Summer Conservatory


June 28—July 23, 2021

For aspiring performers ages 10 to 18, Paper Mill Playhouse’s Summer Musical Theater Conservatory represents the ultimate opportunity to take your skills to the next level. You will participate in demanding classes in singing, acting, auditioning, and dance as well as a series of guest artist workshops led by professional actors, directors, and casting agents. Our programs build professional skills—so if you have the passion, talent, and drive it takes to be a performer, then this is the program for you.

Paper Mill Playhouse, recipient of the Tony Award for Regional Theatre announces auditions for the institution’s prestigious Summer Musical Theatre Conservatory for young artists to be held next summer. Paper Mill Playhouse welcomes audition videos from students seeking a coveted spot in the competitive Conservatory. Students ages 10–18 are instructed, directed and choreographed by Paper Mill’s professional artistic staff. The program culminates in an online presentation titled, New Voices of 2021! This original program will be premiered online in September.

The 2021 Paper Mill Playhouse Summer Musical Theater Conservatory will take place June 28 to July 23, 2021 at Paper Mill Playhouse and the Paper Mill Studios in Milburn, New Jersey. Students will be offered a hybrid schedule of training live three days a week and alternating with virtual instruction 2 days a week. Classes will be modest in size with all current CDC guidelines and state mandated protocols in place for live instruction.

Conservatory students undertake a rigorous four-week program designed to enhance performance skills while instilling the technique, discipline, and professionalism needed to excel in the performing arts.
Based on skill, experience, and the quality of their audition, Conservatory students are grouped into classes that allow them to build their individual technique, learn about themselves as performers, explore their own abilities, refine their skills, while working on age- and skill-appropriate material.^

^ Accepted students will be placed into a class at the discretion of Paper Mill Playhouse faculty and staff based on their audition, performance skill level, and age. Placement determinations are not negotiable.

June 28—July 23, 2021

Monday through Friday

The Paper Mill Conservatory is a full day program is 8:45AM to 5:00PM. The daily bell schedule will be determined based on the program format, be it a live day or remote day.

Paper Mill Playhouse and Paper Mill Studios in Millburn, NJ*


* Pending existing statewide Covid-19 restrictions.

‡ The Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) offers limited tuition assistance scholarships for Conservatory eligible students proving need. The TAP application and income guidelines are located here.


Tuition assistance is awarded to accepted Conservatory students based on financial need. Please refer to the posted income guidelines for scholarship eligibility. If you are eligible and request tuition assistance you must complete the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) application by March 25, 2021, and provide all of the requested support material.

TAP Income Eligibility Guidelines

TAP Request Form


Time during every instructional day is devoted to the development and rehearsals for New Voices, Paper Mill’s annual season finale student showcase.

View Past New Voices Performances


MARK S. HOEBEE (Producing Artistic Director)
LISA E. COONEY (Program Coordinator)

STEPHEN AGOSTO (Section Director/Musical Theatre Instructor)
ALEXA AQUINO (Production Asst.)
MARVIN AVILA (Private Voice Instructor)
KRISTEN BROCK (Production Asst.)
EMMA CANALESE (Section Director/Dance Instructor)
BRUCE DE LA CRUZ (Music Director/Arranger)
MAYA FORTGANG (Production Asst.)
SAM GROISSER (Music Director/Arranger/Class Pianist)
COLLEEN HAWKS (Private Voice Instructor)
JOHN HOUSLEY (Section Director/Acting Instructor)
ALEXANDER KARIOTIS (Private Voice Instructor)
MATTHEW LOWY (Music Director/Arranger)
SUZI MARTINEZ (Section Director/Acting Instructor)
MICHELE MOSSAY (Company Choreographer)
JENSYN OERTEL-MODERO (Section Director/Musical Theatre Instructor)
MONA SEYED-BOLORFOROSH (Music Director/Arranger)
DR.CHRISTOPHER SIERRA (Private Voice Instructor)
IVETTE SOSA DEMPSEY (Section Director/Dance Instructor)
ANDREW DAVID SOTOMAYOR (Music Director/Arranger/Class Pianist)
DEIRDRE TOBIN (Production Asst.)
AMAYA WHITE (Production Asst.)
AIMEE WILLIS (Private Voice Instructor)
JAY WINSTON (Private Voice Instructor)
MEG ZERVOULIS (Music Supervisor/Music Director/Arranger)

Faculty & Staff Headshots & Bios


Auditions for the 2021 Summer Conservatory are closed. Please check back in December for information on how to audition for the 2022 Summer Conservatory.


