Eliza Jane Schneider
Schneider spent her formative years on a Chippewa reservation in Bemidji, Minnesota with her two older brothers in a mostly Jewish family. Her father was a math and drama teacher at the School of Arts High School in Rochester, New York, where she graduated as salutatorian. Her mother was an attorney for the reservation. She started playing violin, learning the Suzuki method, after seeing El Shenkar. When she was sixteen, she was in her first musical group, IT'S MY PARTY! From ages 7â20, she went to Jewish summer camp, becoming a counselor, and started performing on stage. By the time she was in the fourth grade she began writing and performing her own plays, because the teacher told her that she would only be allowed to stage a play if she "wrote, produced, directed. " Four years later she was chosen for a part in Annie; Schneider's parents would not let her tour with the troupe after being cast. She participated in a theater program at Northwestern University's National High School Institute and graduated from UCLA as a world arts and cultures major.