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Workshop Descriptions and Presenter Bios

Check out GUIDEBOOK for workshop schedule!

Aging with Makeup; Creating Wounds with Makeup

The workshop will be an exciting and hands on way to learn how to create realistic aging makeup using simple and basic supplies! 

Nicolette Dalesandro is a licensed makeup artist from Toms River, NJ. After completing high school at Toms River North, while attending OCVTS, she began to self-teach in special FX makeup. Her love for makeup came from her background in competitive dance. While she is no stranger to performing on stage she also loves to be behind the scenes getting all the performers ready for the show and teaching simple tips and tricks for the best makeup application!

Basic Swing Dance

Students will take part in a beginner friendly swing dance lesson. No partner or dance experience needed. **Mr. Rasmussen will play a set of swing music at the Social which he will DJ. Show off your new skills on Saturday night!**

Brandon Rasmussen has been swing dancing since he was nine years old and teaches swing at Rutgers University Swing Club on Monday nights.  

Discovering the Power of the Actor’s Voice

This is an introduction to Voice for the Actor. This workshop will focus on liberating our natural speaking voice. Through warm-ups and exercises, the actors will discover how they can truly be connected to thought, emotion, sound and language. We will explore resonance, power, range and the flexibility of the voice.

Rebecca Simon teaches voice, speech and acting at Rider University where she has vocal coached numerous mainstage productions. Most recently, she was the dialect coach for Bristol Riverside Theatre’s production of The Language Archive. She also had the honor of serving as vocal coach for the McCarter Theatre Company’s production of The White Snake directed by Tony Award winner Mary Zimmerman. Other dialect coaching credits include A Murder is Announced at Robbinsville High School and Oliver! at The Forestburgh Playhouse. As a proud member of Actor’s Equity, her acting credits include the Broadway National Tours of Fiddler on the Roof with Theodore Bikel and The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber starring Michael Bolton. She also toured with The Trans-Siberian Orchestra as a vocalist. She holds an M.F.A. in Acting from Florida Atlantic University and a certification in Colaianni Speech Technique.

Faux Brick Painting

Learn a quick and effective scenic painting method to create a realistic brick texture.

Faux Stone Painting

Learn a quick and effective scenic painting method to create a realistic stone texture.

A 2013 graduate of Drew University, Ashley Petix is a designer and fine artist. Her scenic design for the original play "The Rounds" debuted this past summer in New York City and Long Island. Other credits include the New York International Fringe Festival and fine art exhibitions in Asbury Park.

Figure Drawing

A lesson in figure drawing and how to use charcoal as a medium, while exploring easy ways to find proportions on the human form. We will be working in short poses and discovering how expressive even a 30-second sketch can be. Building on last year’s workshop, we will also add highlights to our drawings.

Laura Williams is an alumnus from Robbinsville High School who now works professionally in the theater industry in New York City, with credits on off-Broadway and Broadway productions. She mainly works with props, sets, scene painting, and puppets, but occasionally dabbles in costumes and directing. She received her BFA in theater design from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University.

Juggling for Everyone*

*This workshop is ongoing. Stop by for five minutes or forty five minutes as your time allows.* We will teach newcomers to juggle 3 and 4 balls/sacks and we'll hope to add to the repertoires of those who already have mastered basic skills.

Ron and Sue Schopperth have taught hundreds of people how to juggle and they've enjoyed every minute!  They are both retired educators who take joy in passing on their enthusiasm for juggling to others.

Improv Games: Making Sport of the Stage

Learn basic improv techniques in the form of theater games. These fun, active exercises will get you moving, thinking quickly, and of course, laughing!

Putting the Pro in Improv: Serious Fun

If you are competing in Improv Pairs, this workshop is a must! Learn from the pros about the advanced choices you can make on stage that lead to stronger scenes.

Ryan Huban founded the professional improv troupe, Howdy Stranger. The team performs live comedy shows in New Jersey and New York City and has won several competitions.

Ryan Huban founded the professional improv troupe, Howdy Stranger. The team performs live comedy shows in New Jersey and New York City and has won several competitions. Ryan teaches improvisation classes at Action Theater Conservatory Studios in Clifton, NJ.

Mastering the College Audition

This workshop is geared towards students planning to audition for university- level performing arts programs. Designed to take the guesswork out of the audition process, a range of topics will be covered: the application process, pre-screen videos and material choices, as well as practical topics, including timelines, follow up, and, of course, the audition participants should arrive prepared with monologues.

