When Randy Kravitz Elman and Mary Brienza were young, aspiring performers, learning from the best in the business meant riding a train into New York City, transferring to a subway, then walking some long city blocks to get to a dance studio or voice or acting coach. So when they launched Musical Theatre Conservatory they were determined to give students -- and their families -- the best of both worlds.
“Acting class was on the Upper East Side. Dance classes were midtown. My voice teacher was on the Upper West Side,” Randy Elman explained. “As a teenager I took the train in on my own, but when I was too young to do that my parents actually hired someone to drive me in to the city. I’m grateful that they would do that for me, but it was a lot of schlepping.”
Which is precisely why Elman and Brienza were determined to bring top quality theater arts instruction under one roof and close to home. The faculty for Musical Theatre Conservatory is comprised of accomplished theater professionals who have appeared on Broadway or in national tours with How To Succeed In Business…, Beauty and the Beast, The Producers, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Most Happy Fella, Into the Woods, and Damn Yankees. Their credits also include opera and concert halls, Off-Broadway, television and radio.
“Our goal is quality instruction in a positive, nurturing atmosphere,” offered Brienza. “We have a faculty who are working artists as well as being highly skilled instructors.” The bonus, she added, is that all the various classes that a versatile performer needs -- voice, acting, dance, stage combat, comedy improvisation, TV commercial acting, make-up and audition techniques -- are all in one location.
“Families’ schedules are tight enough,” Elman said. “My own children are performers, so I know first hand.” By bringing in top quality instructors, she said, “students can train close to home and then they perform in New York City.”
She was referring to the final student showcase, which is presented in a cabaret theatre in the heart of New York’s theatre district giving these young artists a unique and exciting performing opportunity.
Musical Theatre Conservatory is located in Livingston and is open to ages 7-17. Partial scholarships are available to students for their summer program, which runs June 25-July 14. Scholarship auditions are offered by appointment. For scheduling and information please call: (973) 868-6259.