Sing Me a Story-Tell Me a Song 1
WHAT IS 'IT'S JUST KIDS'? 'It's Just Kids' is a direct outgrowth of 'Theater Workshop's Fantasy Playhouse', Long Island's longest running family theater and theater school. Barbara and Phil Schaap are the founding parents of this theatrical institution, now being run by son Adam and his wife Courtney. WHY WAS 'IT'S JUST KIDS' CREATED? 'It's Just Kids' was created by Barbara and Phil in order to produce CDs and music videos of Barbara's original music, heard initially on the New York stage of The Fantasy Playhouse. For years, audience members have asked for tapes or CDs of the music they heard in a show they had seen at 'Fantasy'. Their kids would sing what they remembered and often came back to see a show several times in order to learn the music and words. 'THE Ijk Club' WHO'S IN IT? In August of 2001, Barbara formed the 'Ijk Club' (It's Just Kids) and invited selected youngsters who study at the Fantasy Playhouse School of Performing Arts and who also appear in the musicals on the Playhouse stage, to become the charter members. These kids, age 6 to 17, are the lovely young voices heard on 'It's Just Kids' two new CDs called 'SING ME A STORY - TELL ME A SONG' Vol. 1 and 2. Each CD contains 15 of Barbara's originals in the following categories: 'Story Music', 'Bright Ideas', 'Good Advice' and 'Life's Little Wrinkles'. Our Mentor BARBARA SCHAAP Barbara Schaap is the mentor of 'The Ijk Club' and the founder of 'It's Just Kids, Inc.', both of which are outgrowths of 'Theater Workshop's Fantasy Playhouse'. CHILDHOOD HISTORY Born and raised in the New York metro area, Barbara's musical talents were stimulated at an early age by her family and her environment. Her first stage was the kitchen table, where on rainy days she and her cousins were encouraged to 'entertain' the rest of the family. As early as 1949, the family owned a disc recorder and made dozens of records featuring everyone from the grandparents singing songs from the 'old country' to the youngest child reciting nursery rhymes. Barbara treasures these old platters as a musical photo album of the family's history. EDUCATION AND TRAINING Barbara studied piano, musical theory and composition at Juilliard School of Music and voice, drama and diction at The American Theater Wing under the tutelage of Mme. Nektar deFlondor. She also studied ballet and tap for 8 years and was active in her temple religious school until graduation from High School. She was an Education major at Queens College but, shy of a degree, elected to marry Phil and have a family. ON STAGE AT AGE 9 She made her first public singing appearance at age 9 and in her teens sang and played the organ every weekend for wedding and bar mitzvah ceremonies. She sang at Madison Square Garden, Carnegie Hall, Little Carnegie, and many places too numerous to mention. After her marriage to Phil, she turned to band work and was the featured vocalist with many bands including Paul Whiteman and Marty White. As the children were growing up it became more and more difficult to leave them so Barbara teamed up with her sister Henrie (Henriette) and formed a successful sister act known as 'The Stoner Sisters'. The sisters did extremely well until Henrie fell ill and could no longer perform. HER LIFELONG FANTASY BECAME 'FANTASY PLAYHOUSE' Barbara cannot sit still for very long and within the year, she formulated a curriculum to teach theater and performance skills to children. In September of 1967 she founded 'The Five Towns Theatrical Workshop', the only school of it's kind at that time. Her success was instantaneous. In two years Phil built a small theater on Broadway in Lynbrook, Long Island, New York, and by 1975 Barbara and Phil renovated the loft above the UA Lynbrook Movie Theater on Merrick Road in Lynbrook and the nonprofit organization of Theater Workshop Productions was formed. The name of 'Fantasy Playhouse' was given to the stage where over 35 of Barbara's original musical have been produced as world premiers. BACK ON STAGE The demand for broadway revivals encouraged 'Theater Workshop' to mount full productions of the broadway titles that the public supported in the evenings. Talented New York actors appeared on the Playhouse Stage in everything from 'Oklahoma' and 'Barnum' to 'Camelot' and 'Of Mice And Men'. Barbara got back on stage to perform the roles of Mae Peterson in 'Bye, Bye Birdie', Yente in 'Fiddler On The Roof', Mother in 'Barefoot In The Park', Miss Hannigan in 'Annie', Mrs. Doyle in 'Annie Warbucks', Belle in 'The Fantastiks' and others.