Teachers
photo Beth Baur

Beth Baur (Co-Founder/Executive Director/ Teacher) has been a professional actor and instructor for almost 40 years and has worked with such luminaries as Tommy Tune, George Burns and Lanford Wilson. She has performed in National Tours, Off-Broadway, Regional theatre and has done over 200 network commercials and corporate industrial films, as well as voice-overs and print. Beth has also been a theatre educator for over 25 years. She is a three-time "Honorable Mention" recipient for the Excellence in Theater Education Tony Award for her outstanding work with the award-winning MHS Perfroming Arts Academy. Beth has served as Co-Director of NJSDA for 15 years, creating a comprehensive multi-level program for actors unrivaled in N.J. She is one of N.J's top college audition coaches with students gaining acceptance to the country's top BFA Acting and MT programs. She is an adjunct professor at Montclair State University as part of the BFA Film program, teaching Acting for the Director. Beth has directed several productions throughout the state including the award winning original productions of Stand Up! and El Otro Lado and Dis-connect.  She directed the independent film, REEL WOMEN. Beth received her BFA at the Conservatory of Theatre Arts at Webster University and was selected to be included in that year's "Who's Who of American Colleges". Beth was nominated for best actress by the LA Film Festival for her title role in the short film, Mother. She is a proud member of AEA SAG/AFTRA.

 

     
photo Gary Lynch

Gary Lynch (Executive Director/ Teacher) has been a professional actor for over 40 years.  He made his Broadway debut in the Original Broadway Production of Les Miserables, splitting time on the barricades between the roles of Jean Provaire and Inspector Javert.  He originated the role of Sam Carmichael in Mamma Mia! for the North American and US Premieres, as well as the Pre-Broadway 1st National Tour receiving two National Broadway Award Nominations.  He spent 4 years in the Pre-Broadway 1st National Tour of Dirty Dancing as Max Kellerman and most recently starred as Gyp DeCarlo in Jersey Boys with the inagurual international production for NCL-Dodger Theatricals. He has starred in numorous Off Broadway, Regional, Stock and International productions and has worked at many notable theaters including; Lincoln Center, Papermill Playhouse, The Lambs Theater, Musical Theater Works, Westchester Broadway and the York Theater. He is a former TV host for MTV/VH-1 Networks and has sung the National Anthem for over 20 professional sports teams including; NBA,NHL,MLB,NFL and NASCAR. Gary has taught all levels of the acting program at NJSDA over the last 15 years. He initiated the Black Box Project at the school and has directed numerous productions including; Baby with the Bathwater, The Dining Room, Bedtime Stories, Office Hours, Jenny's House of Joy, and Hairspray and Brothers Grimm Spectacularthon for NJSDA's Encore Youth Theater. Gary is a Proud member of AEA SAG/AFTRA and is married to Co-Executive Director Beth Baur.

     
photo Bob Sapoff

Robert Sapoff (Co-Founder/Director Emeritus/Teacher) has been profiled on ABC News, CNN, NY 1 News and in the Star Ledger, Herald News, and Daily Record. A professional actor and instructor for over 30 years, his theatre credits include the role of Harpo in the Off-Broadway revival of "The Cocoanuts", which was named one of the 10 best Off-Broadway productions of the year. Bob has appeared on Nickelodeon and in countless television commercials (including a Clio Award winner) and print work nationwide. He  is the founder and executive director of NJSDA's own professional improv troupes: "Nutty By Nature" (now in its 22nd year), which tours the NY/NJ metropolitan area and "On The Spot".  Since 2008 he has been an adjunct professor in the film department of Montclair State University where he teaches "Acting for Filmmakers". Bob also leads corporate workshops in improv and acting. In his 30+ years as a teacher, Bob has taught over 2,000 students.

     
photo Ted Wrigley

Ted Wrigley (Associate Managing Director/Teacher) is an Equity actor who has been teaching improvisation and acting for over 13 years. He teaches the Intro to Acting and Improvisation classes for the tween and teen programs, as well as the Intro to Acting, Actor Prepares, Scene Study and Building a Charactrer levels of the Adult program. Ted has directed Class Acts for NJSDA and currrently directs NJSDA's professional improv troupes Nutty by Nature and the teen troupe Sparks of Insanity.  Ted is a graduate of the NJ School of Dramatic Arts acting program and is the artistic director of the recently formed Rising Curtain Theatre Company (made up of former NJSDA alumni).

