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Find NJ Thespians on Social Media!
Like us on Facebook @ NJ State Thespians AND NJ Thespian Festival
Follow us on Twitter @Thespiansnj Follow us on Instagram @njthespians
Friend us on Snapchat (njthespian) and keep an eye on it during the festival for behind the scenes photos and videos! Use #thesfest2015 for all things Festival.

State Student Board of Directors

Kennedy Bruker, 7161 Robbinsville HS

Amanda Cohen, 23 Morris Catholic HS

Dominick Faruolo, 6185 Ocean Cty Perf Arts Acad

Jess Hochrun, 7363 Barnegat HS

Gabriella Grinwald-Alves, 6185 Ocean Cty Perf Arts Acad

Rachelanne Miller, 7363 Barnegat HS

Samantha Hughes, 4762, Northern Burlington CRHS

Dylan Regan, 7455 Toms River HS North

Christopher Lopez, 4762, Northern Burlington CRHS

Mark Troy, 7161 Robbinsville HS

Marissa Paolella, 7455 Toms River HS North

Gabi Wojcik, 7455 Toms River HS North
State Adult Board of Directors

Ms. Carolyn Little: NJ Chapter Director

Ms. Kerry Bollenbach: Tech Olympics Coordinator, Trashy Costume Coordinator, & Fundraising Coordinator

Mr. Scott Cooney: NJ Thespian Website, Score Room Coordinator, & Awards Coordinator

Mrs. Angela Corenblith: Judges Coordinator

Mrs. Valerie Gargus: Festival Director
Mr. Jason Goldstein from BookTix: Promotional Materials, Directors’ Lounge Coordinator

Ms. Kirstin Lynch-Walsh: Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS Coordinator

Ms. Veda Rouze: Junior Thespians Recruitment/Coordinator

Ms. Alison Sussman: Vendor & College Representatives Coordinator, Workshop Coordinator and Hospitality Coordinator

Ms. Crystal Swancey: Assistant Judges Coordinator

Mr. Jason Wylie: Alumni Recruitment/Coordinator

Thanks to Mr. Doug Berlon, Deputy Director of the Educational Theatre Association. We are honored to have you in New Jersey helping us with our festival!

Thanks to Grace Alt, International Thespian Student Officer Vice Chair. We hope you enjoy your time with us!
Thanks to Ms. Alison Sussman for all of her hard work in arranging for the use of the facilities at her school, Robbinsville High School.

  • Ms. Sussman will let each troupe into the luggage room, as they arrive each morning. Please place luggage in this room. This room will be locked and is NOT accessible until 7:20 p.m. on Saturday and after the closing ceremonies on Sunday. Do NOT leave luggage in the session rooms. The luggage room will be a different room each day: Saturday: Room E102 (Chorus Room), Sunday: Room E104 (Band Room).

  • Properties/Set pieces for Chapter Select Productions may be delivered to the assigned locations backstage. Do NOT move anything not belonging to your school or troupe.

  • Technical Designs (Lighting, Set, Costume, Publicity [Poster]) may be taken directly to Media Center Mezzanine for set up.

  • Troupe Displays may be taken directly to the upstairs circle, at the junction of main hallway and C-D hallways for set up.

  • Food is available for purchase in the Commons on Saturday 8:00 am to 6:00 pm and on Sunday 7:30 am until 3:00 pm. Vendors will have items for sale in the Commons.

Remember YOU are responsible for all items (personal and production related) that you brought to the festival. Do not leave them unattended.

NJ Chapter Director’s Message

Hooray! Thespian Festival weekend is finally here! We have worked very hard this year to improve our festival and we are hoping that you enjoy every second of it!

This year's theme is Fairy Tales. Whether we are portraying a hero or singing "Let it Go", we are all connected by stories. Over the years we connect with the sinister bad guys or the princesses. We "wish upon a star" and hope that someday we will find our "happy ever after". It is this theme that connects us with this year's festival.

Some new improvements!

We are grateful for the troupe directors. We know that each and every day you exceed the job description in your contracts. Theatre takes a lot of heart, dedication, and passion. To be a good director you must possess all of this and more. To thank you this year, we have created a director's lounge. This is a spot for you, for the entire festival. Please come and have breakfast, lunch, and snacks. Enter to win prizes and take part in special workshops and surprises.

Check out Guidebook, our new mobile phone application where you can view the entire program. You can even create a schedule for yourself to follow for the weekend. You can also easily access our festival Facebook page and our Twitter account with one click. Plus you will be able to give us feedback throughout the festival so that we can make it better next year. Just go to your mobile store and download to Guidebook app for free. Then search for New Jersey Thespian Festival and download that, for free. Then you are all set!

Spirit of Thespis Award! At registration, every school will receive enough storybooks for each of their students. Students are encouraged to get stickers from Vendors, College Representatives, and Workshop Leaders throughout the weekend. Once your passport is complete, or as complete as it is going to get, please drop it off at the STO on Sunday by 2 pm. The school with the most participation will win!

Our Broadway Cares/ Equity Fights Aids auction will take place throughout the weekend. During both days we will be auctioning off items and then posting the winners by the table. So stop by frequently and check your tickets to see if you are a winner!

If you were here last year you will remember the Chinese dragon outfit that everyone signed for our Around-the-World Theme. This year, we have a sword in the stone prop for everyone to sign. Stop by the STO table in the Commons to sign it. It is free to sign, so stop by! Then you can buy tickets at the STO table to win it. It will be auctioned off on Sunday.

Once again our STO's will be running our annual Selfie Scavenger Hunt! They will be explaining it during the opening ceremony, so be sure to pay attention!

