Faculty

Cynthia Meryl

CYNTHIA MERYL (Acting, Musical Theatre,Voice) is the Artistic Director and Master Teacher for NJYT’s School for the Performing Arts. A professional theatre arts educator for forty years, she works with all age groups, elementary through college students, teaching acting and musical theatre classes, providing private training/coaching in voice, as well as free audition workshops to high schools throughout New Jersey. Ms. Meryl is also Stage Director of NJYT’s professional productions at NJPAC and other professional theatres in NJ. Her stage direction credits include 40 major musicals and plays, many of which were produced at NJPAC receiving rave reviews from theatre critic Peter Filichia of the Star Ledger and TheatreMania.com; such shows including Rent, Sweeney Todd, 1776, Midnight Madness (the new musical with Book and Lyrics by Cynthia Meryl, Music by Jack Bender); Carousel; Ragtime, The Musical to name a few. Ragtime, The Musical in 2006 and Sweeney Todd in 2009 were not only lauded by Peter Filichia as “Best Musical Revival,” but held Cynthia Meryl as “Best Director of a Musical” in New Jersey. Ms. Meryl has also directed and adapted for the stage a radio version of A Christmas Carol; and all of NJYT’s Cabaret Recitals. Her performance credits as a professional actress include the original award-winning Broadway musical Nine with Raul Julia, My Fair Lady opposite Noel Harrison, Nellie in South Pacific opposite Giorgio Tozzi, Charlotte in Beyond Therapy opposite Pat Paulson, and the list goes on.

 

ALBERTA HANDELMAN (Acting) has been teaching acting in private and public schools in NYC and NJ for more than 25 years. She is also a professional actress, director, and Founder and past Artistic Director of the award-winning Blooming Grove Theater Ensemble. Ms. Handelman’s greatest pleasure continues to be in the training of young actors. Highlights of Alberta’s acting credits include the roles of Mrs. Cage in Mrs. Cage, Edna in Prisoner of Second Avenue, and Golde in Fiddler on the Roof. Her professional directorial credits include Romeo and Juliet, A Man for All Seasons, and the premiere of the operetta Rappaccini's Daughter. Alberta earned her M.A. from Columbia University and her B.A. from Barnard College, and she 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 Actors Equity Association and holds NJ Teaching Certificates in Speech Arts and Dramatics and in English.

 

Alonzo Hall (Tap) grew up in Plainfield, NJ and began his tap dance training at his city’s local dance studio at the age of eleven. Mr. Hall later studied ballet, jazz, and modern dance at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. He then attended Rutgers University’s Mason Gross School of the Arts where he received his B.F.A in Dance under the direction of Paulette Sears and Julia Ritter. Mr. Hall was a member of the school’s semi-professional dance company known as University Dance Works under the direction of Randy James and had the opportunity to perform works by Ronald K. Brown, Benoit-Swan Pouffer, Xiao-Xiong Zhang, Randy James, and Ferdinand Dejesus. Mr. Hall is currently member of Marie Alonzo’s Tangerine Dance Collective in Princeton, New Jersey. He was a dancer in the musicals Aida and The Wedding Singer, both at Plays in the Park in Edison, New Jersey.

 

James Campodonico

JAMES CAMPODONICO (Musical Director/Accompanist) has taught vocal music for thirty-three years in the New Jersey public school system and has acted as musical director to over one hundred musical productions. An accomplished composer, his musical Between The Lines premiered at Luna Stage in Montclair and received the New Jersey Tony Award for “Best Musical Score Of The Year” from drama critic Peter Filichia of the Star Ledger. His musical Murder On Broadway also had a successful presentation at the York Theater in NYC. Mr. Campodonico’s notable engagements include collaborations with the Paper Mill Playhouse, North Shore Music Theater, Luna Stage, Westbury Music Fair, Two River Theater in Red Bank, The Gateway Playhouse, and teaching musical theater classes at the Whole Theater in Montclair, NJ under the artistic direction of Olympia Dukakis.