As a child, our Artistic Director had to travel thirty miles to take performing arts classes.  The classes were expensive, and his family did not have much money.  This is why Recreational Arts was created.  We bring the programs to your community, and keeps the cost as low as possible.  And because of our generous supporters, families that qualify for financial assistance will not be turned away.  Our teaching artists have been trained at the finest conservatories in the country, and they are passionate about sharing their love for the stage with you.


ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

Nathan Brewer  is a stage director, musician, and educator in New York City. Selected credits include Seussical (Theatreworks/USA National Tour), Piaf: A Centennial Celebration (Town Hall), Propaganda (New York Musical Theatre Festival), What Do Critics Know (The York Theatre, Reading), Spring Awakening and Cabaret (American Theatre of Actors), Bubble Boy (New 42nd St. Studios, Workshop), Grand Hotel (Pennsylvania Centre Stage and Theatre at St. Clements), Mirette (Princeton Festival), The Secret Garden, The Drowsy Chaperone, Merrily We Roll Along (Long Island Musical Theatre Festival), Hello Again (Manhattan Theatre Source), numerous award shows and concerts collaborations with The Kennedy Center, Fairfax Symphony, West Virginia Symphony, Park Avenue Armory, and 54 Below. Director of over forty productions on the campuses of New York University, Penn State, Princeton University, Rider University, and Westminster Choir College. Assistant/Associate: Aladdin (Broadway, Toronto, and Seattle), Relatively Speaking (Broadway), Hispanic Heritage Awards (PBS), Around The World In Eighty Days (Pittsburgh Public), The World Goes Round (Pittsburgh Public), Mirita (Off-Broadway), Born For Broadway (Off-Broadway). Nathan has taught at Penn State University, The New York Film Academy, Westminster Conservatory, and is the Resident Director for both The American Pops Orchestra and Nouveau Productions. www.nathanbrewer.net


MANAGING DIRECTOR

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Sharon Lawton was President of the Board for Girl Scouts of the USA (Rolling Hills Council), in addition to serving as troop leader, cookie manager, and board member. For twelve years, she has managed the children and youth choirs at Liberty Corner Presbyterian Church, where she first collaborated with Nathan Brewer in 1999. Since that time, Sharon has organized dozens of summer camps and productions, through which hundreds of lives have been changed. Sharon received a BA in Mathematics and an MS in Library Science. She met her husband Rich while training computer programmers at AT&T, and their two daughters have grown up through Nathan’s summer programs!


TEACHERS

Katie Arnold recently graduated from Westminster Choir College with a Bachelor of Arts in Music and a Minor in Piano Pedagogy. During her time as a member of the Westminster Choir and Kantorei, she participated in tours across the country and in China. Katie started teaching piano lessons as a high school student and has continued to develop a strong passion for teaching children about music. She looks forward to building her own piano and voice studio, as well as pursuing opportunities to sing in professional choirs.

Mary Rose Brendel MaryRose Brendel is currently a sophomore BFA musical theatre major at Penn State University. She is from Cranbury, NJ and is thrilled to be returning to RexArts for her third summer. Favorite past roles include Pippin (Catherine), Urinetown (Hope Cladwell) and To Kill A Mockingbird (Mayella).

Nicholas Cole is a rising senior at State College Area High School. He has been involved in Musical Theater and music for his whole life and is looking forward to passing on his passion for the art to the next generation of performers. Favorite past roles include Newsies as Davey, Once upon a Mattress as Dauntless, Shrek the Musical as Shrek, House on Pooh Corner as Christopher Robin.

Gillian Erlenborn is the Choir Director and Musical Theater teacher at Frelinghuysen Middle School in Morristown, New Jersey, where she teaches over three hundred 6th-8th grade students. She holds a Bachelor of Music in Education and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Westminster Choir College of Rider University. Originally from Martinsville, New Jersey, Gillian began her musical career under the tutelage of Nathan Brewer when she was 5 years old. Gillian has studied classical vocal music, musical theater, cello, handbells, and piano. Favorite theatre credits include; Belle (Beauty and The Beast), Robin (Godspell), Millie (Thoroughly Modern Millie), Little Red Riding Hood (Into The Woods), and Snoopy (You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown). In addition to her work at Frelinghuysen Middle School, Gillian also serves as the Handbell Director at Middlebush Reformed Church in Middlebush, New Jersey.