Want to become an STO? Then stop by their table and complete an application. All applications are due back to the table by Sunday at 2 pm.

We have MANY social media avenues for you to follow. Please use them! Like us on Facebook @ NJ State Thespians AND NJ Thespian Festival--Follow us on Twitter @Thespiansnj--Follow us on Instagram @njthespians--Friend us on Snapchat (njthespian) and keep an eye on it during the festival for behind the scenes photos and videos! Use #thesfest2015 for all things Festival.

On a final note, I would like to thank the Adult State Board and the STO's for their amazing commitment and dedication to improving this year's festival from last year. I am grateful every year to work with such amazing students and adults. We are all committed to making this festival the best it can be.
Enjoy this weekend. Make memories. Take lots of photos. Meet new people. Have fun!

Mrs. Carolyn Little, New Jersey Chapter Director

Workshop Descriptions and Presenter Bios

See Schedule for times near the end of the program.
Acting Through Song with Tyce Green

Pushing beyond the boundary of just “singing” a song. This class will focus on character connection and utilizing acting skills while singing. Please prepare a brief selection of a musical theatre song and bring your recorded accompaniment.

Tyce Green is a Broadway actor and social media personality. After making his Off-Broadway debut at age 19 in Kissless, he has appeared in numerous shows in New York and regionally, including: Hands on a Hardbody (Chris), Spring Awakening (Moritz), Ragtime (Younger Brother), Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson (Calhoun), and more. On film he has been in seen in Horrible Turn, a prequel to Dr. Horrible with Neil Patrick Harris. In addition to performing, Tyce regularly directs and produces shows in NYC, including the That’s So Raven reunion concert with Raven-Symoné and Anneliese van der Pol. His popular Twitter series #AskTyce is a tool for young performers to ask performing and audition questions. Follow @Tyce on Twitter for more info.
Aging Makeup with Nicolette Dalesandro

The workshop will be an exciting and hands on way to learn how to create realistic aging makeup using simple and basic supplies! 

Creating Wounds with Make Up with Nicolette Dalesandro

The workshop will be an exciting and hands on way to learn how to create realistic wounds using simple and basic supplies! 

Nicolette Dalesandro is a 19 year old makeup artist and hairstylist from Toms River. She currently works at The Style Room as an assistant and enjoys special FX makeup on the side. As a self-taught special FX artist, she very much enjoys teaching others her tricks to great makeup!
Basic Swing Dancing with Brandon Rasmussen

Students will take part in a beginner friendly swing dance lesson. No partner or dance experience needed. **Mr. Rasmussen will play a set of swing music at the Social which he will DJ. Show off your new skills on Saturday night!**

Brandon Rasmussen has been dancing since he was nine years old. He teaches locally for several dance organizations and also founded the Rutgers Swing Dancing Club.
Be Bold, Be Brave, Be Unafraid:  The MAP That Guides Successful Leaders with Grace Alt, ITO

Becoming a strong leader requires bravery.  Every growing leader will find that on their journey, there are necessary steps to take, important opportunities to recognize, and positive traits to develop that will bring them success.  In this workshop, we will discuss the MAP (Making your own opportunities, Acting the part of a leader, Positive visualization) you need to follow on your path to effective leadership, and how you can be a leader who is bold, brave, and unafraid! *Students applying for STO in 2017 should attend.*

N.A.P.S. (National Advocacy, Plain and Simple) with Grace Alt, ITO

Have you ever considered how NAPS can change your life? In this workshop you’ll learn about how powerful a NAP can actually be. NAPS can help you improve your fundraising efforts, gain more audience members, or even attain administrative support for your theatre program.

Grace Alt is from Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania, Thespian Troupe 1154, and is your International Thespian Officer Vice Chair!  As your ITO, she serves to represent the student voice of the International Thespian Society by traveling to different state conferences throughout the year and talking to students about arts advocacy, leadership, and all things Thespian. Come say hello if you see her walking around wearing her blue sash or connect with her via social media!
Breaking Into Hollywood with Rob Gorrie

Veteran television actor Rob Gorrie (Gotham, The Good Wife, Law & Order) will introduce participants to the world of acting for the screen. By using visual demonstrations as well as simulated commercial auditions, volunteers will learn the nuances that make good actors, great.   Know what it takes to get in the room, stand out, get callbacks, and book jobs in the ultra competitive television industry.

Rob Gorrie, an NYU Graduate from the Film & Television program, is a professional actor with over 13 years of experience in the industry and is a proud member of SAG. He has appeared in leading roles in daytime and primetime television as well as film. He recently guest starred on FOX’s Gotham as John Grayson. Some of his other notable credits include Law & Order SVU, The Good Wife, One Life to Live, and As the World Turns. He has two feature films slated for release in 2016 and is currently appearing in a national campaign for Southwest Airlines. 
Budgeting for Your Costumes with Shirlee Idzakovich

How do I fit all all of these kids into costumes!!! Bring me your budget and let's talk. I have years of experience and tons of short cuts to help you get through this question. We may not get to all the shows, but I can set a formula to help you understand where all your monies should be spent. This is for directors and costumers and students who act as well, working together as a team to ensure everyone on stage is fully costumed for the show.

Shirlee Idzakovich is a costumer who travels all over the United States. From Texas to Ohio, and NYC to Florida. Her passion is to teach costuming to a new generation of young adults and to pass on her knowledge of over 70 built out shows and countless mini build outs. Working with Itheatrics in NYC as an editor for Broadway Jr shows, and costumes many new shows and workshops. She has costumers for off Broadway, full equity houses, tv, movie and videos. She lives in NYC with her family. She has taught at many National Thespian State and will Be attending Nationals in Lincoln Nebraska this summer to do costume workshops.
Creating the Environment with Jay Duckworth

Since we were small children we have played with props. A long branch became a sword. A wooden spoon become a microphone for our huge award speech or our The Voice competition.  I’m going to talk about what props are and how they are created; make an empty room look like it’s your own, your Grandmother’s, or Alexander Hamilton’s study. After the speech there will be a brief Q& A.

