Press & Photos

The Garden Players Receives 2020 Best of Queens Award

QUEENS March 17, 2020 — The Garden Players has been selected for the 2020 Best of Queens Award in the Performing Arts Group category by the Queens Award Program.

“Each year, the Queens Award Program identifies companies that we believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Queens area a great place to live, work and play.” – Queens Award Program


Our Widely Produced Original Musicals

Every year we create an original musical, written for the Garden Players kids, inspired by the events and stories around us. Five of our musicals have been published and performed in over 1,500 productions in 65 countries and nearly every U.S. state including the NYC Broadway Musical Theater Festival. These musicals are published and available at Beat by Beat Press. Our musical We Are Monsters (published by Beat by Beat Press, written by Betina Hershey and Denver Casado) has even been mentioned by Tony-nominated Broadway actor Patrick Meyers on Late Night with Seth Meyers.

Hear composer Sunny Knable and director, book writer, lyricist Betina Hershey talking about how they created their recent shows, and see some of the highlights below.

Magic It Up…

Magic It Up Song:

Writer Interviews & footage of Magic It Up 2019:

Switch It Off… 

Your Turn, A Superhero Musical

What If? Dress Rehearsal & Interviews... Take a look at the back stage view of what we do, hearing from the actors, director, musical director, and more.

Actor Interviews… Sara of Little Comb Productions interviewed some of the Garden Players actors. Here is what they have to say.

May 2018. What is it like working on an original musical? What are the difficulties and thrills of being a part of Garden Players?

May 2017. What are the real benefits of musical theater? How do kids feel about themselves when they put on a show? Sara of Little Comb Productions interviewed some of the Garden Players actors. Here is what they have to say.


The first semester our classes work on acting improvisations, working towards making big choices, trusting their instincts, working together as a group, and using their imaginations.

Our Benefit Concert is usually held in January, and the students have 3 rehearsals only to prepare… an exciting and invigorating process.  We have done concerts concentrating on Beetles songs, 1920’s jazz, and more.  This video is from a year when the students performed a concert version of The Noble Gnarble, a 20 minute musical based on the childrens book of the same name.  It’s incredible how much material they learned in just 3 hour long classes!

The second semester the group puts on a fully staged and costumed original musical to packed houses.  More than 5 musicals have gone on to be published by Beat By Beat Press and then performed all over the world. Here is the full experience of our 2017 premiere of Your Turn, A Superhero Musical!

Parent and Student Testimonials

Thank you for all you do to make the Garden players such an amazing experience for our children. The show was just fantastic! Loved the story and the music. Please know that you give the children as well as their parents a lot of happiness.

  • Robin

The gratitude we feel towards Lily for recommending Garden Players when Nate was six years old and towards Betina who has shared part of herself for a decade is always remembered and cherished.

The lifetime benefits of musical theater that Nathan, Sophia and Austin have experienced are daily seen by us every time they: prepare for a class presentation, try out for a club, get through an interview, have a conversation with a new friend or an adult, and the best time when they come home to tell their tales.

  • Tania LoPinto

You’re the one who nurtured and inspired their creativity, letting them know that whatever they want to do, they can do.

  • Britta

My favorite part of being in Garden Players is the originality and then watching the shows come together.

The shows helped me be just a little more outgoing. People call me “thoughtful,” but that may just be code for “shy,” and so if anyone out there is also “thoughtful,” Garden Players may be for you!

  • Grace

Stella is not what I would consider a natural extrovert, but she comes alive on stage. Her confidence, excellent public speaking skills, and delivery and timing are all a result of your amazing program.

  • Jaisi

No matter what they end up doing in life, the confidence that you fostered and cared for will always be with them.  They enjoyed every minute of every year and made many friends along the way.

It has been a huge pleasure for us as a family to be involved with the Garden Players and I know our kids will continue to go back every year to help you with the shows.

  • Miriam

Raphy has learned so much and has such a good time with the other kids. Garden Players gave her a sense of self-confidence and poise. The games and singing and learning lines helped her memory. The interaction through improv forces her to think on her feet and be conscious of others. And…she has fun! In other words: Wow, has this been a great experience!

  • Robin

Shea absolutely loved being in the play and still is singing and saying lines from the play every day. Thanks to you I feel Shea has found something she really loves and enjoys.

  • Bennett

I caught the opening performance of Space Pirates at the Community House. It was a wonderful show, lots of fun, well written and staged. Above all, the energy of the kids and their commitment to the make-believe fun, made it an unexpectedly rewarding evening. Really nice musical numbers too. So thank you for presenting such a fun show.

  • Raul

When ever we play with thought of moving from the neighborhood I feel that the only thing that will be hard to replace will be your classes.

  • Daphna
 SHOWS in the NEWS

All of our Queens Gazette articles can be found here

Magic It Up, 2019 (Queens Gazette)

Garden Players singing at Flag Day 2019

Switch It Off, 2018

Your Turn, A Superhero Musical!, 2017

What If?, 2016

Lemontales, 2015

Broadway World  features our Garden Players in photos of  Space Pirates!

Garden Players singing at Flag Day 2015

Space Pirates 2014 production had a wonderful article in the Queens Gazette written by Alena Gerst.

Our Benefit Concert this January 19th, 2014, received a rousing review by Liz Mooney in Tower Topics.

Director Betina Hershey Interview, July 2013

The Most Epic Birthday Party Ever, 2013

The Grunch, 2012

Musicville High, 2011

We Are Monsters, 2010

America’s Top Ensemble, 2009

Behind The Scenes, 2008

Space Pirates, 2007

Musicville, 2006

Finding Home, 2005

The Big Leap, 2005

Lemontales, 2004