Kate Fahey is a Bucks County native. She is about to enter her sophomore year at Penn State University, where she is working to receive her BFA in Musical Theatre. She attended Rex Art’s Wicked Musical Theatre Camp when she was a young girl, so she is so excited to be back as a counselor. She loves encouraging young artists to follow their dreams and feels that Rex Arts is the perfect place for kids to do just that! Favorite credits include Olive Ostrovsky (The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee), and Elle Woods (Legally Blonde).

Kayla Jackson grew up performing in various choirs and shows under Nathan’s direction at Liberty Corner Presbyterian Church and at Westminster Choir College summer camps. Her favorite roles were The Baker’s Wife (Into the Woods Jr.) and Asaka (Once on this Island, Jr.). She studied voice with Nathan, Nancy Froysland-Hoerl at WCC, Ken Bryson in Summit, NJ, Suzie Ackerman in Pittsburgh, PA, and Anne Matlack in Madison, NJ and has been playing piano since the age of 7. She has a B.S. from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, where she studied Math, Statistics, and French. Kayla most recently received her Master of Arts in Teaching from Montclair State University, and she will be teaching fourth grade at Philip’s Academy in Newark. Kayla is an active part of the music community at her church, mentoring high schoolers in the arts leadership program and regularly performing on the worship team. She was the worship leader of her church in Pittsburgh, PA and taught private voice and piano lessons in the past three years at Annie’s Playhouse in Far Hills, NJ. She is excited to be teaching for Rex Arts, as she knows first-hand that the arts are where we can learn to believe in the power of stories!

Lauren Johnson is the Elementary General/Vocal and Band Teacher at H.B. Milnes Elementary School in Fair Lawn, NJ. She graduated from Westminster Choir College where she studied Music Education and Sacred Music, and has enjoyed teaching, music, and theatre her entire life! She is excited to continue sharing her love of musical theatre and acting with children at RexArts again this year. Some of her favorite roles include Maria (The Sound of Music), Eliza Doolittle (My Fair Lady), and Sarah (Guys and Dolls).

Danielle Maggio is currently a PhD Candidate in the Music department at the University of Pittsburgh where she does applied work on African American popular music, women in music history, and music industry politics. Danielle began her training in the theatre arts twenty years ago at Act One Theatre School and Pittsburgh Musical Theatre. Danielle has over a decade of teaching experience with all age groups (from pre-school to higher education) in a diverse range of communities and socioeconomic backgrounds. From community centers to non-profits to college classrooms, her teaching is inspired by the intersection of performance, history and community. She is currently a Program Consultant for Focus On Renewal, a non-profit that serves McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania, and has spearheaded the first ever tuition free Rex Arts camp in collaboration with Focus On Renewal. Danielle has also been an instructor for Pittsburgh Montessori schools, Westminster Choir College (Princeton, NJ), The South Side Community Arts Center (Chicago, IL), and The MGR Foundation (Pittsburgh, PA). She is the Associate Producer of Betty – They Say I’m Different, a feature-length documentary film about pioneering feminist funk musician Betty Davis. As a vocalist, she has most recently performed with Truth and Rites and Afro Yaqui Music Collective. An avid vinyl enthusiast, Danielle enjoys spinning deep cuts under the moniker DJ Sauce Queen.

Michael Marrero will be a sophomore at Ithaca College this Fall. He is pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Acting. Michael is from Hamilton, New Jersey and has had the pleasure of working with Nathan and a few other staff members three summers ago in two week Musical Theatre intensive. Favorite credits include Beauty & the Beast (Cogsworth), Bye Bye Birdie (Albert Peterson), Anything Goes (Billy Crocker), 42nd Street (Billy Lawlor), The Music Man (Tommy Dijilas), and Once On This Island (Daniel).

Abby McGuire is an incoming freshman at Ithaca College pursuing a degree in Social Studies Education with a minor in Deaf Studies. Abby has been performing for others since childhood but only recently began acting onstage in her sophomore year of high school. Some of her favorite acting credits include Molly Aster (Peter and the Starcatcher), First Witch (Macbeth), and Katherine Plumber (Newsies). Abby had the pleasure of working with Rex Arts last summer and is thrilled to be returning as an assisting teaching artist this year!