     
  Angelique

Angelique (Office Manager/Teacher) is a professional Improv Comedian, actor, business owner and Mommy of 3. She has performed at many notable clubs; including Stonewall Inn NYC as Gail in Gail and Angela and has starred in several independant films, her most recent The Crab that debuted at the Garden State Festival. She is the founder and President of JESTR Comedy Company LLC producing Stand-Up comedy shows in the greater New Jersey area. Angelique is part of the teaching staff at the school specializing in the childrens programs and is the Office manager at NJSDA.

     
  Tatiana Bustemante

Tatiana Bustamante (Teacher)  is a Latinx actor, director, producer and teacher from Miami, Florida. She recieved her BFA in Musical Theater from the Chicago College of Perfroming Arts. Tatiana was most recently seen as the Little Mermaid in Disenchanted at the Womens Theater and Majorie May in Porchlight Music Theater's production of Gypsy (2019  Equity Jeff Award Nonimee). Tatiana has over 6 years of teaching experience including voice, acting and dance. She holds positions as a teaching artist at Manhattan Theatre Club, a dance instructor at Joann's School of Dance and a camp director/teacher at NJSDA.  Tatiana is represented by the Gray Talent Group.

 

     
  Robert Carr

Robert is a life-long resident of New Jersey, a spectacular cook and a seasoned veteran in the arts community. From 2005 to 2019, Robert served as Director of Programs and Services/ADA Coordinator for the New Jersey Theatre Alliance, the award winning service organization for NJ’s professional theatres. In 2014, Robert was awarded the Inaugural Leadership Exchange in Arts and Disability (LEAD) Community Asset Award from the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts for his redesign of the statewide ADA plan submission and evaluation process. The LEAD® Community Asset Award recognizes the achievements of cultural arts administrators or organizations that continually demonstrate success with access initiatives, improving accessibility in their organization, city, state or region.
Previously, Robert served as General Manager for the 12 Miles West Theatre Company. He called Writers’ Theatre home from 1998 to 2004 and in his professional career has worn many hats as producer, actor, director and teaching artist. He has also served on the faculty of New Jersey School of Dramatic Arts in Bloomfield. As a performer he has worked in many of the Alliance’s member theatres including 12 Miles West, The Bickford Theatre, The Growing Stage; The Children’s Theatre of NJ, Luna Stage Company and Writers Theatre.

Currently, Robert is spending his days in the recording booth as a professional voice over artist. Robert’s clients to date include, Canon, Ragu, QuickBooks, AstraZeneca, Englewood Hospital, Hasbro, Altice, Rust-Oleum and the New York State Department of Health as well as many others. Carr is a graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, and is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association.

 

     
  Toni DiBouno

Toni is the recipient of both the Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle awards and has been acting professionally for almost 40 years. She holds a BFA from the Boston Conservatory. Some of her Broadway and off-Broadway credits include THE BOYS FROM SYRACUSE, WONDERFUL TOWN, UP AGAINST IT at the Public Theatre, BAD HABITS at Manhattan Theatre club (with Nathan Lane and Allison Janney) Transport Groups the THE TINY CLOSET and FORBIDDEN BROADWAY. Toni has starred in several regional productions. Most recently as Deirdre Blake in THE HUMANS, Sonia in VANYA, SONIA, MASHA and SPIKE and Maria in TWELFTH NIGHT at The Alabama Shakespeare Festival. On television, she guest starred on GOD FRIENDED ME, DAREDEVIL , LAW&ORDER, LAW & ORDER SVU, OUR HOME (co-host) and starred as Pat Tuesday on the PBS series MATHNET. She also has numerous national commercials to her credit. Toni is married to TONY Award winning actor Michael McGrath and mother to actor Katie Claire McGrath

     
  Heather Dilly

Heather Dilly (Teacher) has been a professional actor/writer/filmmaker for the past 20 years.  Theatre credits include numerous Off-Broadway and regional productions working with such artists as Tony award winner Judith Ivey and Pulitzer Prize nominated writer Rolin Jones.  She started the successful award winning film company Laurel Film (best actress award in the Long Island Film Festival for Soverinty and Look Away Life).  Heather teaches all of the Acting for TV & Film classes.

     
  Mick Gyure

Mick Gyure (Teacher) a graduate of the acting program at NJSDA, currently teaches the TV Commercial program. Since completing the program, Mick has done over fifty TV commercials, promos, industrials, and print projects. Top spotsAmber is a Graduater  include Tropicana Online Casino, Metlife, Geisinger, ION TV, Insight Cable, CNBC - Mad Money, CNBC 360 and CNBC - On the Money, The Wendy Williams Show, and many others. Mick has also recently been seen in various shows airing on Nickelodeon, Discovery Channel, Travel Channel and the Biography Channel, as well as a number of independent films and local theatre.

