MILLBURN-SHORT HILLS, NJ - Twelve talented youngsters will represent Millburn Township at the Paper Mill Playhouse's prestigious Summer Musical Theatre Conservatory for 2017. Spencer Brenton, Sydney Brenton, Jonathan Charette, Judith DiMinni, Julia Gresner, Rachel Gesner, Amanda Heckmann, Halle Just, William Kaiser, Sanaa Quander, Aashni Sawhney and Lily Tan will all participate in the intensive five-week program.

Members of the competitive Conservatory who earned coveted spots in the Senior (ages 15-18), Junior Plus (ages 13-14), and Junior companies (ages 10-12) are directed and choreographed by Paper Mill Playhouse’s professional artistic staff in a fully produced, original concert on the Paper Mill mainstage titled New Voices of 2017: Everyone Loves an Underdog! Performances will be held on Friday, July 28 at 7:30 pm and Saturday, July 29 at 1:30 pm and 7:30 pm at Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn.

The Paper Mill Playhouse Summer Musical Theatre Conservatory is a program of rigorous study allowing students to enhance their individual performance potential while developing a broad base of theater experience and knowledge. Students participate in intensive classes including musical theater performance, acting, dance, and improvisation, while also attending guest workshops led by professional actors, directors, and casting agents. 

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The final weeks are devoted to rehearsals for the New Voices Concert, performed annually on the Paper Mill Playhouse stage. The Conservatory offers the unique opportunity for gifted and talented young performers to work at their own level and challenge themselves to achieve new goals and learn new skills.

Key to the curriculum is the development of self-discipline, respect, and a commitment to excellence that will serve these young artists throughout their lives. “New Voices is an amazing opportunity to see the stars of tomorrow,” stated Mark S. Hoebee, Paper Mill’s Producing Artistic Director. “This fully produced, original concert features over 100 incredible performers. It is amazing to see these young performers grow into professional artists and grace our stage with an inspiring, heartfelt performance.”

One of the most famous Conservatory alumni is Anne Hathaway who has performed in Twelfth Night, films Les Misérables (2013 Academy Award Winner), Rachel Getting Married (2009 Academy Award & Golden Globe nominee), Get Smart, Brokeback Mountain, The Devil Wears Prada and Disney’s The Princess Diaries.

PAPER MILL PLAYHOUSE, a not-for-profit arts organization under the direction of Mark S. Hoebee (Producing Artistic Director) and Todd Schmidt (Managing Director) and recipient of the 2016 Regional Theatre Tony Award, is one of the country's leading regional theaters. Paper Mill Playhouse programs are made possible, in part, by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. Paper Mill Playhouse is a member of the National Alliance for Musical Theatre, the Council of Stock Theatres, and the New Jersey Theatre Alliance.