Stan Cahill is a professional actor, director and arts educator. He has traveled extensively as a teaching artist and director, most recently developing and implementing performing arts programs in Kenscoff, Haiti and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. He continues to work as a theatre artist while also teaching at many of the country’s leading secondary schools, colleges and universities. As Theatre Artist in-Residence at Princeton Day School, he was recently named New Jersey’s Outstanding Director for his production of Anon(ymous). In addition, his 2014 production of Urinetown was named New Jersey’s Outstanding Musical while also earning the Educational Impact Award from the Paper Mill Playhouse. He has also earned accolades for two BBC/NPR productions, “Footprints to Paradise” and “The Night Before Christmas,” radio plays that gave young performers the opportunity to work alongside seasoned professionals. Currently, Stan is working with the La Mama Experimental Theatre in NYC on the new play Kidnap Road set to premiere at the 2016 Edinburgh Fringe Festival. A member of AEA, SAG and AFTRA, Stan has appeared on stage in New York City and in regional theaters across the country, as well as in film, television and commercials. MFA: NYU Graduate Acting Program; Certificate: Moscow Art Theatre; BFA: University of Detroit

Michael Chekhov’s Qualities of Movement

Learn a warm up that will wake up your primary instruments (voice, body and imagination) through exploration of Michael Chekhov’s Centers. In addition to a great way to get your “acting” engine started, centers are a great mechanism for developing physical life for characters.

Trent Blanton (Director) is an Associate Professor of Theater in Westminster College of the Arts of Rider University. A proud active member of Actor’s Equity and the Society of Directors and Choreographers, Trent’s professional acting credits include: La Cage Aux Folles and Young Frankenstein (Forestburgh Playhouse), Sweet Charity (Aurora Theatre), The Gun Show, The Goldilocks Zone and Slippery as Sin (Passage Theatre Company), Les Miserables (Actors’ Playhouse), A Christmas Carol (Actors Theatre of Louisville), 1776 (Ford’s Theatre, Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera); Fiddler on the Roof (Starlight Musicals of Kansas City & The MUNY of St. Louis); A Christmas Carol, Romeo & Juliet (Alliance Theatre); A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Merchant of Venice, The Taming of the Shrew (Georgia Shakespeare); and Masada (York Theatre). Trent played virtually every major city in North America in the Broadway National Tour of Les Miserables and appeared in the Chinese premiere of Les Miz with Colm Wilkinson at the Shanghai Grand Theatre. Trent holds an MFA in Acting from Florida Atlantic University where he was the recipient of the Joshua Logan Fellowship and a certificate in the practical study of the Michael Chekhov Technique with the Michael Chekhov Association. He currently serves as Chair for the Acting/Directing committee of the Southeastern Theatre Conference. At Rider, Trent teaches acting in both the Theatre Performance and Musical Theatre programs.

Movement/Physical Improvisation

Students will explore movement and physical theatre in order to use their bodies in space to create rules for improvisations and collaborate to tell one cohesive story without words. Students should come in movement clothes (shorts, sweats, t-shirts, sneakers, etc.)

Jonathan A. Martin is a professional actor, director, and teacher from central New Jersey. He has acted in over 40 productions, including touring productions that took him to 12 different US states. He has directed in New Jersey, Virginia, and New York City. Jonathan is the co-founder and Producing Artistic Director for Recess Theatre, a new theatre and performing arts studio located in Robbinsville.

Musical Theatre Dance

Learn the skills to master the Dance Call of your next audition.  We'll cover some basic ballet and jazz concepts and then learn a fun musical theatre routine.

Mrs. Lauren Frazier-Gebhart began her dance training as a small child and later trained at The Southern New Jersey Academy of the Performing Arts at GCIT under the tutelage of David Kloss, Althea Leslie and Dale Schmid. She graduated from Goucher College with degrees in Dance and Political Science. During her time at Goucher, she had the opportunity to study with many guest artists including Adrianne Clancy, Christopher Fleming, Amy Marshall, and Kevin Iega Jeff.   Mrs. Gebhart has also trained in Rio de Janiero, Brazil at The Federal University, Deborah Cocker Modern Dance Company, Studio de Angel Vaianna and the Manguiera Samba School. She also studied English Folk Dance at The Cecil Sharp House in London, England. Mrs. Gebhart has performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra at the Kimmel Center, at the Kennedy Center and has toured in both Ireland and England. She has also performed with Dance DelBello as a Guest Artist . She is currently a Guest Artist Instructor at The Cooper River Ballet and is the founder of the Academy of Performing Arts at BCIT, where she has been on faculty since 2007. She has directed and choreographed dozens of musicals for High Schools and Community Theatre Organizations.

On Stage for Change

Are you an artist who wants to change the world? Are you interested in using your passion for performing to change people’s lives? Then we need YOU in our theatre community!  Come explore how your talents can impact those in need across the street and across the world! Join Michael Di Bianco from Broadway Cares to sing, move, laugh, inspire and CREATE THE CHANGE we want to see in our world. Bring an open mind, a generous heart, and clothes you can move in!