 

     
  Christie Harrington

Christie Harrington has been a professional voice teacher, actress and singer for over forty years. She currently maintains studios in NYC, PA, NJ.   In addition to voice lessons, she has taught courses in Vocal Pedagogy and  Diction (English, Italian, French and German) and directed college and church choirs. She has been an Adjunct Professor at Barnard and Hunter Colleges in NYC and a Part-Time Faculty Member at Wesley College in Delaware. In pursuit of a greater understanding of how to effectively change body functioning for improved vocalism, she has studied “Alexander Technique” and various other body work modalities.  Believing that communication of dramatic ideas is at the core of any successful performance, Christie has studied acting, movement, and performance enhancement techniques.  Her performing credits include Norina in Don Pasquale with the New York Opera Forum, Strindberg’s First Warning  with the Village Theatre in NYC, and Luisa in The Fantasticks with the PA Drama Company.  She was once accused of bringing emotional depth to the role of Dainty June in Gypsy. She is a member of NATS and a former member of AEA and AFTRA.

     
  Christina Mastroeni

Christina Mastroeni is currently the Coordinator of Professional Writing at Kean University. Prior to this experience, she gained business world knowledge through careers in recruiting and marketing. She also taught public speaking at Union County College. In addition, Christina also has experience running her own blog, performing stand up comedy, and co-hosting a weekly Youtube Channel and podcast. Christina is a member of the NJSDA family, as she is currently a member of Nutty by Nature.

     
  Danielle Miller

Danielle Miller has always had an enormous passion for theatre. Straight from high school, she interned with private acting coach Bob Luke in NYC and performed and toured with the off-Broadway production of Tony and Tina’s Wedding. Her experiences in NYC allowed her to see that her true passion was in directing and theatre education. Danielle went on to earn a BA in theatre with a minor in musical theatre and an MA in Educational Leadership from Montclair State University. She currently worked as the Theatre Coordinator for The District of Hoboken where she has created an award winning K-12 Theatre Program over the last ten years. She received a Governor's Award in Arts Education for Outstanding Theatre Educator of the Year and was awarded the District of Hoboken's Teacher of the year in 2015. She teaches workshops at the NJEA Teachers Convention annually and has been a student of HB Studio studying Uta Hagen's Techniques for eighteen years. 

     
  Paul Russell

Paul Russell’s career as a screen & stage casting director, director, author of books for and about actors spans projects for major film studios including: 20th Century Fox, HBO; television networks NBC and CBS, Broadway, and regional theater. His work in casting includes working with leading Hollywood actors including: Denzel Washington, Annette Bening, Bruce Willis, Jennifer Aniston, Cynthia Nixon, Ileana Douglas, Lainie Kazan, Phylicia Rashād, Kevin Bacon, and Victor Garber. He cast the Drama Desk winning COBB produced in New York & LA by Kevin Spacey, the original productions of String Fever (starring Cynthia Nixon), Pera Palas (Sinan Unel), Woody Guthrie's American Song (Drama Desk noms.) plus casting for the Asolo, San Jose Rep., the Barter Theatre (TONY recipient) and over a dozen more regional theaters.

     
  Amber Smith

Amber Smith (Teacher)  is a graduate of Montclair State University with a BA in Theater Studies. Currently she is pursuing her teaching degree and is a para professional, working with special needs students. Amber started her acting and musical theater journey as a student at NJSDA when she was 12 and has been perfroming ever since.  Acting credits include; Fiona in Shrek, Winnifred in Once Upon a Mattress and the Drowsey Chaperone in The Drowsey Chaperone. Amber loves the stage, but her true love is working with children. Her goal is to instill the love of the arts the way it was instilled in her.

     
  Susie Wall

Susie has worked extensively in Regional Theatres, Film, TV & Radio. In St Louis she has worked at The Repertory Theatre, The Shakespeare Festival, Stages, Insight Theatre, Hotcity, Stray Dog and The New Jewish Theatre. She has performed Regionally at The Cincinnati Playhouse in “Voice of the Prairie” & “Inherit the Wind”. Most recently, she played Dr. Ruth Westheimer in“Becoming Dr. Ruth”, in Kansas City and played Alice B. Toklas in “Gertrude Stein and a Companion” at Bluff City Theatre in Hannibal.  She received a 2009 Kevin Kline Award, for “Grace and Glorie”, at Insight Theatre. Her film credits include Saving Shiloh, Ghost Image, Doubting Tom, Sophie and the soon to released, Bad Grandmas. For Television she has a reoccurring role as the Mayor’s Assistant on NCIS New Orleans. She has worked extensively in Voice Overs for network/regional TV & radio. She is also a Director. She has directed for Professional Theatre Companies, College and High School productions. She founded her own company called PLay it Forward, an Acting Studio, for kids through adults. She has been a Professor for 27 years in the Conservatory at Webster University. Susie has recently relocated to the New York City area.

