Ripple of Hope: A Capital Fringe Peek


"My play, Ripple of Hope: One Teacher’s Journey to Make an Impact, is a comedic one-woman show that explores public education issues through my personal experiences as a drama teacher in some of the roughest public schools in New York City. I use personal anecdotes – my love of Hillary Swank as a teacher-hero in “Freedom Writers” to rapping “Annie” and grappling with the Common Core. This story tells my 10-year journey as an Equity actress and comedian-turned public school teacher." [click here to read more]


Review: Ripple of Hope: One Teacher’s Journey to Make an Impact at Capital Fringe


"There is a stroke of genius in including the heroic teacher mythos from favorite movies. Sklaire is poking fun at her own ignorance, showing how these stories can be both inspiring and shallow. The other major revelation in the piece that is valuable is Sklaire’s revelation that it’s not the students who are causing her the worst trouble, but administrators and the absurdist school system that stops the work she’s doing in its tracks." [click here to read more]


DC Metro Theater Arts

Capital Fringe Preview #28


"Directed by award-winning director Padraic Lillis (2013 New York International Fringe Festival Outstanding Excellence in Directing for Lee Kaplan’s Bully, which was a standout at the 2013 Capital Fringe; 2013 Indie Theater Now Person of the Year), Ripple of Hope uses humorous anecdotes, videos of real-life teaching breakthroughs and clips from teacher-as-hero films such as Freedom Writers, Dangerous Minds and Dead Poets Society to tell my 10-year journey as an equity actress-turned-public school teacher from Connecticut with a BFA in musical theater and a desire to make a difference." [click here to read more]


2015 Capital Fringe Review: ‘Ripple of Hope: One Teacher’s Journey to Make an Impact’

"Ripple of Hope is Karen Sklaire’s contribution to the teacher as hero genre – which can never have too many entries. This one-woman show is funnier and a lot more honest than some of the move clips she shows through the piece."

[click here to read more]


RIPPLE OF HOPE Set for FringeNYC, 8/15-27


"As a part of FringeNYC from 8/15-8/27, former South Bronx public school drama teacher Karen Sklaire's empowering solo show RIPPLE OF HOPE: One Teacher's Journey to Make an Impact will have performances at the White Box Studio (440 Lafayette St.). Sklaire is currently a Drama teacher at PS2 in Manhattan and the show chronicles her trials and tribulations of being an advocate of the arts in our public schools." [click here to read more]

MD Theatre Guide

Fringe Review: ‘Ripple of Hope: One Teacher’s Journey to Make an Impact"


"“Yo, Miss,” the students in the South Bronx high school greet the newbie drama teacher, and in her one-woman show,  Ripple of Hope: One Teacher’s Journey to Make an Impact, Karen Sklaire takes the audience on a breezy, whirlwind tour of the absurdities and dysfunction of New York’s public schools." [click here to read more]


Judith Tacchini


I've been waiting for, like, 5 days to see this show. Here's the backstory. A week or so ago, I learned of an arts festival in DC called the Capital Fringe Festival. Upon further research into the festival, I came upon a description for one woman's dramatic performance of her years spent teaching in the New York Public School System, called Ripple of Hope: One Teacher's Journey to Make an Impact. I put this on the Tom and Judy Calendar of Excellence right away. I was pumped. Tonight was the big show. It was all I had hoped it would be and more. Karen Sklaire has brought to light, by way of the stage, the major challenges that face education. But, she does this - get this - through the perspective of a teacher. I know... It's crazy to think that someone in education would have something meaningful to say ABOUT education. She addresses hot topics such as violence, poverty, student engagement and motivation, lack of personnel support, evaluation systems, teacher retention, and what show about education would be complete in this day and age without consistent mention of testing, testing, testing? As a drama teacher, Sklaire really took the hits because, well, as we all know, the arts are the first on the chopping block. A drama teacher I am not, but I felt a camaraderie with this woman. On paper, our teaching positions, demographics, etc., couldn't look more dissimilar. However, multiple times I thought in my head, "Oh, I'm not the only one!?" Her students (characters) were so relatable. I was thinking, "Yup, I've had that kid!" I wish ALL of my teacher friends could see this show. This show is smart, clever, funny and if you're me, you might even cry, just a little. But, by the end, I walked out of the Tree House Lounge believing that what she does, what I do, and what all teachers do, does make a difference. That said, I'm going to fully enjoy the rest of my summertime! Keep your eyes out for this show, and if you are in the DC or NYC areas, please, please, please go see it. You won't regret it. ‪#‎fringe‬ ‪#‎rippleofhope‬‪#‎onlysaidCommonCoreonce‬ !! [See on Facebook]

