The Region’s Most Talented Students Earn Coveted Spots in the Summer Musical Theatre Conservatory

122 of the Region’s Most Talented Students Earn Coveted Spots in Paper Mill Playhouse’s Summer Musical Theatre Conservatory

Students Will Present Fully Produced Original Concert New Voices 2017: Everyone Loves an Underdog!, July 28 & 29.

Paper Mill Playhouse, recipient of the 2016 Tony Award for Regional Theatre, has selected students to be a part of the theater’s prestigious Summer Musical Theatre Conservatory for 2017. 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! The concert is the culmination of the five-week program. Also appearing are numerous winners and nominees of the 2017 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 2017: Everyone Loves an Underdog! will be held on Friday, July 28th at 7:30PM and Saturday, July 29th at 1:30PM and 7:30PM at Paper Mill Playhouse, 22 Brookside Drive, Millburn, NJ. Tickets range in price from $25 to $45. Tickets may be purchased by calling 973.376.4343, online by clicking here or visit the Paper Mill Playhouse Box Office at 22 Brookside Drive in Millburn. Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express are accepted.

“From the first day of class all the way through opening night of New Voices, we require our students to rise to the demands of this rigorous program.”
–Lisa Cooney, Paper Mill Playhouse Director of Education

“We ask them to work harder than they ever have before as young performers, and 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 and treats them as such. 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. It’s gratifying when they make a name or themselves on Broadway or in Hollywood, but even if they do not, the skills they learn and the work ethic they develop will serve them in any field,” stated Lisa Cooney, Paper Mill Playhouse Director of Education.

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 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.”
–Mark S. Hoebee, 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,” stated Mark S. Hoebee, Paper Mill’s Producing Artistic Director.

Students from Paper Mill Playhouse’s Conservatory have gone on to appear in numerous Broadway productions, film, television, and regional theater.

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 Diaries

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)

Jared Gertner–2014 Olivier Award nominee West End, Broadway & National Tour of The Book of Mormon (Elder Cunningham)

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)

Elizabeth Egan Gillies–Nickelodeon’s Victorious; Broadway: 13! The Musical

Lael Van Keuran–Broadway: Sister Act

Matt Ban–Broadway: Rock of Ages (Dennis)

Connor Buckley–Star of Fox-TV’s Surviving Jack with Chris Meloni (role of “Jack Dunlevy”)

2017 Conservatory Students by Town

Images and headshots of students available here by town.