Beth Baur (Co-founder/Director/ Teacher) has been a professional actor and instructor for over 30 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.
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 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 and Jenny's House of Joy; Hairspray and Brothers Grimm Spectacularthon for NJSDA's Encore Youth Theater and most recently Almost, Maine for Cranford High School. Gary is a Proud member of AEA SAG/AFTRA and is married to Co-Director Beth Baur.
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.
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 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.
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.
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 spots 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 TV shows airing on Nickelodeon, Discovery Channel, Travel Channel and the Biography Channel, as well as a number of independent films and local theatre.
Robert Carr (Teacher) 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.
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.
Toni DiBouno (Teacher) 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
Danielle Miller (Teacher) 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.
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.
Paul Ruseell (Teacher)
Paul Russell is a screen and stage casting director, theatrical director, and author of the bestsellingbook for actors ACTING: Make It Your Business – How to Avoid Mistakes and Achieve Success as a Working Actor. He began his career journey as a working actor. His career in entertainment includes projects for studio and independent film, TV, Broadway, regional theater, and teaching master classes at university acting programs, and independently. As a casting director he has cast for major studios including 20th Century Fox, HBO; television network series for NBC, CBS, and Warner Brothers. Theatrically he cast COBB produced by Kevin Spacey in New York & L.A. for which Mr. Russell’s work was recognized by a special Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Cast. He cast Tony-winner Andre De Shields in the revival of Neil Simon’s The Good Doctor, plus the original productions of String Fever (starring Cynthia Nixon), Pera Palas (starring John Spencer of The West Wing), Woody Guthrie's American Song (Drama Desk noms.), Disney’s Beauty and The Beast, The Lion King, and Laughter On the 23rd Floor. Casting of national tours includes, Forever Plaid, Of Miceand Men, The Diary of Anne Frank, Civil War Voices, and Keep On The Sunny Side. Plus, he placed hundreds of actors in over 400 plays, musicals, classical works and premieres for Shakespeare festivals and regional theaters including the Asolo Theatre Festival, San Jose Rep., Florida Stage, Two River Theatre, Nebraska Shakespeare Festival, and the Barter Theatre. As a director, featured in American Theatre Magazine, Russell has served both premieres and established works. He was chosen as the director for the first U.S., post-Broadway production of Mamma Mia! for the Tony-recognized Barter Theatre. The sold-out run broke the Barter’s 80 year-old box office records which forced a remount of the production several months later. Breaking the records of Mamma Mia! was Russell’s staging of Footloose at the Barter (this was his second direction of the film-inspired musical). Other directing credits for the Barter include The Scarlet Pimpernel, Bat Boy, and Russell’s reimaging of Oliver! set against the historical backdrop of London during the Blitz. Oliver! received national attention, and Russell staged it again for Cape Fear Repertory. He has worked alongside legendary screenwriter and playwright John Guare (Six Degrees of Separation) to direct the regional premiere of Guare's A Free Man of Color. Other regional directing includes for Playhouse on The Square, State Theatre, South Jersey Regional Arts Center, Plays-In-The-Park, and Studio Playhouse. New York directing includes the premieres of the comedies Humility, and Confession.As an educator, Russell was a faculty member for the NYU-Tisch theater arts program at The Atlantic Theatre Company teaching audition technique and business of acting. He is also frequently invited as a guest, master class lecturer on the campuses of America’s finest performing arts schools including: Yale, Rutgers, Hofstra, Temple University, The University of The Arts, Elon University, James Madison University, Florida Southern College, Oklahoma Central University, Wright State University, Oakland University, Louisiana State University, Southeast Missouri State University, Montclair State University, and Northeastern University. As a writer, Russell was an editorial contributor for Back Stage, and Casting Networks. Paul Russell is the founder of AnswersForActors.net, an online actor resources that offers information and advice on careers. Among his published works, Paul Russell’s expanded, revised and updated 2nd edition of his book ACTING: Make It Your Business was just released and is available at major booksellers, and at ActingMakeItYourBusiness.com.
For casting updates and guidelines, or to contact Paul Russell visit PaulRussell.net
Adi Zacks (Teacher)
Didi Zacks is currently pursuing a BFA in Acting at Coastal Carolina University (‘22). At CCU, she was featured in productions such as Dance Nation, Romeo and Juliet, and an original puppet festival called Puppapalooza. On the screen, Didi can be seen in the first episode of a new series called No Rest for the Wicked, which will be available for streaming on Amazon Prime in December 2021. She has also worked as a featured actor in the pilot for a new Nickelodeon series called Counting Stars (coming soon!). Didi has also acted in numerous short films, the most recent of which being The Wheel, written and directed by Sarah Krawczyk. 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.