MILLBURN, NJ — Paper Mill Playhouse has selected students to be a part of its prestigious Summer Musical Theatre Conservatory for 2022. Members of the competitive conservatory, who earned coveted spots in the various age companies, are directed and choreographed by Paper Mill Playhouse’s professional artistic staff in a fully produced, original concert titled “A Whole New World: A Tribute to Alan Menken.” A show unlike any other produced by Paper Mill Playhouse as part of its “New Voices” performances, this concert features more than 90 talented young performers, including Rising Star Award winners and nominees. The show draws on the timeless work of Alan Menken, including songs from “Newsies,” “The Little Mermaid,” “Little Shop of Horrors,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” and “Sister Act.”
Performances will be held Friday, July 29, at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, July 30, at 1:30 and 7:30 p.m. at Paper Mill Playhouse, 22 Brookside Drive in Millburn. Tickets may be purchased by telephone at 973-376-4343, online at www.papermill.org or at the Paper Mill Playhouse box office; tickets may also be purchased for virtual viewing.
“It is with such excitement that we welcome back the staged concert that has been missing from our conservatory program for the last two years due to COVID concerns. We believe that this program allows these young performers an opportunity to thrive and ultimately live their dream of being professional performers. 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,” said Lisa Cooney, Paper Mill’s director of education, outreach and access. “We ask them to work harder than they ever have before as young performers. Our faculty pushes the students to believe in themselves as professional artists, and, as a result, when they move on to college or the professional world, they are ready for the challenges they’ll face. We take great pride when they make a name for themselves on Broadway or in Hollywood and from knowing every member of the conservatory has the skills and the work ethic to serve them in any field.”
Past conservatory students include notables such as Anne Hathaway, Ali Stroker, Laura Benanti, Robert McClure and Jelani Remy.
“‘New Voices’ is an amazing opportunity to see the stars of tomorrow,” said Mark S. Hoebee, Paper Mill’s producing artistic director. “This fully produced, original concert features close to a hundred incredible performers. It is amazing to see these young performers grow into professional artists and grace the stage with an inspiring, heartfelt performance.”
Union County students who will perform in the show are Teigen Ang-Horowitz, of Berkeley Heights; Talia Fabrizzio, of Clark; Zoe Maria Rivera, of Elizabeth; Alexa Torres, of Mountainside; Natalie Kary Bowser, of New Providence; Sophia Mekbeb, of Scotch Plains; Gabrielle Gutierrez and Grace Rivera, both of Springfield; Luzita Avila, of Summit; Elyana Barroqueiro and Gabriella Scott, both of Union; and Evan Leone and Kayla Louison, both of Westfield.
Photos Courtesy of Paper Mill Playhouse