Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Playhouse Launches 'Paper Mill Prep'

New Jersey's Paper Mill Playhouse is proud to announce the launch of a new education service for high school students who aim to study theater or musical theater in college.  Paper Mill Prep is a college discovery and audition coaching program.  

“Paper Mill has an extensive statewide education and outreach effort that already has us working closely with the strongest young talent in New Jersey, and this extension of our Conservatory professional training program and Rising Star Awards will allow us to support these students as they begin the process of looking at college theater programs,” shared Paper Mill Playhouse Director of Education Lisa Cooney.  “Our goal is to help them determine and gain admission to the college programs that benefits them the most.” 

Paper Mill Prep kicks off the college audition season with a two-day College Discovery Seminar for students and their parents on Saturdays, November 1 & 8 from 1:00pm to 4:00pm at the Millburn theater.  These valuable group information sessions will introduce motivated high school juniors and seniors to the various theater and musical theater degrees available to them, review the ever-evolving college audition timeline and requirements, and discuss what will be expected of applicants at college auditions and the Unified Auditions.  

Limited seats for the two-day College Discovery Seminar are now open to the public for the registration fee of $300 per family (one student with one parent).  To reserve seats, contact Jason Gillis at 973-315-1668 or JGillis@PaperMill.org.

Following the seminar, individual students may also opt to prepare for their college audition with Paper Mill’s experienced and knowledgeable faculty through a series of private coaching sessions.  Following a Performance Skills Assessment workshop with Paper Mill Prep faculty on Saturday, November 15, a coach will work with each student and their parents to navigate their options, select and prepare their audition monologues and songs, and provide ongoing guidance and communication throughout the fall and winter months.

“Commercial college audition coaching businesses exist in New York City with huge packaged price tags and costly commutes for New Jersey students.  As a not-for-profit, community arts organization with ties to Broadway and a 75 year history of producing world-class plays and musicals, Paper Mill Playhouse provides a New Jersey-based option for serious students with our trusted faculty at reasonable prices that make the decision to enroll easier,” Ms. Cooney remarked.  

“In this very competitive landscape of college admissions, it has become clear that their college audition may very well be the most important audition of these young performers’ lives.  With very limited spots to fill at the most prestigious college theater programs, it pays to make a modest investment to ensure that the student is as prepared as possible for the few minutes they get to make an impression on the admissions panel.  And with the latest trend of some top-tier programs now requiring an applicant to submit a pre-audition video in the fall to be invited to audition live that winter, the hurdles are higher than ever to be selected for a coveted freshman spot at colleges of note.”

Paper Mill Prep’s primary coaches have each had long tenures on our esteemed faculty.  Coaches Stephen Agosto, John Robert Armstrong and Sara Louise Lazarus have many years’ experience training young actors and are supported by Paper Mill Musical Director Meg Zervoulis.  For complete faculty bios, a list of upcoming seminars and assessment workshops, and details on the available coaching packages, visitwww.PaperMill.org/education/college-prep.

PAPER MILL PLAYHOUSE, a not-for-profit arts organization in Millburn, NJ, is one of the country's leading regional theaters.  Paper Mill Playhouse programs are made possible, in part, by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, A Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.  Paper Mill Playhouse is a member of the National Alliance for Musical Theatre, the Council of Stock Theatres, and the New Jersey Theatre Alliance. 

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