Jay Duckworth is the founder of the Prop Summit a yearly meeting of Broadway, off - Broadway, LORT theaters and Academic prop professionals and students. He has been the Keynote Speaker for The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival as a guest of United States Institute of Theater Technology 2011 & 2015. Headed Master classes in Properties at numerous universities. The roll call of shows he has created original work for starts in remastered Classic Greek Theater, re-imagined Shakespeare plays and musicals (including Hamilton) and stark Brechtian shows, and continues with contemporary and ink wet works at his residency at The Public Theater in New York City. He boasts over 20 years’ experience in LORT & Off -Bway theater, fast paced summer stocks, independent films, TV, music videos and over 50 off Broadway shows credit his name as a Props Master and Props Designer.

Creating Your Character Via Movement with Meade Andrews

The core of creating a character involves exploring how your character moves, and interacts with other characters. We will focus on understanding how our body is designed to move freely, easily, and playfully, and how it is the perfect playground for your imagination in developing fully realized characters.

Meade Andrews is a dancer, actor, and teacher of movement for the actor. She currently teaches in the theatre and musical theatre program at Rider U., and has taught acting, movement, and the Alexander Technique at theatres and universities all over the world.
Discovering the Power of the Actor’s Voice with Rebecca Simon

This is an introduction to Voice for the Actor. This workshop will focus on liberating our natural speaking voice. Through warm-ups and exercises, the actors will discover how they can truly be connected to thought, emotion, sound and language. We will explore resonance, power, range and the flexibility of the voice.

Rebecca Simon teaches voice, speech and acting at Rider University where she has vocal coached numerous mainstage productions. Most recently, she was the dialect coach for Bristol Riverside Theatre’s production of The Language Archive. She also had the honor of serving as vocal coach for the McCarter Theatre Company’s production of The White Snake directed by Tony Award winner Mary Zimmerman. Other dialect coaching credits include A Murder is Announced at Robbinsville High School and Oliver! at The Forestburgh Playhouse. As a proud member of Actor’s Equity, her acting credits include the Broadway National Tours of Fiddler on the Roof with Theodore Bikel and The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber starring Michael Bolton. She also toured with The Trans-Siberian Orchestra as a vocalist. She holds an M.F.A. in Acting from Florida Atlantic University and a certification in Colaianni Speech Technique.

Faux Brick Painting with Ashley Petix

Learn a quick and effective scenic painting method to create a realistic brick texture.

Ashley Petix, a 2013 graduate of Drew University (and a 2009 graduate of Robbinsville High School), is a scenic designer and fine artist whose work has involved theater, television, fine art and illustration. Most recently her scenic design for the original play "Father Kennedy" debuted at the 2015 New York City Fringe Festival. She has worked with The Metropolitan Opera, local regional theaters and interned with Broadway scenic designer Christine Jones. You can visit her work at
Figure Drawing with Laura Williams

A lesson in figure drawing and how to use charcoal as a medium, while exploring easy ways to find proportions on the human form. We will be working in short poses and discovering how expressive even a 30-second sketch can be. Building on last year’s workshop, we will also add highlights to our drawings.

Portfolios, Resumes, & the Real World for Designers and Production with Laura Williams

A look at how to assemble a professional portfolio and resume for designers and production students in preparation for college interviews. Both content and presentation will be discuss, along with a realistic look at what it means to pursue a career in theater.

Laura Williams is an alumni from Robbinsville High School who now works professionally in the theater industry in New York City, with credits on off-Broadway and Broadway productions. She mainly works with props, sets, scene painting, and puppets, but occasionally dabbles in costumes and directing. She received her BFA in theater design from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University.

Improv Games: Making Sport of the Stage with Howdy Stranger

Get ready to stretch your muscles (and your funny bones) in this action-packed workshop with classic improv games that get you moving and laughing.

Putting the Pro in Improv: Serious Fun with Howdy Stranger

Learn advanced tactics to enrich your improvised scenes through bold choices, active listening and supportive teamwork.

Howdy Stranger is a professional improv troupe based in Hackensack, NJ, which performs at venues, participated in festivals, and won improv competitions in the Tri-State Area. Founder Ryan Huban runs the training program, offering all levels of improvisation through public classes, private workshops, and corporate team-building events.
Introduction to Long-Form Improv with Michael Schwartz

In long form improvisation, the goal is to create detailed, interrelated scenes fueled by strong storytelling and character choices. In this workshop, students will be introduced to many of the tools improvisers use to make these scenes happen. The workshop will focus on storytelling foundations, keys to character development, and finding the "game" of a scene--a theme or idea that can be repeated, exaggerated, or twisted throughout the improv scenes through supportive teamwork.

Michael Schwartz teaches playwriting, theater history, dramaturgy, and improv at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He has studied sketch writing at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater in New York, and he studied and taught at Philly Improv Theater in Philadelphia. He has also taken workshops with Impro author Keith Johnstone and Upright Citizens Brigade member Matt Besser.
Mastering the College Audition with Stan Cahill

This workshop is geared towards students planning to audition for university- level performing arts programs. Designed to take the guesswork out of the audition process, a range of topics will be covered: the application process, pre-screen videos and material choices, as well as practical topics, including timelines, follow up, and, of course, the audition participants should arrive prepared with monologues.

