The New Jersey School of Dramatic Arts to Host One-Act Play Festival at Bloomfield College
By Alicia Cook
The New Jersey School of Dramatic Arts (NJSDA) will present its one-act play festival, “Class Acts,” on Friday, October 21 and Saturday, October 22 at 8 p.m. at the Westminster Arts Center (WAC) at Bloomfield College, where the acting school has hosted many of its performances since 2007.
The energetic evening will consist of twelve comedic and dramatic one-act plays done within two hours. The acts will be performed by the graduates of NJSDA’s professional adult acting program. Tickets will be available to the public for $15 and to Bloomfield College students at a discounted rate of $4.00.
Since its founding in 2004, Bloomfield’s own New Jersey School of Dramatic Arts has offered its students, whose ages range from 5 to 85 years, acting, musical theater, improvisation, and television and film training.
In addition, NJSDA has its own performance companies including adult improvisational comedy troupes Nutty by Nature and On the Spot, and its teen improve troupe, Sparks of Insanity.
Professional instructors, which include co-founders Bob Sapoff and Beth Baur, offer generous one-on-one attention while emphasizing the development of a strong and proven technique.
Students learn in a step-by-step, tiered program in which each class builds upon the skills gained in previous levels. From the beginner to the advanced, students are placed in classes that match their experience and ability.
“I know we are the only school in the area for both kids and adults that has a professional training program that is tiered, where you can grow,” noted Sapoff, Co-Director of NJSDA who has been a professional actor for over 30 years.
Adult students are offered seven levels of acting, two levels of film & television acting, two levels of television commercial classes, and three levels of Improvisation. For Teens and younger students, there are three levels of acting and two levels of musical theatre classes.
“Education is our main goal, our lifeline,” expressed Sapoff. “We are proud to not be performance-based. We aren’t directing, we are teaching.”
“We teach our students how to problem-solve as actors,” added Baur, who has performed for 25 years in national tours, Off-Broadway, regional theatre, and has appeared in over 200 network commercials and corporate industrial films. “We are a true educational institute, not a theatre company.”
Baur recently received an Honorable Mention in the Tony Award's Excellence in Theatre Education category. This annual honor recognizes a K-12 theatre educator in the U.S. who has demonstrated monumental impact on the lives of students and who embodies the highest standards of the profession.
All of the NJSDA’s advanced acting, musical theatre, and improvisation classes culminate in a final performance. NJSDA has its own 45-seat theatre inside the studio located on Broad Street, and access to the 300-seat Westminster Arts Center.
NJSDA’s relationship with both Bloomfield Township and Bloomfield College is a happy one, in which all parties continue to grow together.
“We wanted to be in this area, near the parkway. Essex County is lively in the Arts. It’s worked out great,” said Sapoff. “The progression of the College is truly amazing.”
NJSDA gives its students a head start on their professional careers thanks to its affiliations with outstanding professional organizations. The NJ Theatre Alliance has given NJSDA students exclusive audition slots for their Equity combined theatre auditions.
NJSDA also teams up with fellow Bloomfield College partner, 4th Wall Theatre, which has cast NJSDA students for their productions.
NJSDA’s Encore Theatre company will take the stage at Bloomfield College for its January performances of Spring Awakening.
Learn more about NJSDA and purchase tickets to the October show today. For tickets, call NJSDA at 973-566-9700
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