Michael Di Bianco Michael is an Education and Outreach Associate from Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.


In this workshop participants will actively engage in the writing of a complete script by being coached through a timed writing process. By letting themselves enter the moment, writers can find their focus heightened and pressurized, often resulting in a surprisingly exciting product. This workshop has proven to be highly popular with both beginner and more experienced writers.

Dr. Ivan Fuller serves Rider University’s Westminster College of the Arts as professor of theatre, chair of the Theatre & Dance Department and Associate Dean of the School of Fine & Performing Arts. He teaches courses in Theatre History, Script Analysis and Dramatic Literature. Prior to coming to Rider, Dr. Fuller was professor of theatre at Augustana College in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, 1989 – 2011, where he served as chair the Performing & Visual Arts Department. He was the founder and artistic director of the Bare Bodkins Theatre Company, which produced summer Shakespeare in Sioux Falls. Since 2003 he has spent time during the summer in Russia, leading students on study abroad trips or simply being inspired for his various writing projects. In addition to his work as a director, actor, theatre educator, and poet, Ivan is a playwright. His play, Eating into the Fabric, was chosen for the Mainstage Reading Series at the Great Plains Theatre Conference in May 2009 where it was awarded a Holland New Voices Award for Outstanding Play. It was also a semi-finalist for the Eugene O’Neill National Playwriting Conference. In July 2009 he served as playwright-in-residence for Summer Literary Seminars in Vilnius, Lithuania. It was there that he completed the first draft of Awake in Me. In 2010 he returned to St. Petersburg, Russia, where he began writing the final chapter of his Siege Cycle. His last play, In Every Note, was a semi-finalist for both the Eugene O’Neill National Playwriting Conference and the Princess Grace Playwriting Fellowship competition.

Roll With It

There is often a lot out of your hands and up to a roll of the dice. Rarely do you get to chose what you’re given, but you can learn how to make the most of it. This workshop dives into how to handle and navigate conflicts, challenges, and confrontation. How can you utilize these skills when it comes to leading a group or dealing with tricky situations in your work? Some of it is up to chance, but you always have the power to create a winning hand from what you’ve been dealt.

Grace Alt, from Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania, Thespian Troupe 1154, is the current International Thespian Officer Chair. She has served as an STO in Pennsylvania and ITO for the past two years. At state conferences, she teaches leadership and advocacy workshops, and encourages student Thespians to connect with her at any time throughout the Festival! (Facebook: The International Thespian Officers; Instagram: @internationalthespianofficers; Snapchat: @ITOOfficial; Twitter: @ITOChair;

Safe Stage Combat for Teens

We’ll work on slips, smacks, slaps, bumps, bangs, trips, flips, faints and falls—the key ingredients to slapstick comedy—and how to really sell them.   The class will cover “the invitation,” “the tell,” use of props, framing, slo-mo, A.R.A., knaps, lines, and ducks.

Sword Fighting Choreography

Learn the basics of stage combat—the “BLOOD” safety system, footwork, attacks, and parries—as well as some fancy flourishes, jumps, ducks, pass-throughs and swipes to make a fight exciting and dramatic.  By the end of class, you will have choreographed your own fight with a partner!

Kristen Dabrowski attended The British-American Drama Academy, Trinity College (London) and The Oxford School of Drama (UK).  She has taught Drama, Film and Playwriting at many schools, theatres and conservatories such as American Academy of Dramatic Arts, The Actors Institute, Montclair State University, McCarter Theatre . . . to name just a few.  Kristen is the author of 25 theatre books for children and teens published by Smith & Kraus.  She is a member of Actors’ Equity and Dramatists Guild and is certified by The British Academy of Dramatic Combat in single- and double-sword combat, rapier and dagger, and hand-to-hand combat.

Script Analysis for the Sound Designer

Participants will learn to look at scripts to extract clues in order to successfully design sound and soundscapes for theatrical productions.

Professor Thomas Haughey serves as the faculty technical director and production manager for all shows produced by the Department of Theatre and Dance at West Chester University of Pennsylvania. Through a decade of experience in both professional and academic settings, he has developed a broad range of technical skills that allow him to bring a unique perspective to the classroom and stage. His courses, such as stagecraft and AutoCAD, train students in the practical application of theatre production and scenic construction. Thomas' professional experience in scenic design and production includes work for The University of Connecticut, Connecticut Repertory Theatre, Beaver College (now Arcadia University), The People's Light and Theatre Company, and ESPN, as well as numerous seasons of one-a-week summer stock in New Jersey.

