Elisa Heinsohn / Owner can currently be seen in re-runs of the television series “FAME” in which she starred as the character JILLIAN BECKETT. (You can YOUTUBE and GOOGLE her name and see many more clips from her career.) She can also currently be seen in national commercials for COLONIAL PENN , KIT KAT, VIACTIVE, and MASTERCARD. She starred on Broadway in PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (now the longest running show on Broadway) originating the role of MEG. Her other Broadway credits include “SMILE” as Melanie, she also played EVELYN NESBIT in the original “RAGTIME” and SYLVIA POTTER PORTER in “ANNIE GET YOUR GUN” and the original “42nd STREET”. She then landed the role of SAMANTHA on the television series “DARK JUSTICE” on CBS. She also guest starred on several television series such as “CAROLINE IN THE CITY”, “THE CREW”, “FBI: THE UNTOLD STORIES” and “TRUE CONFESSIONS”. On the big screen she starred in the feature film “JOEY” in the role of his girlfriend, JANIE, and as TANYA in the recent film “FRIENDS & FAMILY”. Her national and international tour credits include CASSIE in “A CHORUS LINE”, MARY BAILEY in “IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE”, LEISEL in “SOUND OF MUSIC”, LAURIE in “OKLAHOMA”, “WOMAN OF THE YEAR” and “JACK”. Elisa started her career at 15 years of age dancing principle roles with the Cleveland Ballet and Baltimore Ballet. She then moved to New York where her Broadway career blossomed beginning with The American Dance Machine under Lee Theodore. Elisa studied the Meisner acting technique at Carnegie Hall with Freddie Kareman, in New York and at Playhouse West with Bob Carnegie in Los Angeles. She also studied under Margie Haber in her audition technique class and cold reading classes. She has been studying voice for over 20 years from some of the best Opera singers in New York City and coached with the best Broadway conductors working today. She has also taught at some of the best performing arts schools all over the country. Elisa has starred in somewhere around 100 commercials and counting.
Mark starred on Broadway at the ripe old age of 19 as Action in West Side Story. He continued his Broadway career with a total of 9 Broadway shows including; Woman of the Year, A Chorus Line as Mike and Al, Jerome Robbins Broadway, Kiss of the Spiderwoman, Zorba, The Life, Chicago and Urban Cowboy. You can see him in the movie Annie with Carol Burnette. He’s the butler who falls down the stairs while chasing Annie. He was a guest star on Law and Order SVU and numerous soap opera’s. His commercials include Dr. Pepper, Canada Dry, Wendy’s, Excedrin, Poly-O Pizza just to name a few.
Larissa is a graduate of Rutgers University with a B.A. (double major) in Dance & English. During her time at RU she was in numerous dance concerts, traveled with the RU African Dance Ensemble to Tennessee, and was also a part of the RU Performing Dance Co. Larissa had since then been a member of the Bella Voce Choir of Pompton Plains, donned her choreographer’s hat for several musicals and put on her fancy teaching shoes. She currently lives and breathes the smoggy, yet thrilling, air of NYC. Larissa is an Actor Member of the NYC Playwrights, and frequents a fabulous group called The Shakespeare Forum. This year, Larissa has had the pleasure of performing with the IndoRican Multicultural Dance Project in their piece, Sweethearts; She was also excited to don her Shakespearean hat as Pistol in The Merry Wives of Windsor. Other Fun experiences included being one of the many crazy actresses in Joe Iconis’s music video, Headshot, and a Flash Mob-ber in VP Boyle’s Film It Is What It Is – which won several festival awards over the past year. Some of her favorite performances include: Ulla in The Producers, Narrator in Joseph, Shelly in Never Norman Rockwell, and the second half of a snarky duo in Don’t Mention The “B” Word. Generally, when not in the studio or onstage, she can be found eating delicious cupcakes and admiring photos of her dog, Maximus.
Amanda received her Bachelor of Arts in Dance from James Madison University. While at JMU, she performed and toured with the Virginia Repertory Dance Company. As a dancer she has performed in pieces by Maurice Fraga, Shane O’Hara, Kelly Bartnik, and Gesel Mason. As a choreographer, Amanda has shown work in NYC and VA, and continues to create new work. Recently, she was thrilled to be in the music video “A Christmas Song” (angel) by new artist Liz Chan. Amanda is also an Integral Yoga and Kidding Around Yoga certified teacher. She is excited to share her practice with Yogis of all ages and enlighten them with the amazing benefits that Yoga has to offer!