Stan Cahill is a professional actor, director and arts educator. He has traveled extensively as a teaching artist and director, most recently developing and implementing performing arts programs in Kenscoff, Haiti and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. He continues to work as a theatre artist while also teaching at many of the country’s leading secondary schools, colleges and universities. As Theatre Artist in-Residence at Princeton Day School, he was recently named New Jersey’s Outstanding Director for his production of Anon(ymous). In addition, his 2014 production of Urinetown was named New Jersey’s Outstanding Musical while also earning the Educational Impact Award from the Paper Mill Playhouse. He has also earned accolades for two BBC/NPR productions, Footprints to Paradise and The Night Before Christmas, radio plays that gave young performers the opportunity to work alongside seasoned professionals. Currently, Stan is working with the La Mama Experimental Theatre in NYC on the new play Kidnap Road set to premiere at the 2016 Edinburgh Fringe Festival. A member of AEA, SAG and AFTRA, Stan has appeared on stage in New York City and in regional theaters across the country, as well as in film, television and commercials. MFA: NYU Graduate Acting Program; Certificate: Moscow Art Theatre; BFA: University of Detroit

Michael Chekhov’s Qualities of Movement with Trent Blanton

Learn a warm up that will wake up your primary instruments (voice, body and imagination) through exploration of Michael Chekhov’s Centers. In addition to a great way to get your “acting” engine started, centers are a great mechanism for developing physical life for characters.

Trent Blanton (Director) is an Associate Professor of Theater in Westminster College of the Arts of Rider University. A proud active member of Actor’s Equity and the Society of Directors and Choreographers, Trent’s professional acting credits include: La Cage Aux Folles and Young Frankenstein (Forestburgh Playhouse), Sweet Charity (Aurora Theatre), The Gun Show, The Goldilocks Zone and Slippery as Sin (Passage Theatre Company), Les Miserables (Actors’ Playhouse), A Christmas Carol (Actors Theatre of Louisville), 1776 (Ford’s Theatre, Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera); Fiddler on the Roof (Starlight Musicals of Kansas City & The MUNY of St. Louis); A Christmas Carol, Romeo & Juliet (Alliance Theatre); A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Merchant of Venice, The Taming of the Shrew (Georgia Shakespeare); and Masada (York Theatre). Trent played virtually every major city in North America in the Broadway National Tour of Les Miserables and appeared in the Chinese premiere of Les Miz with Colm Wilkinson at the Shanghai Grand Theatre. Trent holds an MFA in Acting from Florida Atlantic University where he was the recipient of the Joshua Logan Fellowship and a certificate in the practical study of the Michael Chekhov Technique with the Michael Chekhov Association. He currently serves as Chair for the Acting/Directing committee of the Southeastern Theatre Conference. At Rider, Trent teaches acting in both the Theatre Performance and Musical Theatre programs.
Nifty 50s and Swinging 60s: Musical Theatre Dances with Lauren Frazier-Gebhart

Hairspray, Grease, and Bye, Bye, Birdie all have large dance numbers featuring social dances of the 1950s and 1960s. We’ll learn some basic moves from the time period including the Cha-Cha, The Mashed Potato and animal dances. Students will then learn a short number from a musical. Wear clothing and shoes appropriate for movement.

Lauren Frazier-Gebhart is a graduate of the dance program at GCIT and has a BA in Dance and Political Science from Goucher College. She has performed and studied modern, ballet and theatrical dance internationally including tours of Europe and Brazil. She has performed with Dance DelBello, with the Philadelphia Orchestra at the Kimmel Center and at the Kennedy Center. She has been teaching at various dance studios and schools throughout New Jersey and Maryland for the past 15 years. Ms. Frazier-Gebhart is currently the Dance Director at the BCIT Academy for the Performing Arts and has choreographed/directed dozens of High School and Community Musical Theatre productions.
Pratfalls and Pies in the Face with Kristen Dabrowski

We’ll work on slips, smacks, slaps, bumps, bangs, trips, flips, faints and falls—the key ingredients to slapstick comedy—and how to really sell them. The class will cover “the invitation,” “the tell,” use of props, framing, slo-mo, A.R.A., knaps, lines, and ducks.

Spamalotmore with Kristen Dabrowski

Learn the Cockney accent, then apply your skills to British comedy skits by Monty Python and others!  Time-permitting, you will also write a British-style comedy skit of your own using Cockney rhyming slang.

Sword Fighting Choreography with Kristen Dabrowski

Learn the basics of stage combat—the “BLOOD” safety system, footwork, attacks, and parries—as well as some fancy flourishes, jumps, ducks, pass-throughs and swipes to make a fight exciting and dramatic. By the end of class, you will have choreographed your own fight with a partner!

Kristen Dabrowski attended The British-American Drama Academy, Trinity College (London) and The Oxford School of Drama (UK). She has taught Drama, Film and Playwriting at many schools, theatres and conservatories such as American Academy of Dramatic Arts, The Actors Institute, Montclair State University, McCarter Theatre . . . to name just a few. Kristen is the author of 25 theatre books for children and teens published by Smith & Kraus. She is a member of Actors’ Equity and Dramatists Guild and is certified by The British Academy of Dramatic Combat in single- and double-sword combat, rapier and dagger, and hand-to-hand combat.
Sonnet Man: Hip-Hop Shakespeare with Devon Glover

Students will be introduced to Shakespeare's sonnets in a modern innovative way: through hip-hop. We will study the structure and make up of a Shakespearean sonnet: their components, values, and meaning, as well as write our own. The workshop will conclude with a presentation by the students.

