South Orange resident Dwayne Clark is thrilling Broadway audiences eight shows each week in Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark. But between July 1 and July 20 he’ll take time from his busy schedule to share his expertise with aspiring performers as a guest artist with Livingston-based Musical Theatre Conservatory this summer.
Geared toward developing the complete performer, the Musical Theatre Conservatory includes classes in acting, theatre dance, vocal technique, and song interpretation as well as stage combat, TV/commercials, voice overs and auditioning. Three programs are being offered: Broadway Boot Camp (ages 8-17), Stage Door Kids ( ages 5-7 ) , and a Performing Theatre Workshop.
The students meet and train with professionals who are currently in the television, Broadway and film industries. This summer, the Broadway mentors will include Dwayne Clark (Spiderman, In the Heights, Smokey Joe's Café), and Rachel Black Spaulding of Montclair who was in A Christmas Carol as well as having many other credits.
The camp is directed by Randy Kravitz Elman of West Orange, who served for 25 years as artistic director for Performers Theatre Workshop, a performing arts training program for young people; and Mary Brienza of South Orange, who has held faculty positions at American Theatre Dance Workshop and Broadway Dance Center and is currently teaching at New York City’s High School for the Performing Arts.
Musical director is Maxine Alstrom, who has performed with Count Bassie Orchestra, Cissy Houston, John Lloyd Young, Darlene Love, Paul Shaffer, Ben E. King, at venues including Lincoln Center, Apollo Theatre and The Rainbow Room.
“Our students really get inspired by working up close with someone succeeding in the way they hope to some day,” Elman said.
For some students, reaching their dreams are happening soon after taking classes with MTC, including Emily Carano who attended MTC last summer at age 9. "I went to Musical Theatre Conservatory summer camp and a month later, booked my first commercial,” she said.
The student talents will be showcased at the end of the program at the Laurie Beechman Theatre in New York City.
The program will be held at Temple Emanu-El in Livingston this summer. For information and to register, call Elman at (973) 868-6259 or visit musicaltheatreconservatory.com