For more than 25 years, Alberta has been teaching acting in private and public schools, including the Bank Street School in Manhattan, Arts High School and Science Park High School in Newark, Orange County Community College, the Montclair Adult School, and the Blooming Grove Theater Conservatory, and she has served as theater director and teacher in a number of summer theater-training programs. While Alberta is also a professional actress, director, and Founder and past Artistic Director of the award-winning Blooming Grove Theater Ensemble. Her greatest pleasure continues to be in training young actors, in enabling them to use theater as a means of self-expression, and in directing them in plays characterized by fine acting and high production values. Highlights of Alberta’s acting credits are the roles of Mrs. Cage in Mrs. Cage, Edna in Prisoner of Second Avenue; Kate in Broadway Bound, and Golde in Fiddler on the Roof. Favorites among the many student productions she has directed are Death of a Salesman, The Fantasticks, The Madwoman of Chaillot, The Crucible, and the premier of Comedy and Travesty. Alberta’s favorite professional directorial credits include Romeo and Juliet, A Man for All Seasons, and the premier of the operetta Rappaccini’s Daughter. Alberta earned her M.A. from Columbia University, her B.A. from Barnard College, and received her theater training at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and Northwestern University. She studied dance at the Lippel School and studies voice with Dr. Stephen Oosting. Alberta is a member of the Actors Equity Association and holds a NJ Teaching Certificate in Speech Arts and Dramatics.
Karen Mae Masbang is thrilled to be a part of the Broadway Performing Arts! She is a recent graduate from Montclair State University with a degree in Family and Child Studies and is a Certified Elementary Education Teacher in the state of New Jersey. Karen has been dancing since the age of three as a student of Kathryn Collins Dance Studio, where she later became the Hip Hop and Jazz dance instructor. She also studied dance in England where she spent a semester abroad. While at MSU, Karen was a co-chair and member of cultural organizations such as Unified Asian American Student Organization where she learned and danced a variety of Asian cultured traditional dances for special events. She was also extensively involved in a dance organization called Rhythm Nation Dance Club where she taught and choreographed different dances of tap, jazz, ballet, modern, and specialized in hip hop and breakdancing. She competed in several dance competitions with her organizations and won 1st place in some of the events such as MSU’s annual Dance-Off. Karen has also choreographed and taught ballroom dancing for birthday cotillion courts and debuts. She has choreographed and directed dance shows for several schools in Jersey City and Secaucus.
Jennifer Hemphill: Musical Theatre, Voice, Acting through Song Instructor
Jennifer Hemphill is currently in the cast of Mamma Mia! on Broadway. She is a native Texan, and a graduate of the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. Additionally, Jenn has been seen performing in regional and touring productions and on cruise ships across the United State and Europe. She is also a judge for major dance competitions and is a former Miss New York City. Currently, Jenn resides in New Jersey with her husband (John) and their four- legged children (Norman and Birdie). She is thrilled to be part of the BPA team!
Edwin Jacob, born and raised in the suburbs of the Washington, D.C.-metropolitan area, is an active Vocalist and Music Educator. He graduated from University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA with a Bachelor of Music (Vocal Performance) in 2011 and a Master of Music (Jazz Studies) in 2012. During this time, Jacob honed is vocal skills in Opera, Jazz, Musical Theatre, Pop and R&B, while sill completing a rigorous workload of ear training, sight-singing, music theory, arranging and composition. While at UArts, Jacob was involved in a number of performances. His most notable performances include: Lead in “Does Your House Have Lions” written by Sonia Sanchez, Directed by Johnnie Hobbs (2009), Lead singer in the children’s album Get Up and Sing produced by Mike Kennedy (Forge Recording, 2010 Valley Forge, PA), and Singer in Monkadelic Ensemble – Music of Thelonious Monk (Chris’ Jazz Café 2011 Philadelphia, PA). After graduating, Jacob began teaching Voice and Piano at several locations. He recently moved to Clifton, NJ hoping to pick up where he left off. He prides himself as a singer who is also a musician. His main goal is to educate singers in becoming also great musicians.
A Black Belt and a dancer out of northern New Jersey, Galo Andres has been dancing since the age of three. Galo was a hip-hop choreographer since the age of seventeen and continues to instruct today. He has taught at numerous dance studios throughout northern New Jersey. Not only has Galo choreographed, but he has done events and shows. He currently works and teaches an audience of children and adults at Broadway Performing Arts in Bloomfield, New Jersey. He is twenty-one years young, and is in the process of building a dance company.
Vince has been performing for over 20 years in a wide variety of settings, ranging from a 25 piece jazz orchestra to a 5 piece punk band to solo guitar. At a young age, Vince heard the sound of a guitar on the radio and has been hooked ever since. He has actively sought out any and all music performed on the guitar, and it has been his lifelong passion to absorb many styles of music. A former student of jazz guitar masters, Vic Juris and Francis Varrichio, Vince enjoys performing on electric and acoustic guitar. His preferred styles involve improvisation – including jazz, blues, rock and bossa nova – often blending various styles in a single musical composition. Vince’s notable appearances include the Montreux Detroit Jazz Festival and The Times Center Gallery. He currently performs with his own jazz trio, and is a member of the rock bands, Vision and The 16 Deadly Improvs.