     
  Leigh Weinman

Leigh Weinman (Musical Theater Teacher) is pleased to add her musical talent to NJSDA. In addition to her years of experience as an accomplished accompianst and music director, she has been teaching piano for more than 25 years. Leigh perfroms regularly as both a sole accompianst and as part of a pit ensemble for high school and community theater productions. Recent credits include; Cabaret Night for the Charles Seller Foundation, Big Fish for Delbarton School and Aspire Perfroming Arts Company, Chicago for Mendham High School, Shrek for Randolph High School and Sweeney Todd at the Rhino Theater. Leigh is proud to be a part of the NJSDA family.

     
  Adi Zacks

Didi Zacks is currently pursuing a BFA in Acting and a minor in Music at Coastal Carolina University. She was most recently featured in a production of Dance Nation at CCU, and will soon be seen on the CCU stage in productions of Romeo and Juliet as well as Men on Boats. On camera, Didi was featured in the trailer for a new film called Aliyah, produced by Boots on the Ground, a theatre company based in Central Florida. She can also be seen as a featured supporting role in Episode 2 of a student-produced series called “It’s Not College.” In addition to acting, she has been trained in clowning and tight-wire walking. Didi is a photographer and runs her own business called Adi Zacks Photography, where she specializes in headshots and portraits.

     
  Mikaela Kafka

Actor, Director, Playwright. She has been involved with The NY International Fringe Festival since its inaugural year as a Director and has continued involvement as either an actress, adjudicator, and\or producer in every consecutive year till the present. She is also an 8 year member of Centenary Stage Company’s Women Playwright series as an Adjudicator and Director. She has had the honor to work with such playwrights as Catherine Castellani, Michelle Aldin-Kushner, Sonya Sobieski, Sholeh Wolpe, Cheri Magid, and most recently Jennifer Fawcett. ‘Apples in Winter’ was produced this Spring during its Rolling World Premiere at Centenary Stage Company under Mikaela’s direction starring Colleen Smith-Wallnau. Mikaela also workshopped and directed Wendy’s Shadow by David Maglione at Hamilton Stages being awarded the NJACT PERRY Award for ‘Best Original Musical” 2016. Other directing credits include Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (Circle Players), Murder on the Nile, The Selfish Giant, and The Unexpected Guest (Players Theatre NYC), ENRON (GarageTheatre Group), Dragons Breath by Michael C. Oday (NYC Fringe). 

     
  Laura Berman Fortgang

Laura’s professional life is anchored by her international reputation as a pioneer in the personal coaching field.  Laura is also a best-selling author, sought-after speaker, corporate spokesperson, performer and interfaith minister.

Laura was an actor and musical theatre performer first which has supported her current time on stage as a popular speaker and media personality.  Her background has helped her coach celebrities, film stars, and comedians as well as usher two of her children through their film (acting and technical) and theatre careers. Married to a TV and film producer has further informed her work with people in the arts.

Laura is the best-selling author of five books now published in 13 languages. They include:  The Prosperity Plan, Now What? 90 Days to a New Life Direction, Living Your Best Life, Take Yourself to the Top and The Little Book On Meaning which was a finalist for a Books for a Better Life award alongside the Dalai Lama.

Laura’s appearances on Oprah, The CBS Early Show, NBC's Today, Good Morning America, various nationally syndicated and cable outlets as well as a long stint as contributing editor for Redbook Magazine and as a Huffington post blogger has helped her reach millions of people who want to improve their work and life. Her Tedx Talk has over 1.3 million views.

     
  Don Stitt

DON STITT is a playwright and composer who began writing plays, musicals, and revues in when he was an undergrad at San Francisco State. He got his MFA at Western Connecticut State University in 2007. His show Irving Berlin in Revue enjoyed a two year run in San Francisco, as well as a revival. His award-winning family musical A Kid’s Summer Night’s Dream has enjoyed several productions, (including one in New York City,) and is being revived again in Minnesota in 2020. His satirical revue Potshots also ran off-Broadway. His musical Roscoe was received an award from Musicals Online. And his 30 minute, one-act comedy Words Create Reality was a featured presentation of Summerfest 2018 in New York City. As an actor, Don was featured in the original Broadway casts of Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up?, Late Nite Comic, Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story, and the 1996 revival of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. His archive is preserved in the Haas Library at WCSU in Danbury.

     
  Jenny Mollet