To me, being a Dandelion will always mean being part of an ensemble that surrounds you with a sense of joy, love, and artistic freedom that allows your true creative soul to be nourished and to blossom as you create. To be a Dandelion means being part of such a special, connected group of other growing artists- a space and group you will find unrivaled anywhere else in this creative realm...
— Jennifer Layton, CFS Dandelion & Head of Commercials & Print at Firestarter Entertainment

Taming of the Shrew, by Marca Leigh, Dandelion & Cast Member © 2016

Taming of the Shrew, by Marca Leigh, Dandelion & Cast Member © 2016

The proud alumni of Connecticut Free Shakespeare and National Theater for Arts and Education, lovingly refer to themselves as, "The Dandelions."  

Whether for one or sixteen years, those who have had the privilege of working with and for this joyous family immediately recognize the value of embracing this supportive and inclusive home in the theater.  

The Dandelions reside from Connecticut to California, often traveling hundreds of miles if only to stay for the evening and offer a few hugs.  We share the motto, "Choose Joy," in everything that we do.  And though we all may drift apart in location, we are never far in heart.  


To me, being a CFS Dandelion is incredibly professional and undoubtedly personal. It is the one space that I have felt that I could be entirely myself in a group of people who want nothing more than to connect with the people around them, fellow artists and audience, and simply love. CFS is my place of strength and hope, and remains that best friend alongside me every step of my way.
— Katrina Foy, CFS Dandelion and Director of Administration
To ‘be a Dandelion’ is to be a alumnus of either the CTFreeShakes or National Theater for Arts and Education experience - and therefore having been influenced by the (positive, inclusive, serious, aspiring, demanding) ideals of the managing director of those companies, Ellen Lieberman. We are gossamer spores blown throughout the world, bringing flowers (or in this case theatrical acumen) to the farthest corners. The members of the company have been drawn from all over the US and in some cases the world, and between projects disperse once again.
— Jacob Grigolia-Rosenbaum, CFS Dandelion & Broadway Fight Director and Choreographer
Being a Dandelion means being loved. It means you can grow, bloom, dance in the wind and although you are a small seed in a big group, you are important and are a vehicle for spreading more love. Ellen and Bert are the roots and we all stem from their earth bound vision of theatre for all.
— Erin Scanlon, CFS Dandelion
To me being a Dandelion means belonging to a special theatre family that continues to grow no matter what. The Dandelion symbolizes simple beauty, strength and survival.
— Craig Anthony Bannister, CFS Dandelion, Board Member, and Founding Artistic Director of Spectrum Arts Productions