Devon Glover is a teacher, poet, rapper, from Brooklyn New York. He performs Shakespeare's Sonnets in a dynamic way through Hip-Hop in schools, universities and theaters to young audiences nationally and abroad. The Sonnet Man has appeared on The Today Show, MTVAct, Shakespeare Festivals in Stratford Ontario and Stratford-upon-Avon, and won The L.A. Times Book Award for Inspirational Poetry. The recent release of his debut video “Hip-Hop Hamlet” was selected for the Shakespeare Short Film Festival in Stratford-upon-Avon. For more information, visit
Shop Built Moving Scenery with Thomas Haughey

This workshop is intended to serve students in creating shop built moving scenery. With the speed of many shows, we are often faced with the challenge of moving scenery during productions, but moving things quickly creates other challenges. This workshop will show students some of the methods that can be assembled quickly and efficiently using things found around almost every theatre. This workshop is for all interested in scenic design and technology; students, staff and faculty are welcome to attend. Come with questions and challenges of your own: they are always appreciated.

Thomas Haughey is the tenured assistant professor of technical direction and sound design at West Chester University of Pennsylvania. He earned his MFA in technical direction from the University of Connecticut and a BS in Biology from Elizabethtown College. He has worked professionally for ESPN, The People’s Light and Theatre Company and for Connecticut Reparatory Theatre. Thomas would like to thank his lovely wife and children for their support.
Stage Management with Sherri Vanderspiegel

The students will learn about the different types of stage managers and their duties, what goes in a prompt book, what you should have in your stage management kit, how to do your stage management, tech resume.

Sherri Vanderspiegel is the technical supervisor for the Performing Arts Center at Brookdale Community College. She is also adjunct faculty and teaches technical theater I and II as well as special projects in stage management there. Sherri graduated from Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University, with a BFA in stage management. She then worked for a year Off Broadway in a number of theaters, as well stage managed a few equity workshops. Sherri has worked in many theater venues in NJ. In the summer months Sherri also stage manages at Plays in the Park. She has worked there for 13 summers, 8 years as a stage manager and 5 years as the production stage manager.
Theatre After High School with Ryan Antony Nicotra

Learn how to select a college program, prepare a rèsumé, find jobs, and build a professional network. We will discuss the many different career paths available for a theatre artist after graduating from high school. Bring questions and an open mind.

The Vulnerability Workshop for Actors with Ryan Antony Nicotra

Blending dance movement, personal interview, and improvisation, this exercise will promote vulnerability and collaboration within the participating group. Participants should be dressed and prepared for movement. Sweatpants, a t-shirt, and sneakers are ideal.

Ryan Antony Nicotra is the Development Director at Single Carrot Theatre, an ensemble company devoted to new play development, community building, and neighborhood revitalization in Baltimore City. He recently completed a joyful tenure as the founding Company Director of The BOOM Theatre Co., an emerging ensemble that champions the development of new works and reimagined classics. Under his leadership, BOOM produced thirty unique projects in five years and reached over 3,000 students across the state of Maryland. Every project under Ryan’s direction has been motivated by central questions about alienation and reconciliation, particularly for women and LGBT+ people. He has been profiled by The Baltimore Sun and TheatreBloom, and was selected among the critic The Bad Oracle’s top five directors in Baltimore small theaters. Ryan is a rising second year student in the Goucher College MA Arts Administration program. He is particularly focused on the areas of design, development, politics, community building, and the empowerment of young, diverse, and underrepresented leaders in the arts. He has previously taught courses in acting, design, directing, and stage management at Cecil College in the rural town of Elkton, MD. He is the former Vice Chair of the Harford County Cultural Arts Board, a local arts agency that provides over $100,000 annually to over fifty nonprofit arts organizations based in Harford County, MD, and now lives in the Hampden neighborhood of Baltimore City.
Troupe Officer Round Table with STOs

Each troupe should send two troupe officers/leaders. This meeting will consist of numerous topics such as: leadership development, fundraising, marketing, and what it means to be an STO. It will also consist of a panel including a few of our very own STO's to answer questions and facilitate discussion. (Please be punctual because we have a limited amount of time to do this.)

VIEWPOINTS (vocal) with Perry Morgan

Space. Shape. Time. Tempo. Investigation of these Viewpoints and Others in the Vocal Performance (Speaking and Singing) Place.

Professor Morgan is the Director of Musical Theatre at Greensboro College in North Carolina. He is the Founder of what is now known in New Jersey as “The Perry Awards” annually honoring the outstanding theatre achievements in this state. A member of Actor’s Equity Association, he performs and directs on the Regional Theatre circuit.

Our Judges

Rich Affannato is a Tony® and Drama Desk Award-nominated producer whose producing credits include The Visit starring Chita Rivera and Peter and the Starcatcher on Broadway (9 Tony nominations, including Best Play) and the subsequent National Tour. He is the founder and Executive Director of Broadway Theatre Lab, a company that provides workshops, master classes, and industry panel discussions with Broadway/Film/TV professionals to organizations worldwide. Rich also produced ANN on Broadway, written by and starring Holland Taylor, and the critically acclaimed New York production of SILENCE! The Musical. He produced the show's Original Cast Album (available on Sh-K-Boom/ Ghostlight Records), which debuted at # 12 on the Billboard Top Broadway Chart. He was part of the management team for the original production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch (Obie, Outer Critics Circle Awards, Best Off-Broadway Musical) Gorey Details, and the Broadway production of Epic Proportions (with Kristen Chenoweth). Rich's directing credits include David Hasselhoff in Concert; Barbara Feldon's one-woman show Encounters; Opera Breve's New York mounting of Hansel and Gretel; and many concert productions throughout the United States. His acting credits include the Broadway and National companies of Les Miserables, The Producers, Civil War and the New York company of Forbidden Broadway-20th Anniversary Edition. His portrayal of Floyd Collins led to a Helen Hayes Award Nomination. Other credits include Stephen Sondheim's 70th Birthday Concert at the Library of Congress, and productions at The Guthrie, St. Louis Rep, Capitol Repertory Theatre, and Great Lakes Theatre Festival. His company, Affannato Productions, continues to develop and produce new works for the stage and screen.
Michele Baldwin