Song Interpretation and Musical Theatre Interpretation Technique

Are your eyes set on Broadway? Learn what it takes to interpret a song selection for a Broadway audition, and what is expected of young performers currently in NYC. You will know how to interpret form the top of your head to the tip of your toes, truly telling a story with the knowledge of Broadway Artists Alliance, New York's elite program for connecting young artists with Broadway Guest Instructors and NY Industry. Selected students will get to perform a brief song selection and receive feedback from the Senior Artistic Staff of Broadway Artists Alliance.

Ashleigh Junio is the Admissions Director of Broadway Artists Alliance, a member of the voice faculty at New York University, and has worked as a professional performer for many years. She was most recently seen in the National Tour of Elf, and she has been fortunate to work on some amazing NYC and regional stages. Ashleigh is pursuing her Master’s degree in Musical Theatre Vocal Performance/Advanced Certificate in Vocal Pedagogy at NYU. She holds a BFA in Musical Theatre from the New School University, is a graduate of the American Musical and Dramatic Academy, and was a founding member of Tip My Cup Productions where she served as Artistic Director from 2005 to 2008. Past performances include Godspell, Parade, Grease, Oliver, Once Upon a Mattress, The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek, The Children’s Hour, Twelfth Night and her One-Woman Show, Me Sing Pretty for You.

Sound Design 101

This workshop provides a basic understanding of the role and responsibilities of a sound designer and begins a conversation of how to approach a new design and some tips and techniques for straight plays and musicals.

Darren Sussman has been designing for 20 years and has provided services for hundreds of plays and musicals. He is the owner and of Reid Sound and will be joining the faculty of Rider University as an adjunct professor in the spring.

Stage Management

Learn about the different types of stage managers and their duties, what goes in a prompt book, what you should have in your stage management kit, how to do your stage management, tech resume.

Sherri Vanderspiegel is the technical supervisor for the Performing Arts Center at Brookdale Community College. She is also adjunct faculty and teaches technical theater I and II as well as special projects in stage management there. Sherri graduated from Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University, with a BFA in stage management. She then worked for a year Off Broadway in a number of theaters, as well stage managed a few equity workshops. Sherri has worked in many theater venues in NJ. In the summer months Sherri also stage manages at Plays in the Park. She has worked there for 13 summers, 8 years as a stage manager and 5 years as the production stage manager.

Taking the Mystery Out of Auditioning for Film and TV

Since Relativity School offers Acting for Film and TV, we are "taking the mystery" out of Film and TV auditions. Clearly identifying the differences between auditioning for theatre and film/TV/commercials, we will talk about the various types of auditions and give pointers on how to properly execute each type. You will read and participate in "mock auditions." The leaders will give redirects until you have nailed it!

Originally from Boston, MA, Addy Green began performing on stage at the age of eight in musicals including The Sound of Music, Grease and Oliver. She continued to build repertoire appearing in main stage productions of Robin Hood, The Crucible and Blood Wedding. Upon graduation, Addy found her niche in film and television and has booked multiple feature films, episodics, commercials, and music videos, including work with The Black Keys, American Poltergeist and Sophie Gold: The Diary Of A Golddigger. Addy's passion for travel and assisting young talent makes her an ideal candidate for nurturing Relativity School applicants and allowing them to find their holistic trajectory in the entertainment + media industry. Education Doctoral Degree, Walden University (In Progress)

Master of Fine Arts, Film Production,

Bachelor of Fine Arts, Theatre + Performing Arts, The Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. SAG/AFTRA affiliated

VIEWPOINTS (voice and acting)

Come explore Space, Shape, Time, Tempo, and other Viewpoints practices in a relaxed setting. Using text, both prepared and found, we will create a one-of-a-kind performance experience.

Professor Perry Morgan is the Director of Musical Theatre at Greensboro College in North Carolina. He is the Founder of what is now known in New Jersey as “The Perry Awards” annually honoring the outstanding theatre achievements in this state. A member of Actor’s Equity Association, he performs and directs on the Regional Theatre circuit.

West African Dance

Dances from Mali, Guinea and Senegal. Finding its way around the globe, West African dance has influenced many popular American dance forms, such as Hip-Hop, Salsa and Jazz. LET'S HAVE FUN AND DANCE! Come immerse yourself in West African Culture of Dance, Song and History.

Kody Allen is a native of Atlanta, Ga. Dance has been a part of Kody since the age of 2. Growing up in the West African culture and studying other forms of dance such as Tap and Contemporary; Kody has had the opportunity of teaching, performing and working with various students, professional artist and celebrities. As a choreographer and dancer, Kody focuses on dancing through your heart, body and soul, feeling the music.

"DANCE.. even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room."