"If Tonys were given for Off-Broadway theater, Schwartz [as Helen Keller] would win it by a landslide." -TimesLedger Newspapers
Ayla is a triple threat performer who originated and is currently performing the role of Young Elsa in Disney’s FROZEN the Musical on Broadway at the historic St. James Theatre in New York City.
Ayla took to singing at an early age and dreamed of performing on a big stage. At the age of four, Ayla started taking voice lessons and soon thereafter, acting and dance classes. At the age of seven, Ayla was cast in her first meaningful role: Young Fiona in Shrek the Musical at The Barn Theatre in Montville, NJ. In addition to numerous school and community theatre credits (e.g., Dear Edwina, A Christmas Story), Ayla was cast in numerous Kids of the Arts (KOTA) Productions such as Broadway Kids, School of Rock Youth at UCPAC, and KOTA’s Off-Broadway production of Madeline’s Christmas.
Ayla has been fortunate to sing on some of the most famous New York City stages including: Don’t Tell Mama, 54 Below, The Triad, The Hammerstein Ballroom, The Green Room 42 and Symphony Space. In 2017, Ayla was chosen to perform with PCI International’s Broadway’s Next Generation where she sang at beautiful Carnegie Hall and was also selected by Vanguard Theatre Company to be one of 25 mentees in their Broadway Buddy Program.
Ayla spent many years training at the Performers Theater Workshop (PTW) in Maplewood, NJ. At PTW, she studied vocal technique, acting, and dance. Over the years, Ayla frequented Dance Molinari as well as numerous industry workshops and master classes through both A Class Act NY and Broadway Kids Auditions.
After countless hours of training, combined with a lot of hard work and perseverance, in early 2017 Ayla booked her first professional role as Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker at the Queens Theatre in the Park. And, just a few weeks later, she landed the role of her young life: Young Elsa in FROZEN the Musical. One of Ayla’s biggest dreams finally came true.
Ayla is especially grateful to her family, friends, teachers, trainers, directors, and casting directors, all of whom have been a part of her journey in some way. Ayla is very proud to be represented by Bercy Management and The Carson Kolker Organization.
Praise as Young Elsa in Broadway's FROZEN
“As an added bonus...Ayla Schwartz at this performance – [was] pitch perfect. ...Schwartz displays an impressive maturity contending with her magic powers and the angst of her overprotective parents...”
"There was also praise for the graceful Ayla Schwartz, who played young Elsa."
"Ayla Schwartz...[was] exceptionally well cast."
The Washington Post
“Young Anna & Elsa were played by Mattea Conforti and Ayla Schwartz at the performance we saw, and let’s just say I believe they will be names to watch for in coming years.”
Get the Chance
“Young Elsa (an appropriately angst-ridden Ayla Schwartz) is the enchanted heir apparent..."
“Their childhood counterparts (played at the reviewed performance by Ayla Schwartz and Mattea Conforti) more than fill the adorable bill.”
Los Angeles Times
“Ayla Schwartz as [the] suffering sister... [was a] mini-dynamo..."
Praise as Helen Keller in "The Miracle Worker"
by Jennifer Khedaroo
May 17, 2017
"The cast is truly what makes this show a standout. Betsy Hogg, who plays Sullivan, is fiery and witty...
The only person who upstages Hogg is Ayla Schwartz, the ten-year-old who plays Keller."
by Mark Lord
May 18, 2017
"In Ayla Schwartz, who makes her professional theater debut in the demanding role, the production has struck gold. Her focus and credibility as a blind and deaf child are commendable, and she is riveting from start to final bow."
By Merle Exit
May 17, 2017
"Ayla Schwartz, the 10-year-old actor who portrays Helen Keller, is so flawless at staying in character as blind and deaf while conveying the tumult of emotions of an isolated young girl struggling to relate to the world that you would never know that this is her professional debut."
by Cindy Pereira
May 17, 2017
"This role has given me such an educational experience that I will remember forever,” said Ayla.
She told the Times that playing the role of Helen Keller taught her how hard it is to live with a disability.
“She struggled so much and accomplished so much through her lifetime. I will always be inspired by Helen Keller..."