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New Jersey Youth Theatre 2012 Classes to Begin

Class registration begins Sept. 12.

New Jersey Youth Theatre 2012 Classes to Begin New Jersey Youth Theatre 2012 Classes to Begin New Jersey Youth Theatre 2012 Classes to Begin

Award-winning New Jersey Youth Theatre is proud to announce its 21st season of performing arts classes for students ages 8 to 23. Classes in Drama, Voice, Musical Theatre and Dance will be held at the New Jersey Youth Theatre studio, 172 W. Westfield Avenue in Roselle Park. Class Registration will be held in studio on Wednesdays and Thursdays, September 12, 13, 19 and 20, 2012 from 4 PM to 8 PM.  Semester One classes will begin October 9, 2012 and continue through January 16, 2013; Semester Two classes will run from January 22, 2013 through May 8, 2013.

NJYT’s professional teaching artists provide students with the discipline and tools necessary to grow their skill and confidence as performers.  The students will be prepared for auditions and, if so inclined, for the professional stage.

The NJYT classes are scheduled on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays in studio between 4 pm and 9:45 pm. Students who enroll in more than one NJYT class per week or pay tuition in full at time of registration will qualify for tuition discounts.

Classes offered include: Beginners, Intermediate, and Advanced Acting classes concentrating on improvisation, character development and scene study; three levels of Musical Theatre classes focusing on song selection and interpretation, ensemble work, voice, and musical theatre movement; and the Dance classes including various levels of Ballet, Ballet/Jazz, and Tap. Private voice lessons are offered by audition.

The NJYT school staff this year includes Erica Bradshaw (Acting).  Ms. Bradshaw, teaching artist, acting coach, professional actor, comedienne, writer, began her stage acting career with Ann Jackson and Peter Falk in the world-premiere, Off-Broadway production of Arthur Millers’ Mr. Peters Connections, at Signature Theatre, NYC and made her network television debut in LA on CBS in The District.  She has since moved into a recurring role on Law & Order: SVU (2005-present),  worked on The Good Wife with Julianna Marguiles, debuted her solo show, White America Hero and most recently played Larenz Tate’s sister, LaQueefa, on the F/X show Rescue Me starring Dennis Leary.  She holds numerous directing credits as former Associate Director of the Apprentice/Intern Company at Actors Theatre of Louisville, and her acting credits in Regional Theatre include: As You Like It, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Romeo and Juliet, Seattle Shakespeare Company, and The Syringa Tree, Delaware Theatre Company (2006 Barrymore nomination for best actress).  Erica is a graduate of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.

Amber J. Pennyfeather-Williams (Ballet, Jazz, Hip-Hop), a graduate of Mason Gross School of the Arts, , has performed works by Michael Gary, Claudia Gitelman, Jose Limon, Jawole Willa Jo Zollar of Urban Bush Women, Sherry Alban, Jeff Friedman, Benoit Swan-Pouffer of Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, Randy James, and Doug Elkins.  She has also performed on the East Coast in regional and national competitions, community outreach programs, collegiate-based performances, festivals and showcases.

Alonzo Hall (Tap) began his tap dance training at age eleven.  He later studied ballet, jazz, and modern dance at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, and attended Rutgers University’s Mason Gross School of the Arts where he received his B.F.A in Dance under the direction of Paulette Sears and Julia Ritter.  Mr. Hall was a member of the University Dance Works under the direction of Randy James and performed works by Ronald K. Brown, Benoit-Swan Pouffer, Xiao-Xiong Zhang, Randy James, and Ferdinand Dejesus.  He was also in the musicals Aida and The Wedding Singer, both at Plays in the Park in Edison, New Jersey.  Mr. Hall is currently member of Marie Alonzo’s Tangerine Dance Collective in Princeton, New Jersey. 

Other members of NJYT’s teaching faculty include: Artistic Director Cynthia Meryl (Beginners’ and Advanced Acting, Musical Theatre, and Private Voice), a veteran Broadway actress with over 30 years on the professional stage, and 24 years as stage director of NJYT’s professional youth-theatre productions and Master Teacher for  NJYT’s performing arts school;  James Campodonico (Musical Director/Accompanist), an accomplished composer and teacher of vocal music for over 33 years and musical director to over 100 productions; and Alberta Handelman (Intermediate Acting), a professional actress and acting teacher for more than 25 years and founder of the award-winning Blooming Grove Theatre Ensemble. 

This past summer, New Jersey Youth Theatre was celebrated for its all-youth, summer production of “Smokey Joe’s Café,” a collaboration between NJYT and the New Jersey Performing Arts Center. The show played to standing ovations at the Alexander Kasser Theatre at Montclair State University and at Centenary Stage Company’s Sitnik theatre in Hackettstown, New Jersey.  Peter Filichia, critic for the Star Ledger and Broadway's TheatreMania.com has said of NJYT’s all-youth productions: "They are among the greatest achievements that Jersey theatre has seen in the last number of years." 

Ms. Meryl, NJYT Executive Director Ted Agress, and our dedicated teaching staff look forward once again to another productive year in providing quality training, empowering the young talent of our state to be the best they can be, now and for the future. 

New Jersey Youth Theatre programming is made possible in part by the generous support of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, the Westfield Foundation, the Lillian Pitkin Schenck Fund, the Edelman Foundation, and individual contributions.  For detailed information on NJYT, visit our website: www.njyouththeatre.org.  To register for classes, call 908-233-3200.

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