater whole.
  • Professionalism: setting high standards for excellence.
  • Inclusivity: welcoming all children and families.

Funding for The Talent Machine Company

We’d like to thank the Arts Council of Anne Arundel County for its continued grant support. (Please visit our Gala page for an additional list of Sponsors and Donors who make it possible for The Talent Machine Company to fulfull our mission.)

Arts Council Grant Support