“We want to thank you for an amazing summer with the Paper Mill Conservatory. Gabe is absolutely LOVING his time with Paper Mill this summer!  You have all done such a marvelous job making the conservatory so personable and illuminating for the students–truly, a life-changing experience! We know it must have been a monumental effort to redesign your program to accommodate students remotely. Your commitment to making the Conservatory happen provided a transformative experience for our son, Gabe, who not only grew as an artist but also created incredible memories and friendships–a triumph in this unprecedented time and a gift particularly impressive over Zoom! You and the other Conservatory teachers & staff were amazing–personable in your interaction with the students and directly impactful on their artistic development. You should be so proud of what you all accomplished in this unprecedented summer!

Like so many theater lovers, Gabe was navigating the disappointment of dark stages and lost opportunities (not to mention a teenage voice change). But your Summer Conservatory reminded him of why he loves theater–not just for the opportunity to express as a performer, but also for the family it creates. We just want to thank you all and your staff for this fantastic experience!”

Annie Waits, parent of Gabe Waits (Colorado)

“I just wanted to say thank you so much for an amazing summer! It’s my first year in the Conservatory, and even though it’s virtual, I’ve learned so much and have made so many friends! Thank you for giving me this amazing opportunity!”

Bailey Edelman, Conservatory Student (New Jersey)

“As we near the end of our summer program, I wanted to just say THANK YOU to you, Mark, Stephen and the teachers who made this program so special for Callie. She had a great time these past six weeks – even though it was very different than the one we initially envisioned!”

Dianne Chae, Parent to Callie Chae Pyken (California)

“I am reaching out to say Lauren is absolutely loving the virtual Conservatory. She motivated and energized and is truly looks forward to each day. This morning I had the opportunity to listen in on the dance session with Yvette Sosa!  She is AMAZING and is an inspiration to the students (and parents) She is a great combination of real, uplifting, friend, personal trainer. I just can’t say enough about her positive energy. ”

Kathleen Hertzig, Parent of Lauren Hertzig (New Jersey)

“Thank you for such an amazing summer! I’m so sad it wasn’t in person, but I’m so grateful that you figured out a way to make it virtual. Conservatory is always my favorite part of the summer if not the entire year! I learned so much, had so much fun, and met so many people who I’m sure will remain some of my lifelong friends. I’m sad our time has come to the end, but I’m looking forward to seeing the New Voices video!”

Alex Vacchiano, Conservatory Student (New Jersey)

“Thank you so much for making this summer such a fun and educational one! I have had so much fun creating, playing, and learning with people who are now some of my best friends and mentors. This summer wasn’t what any of us expected it to be, yet you made it such an amazing experience while virtual.”

Alaina Gust, Conservatory Student (New Jersey)

“Hi, It Is Kyan Bashkoff. I just wanted to say thank you to everyone for the most amazing 6-weeks ever!! I learned so much, it was so much fun. I will miss everyone so much!! I want to say an extra thank you to Molly Merendino and Matt Lowy for teaching me so much every day since day 1. I will never forget everyone here. I hope I can do this every year until I’m not allowed. Thank you so much! I will miss everyone!”

Kyan Bashkoff, Conservatory Student (New Jersey)


A hybrid instruction model of both in-person and online classes is planned. Classes will be modest in size with all current CDC guidelines and state mandated protocols in place for live instruction. Specific COVID protocols are available upon request.