Meet Our Team

Cheryl Appleman
Founder & President
Program Director
Timothey Fitzgerald
Vice President
Director Of Curriculum
Samantha Crawford
Administrative Manager
Director of Customer Relations

Cheryl, age 10
With her ballet teacher and mentor, Anita Newman.

Tim in college
Performing in a production of “Romeo and Juliet”.

Samantha, age 6
1st Grade School Photo

Cheryl Appleman
Founder and President
Ms. Appleman has been working in the summer camp and after school enrichment industry for over thirty years.  By the time she launched Performing Arts Workshops in 1998, Cheryl had already compiled a long and varied list of accomplishments: she was a ballet teacher, ran children’s theater programs at UCLA, owned and operated the after school enrichment company Kids In Motion, assisted the Los Angeles Unified School District in developing the first district-approved licensing procedures for enrichment companies working on LAUSD campuses, volunteered at the surgical recovery ward of Los Angeles Children’s Hospital.  She founded the Academy of Children’s Services – the first state-registered vocational school for enrichment teachers, which later evolved into the National Enrichment Teachers Association, which developed best practices training and certification standards for instructors throughout the country working in this field.
Performing Arts Workshops began modestly, with after school drama, dance and karate classes comprising the bulk of its services.  As a result of Cheryl’s vision and passion for expanding opportunities for children to experience the Arts, PAW has continued to grow and evolve to include summer camps, offering programs as varied as Musical Theater, Guitar, Dance, Photography, Filmmaking, Comedy, Magic, Stage FX Makeup, Vocal Recording, Language Arts and more.  Due to her constant innovation, PAW was named 2010’s Best Summer Camp, Best Children’s Live Theater and Best After School Program in the prestigious LA Parent Magazine.
PAW has served tens of thousands of children in communities all throughout the greater Los Angeles area, but for Cheryl, making a difference begins one child at a time.

“I always knew I wanted to work with kids.  I knew from a very young age.  When I was a teen and was apprenticing with my ballet teacher, Anita Newman, I could see when a kid’s eyes would light up because they ‘got it’, they had an ‘aha!’ moment, the light bulb turned on. And the lesson learned didn’t always have to do with just ballet. It was something bigger, more profound, a lesson they could carry with them for the rest of their lives, whatever their path may be. It made me feel good knowing that I had something to do with that. I never forgot it.”

Timothey Fitzgerald  
Vice President and Director of Curriculum
 Mr. Fitzgerald has been a teacher and educator for over 20 years. He has taught ESL classes in Korea, been an acting coach and martial arts instructor at dozens of public and private schools throughout Los Angeles, a guest artist in the Manhattan Beach Cultural Arts Department, and is currently a professor at Loyola Marymount University.
A lifelong student of theater, Timothey holds a Master of Fine Arts in Acting from UCLA, as well as a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theater from LMU. He joined Performing Arts Workshops in 1998 as an instructor, and has since expanded his duties to include being artistic director, adapting plays and musicals, creating new works, and developing curriculum for PAW’s summer camp and after school enrichment programs.

 “Teaching, teaching children especially, is an enormous responsibility. What you say and do, or the manner in which you go about it can profoundly affect how a child feels about learning and education in general.  I was very fortunate in that I had some wonderful teachers and mentors.  They set the stage for me.  When I’m teaching or developing curriculum, I’m standing on their shoulders. I’m thinking of the lessons they imparted to me, and how I might improve upon the design.”

Samantha Crawford
Administrative Manager and Director of Customer Relations
Ms. Crawford grew up in Los Angeles County and, after attending college in Central New York, decided to return to her LA roots. Samantha always saw herself working in the field of Education with the opportunity to have a positive impact on the kids and families in her community. She studied Inclusive Elementary and Special Education at Syracuse University where she received a degree in Education. While attending college, she held several office, administrative, and customer service positions within companies striving to provide quality education and resources to all students including Teach For America, Kings Colleges, and the Syracuse University Textbook Department. After completing her studies, she worked within the field of Special Education as a Reading Interventionist, an ELA Clinician, a Paraeducator, and a Specialized Academic Instructor for several years. Under her leadership in the PAW offices, Samantha’s team oversees the PAW registration and admissions process, provides parent support, and orchestrates the camp to home connection and communications.  She holds fiduciary responsibility and trust, ensuring student record accuracy, schedules and student safety.  She is excited to be part of a program that helps children discover and nurture their passions for the Arts which have academic, creative, social, and emotional benefits for children that will stay with them for the rest of their educational careers and beyond.

 “Growing up with an extracurricular activity or hobby that ignites a passion within you is the most motivating opportunity that a child can be provided with. I believe that when a child has a creative or physical outlet to express themselves, the positive benefits trickle over into every other aspect of their lives. The skills and character developed at PAW leave a huge footprint on campers: from how they interact with other children on the playground, to their public speaking skills, and even to how they process their experiences and emotions. I am so grateful to have a part in making such an important impact on our PAW campers’ lives by ensuring that the logistics of running camp are taken care of. Creating the environment where all of our campers and families are safe, and our PAW teachers can focus on providing a fun, memorable summer of learning and growing for each and every child at camp is the most rewarding part of my job. It is my pleasure to be of service by walking our families through the registration process, preparing for camp, supporting our kids during camp, and everything else in between that will provide PAW families with a positive summer camp experience.”


Performing Arts Workshops is committed to ensuring that all school-aged children are provided the opportunity to experience a quality arts education through affordable after school enrichment and summer camp programming.  The development of character and life skills which children can apply to school and beyond is a core principle of our mission.
PAW’s faculty and staff are dedicated to fostering a safe, non-competitive environment,
where children can use the arts as a medium with which to learn communication,
compassion, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity.

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