Washington City Paper

Themed Double-Headers for Fringe’s Last Weekend


"This weekend, the Capital Fringe Festival will stage its final scheduled shows. (Some audience favorites, to be announced on July 26, will return next week for encore performances.) Haven’t used your festival button enough? Cram in a some last-minute plays or storytelling series with these thematic double-headers." [click here to read more]

NBC New York

RIPPLE OF HOPE as Part of FringeNYC


"Former South Bronx public school drama teacher Karen Sklaire sits down with Chris Glorioso to discuss her solo show, RIPPLE OF HOPE, her autobiographical show about a teacher navigating her way through the troubled New York City school system." [click to watch video]

Lorri   Gumanow


I saw the show when the BATS were in DC, and this afternoon and it was amazing! I loved it and cried at the end - again! I am so happy that your shows have sold out and that your message is touching so many people. You have really captured the emotions all teachers are feeling right now! And most of all - how the arts truly make a difference for young people, and why we must not replace them in our schools with test prep and more testing. Brilliant! [See on Facebook]

Theater in the Now

Spotlight On... Karen  Sklaire


"Ripple of Hope is the story (my story) of a young idealist from Connecticut who, after 9/11, decides she needs to make a difference in this world and help others.  She quits auditioning and her survival job and joins The Actor’s Work Program- where they place Equity actors as substitute teachers in the south Bronx.  There she begins her journey through the tangled corridors of the New York City Public School system as she travels from school to school dealing with budget cuts, arts programs being replaced by testing prep, and a constant revolving door of administration." [click here to read more]

Visible Soul - Zack Calhoon

People  You  Should  Know... Karen  Sklaire


"Karen Sklaire: (Writer/Performer) is an actress, singer and comedienne who has toured the country with Theatreworks/USA and has been featured Off-Broadway at The Promenade Theatre, Town Hall, and The Soho Playhouse as well as featured at The Film Forum. She has performed standup comedy in clubs throughout NYC and hosted such comedians as Judah Freidlander (30 Rock) and Colin Quinn as well as touring with comedian Rob Bartlett and the Bartletts. She has appeared on Saturday Night Live, In the Mix and on The Imus in the Morning show." [click here to read more]

Theatre is Easy

Ripple of Hope: One Teacher's Journey to  Make an  Impact Review


"An engaging and charismatically acted narrative that only manages to scratch the surface of the complex issues that plague our education system...Sklaire is a winning storyteller and it’s hard not to be taken in as she narrates her journey." [click here to read more]


Review: ‘Ripple of Hope’ at Fringe NYC


"This piece should be seen by urban educators everywhere (the venue seemed packed with them). For all the jolts encountered during her teaching career, Karen Sklaire has sent out ripples of hope to her students, regardless of whether or not the system in which she worked had the heart or wisdom to appreciate it. Swank and Pfeiffer were only acting; Sklaire is the real deal." [click here to read more]




"Efficiently and warmly directed by Padraic Lillis, actress-teacher Karen Sklaire plays herself telling and re-enacting her own story about giving up acting to be a drama teacher in the ghettos of the South Bronx.  She also takes on the characters of the school principals of varying effectiveness and the resistant, intimidating, tough-acting students with, to put it mildly, rough language.  Could this petite, pretty, young white lady stand up to the defensive and offensive behavior?  Or will they shout her down and ignore her?  (Will the principals do the same?)  Determined to “make a difference,” she persists." [click here to read more]

Alexandra Miletta Blog

Teaching Theatre: Karen Sklaire's Solo Show


"If you loved Nilaja Sun’s 2006 play No Child as much as I did, you will find that Sklaire’s show has an equally heartbreaking, funny, sometimes cynical take on trying to teacher young people drama even in this theatre mecca city. In the decade since Sun was a teacher, budget cuts, high stakes testing, and mayoral control of the schools have made the conditions Sklaire must face more daunting: disillusioned and defiant students; burned out colleagues; a freaky, faceless bureaucracy; and like her show, it’s a solo affair." [click here to read more]


Ripple of Hope: One Teacher’s Journey to  Make an  Impact’ at The Secret Theatre

"Her writing is funny, self-effacing, heartbreaking and enlightening. ....Sklaire is a fireball of wit, talent, energy and earnestness....she masterfully moves from physical theatre, to dance, to song, to stand up comedy to create her magical classroom. It is very clear that her students must have enjoyed some truly uplifting classes at the hands of this life changer....This is a piece that should tour to every school to be watched by students, teachers and parents as it can cause a glorious ripple of hope that can turn into an unstoppable tsunami of change." [click here to read more]