(Millburn, NJ) Paper Mill Playhouse, (Mark S. Hoebee-Producing Artistic Director) recipient of the 2016 Tony Award for Regional Theatre, has selected 115 students to be a part of the theater’s prestigious Summer Musical Theatre Conservatory for 2018. From Nutley, Valeria Flores, Wesley Gardner and Luke Surretsky have earned 3 of these coveted spots in Paper Mill Playhouse's Summer Musical Theater Conservatory. They will be joined with other talented teens who have also earned coveted spots. The program is divided into three groups - the Senior (ages 15-18), Junior Plus (ages 13-14), and Junior companies (ages 10-12) all directed and choreographed by Paper Mill Playhouse’s professional artistic staff in a fully produced, original concert titled, New Voices of 2018: From Sea to Shining Sea! The concert is a culmination of the five-week conservatory program. Also appearing are numerous winners and nominees of the 2018 Paper Mill Playhouse Rising Star Awards presented by the Investors Foundation, who won scholarships to attend the Conservatory. The Summer Musical Theater Conservatory and New Voices are generously supported by the Investors Foundation.
Performances of New Voices of 2018: From Sea to Shining Sea will be held on July 27th at 7:30pm and July 28th at 1:30pm & 7:30pm at Memorial Auditorium at Montclair State University, 1 Normal Ave, Montclair, NJ. Tickets range in price from $25 to $45. Tickets may be purchased by calling (973) 376-4343, online at www.papermill.org, or by visiting the Paper Mill Playhouse Box Office at 22 Brookside Drive in Millburn.
“From the first day of class all the way until the final curtain comes down at New Voices, we require our students to rise to the demands of this rigorous program,” stated Lisa Cooney, Paper Mill Playhouse Director of Education. “We ask them to work harder than they ever have before as young performers. We strive to build an incredible ensemble company, while each student hones their own individual performance skills. Our faculty pushes the students to believe in themselves as professional artists. We find summer after summer that our students meet our expectations and more. When they move on to college or the professional world, they are ready for the challenges they’ll face, and time and again they thrive and ultimately live their dream of being a
professional performer. We are thrilled when students make a name or themselves on Broadway or in Hollywood, but even if they don’t, the skills they learn and the discipline they develop will serve them in any field.”
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. The final weeks are devoted to rehearsals for the New Voices Concert, performed annually by the conservatory’s trained students. The Conservatory offers the unique opportunity for gifted and talented young performers to work at their own level, challenge themselves to achieve new goals, and learn new skills. Key to the curriculum is for the participants to develop 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 the stage with an inspiring, heartfelt performance.”
Many of the students from Paper Mill Playhouse’s Conservatory have gone on to appear on Broadway, in regional theater productions, in film and on television.
Conservatory Alumni include:
Anne Hathaway - Twelfth Night, Film: Les Misérables (2013 Academy Award Winner), Rachel Getting Married (2009 Academy Award & Golden Globe nominee), Get Smart, Brokeback Mountain, The Devil Wears Prada, & Disney’s The Princess Diarie
Laura Benanti - Broadway: She Loves Me, Gypsy (2008 Tony Award winner), Into the Woods, The Wedding Singer, Swing
Julia Knitel – Broadway: Beautiful: the Carole King Musical (u/s Carole King); Bye Bye Birdie
Robert McClure - Broadway: Something Rotten, Honeymoon in Vegas, Chaplin, Avenue Q
Shanice Williams- NBC’s The Wiz Live!
Joshua Dela Cruz - Broadway’s Disney’s Aladdin (Aladdin Understudy)
Ali Stroker – Broadway: Spring Awakening, Oxygen’s The Glee Project: Season 2; Paper Mill’s 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Olive Ostrovsky)
Nikki M. James - Broadway: Les Misérables, Book of Mormon (2011 Tony Award winner), All Shook Up
Avery Espiritu: Broadway: The King and I
James Ignacio – Broadway: The King and I
Alex Drier – Broadway: Finding Neverland, Assembled Parties
Daisy Hobbs – Broadway: Disney’s Aladdin
Matthew Scott - Broadway: Jersey Boys, A Catered Affair (Ralph), Sondheim on Sondheim
Collin Kelly-Sordelet – Broadway: The Last Ship (Young Gideon)
Veronica J. Kuehn – Broadway: Mamma Mia!, Xanadu; Off Broadway: Avenue Q
Neil McCaffrey – Broadway: Mary Poppins (Michael Banks), Bye, Bye Birdie (Randolph Macafee), Billy Elliot (Michael)
Monette McKay – Broadway: Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark, Memphis, Mamma Mia!
Constantine Rousouli - Broadway: Hairspray (Link), Ghost the Musical, Wicked Jonathan Schwartz - Broadway’s Disney’s Aladdin (Omar)