Doug Berlin
Greg Bernet has been a professional actor and teacher since the 1970’s. He is a member of Actors’ Equity and SAG/AFTRA and has performed on stages throughout the country from New York to Los Angeles and many places in between. He has appeared in feature films including Parenthood, with Steve Martin and Woody Allen’s Radio Days as well as on TV in “Miami Vice,” “B.L. Stryker,” the soap operas “Loving” and “Another Life,” and even on “Romper Room!”  He has also appeared in network TV commercials, has done voiceovers, and was an FM radio DJ in Norfolk, Virginia. Additionally, he was a teacher of acting at various universities, including Miami University (OH), University of Miami, UNC, and the University of Georgia. He most recently taught film appreciation and theatre at Hunterdon Central Regional High School where he also produced and directed plays and served as advisor to Thespian Society Troupe 3035 and is an ITS member.
Danny Campos is an Actor, Director, Teaching Artist and Arts Administrator form the New Jersey and New York area.  He's a member of Actor's Equity, Theatre for Young Audiences/USA, American Alliance of Theatre and Education and the International Performing Arts for Youth organizations.  When he's not on stage, you can find him in the classroom teaching at The Growing Stage: The Children's Theatre of New Jersey or at Albright College as an Adjunct Professor.  Danny holds a Masters Degree in Educational Theatre from New York University and a Bachelor Degree in Theatre/Music from Albright College.  He's also studied at the Eugene O'Neill National Theatre Institute.
German Cardenas-Alminos
Elizabeth Carlin is a young actor from Lakewood, NJ. She got her degree in acting from Fairleigh Dickinson University, where she gained credits both on stage and film, as well as backstage and on set. Some favorite credits include the Nurse (Romeo and Juliet), Dolly Hamma (Orpheus Descending), and the chorus leader- as well as the assistant director and choreographer- of Lysistrata. Liz also studied as an acting apprentice with New York Stage and Film's Powerhouse Theatre. Most recently Liz was seen in the NJ One-Minute Play Festival at Luna Stage, in Richard III with Oxford Shakespeare Company in Manhattan, and as Phoebe in the world premiere of Inferno: A New Work About Sin right here in central NJ. Currently, Liz is excited to be a part of the acting company of the New Jersey Repertory Company in Long Branch for the 2015-2016 season! Feel free to check out her website:
Kevin Chapman has a degree in Theater from Montclair State University. He is a member of Actors’ Equity Association and has stage managed many shows, (mostly summer stock) and has gone on tour with such celebrities as the Smothers Brothers, Debbie Boone, Ed Ames and Carol Lawrence. He has also worked as a stage manager at Walt Disney World and has been involved with shows at the Lucille Lortell Theater and Equity Library Theater in New York City. Kevin is thrilled to be taking part in the NJ State Thespian Festival!
Christa Cillaroto has been with George Street Playhouse since 2007. She has served the theatre in various capacities over the years in both the Marketing and the Education Departments.  She has been the Manager of School-Based Programs since 2012.  Christa is proud to have earned her BA in Theatre Arts from Douglass College, Rutgers University.  Her background in theatrical performance, design, and directing has served her well throughout her career.  Christa has directed Peacemaker and New Kid for George Street Playhouse’s Education Touring Theatre and had served GSP as a Teaching Artist for 9 seasons. She has also taught for the Children’s Acting Academy in New York City.  Christa is a founding member of coLAB Arts, a New Brunswick-based nonprofit art collaborative dedicated to connecting arts engagement with community issues and community-based organizations.  She has also served on the Leadership Board for New Jersey Emerging Arts Leaders, a development and cultivation network for young professionals in the arts and arts advocacy created by ArtPride New Jersey.   Christa has been a proud member of the New Brunswick Community Arts Council since 2013.
Carol Danoff
Neil Danoff is a Broadway/Off Broadway Investor/Producer, is a member of the board of the NY Theater Resources Unlimited (TRU), and received the 2014 Entrepreneur Award. Current shows include Matilda (TONY nominated), You Can't Take It With You, The Elephant Man, Allegiance (coming to Broadway in 2015), and An American in Paris (coming to Broadway in 2015). Previous Broadway shows include All The Way with Bryan Cranston (TONY winner), Bridges of Madison County (TONY winner), Lucky Guy with Tom Hanks (TONY nominated), Glengarry Glen Ross with Al Pacino & Bobby Cannavale, Evita with Rick Martin, Elena Roger and Michael Cerveris, The Addams Family (TONY nominated),

The Merchant of Venice with Al Pacino (TONY nominated), Spring Awakening (8 TONY awards including BEST MUSICAL), The Wedding Singer (TONY nominated), and Brooklyn The Musical. Past Off-Broadway shows include NEWSical (Drama Desk nominee), I Love You Because, Once Around The Sun, and Fiction in Photographs (Co-producer).

