Current and former cast members and parent volunteers share their perspectives on the value of their Talent Machine experience, their proudest moments and those moments that made them laugh out loud.

First up — Daniel Jones — who performed in many Talent Machine productions and whose last show with the Company was in the award-winning Mean Girls. Daniel also served for one year as the student member of the Board of Directors and single-handedly created the Talent Machine’s presence on TikTok. Daniel shares the three ways that Company Machine has impacted his life and concludes by saying, “Talent Machine is a creative force that honestly blesses whoever it’s able to reach.” 

Lasting Friendships

“The Talent Machine fosters relationships that last well beyond the run of the shows. Older cast members are role models and mentors for the younger cast. Parents are also deeply involved in every aspect of the production and we have the chance to spend time with our children and form strong bonds with other parents. My son, Logan, and I have met some of our very best friends through Talent Machine.”
Mari Ann Donnelly, Parent Volunteer

Transformational Performances

“The Talent Machine Company gives audiences a theatrical experience that is not only captivating, it also transforms you from your seats and catapults you into the show.”
Brabazon Family


“As an audience member, you are transported into the storytelling of the show … These kids put their heart and soul into each production. And the audience feels their energy and enthusiasm in every scene.”
Nellum Family

A Professional Experience

“The Talent Machine develops entertainers! The training these kids receive is at a professional level. Not only do they learn the foundations of musical theater in dance and song, they learn set production, costumes, lighting, directing, blocking. And they get to experience what it truly means to work as a unit toward a common goal.”
Nellum Family


“The kids connect audiences through music and dance. The Company connects families through a love of theater, and they also connect with the community by ensuring everyone feels welcome.”
Nellum Family


“The Talent Machine is a family. After 30 years, alumni and their families keep the legacy and heart of Talent Machine alive, and I would venture to say, they would also give anything to ensure it remains a community staple.”
Nellum Family

Hard Work

“The greatest Life Lesson from Talent Machine is that things don’t always come easy! No one is going to hand you your dreams. You have to work for what you want and be dedicated to it. Eventually, you will get there. But it’s always worth the hard work in the end.”
Renee Doty, Alum


“I attribute my work ethic to Talent Machine. Always give 100 percent. Work hard and have a good attitude.”
Taylor Rector, Alum

Inspirational Leadership

“Lea Capps is the Company’s greatest asset. Her passion, commitment and love for these kids is an inspiration. She has given countless kids a place to be themselves and grow, even in some of the hardest years of adolescence.”
Mari Ann Donnelly, Parent Volunteer

Proudest Moments:

“Becoming a soldier (in the Holiday Show).”
Lanie Cassidy, Alum

“Getting cast as Raggedy Andy opposite Liz Burdick.”
David Grindrod, Alum

“When I made my Dad cry playing Ti Moune.” (Once on This Island)
Camryn Bowcutt, Alum

“Getting to do the a la seconde turns solo during the soldiers number (in the Holiday Show).”
Matt Crook, Alum

“Making those blue velvet vests for the guys.”
Laura Grindrod, Parent Volunteer

“Making it through the pandemic and being part of two amazing full-stage summer productions and the professional staging and filming of our annual Holiday Show. That was special.”
Judy Curbelo, Parent Volunteer, Company Manager, Board Member

Funniest Moments:

“Mimi Nuckols as Frosty when the costume head turned completely backwards and she kept on dancing without missing a beat. Meanwhile, everyone else fought to contain themselves.”
Judy Curbelo, Parent Volunteer, Company Manager, Board Member Former cast member Taylor Rector refers to this as the “Exorcist Frosty.”

“In a scene in Li’l Abner, I had to yell at my cast mate, Liz Burdick, and a little piece of my spit lands on her face. We both start to smirk. Then we both start to giggle. Then we both start to laugh, and then we can’t stop laughing! It was the only time in 22 years of being on stage that I’ve ever broken character that badly.”
David Grindrod, Alum

Doing Things You Didn’t Think You Could Do:

“I did at least eight cartwheels in a row with my sister Dylan, while we wore huge wigs on our heads and sang and danced – fully out of breath.”
Ryan O’Connor, Alum

Katie Krok, Alum

“Pursue theater.”
Ronan O’Toole, Alum