It all started after my first son, Vito, was born in August 2013 and I decided to take some time off from work. After few months I found the need to do something for myself which was somehow connected to my beloved career. I started a blog connecting my new daily routine as a mom to my previous knowledge and experience on applying creative arts to children’s social and personal development.

I am extremely passionate about children’s development through creativity. After assisting few friends in engaging creatively with their kiddos, ‘Play & Beyond’ was established. Our mommy & me classes were the focus for it’s first few years, but as we grow as a family our programs grow as well. Once my son asked for classes for his age group, we decided to expand our target group. He doesn’t know yet, but he is the one running the business.

In New York, I worked for Henry Street Settlement as a ‘Play Tank Project” Mentor and for Grand Street Settlement as a Self-expression Specialist for a Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program until establishing Play & Beyond.

Before arriving in the USA, I’ve studied and worked in London, UK for almost 10 year. I studied Mime & Physical Theatre and concluded by BA in Theatre Arts and my MA in Applied Drama: Theater in Educational, Community and Social Context at the University of London. Throughout my time in London, I’ve worked for Schoofriendetc, an after-school provider, as a Drama Coordinator and for Tender as a Drama facilitator for their Domestic Violence Prevention Program until co-founding and directing Green Shoes Arts for over 3 years. Green Shoes Arts is a non for profit organization providing creative activities for all ages and abilities and to this date still running successfully.

As a young adult in Sao Paulo, Brazil, I have completed my professional acting course at the same time as establishing and directing a youth theatre program for over 4 years until traveling abroad.

I bring all my past experiences and learning from different projects, different roles and different continents to Play & Beyond, in which only the pure form of play-based learning takes places –

“A context for learning through which children organize and make sense of their social worlds, as they engage actively with people, objects and representations” – Australian Early Years Learning Framework

My name is Marilia Lauria, founder and director of ‘Play & Beyond’.


Play & Beyond is about helping children to develop social skills and their motivation to learn. It’s child lead, as children are naturally wired to do the very thing that will help them learn and grow.

All our programs are focused purely on play-based learning ‘a context for learning through which children organize and make sense of their social worlds, as they engage actively with people, objects and representations¹’, to that extent our mission is to:

flourish children’s imagination and positive relation to creativity and play;
to make available powerful learning opportunities across all areas of development through play;
to empower children to take an active role and ownership on their experiences; building their self-confidence, and providing them with the tools to later become proactive members of our society.
to make all our programs meaningful, joyful, actively engaging and interactive;
and therefore, to promote critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity – the Four C’s;
¹ Australian Early Years Learning Framework

Creative Movement

An imaginative introduction to the world of movement. With a new theme each week, young movers learn the fundamentals of ballet and dance through exciting exercises designed to promote creativity, coordination and body awareness. Children will expand their movement knowledge and begin to cultivate a love of the arts!

Throughout the class, children are developing specific milestones, such as: emotional expression, building self-esteem, body awareness, independence, social interaction, physical development and creativity; to new a few.
Classes are 45 minutes long.

Thursday 2:30pm – 3:15pm Ages 2 – 3 (Guardian/Caregiver Required)
Thursday 3:30pm – 4:15pm Ages 3 – 5