Now in our 15th year, the mission of Clater, Kaye Theatreworks is to enhance the skills for the professional performer. In addition, we will strengthen the cultural vitality of the region and cultivate musical theatre appreciation by developing the next generation of artists through youth education, performance and outreach programs. Our variety of classes, seminars and workshops will enable students to train and network with professional actors and directors from the Carolinas, as well as New York and Los Angeles!
Who We Are
Robert Clater is the co-owner Clater Kaye Theatreworks in Hickory, and is a proud member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society. Locally, he has produced and or directed Les Miserables, Crazy For You A Chorus Line, The Stephen Schwartz Project, First Kids, The Wizard of Oz, Winterfest, and High School Musical. He also writes produces and directs the Web Series Studio 127, which you can see through the links on this website.
On the National level, he is known as a celebrated director of the hit musical show, Dreamgirls. His various companies range from small regional theatres to national tours. He also holds the distinction of being the only actor in history to have played all five of the Principal roles. Broadway legend, and Dreamgirls creator Michael Bennett, selected Mr. Clater for the original cast of the Dreamgirls International Company, which received a Tony Nomination for Best Revival in 1987. Mr. Clater has twice directed Dreamgirls for the National Black Arts Festival starring Tony Winner Jennifer Holiday, and re-directed the national tour starring Tony Nominee BJ Crosby. His Los Angeles production earned a total of 19 nominations and took home 11 awards including 2 for Best Production. His direction of Ragtime also earned multiple award nominations including Best Director and Best Production. He is associated with multiple theatrical honors including Emmys, Tonys, Ovations, and Garland Awards, and has worked or collaborated with Mitzi Gaynor, Tommy Tune, Maurice Hines, Gloria Estefan, Diana Ross, Placido Domingo, Donna McKechnie, among others. He has spent many successful years as an accomplished performer on Broadway, in films and on national television. His high profile career has enabled him to work internationally in four countries on three continents. Mr. Clater received his B.A. degree from Temple University and holds a graduate education studies certification from California State University at Northridge.
Lesia Kaye with Charles Randolph-Wright
Lesia with Chris Jackson
What We Do
We teach each student to be a more dynamic individual. Our training is designed to create leads on stage, and teach leadership in life. Students will study Voice and Movement, Improvisation, and Acting Skills for the Stage, Film, and TV, or Presentation Skills for the Professional Business World. The Clater, Kaye Theatreworks curriculum aims to provide each student with enhanced self-confidence, self-awareness and focus; as well as an insight into the vocational training needs of an actor. Clater, Kaye Theatreworks strives to nurture creativity while carefully applying the discipline necessary for success in theatre as well as life. To that end, students will be placed into tracts that meet their specific needs. For example, a student who does not desire a career in theatre, but enjoys the benefits of class will be on a less aggressive tract than a student who shows the desire and potential to succeed in the entertainment business. The goal of Clater, Kaye Theatreworks is to provide a safe and secure environment for creativity to flow without the potential competitive blockades that often plague theatrical schools. To that end, we ask each student, parent, and guest to remind themselves of our mantra:
“I Take Responsibility for the Energy I Bring Into This Space.”
Bebe Winans and Charles Randolph-Wright
With Nita Whitaker and Laura Osnes
Lesia Kaye grew up in NC and studied dance, drama and voice at the North Carolina School of the Arts. She recieved a B.F.A. in theater from the University of Houston, served as Artistic Director and Choreographer for the Lenoir Rhyne College Dance Co. in NC and Choreographer for the Wortham Theatre and Children’s Theater Festival in Houston, TX prior to launching her theatrical career in New York. Ms. Kaye has been seen in 42nd Street, They’re Playing Our Song, Hello Dolly, Evita and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum off-Broadway, among others. Her film credits include Robocop, General Hospital, commercials and industrials. Ms. Kaye is a member of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers in New York City. Recently, Her choreography has been seen in Chicago,and The Producers, for which she won Best Choreograpghy by the Metrolina Theatre Association. Lesia Kaye and Robert Clater began collaborating in 1992 as Director/Choreographer team. Over the years, their work has been seen at the Kennedy Center, Pittsburg CLO, Starlight Theater in Kansas City, Dallas Summer Musicals, the Theatre of the Stars Festival productions, which were the centerpieces for the National Black Arts Festival in Atlanta. Their production of Dreamgirls for the Civic Light Opera of South Bay Cities in Redondo Beach, CA earned a total of 19 nominations and took home 11 awards including 2 for Best Production. Their direction of Ragtime earned multiple award nominations: Best Director, Best Choreographer and Best Production. Over their amazing careers they are associated with multiple theatrical honors including Emmys, Tonys, Ovations and Garland awards, and have worked for or collaborated with Mitzi Gaynor, Michael Bennett, Jeff Calhoun, Tommy Tune, Maurice Hines, Gloria Estefan, Diana Ross, Placido Domingo, Donna McKechnie, Harold Perrineau, Lauren Velez, Angelina Jolie, Catherine Zeta Jones, Eric Idol, LaChanze and others. In 2012, they were both honored to be chosen as judges for the first Blumey Awards, the High School version of the Tony Awards, sponsored by the Blumenthal Performing Arts organization in Charlotte.
In 1992, they began collaborating as a Director/ Choreographer team. Over the years, they have worked with a virtual Who’s Who of celebrated performers including Norm Lewis, Adriane Lenox, Renee Elise Goldsberry, Billy Porter, Paul Kreppel, Murphy Cross, Chris Jackson, Montego Glover, Jennifer Holliday, French Davis, Ken Page, among many others. Their work has been seen at The MUNY, the Kennedy Center, Pittsburg CLO, Starlight Theater in Kansas City, Dallas Summer Musicals, the Theatre of the Stars Festival productions, which were the centerpieces for the National Black Arts Festival in Atlanta. Their production of Dreamgirls for the Civic Light Opera of South Bay Cities in Redondo Beach, CA earned a total of 19 nominations and took home 11 awards including 2 for Best Production. Their direction of Ragtime earned multiple award nominations: Best Director, Best Choreographer and Best Production. In 2012, she was honored to be chosen as judge for the first Blumey Awards, the High School version of the Tony Awards, sponsored by the Blumenthal Performing Arts organization in Charlotte. Lesia Kaye and Robert Clater are Co-Producers of The Time of Nick reading in New York with Tony Winner Lillias White. The Time Of Nick began as an enhanced reading here at CKT under the title of Young Santa. CKT has also been the debut of First Kids and The Stephen Schwartz Project.
1997 Dreamgirls National Tour Zoom Reunion
Lesia Kaye and Jennifer Holliday
Lesia with Jack Sippel
with the Cast of Grease
Lesia Kaye wins MTA award for Best Choreographer!