The Tween (Grades 6 - 8) Acting Program


Improv Club - Improv Club is an afterschool program for teens and tweens who have taken the "Intro to Improv" class, and want to further develop their spontaneity and decision-making skills through performance games and exercises. The program will focus on honing observation, concentration, and quick thinking, through advanced theater games, as the students work together as a "troupe" to put together a live, virtual improv final performance.

Drama Club Tweens - Drama Club (everyone’s favorite club!) is perfect way to socialize, build community, and create! Drama Club is a virtual after-school extra-curricular activity where club members will spend the semester in “play practice” getting ready to put on a show. Club members will enjoy club activities, theater games, process-oriented rehearsals, and performance of a scripted play. Drama Club members will learn the basics of stage work, self discipline, importance of hard work, creativity, listening and observation skills, and self confidence. AND they will have a social experience with club members who share their same performance passion. Drama Club is a great addition for Pandemic Pods and Home-School groups. It is produced by 3-time Excellence in Education Tony Honoree, Beth Baur. Ms. Baur is a certified K-12 Public School Theater Teacher. Drama Club is available and can be modified for individual groups. Call 973-566-9700 and specify your request for a Drama Club instructor or program.

Level 1
By using theatre games and improvisation, students will learn basic theatre skills in a supportive, creative and fun atmosphere. The second half of the semester emphasizes learning to understand a script, identifying the character's problems and discovering how to solve them. Students will work on a monologue or scene for the final open class project.

Level 2
In this level characters and relationships are explored on a deeper level. Students discover how action and behavior shape characterization. Students continue to track their character's journey through scenes and monologues; articulating the essential elements of building a character, playing objectives, fighting through obstacles and trying to resolve the conflict in the scene. As always, instructors continue to encourage the unique creativity of each student. The session culminates in a final open class project. Please Note: Most students are required to complete two semesters of Level 2 before moving onto Level 3. *Prerequisite: Successful completion of Level 1 or by interview and audition.

Level 3
Level 3 students will continue to hone their acting technique by working on material individualized for their specific growth. Work can include monologues, scene study, acting exercises, or other projects of the teacher's choosing. Continued development of the actor's physical resources will be included. The semester will culminate in a complete staging of theater pieces performed at our theater! Prerequisite: Completion of two semesters of Level 2 AND permission of a director. Students entering our program for the first time must audition for placement in this program.

Acting for Film & TV
This on camera course will teach students about the TV commercial and the TV / film industry.  By working on camera each week, students will learn how to prepare for the commercial audition and how to approach written material for TV and Film (while also exploring choice, size and physicality in front of the camera). Prerequisite: Enrollment in or completion of Tween Acting I (or an equivalent).

Improv Comedy Workshop
Give your imagination a blast of spontaneity! Learn the basic rules of improvisational comedy and then put them to use playing performance games (similar to "Whose Line Is It Anyway?"). The last class will include a comedy showcase for family and friends.

The Tween Musical Theater Program

TWEEN Musical Theater I
In this fun, non-competitive class, students learn the skills of preparing to enter the exciting genre of Musical Theatre. Through weekly instruction with guest master teachers, you will be introduced to the principles and techniques that will help you piece together your lyrics, script, and choreography. Using an introduction to standard and contemporary musical theatre repertoire students will receive group voice lessons, sight-singing company/group numbers, scene/duet studies, and begin to build their portfolio of solo works. The last session will be an open class for family and friends.

TWEEN Musical Theater II
Students will continue to develop vocal skills and further develop the technique of acting through a song by exploring and interpreting the lyrics of the song. Group numbers, duets and solos will be used. As always, instructors encourage the unique abilities of each student. The last session will be an open class for family and friends. Prerequisite: Successful completion of Level 1 or by permission of instructor.

NEW! NJSDA’s Encore Musical Theater Project (Grades 7 - 12):
A unique, pre-professional performance program dedicated to developing diverse and multi-dimensional theater artists.  Students will continue to develop vocal skills and further develop the technique of acting through a song by exploring and interpreting the lyrics of the song. Group numbers, duets and solos will be used and decided by the cast members and directors. Each cast member will be given the opportunity to have a leading role and choose a song to perform either alone or with the support of the ensemble.  Their choices will be guided and coached by the directors. As always, NJSDA encourages the unique abilities of each student. The semester will culminate in a complete staging of musical theater pieces performed in the NJSDA Black Box Theater. 

NJSDA Encore directors Tatiana Bustamante and Leigh Weinman are passionate theater-arts professionals, committed to creating challenging, innovative, high quality work and providing a collaborative, motivating, interdisciplinary outlet for teen actors to broaden their performance skills.