Rebecca May Flowers hails from sunny Orlando, Florida where she received a Master's Degree in Theatre Arts. She is currently the Artistic Associate at Theatre Horizon, just outside of Philadelphia. Rebecca is a freelance director and choreographer who works in professional, scholastic, and community theatres across the region.  She is currently assistant directing In the Blood by Suzan-Lori Parks, opening on April 16 at Theatre Horizon.
Sean Flowers
Paul Goldie has a diverse involvement in theater where he has directed, coached, taught workshops and worked as an adjudicator. As a musician he has performed in over 70 musical productions. He was co-founder of West Ridge Productions, Inc., where he was the artistic director and producer. Paul has participated as an adjudicator for the past seventeen years with Paper Mill Playhouse’s Rising Star Program where he also serves on the steering committee. He has also participated as an adjudicator for theatre festivals throughout New Jersey such as Teen Arts and STANJ as well as The NJ Thespian Festival. He has instructed and directed at various high schools and most recently was the acting coach for Saucon Valley High School in PA. He is the co-author of The Little Princess, a musical version of the novel. For over 25 years until recently Paul was the owner and trainer at Goldie Theatrical Dogs, supplying animal actors for stage and television. He has supplied dogs to “All My Children” and for over 60 productions of Annie. You can find him featured in book How to Get Your Pet Into Show Business.
Jason Goldstein has been an active performing arts and entertainment producer and entrepreneur for over twenty years.  He has founded theater companies and produced, written and/or directed professional, amateur and educational theater productions in New Jersey, New York City, Philadelphia and Los Angeles.  Jason has consulted on a variety of marketing and theatrical business projects were he has integrated technology.  He worked on the marketing and technology reboot for the Crossroads Theatre Company’s 30th Anniversary season and is on the executive board of the Emerging Arts Leaders of New Jersey.  His Off-Broadway sports comedy and musical revue, Chuckleball has played engagements on both coasts.  He has been the producer of the Rutgers Hall of Distinguished Alumni Awards annual gala and the production director for Rutgers University Commencement.
His experience and challenge selling tickets with a variety of ticketing companies, some of which are the largest and most renown in the field led him to start BookTix.  BookTix was created especially for school theater programs and is helping teachers increase sales and manage ticketing efficiently, easily and without much expense.
He has lectured on musical theater history, theater appreciation, leadership and entrepreneurship and is dedicated to weaving creativity with technology and business.  He is a 1998 graduate of East Brunswick High School where as a chorus officer and student producer of the drama club he elevated awareness and improved ticket sales and marketing efforts.  Jason holds an individualized BA in theatrical business and communication with a minor music and a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) in entrepreneurship and marketing from Rutgers University where he founded the award winning Livingston Theatre Company now in its 16th year and teaches musical theater history.  He has installed custom web and box office solutions for venues.  He co-founded BookTix out of personal need and is committed to helping school drama clubs thrive. He is the recipient of the 2014 New Jersey Governor's Award in Arts Education for Distinguished Service to Theatre Education.

Cliff W. Green
Tyce Green is an actor and singer based in New York City. Tyce made his New York debut Off-Broadway as Spinks in Kissless. Tyce won the Houston Buzzy Award for Best Actor in a Musical for his work as Moritz in the U.S. Regional Premiere of Spring Awakening. Other credits include: Hands on a Hardbody (Chris), Ragtime (Younger Brother), Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson (John C. Calhoun), The Sound of Music (Rolf), The Miser (Cleante), Little Women (Laurie), Forbidden Broadway (Various), Les Miserables, White Christmas, Reefer Madness. Film: Horrible Turn (Prequel to Dr. Horrible with Neil Patrick Harris.
Christian Gutierrez
Sarah Henley is an adjunct professor of theatre, English, speech, and music. Currently, she teaches at County College of Morris, Warren County Community College, and Northampton Community College. She has also served as the Education Programs Manager for the American Shakespeare Center in Staunton, VA. Sarah holds an M.Litt. and an MFA in Shakespeare and Renaissance Literature in Performance from Mary Baldwin College, a BS in Music Education from Elizabethtown College, and has apprenticed at the Shakespeare Theatre of NJ. Theatrical credits include Feste in Twelfth Night (MBC M.Litt/MFA with ASC); Constance in King John and Marina in Pericles (University Wits); Gwendolen in The Importance of Being Earnest and Sarah Brown in Guys and Dolls (Oak Grove Theatre).
Dan Kelly
Roman Klima is a Video, Lighting, Scenic, and Sound designer. His work has been seen at The Bickford Theater, Middlesex County College, Brookdale Community College, The State Theater, Middlesex County’s Plays in the Park, The Forum Theater Arts Center, and countless high school and middle schools. Roman is proud a member of International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees.
Ben Knight

Erin Krom

Leah Krupnick
Rachel Krupnick is a Theater Educator and Stage Manager who is continually impressed by the talent and drive exhibited by the theater students she meets. She teaches Play Production at Middlesex County College. Favorite projects include: The Full Monty at the Algonquin Arts Theater, Xanadu, All Shook Up, and Jesus Christ Superstar all at Middlesex County’s Plays in the Park. Rachel has received her Master’s degree in Theatrical Production and is a proud member of the Stage Manager’s Association.
Taylor La Caze

