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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Paper Mill Playhouse Showcases 120 of the Region’s Most Talented Students in New Voices of 2014: Oh, What a Night!

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Summer Musical Theatre Conservatory Trains the Stars of Tomorrow

Paper Mill Playhouse (Mark S. Hoebee-Producing Artistic Director, Todd Schmidt-Managing Director) is to present 120 of the of the region’s most talented young performing artists from Paper Mill Playhouse’s Summer Musical Theatre Conservatory in a fully produced, original concert on the Paper Mill mainstage titled New Voices of 2014: Oh, What a Night! Members of the competitive Conservatory who earned coveted spots in the Senior, Junior Plus, and Junior Companies (ages 10-18) are directed and choreographed by Paper Mill Playhouse’s professional artistic staff in this concert which is the culmination of the five-week program. Also appearing are numerous winners and nominees of the 2014 Paper Mill Playhouse Rising Star Awards who won scholarships to attend the Conservatory.

Performances of New Voices of 2014: Oh, What a Night will be held on Friday, August 1st at 7:30pm and Saturday, August 2nd at 1:30 and 7:30pm.  Single tickets range in price from $25 to $45.  Tickets may be purchased by calling (973) 376-4343, online at, or visit the Paper Mill Playhouse Box Office at 22 Brookside Drive in Millburn. Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express are accepted.

This year’s New Voices is a tribute to the magical shows and unforgettable moments that made us fall in love with the American musical. “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 120 incredible performers.  It is amazing to see these young performers grow into professional artists and grace our stage with an inspiring, heartfelt performance.”

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. 

“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,” stated 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.”

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

Conservatory Alumni include:

Laura Benanti – 2008 Tony Award winner for Gypsy, Broadway roles include Into the Woods, The Wedding Singer, Swing!

Anne HathawayTwelfth Night, Film: “Les Miserables (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”

Robert McClure – Broadway: Honeymoon In Vegas, Chaplin, Avenue Q

Nikki M. James – Broadway: Les Miserables,Tony Award Winner for Book of Mormon, All Shook Up

Constantine Rousouli – Broadway: Ghost, The Musical, Wicked

Ali Stroker – Oxygen’s “The Glee Project Season 2”

Matthew Scott – Broadway: Jersey Boys, A Catered Affair, Sondheim on Sondheim

Monette McKay – Broadway’s Memphis, Mamma Mia!

Lael Van Keuran - Broadway’s Sister Act

Elizabeth Egan Gillies – Nickelodeon’s “Victorious” and Broadway: 13! The Musical

Veronica J. Kuehn – Broadway: Mamma Mia!, Xanadu

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