Jennifer Peacock is a music director, pianist, and educator. She is going into her third year as a faculty music director for Penn State Musical Theatre where she music directs shows, teaches classes, and accompanies. Jennifer is particularly involved with the New Musicals Initiative and loves working with musical theatre writers to help bring new theatre to life Before Penn State, Jennifer was a Vocal Director for Royal Caribbean Productions and a freelance MD/pianist in NYC.

Becca Rice is a second year graduate student studying Vocal Performance and Pedagogy at Westminster Choir College of Rider University. She received her Bachelor’s in Vocal Performance from Wheaton College, IL, graduating summa cum laude in May 2017. In addition to classical voice, Becca has training in violin, piano, and dance. She teaches private lessons in Princeton, NJ.

Monika Stephenson is  a composer, performer, and teaching artist based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. A graduate of Duquesne University School of Music, she has performed in regional and national tours and in Europe. Monica has worked with TheatreworksUSA, The Wilma Theater, 1812 Productions, Philadelphia Young Playwrights, City Theatre, The Pittsburgh Opera Company, Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre, Unseam’d Shakespeare Co., and Prime Stage Theater. Composer credits include: My Traveling Song, Hiawatha Project; Twelfth Night, Prime Stage Theater; The Carols, 1812 Productions; Wild Women Don’t Get the Blues; a multi-disciplinary work that encourages young women to stand up, speak their mind, refuse to back down, and ultimately, change the world in collaboration with Hope Academy of Music and the Arts; as well as a musical adaptation of This Girl Laughs, This Girl Cries, This Girl Does Nothing by Finegan Kruckemeyer. As a teaching artist, Monica has led a variety of classes and workshops in theater arts and songwriting for Dreams of Hope – TheatriQ, Hope Academy, LaRoche College, CLO and the Center for Theater Arts. She is a current member of the Harvey Wallbangers Sketch Comedy group and often performs in music venues throughout Pittsburgh. You can visit her online at www.monicastephenson.webs.com

Molly Trueman is from Princeton, New Jersey, and will be attending Princeton University this fall as a Music major. She is undecided as to what her focus will be in music, but over the years she has loved piano, voice, guitar, musical theatre, songwriting, arranging, and music production. Past musical theatre credits include Anything Goes (Hope Harcourt), Spring Awakening (Ilse), Urinetown (Officer Lockstock), and Pippin (Featured Guitarist/Ensemble).


BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Kathleen Duffy is Managing Principal, Corporate Secretary, Treasurer and Board Member of Econsult Corporation, an economic consulting firm in Philadelphia, and has been with the firm since 1980. Kathy’s prime responsibilities focus on the firm’s financial and legal matters as well as contracts and billings for client projects and the firm’s computer network. Since 2007, Ms. Duffy has volunteered extensively with Medford, NJ as production assistant of their musical theater productions in the spring for the Middle School and in the summer for the township musical theater camp. In addition she was founding President of the Greater South Jersey Chorus (1992) and former Board Member of the New Jersey Master Choral (2007-2009). Ms. Duffy received a B.B.A from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. duffy@econsult.com

Dana Frishkorn first met Nathan Brewer when they performed at a summer arts camp together as children and understands how much the collaborative, supportive and fun environment at REX Arts can impact a child’s life. Dana received a BS from the University of Pittsburgh and her Juris Doctorate from Duquesne University. She currently works as contracts counsel for a transportation technology solution provider in Pittsburgh, PA. She also serves as a Volunteer Lawyer for the Arts with the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council and is a member of the National House Corporation Board of the Chi Omega National Fraternity.

David Erlenborn is a proud father of three children who have grown up through Nathan Brewer’s arts programs. David is Managing Partner at Professional Partnering Services, LLC. BA and MS in Mathematics from Leigh University.

Andrea Harum Schiavoni is a Southampton Town Justice, East End Veterans Court Judge, East End Regional Intervention Court Judge and of counsel to the law firm of Campolo, Middleton and McCormick, LLP. More importantly, Andrea is Mom to Thomas and Anna, who has participated in the Long Island Musical Theater Festival since its inception in 2013. Once introduced to LIMTF and the singularly wonderful pre-professional experience it provides to students, the Schiavoni family was hooked and committed to helping the festival grow.

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