Chadia is a Master instructor, choreographer and performer of Middle Eastern Dance, best known as “Belly Dance”. She has been teaching and choreographing for 20 years and incorporates her own fun and innovative style into her dance. Chadia is trained in Classical Egyptian Dance by top Middle Eastern dance artists in NYC and Egypt. She has performed as a soloist in various Middle Eastern Restaurants in NYC and NJ, has taught many workshops throughout the years for the NJ Belly Dance community, and is Director of her own Dance Troupe: “Chadia & The Caravan Dancers”. She has traveled extensively to Egypt and other countries in the Middle East in order to provide her students with the latest dance steps and trends. Chadia’s love and enthusiasm for Belly Dance are evident in her classes!
Jennifer Behnke: Voice Instructor (private and group)
Jennifer D. Behnke – Praised by Gordon Hawkins as “quite possibly the strongest singer (he’s) ever met,” Ms. Behnke made her Lincoln Center and role debut as Brünnhilde(Die Walküre) at Bruno Walter Auditorium with the New York Opera Forum this past March. Earlier this season, she performed the role of Female Chorus(Rape of Lucretia) at Johanna Meier Opera Theatre Intensive, and was a returning participant in the Baldwin Wallace Wagner Intensive, headed by renown soprano Jane Eaglen. Ms. Behnke performed the roles of Elsa(Lohengrin) and Sieglinde(Die Walküre) in scenes chosen by Ms. Eaglen. In 2012, Ms. Eaglen cast her as Adriano(Rienzi) and Grimgerde(Die Walküre). Last season, Ms. Behnke sang Maddalena di Coigny(Andrea Chénier)with NYOF, and made her debut with Chelsea Opera of NYC and with Analog Arts. Other roles have included Donna Elvira(Don Giovanni) Diane(Orphée aux enfers), Countess Almaviva (Le nozze di Figaro) and Nella(Gianni Schicchi).
As a soprano soloist, Jennifer has sung the Brahms Deutsches Requiem with the Central City Chorus and Astoria Symphony and the Duruflé Requiem with the Brearley Singers and West Village Chorale Summersing as well as Handel’s Messiah with the Astoria Symphony and Chorus. Jennifer’s church repertoire is extensive, and in 2008 she was honored to have been chosen to perform “Laudate Dominum” from Mozart’s Vesperae solennes de Confessore for invited guests to and lead the congregational singing for Pope Benedict XVI on his 2008 to New York. The ecumenical service at St. Joseph’s Church, Yorkville in which she sang for His Holiness was broadcast live around the world.
Jennifer is an active recitalist, and along with her frequent collaborator Eric Hunter premiered a recital of Debussy, Medtner, Wagner and Ryan Malone entitled “The Risk to Blossom”. A champion of contemporary composers’ music, Ms. Behnke has performed the United States premier of work by Paweł Łukaszewski,the New York premiers of works by David Evan Thomas, Clint Borzoni and Ryan Malone and has had works written for her by Aurelio Porfiri (Paschale Gaudium) and Eric Hunter (Winter Sun). Ms. Behnke is a native of Highland Lakes, New Jersey and holds degrees from University of Rochester, Eastman School of Music and Manhattan School of Music.
Tamara Radyuk was born and grew up in Minsk, Belarus. She started going to music school at the age of 7 and went on to study violin and piano at the Minsk Musical College named after M.I. Glinka. Following her graduation, Tamara worked in several elementary schools as an artistic and musical director, writing and staging plays, among other enriching activites for children aged 4-7. In 1994, she came to the United States with her family and settled in New Jersey. She has since worked at the Calderone School of Music, based in Millburn, teaching harmony, music theory, instruments (piano, violin, viola) and kindermusic. She then went on to work in the Bloomfield School District. During her time there, she assisted with winter, instrumental and graduation concerts and after-school music programs. Additionally, she worked on the weekends for the Nutley School District, teaching violin to over 40 children in the second and third grades. She has been a music educator for more than twenty years.
Gabrielle Yannuzzi a lifelong resident of Bloomfield who has been cheering since the tender age of six. She was a varsity cheerleading captain for Bloomfield High School. Cheerleading has been her lifelong passion. Gabrielle has taught and coached for several years and has also trained in various forms of dance and gymnastics. She has choreographed multiple cheer dance routines. Gabrielle is extremely excited to be part of the BPA family and to introduce boys and girls of all ages to the exciting world of cheerleading.
Kyle Smith: Musical Theatre Instructor
Kyle Smith is a New York based actor currently working with the Educational Theatre of New York. Some reginal credits include: Gabe in “Next to Normal” at Midtown Art Center in Colorado (Denver Ovation Award nominee for best supporting actor). Sparky in “Forever Plaid” at Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts. Actor 1 in “The Daly News”/Denny in “Life Could Be A Dream” at the Oregon Cabaret Theatre and Claudio in “Much Ado About Nothing”/Florizel in “The Winter’s Tale” with Vermont Shakespeare Company. Kyle Has performed in Santiago, Chile and Edinburgh, Scotland and worked for a year in Macau, China as a singing Gondolier. Kyle has a BFA in musical theatre from Ohio Northern University.