James Lyone

Alex Monastersky
Michael T. Mooney has devoted his life to the performing arts, having been involved as performer, writer, director, and administrator. Coming to Paper Mill Playhouse in 1994 from The Growing Stage Theatre in Netcong, New Jersey, he served in the fundraising department under Development Director John McEwen. He became involved in the theatre’s accessibility programming, eventually assuming full responsibility for the theatre’s nationally recognized Access programs and services. In 2001, he was appointed Manager of Outreach and Access Programs, a position he designed himself. Mr. Mooney has led community drives for the Victims of 9-11, Jersey Cares, New Eyes for the Needy, The Make-A-Wish Foundation, Lainie’s Angels, First Book NJ, Tsunami Relief, The American Red Cross, and Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. In addition to his Access responsibilities, he also directed Paper Mill’s Senior Players Workshop, managed the award-winning Adopt-a-School Project and has been both instructor and adjudicator for their STAR program. He is a founding member of LEAD and served on the board of directors for The Fund for the New Jersey Blind, The Audio-Description Coalition of America (ADC), The New Jersey Cultural Access Network, and The New Jersey Theatre Alliance. For five years, he studied directing and writing for theatre-in-the-round with England’s Sir Alan Ayckbourn and has staged more than 60 productions of plays and musicals in Northern New Jersey, including the American premieres of four of Sir Alan’s plays. Michael is the proud recipient of the 2008 New Jersey Governor’s Award for Arts Education and the 2003 Ann Klein Advocate Award for his work with senior citizens and people with disabilities. Easter Seals New Jersey named him one of their “Miracle Workers” of 2008. He is a native of New Jersey, having also lived in Central Florida and London, England.
Ryan Antony Nicotra is the Development Director at Single Carrot Theatre, an ensemble company devoted to new play development, community building, and neighborhood revitalization in Baltimore City. He is an award-winning director and the founding Company Director of The BOOM Theatre Co., an emerging ensemble that champions the development of new works and reimagined classics. Under his leadership, BOOM produced thirty unique projects in five years and reached over 3,000 students across the state of Maryland. Every project under Ryan’s direction has been motivated by central questions about alienation and reconciliation, particularly for women and LGBT+ people. He has been profiled by The Baltimore Sun and TheatreBloom, and was selected among the critic The Bad Oracle’s top five directors in Baltimore small theaters in 2015.
This spring, Ryan served as an interim staff member at Maryland Citizens for the Arts. With his team, he trained and organized Marylanders in an aggressive campaign that was successful in restoring $2.2 million to the Maryland State Arts Council in FY’15 and ’16.

Ryan is a rising second year student in the Goucher College MA Arts Administration program. He is particularly focused on the areas of design, development, politics, community building, and the empowerment of young, diverse, and underrepresented leaders in the arts.

He has previously taught courses in acting, design, directing, and stage management at Cecil College in the rural town of Elkton, MD. He is the former Vice Chair of the Harford County Cultural Arts Board, a local arts agency that provides over $100,000 annually to over fifty nonprofit arts organizations based in Harford County, MD, and now lives in the Hampden neighborhood of Baltimore City.
Michael Schwartz
Megan Shook is a proud staff member of George Street Playhouse, working in both the Education and Development Departments. Prior to working in theatre administration, Megan was a student and intern in GSP’s Education Department programming. She has been studying under vocal coach Marcy Eberbach for seven years, and is a former student of the Middlesex County Votech School of Performing Arts. She enjoys exploring theatrical training and performance in Improv, Shakespeare, and Musical Theatre. Megan also volunteers with local non-profit organizations, such as The Pride Center of New Jersey and coLAB Arts.
Kate Toomey
Bobby Traversa is the personal assistant and producing associate to two-time Tony nominated Broadway producer Rich Affannato. He also currently serves as Managing Director of the Broadway Theater Lab, a brand new educational initiative providing master classes, workshops, and industry panel discussions taught by Broadway and Film/TV stars. Before moving to New York, Bobby spent half a decade as the Assistant to the Chair of Musical Theater at AMDA Los Angeles and as administrative support to the faculty there. As a musical theater rep coach, Bobby has clients that have appeared on Broadway, national tours, cruise ships, and reality TV.
Tony Wilkes

TONY WILKES – Producer, has produced more than 40 theatrical productions over the last 20 years. As a costume designer he has created costumes for more than 60 plays, films and videos. His many years on Broadway on costume crews include such shows as Cyrano, Les Miserables, Damn Yankees, On the Waterfront, Swinging on a Star, Bring In Da Noise, Bring In Da Funk, and 42nd Street. Other wardrobe credits include productions at the Metropolitan Opera House, Madison Square Garden, Nassau Coliseum and Radio City Christmas Spectacular. He is currently in preproduction with the films "C-Lo" and "Kelly's Journey" "Roach" and the upcoming stage production of "Imperfect Women of the Bible."

Andrew Young is the director of the play and advisor to the Drama Club at Kingsway Regional HS.  He has directed You Can't Take It With You, The Diary of Anne Frank,
120 Seconds, It's a Wonderful Life, The Laramie Project,
and several Drama Club Scene Nights. He is also a published and produced playwright and teaches Public Speaking and Debate, English, and Acting in Performance at Kingsway.
Marilyn O’Rourke Young




Drew University with Chris Ceraso and Dan LaPenta (Saturday only)

Greensboro College with Perry Morgan

Indiana University of Pennsylvania with Michael Schwartz

New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts with Sean David Johnson

New York Film Academy with Rob Gorrie

Rider University with Trent Blanton, Rebecca Simon, and German Cardenas-Alamenos

Rowan University with Lane Savadove

West Chester University of Pennsylvania with Thomas Haughey


BookTix with Jason Goldstien

Costume Holiday House with Greg Kerns

Howdy Stranger with Ryan Huban

Photographer Brad Resnick
CAST OF PLAYERS: 727 Student Members in Attendance!

Thespian Troupe 23, Morris Catholic High School, Denville, New Jersey

Director: Ms. Amy Bauer, Troupe President: Anna Gelpke, Vice Pres.: Bianna Edson & Nikki Purwin_

Thespian Troupe 1530, West Orange High School, West Orange, New Jersey

Director: Ms. Wendy Mapes, Troupe President: Kate Berwin, Vice Pres.: Henry Gardner_____________

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