BUFFALO, NY (September 18, 2018) – Theatre of Youth (TOY), Western New York’s only professional theatre dedicated exclusively to programming for young audiences, announces two new staff members to its team. 

TOY’s new Education Coordinator Aleks Malejs will help TOY grow its education program and Director of Development Stephanie Sullivan will be responsible for building relationships with the WNY community.  These positions are funded in part by grant monies received from the Cullen Foundation and the New York State Regional Economic Development Council’s Consolidated Funding for Western New York.

“Our 2013 strategic plan identified these two positions as growth areas for Theatre of Youth,” said TOY’s Managing Director, Kevin Leary.  “We are thrilled to welcome both Stephanie and Aleks and look forward to better serving the WNY community with them onboard.”

Aleks Malejs has a BFA in Acting from The University of Montana and an MFA in Acting from The New School for Drama in New York City.   Her teaching journey got started at TADA! Youth Theatre in New York City and with the Missoula Children’s Theatre in Montana.  Since her arrival in Buffalo in 2013, Aleks has split her time as a teaching artist and actor.  As a teaching artist, she has worked with TOY, Shakespeare in Delaware Park, Aurora Waldorf School, Irish Classical Theatre Company, Young Audiences of Western New York, Tapestry Charter School, P.S. 89 and the Inclusive Theater of WNY.  As an actor, she has been featured in 10 shows and has two Artie nominations, winning one for her performance in Grounded at The Kavinoky Theatre in 2016-2017.  She is currently an adjunct professor at Buffalo State College and Niagara County Community College.  “I am primed to nurture and grow the existing success of TOY’s educational offerings,” says Ms. Malejs.  “I look forward to working with Meg Quinn and the TOY team to take TOY’s education program to a new level.”

Stephanie Sullivan said she is “excited to share the magical stories of TOY with our community.”  She found a passion for helping those in need right around the corner at Buffalo State College while receiving a bachelor’s degree in Social Work.  That enthusiasm led her to work at People Inc. and Child & Family Services, where she worked to build donor databases, execute special events and build relationships with community partners.  Stephanie is excited to bring her knowledge and experience to ensure all families in our community can experience the wonder of live theatre.  She loves spending time with her family and future theatre star: her 19-month old daughter.

"You may know by now that everything Theatre of Youth puts on stage is first-rate."

- Peter Hall, Buffalo Rising and WBFO's "Theatre Talk"

"Any smart children's theatre, such as TOY, knows when and how to speak to them (children) in a way that meets them where they are at, and nudges them along toward maturity." - Ben Siegel, The Buffalo News

"Educational, funny and .....insightful," 

3 1/2 out of 4 stars!   -Ben Siegel, The Buffalo News, for Junie B. Jones Is Not A Crook.

Read complete review HERE