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.
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
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!
Claire Barker is a Pittsburgh native and thrilled to join the staff at REX Arts! She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Duquesne University with a degree in Music Education with a vocal concentration. This will be here sixth year at Seneca Valley School District, where she has taught choir, strings, piano, and private voice. She currently holds the 7/8 Middle School Choir position and is the Vocal Director for the 7/8 Middle School musicals. In her spare time, she teaches private voice lessons and is the treble section leader at First Lutheran Church in downtown Pittsburgh.
Charlie Crawford is a theater artist and educator from Medford, New Jersey. He is currently a senior at Ithaca College studying producing and directing. This past June he studied at The Orchard Project in Saratoga Springs where he worked with artists Trey Lyford and Julian Fleisher, among others. His favorite thing about theater is learning from his mistakes in order to learn more.
Chessa Crum is the K-6th grade music teacher at Pivik Elementary in Plum Borough School District. In addition to teaching general music, she is also the director of the 5th and 6th grade Chorus and after school theater program. A suma cum laude graduate of IUP, Chessa received his B.S. in Music Education in 2012. Since then, Chessa has taught general music and theater in the area and as a part of Teach For America in Appalachia. Chessa has been involved in performing with local choirs and community theater’s in the area. She is currently pursing her Masters in Curriculum and Instruction at PointPark University.
Gillian Erlenborn is a sophomore Music Education major at Westminster Choir College of Rider University. She is from Martinsville, New Jersey, and 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 studies, Gillian also serves as the Handbell Director at Middlebush Reformed Church in Middlebush, New Jersey.
Paul-Jordan Jansen is elated to be working with REX Arts this summer! Jordan is a New York based Singer/Actor and has performed all over the world doing Regional Theatre, New Works Festivals, and Premier Productions. Recent Credits include: The Count of Monte Cristo, Show Boat, Les Miserables, South Pacific, Something Wicked This Way Comes, and A Grand Night For Singing. Jordan just finished teaching at the S.T.A.T.E. Musical Theatre Summer Intensive at Penn State University under direction of Raymond Sage. Jordan is also Artistic Director of the YouBettaWork!! Musical Theatre Audition Workshop Program in Cleveland, Ohio.
Danielle Maggio holds a Master of Arts degree in Ethnomusicology from the University of Pittsburgh and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Cultural Studies from Columbia College Chicago. She is currently a PhD Candidate in the Music department at the University of Pittsburgh where she does applied work that links youth development with politically empowered music of the African Diaspora. Danielle began her training in the theatre arts twenty years ago at Act One Theatre School and Pittsburgh Musical Theatre. She has written, directed and choreographed for The City Theatre (Pittsburgh, PA), YACK (Zelienople, PA), and The Westminster Conservatory (Princeton, NJ). Danielle has taught Artistic Activism classes through the MGR Foundation (Pittsburgh, PA), which engaged at risk youth with performance, history and community, and currently works as a consultant for the Father Ryan Arts & Culture Center (McKees Rocks, PA), where she curates and performs events that celebrate Pittsburgh’s rich local music history. She is a vocalist who has recently performed with the Afro Yaqui Music Collective, which merges jazz, funk and soul into dialogue with indigenous musics of the 21st century.
John Peterson grew up in Medford, New Jersey and just finished his sophomore year in the Musical Theatre Program at the University of Utah. While in school, he had performed in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (Protean), West Side Story (Riff), Hello, Dolly! (Waiter), and will be tumbling in Bring it On the Musical in the fall. He also had the opportunity to make his professional debut as a Russian in Fiddler on the Roof at Pioneer Theatre Company.
Marysa Pratico from Hamilton New Jersey, just finished her freshman year at Mercer County Community College where she is currently studying Liberal Arts and Arts Administration. She began performing when she was in the fifth grade and has participated in theater productions in school and in her community ever since. Some of her favorite theater credits include Once on this Island (Ti Moune), To Kill a Mockingbird (Ms. Dubose), Les Miserables (Special Ladies Chorus/ Eponine u/s), and The Philadelphia Story (Dinah Lord). In addition to her studies, Marysa will be continuing her degree in Arts Administration at Rider University in fall 2017.
Erica Silver holds a Master of Arts degree in Music and Music Education from Teachers College, Columbia University and a Bachelor of Music degree in Piano from Westminster Choir College of Rider University. Mrs. Silver currently teaches vocal music at Crockett Middle School in Hamilton, New Jersey and maintains a small piano studio at Westminster Conservatory of Music. She is active as a music director, pianist, and actress in the greater Princeton area, having worked on stage and in the pit at Kelsey Theater, Princeton Summer Theater, and ActorsNET of Bucks County. Additionally, she has served as an accompanist for multiple school and community-based student choirs and summer programs.
Amanda Silverstein is a rising sophomore at Penn State, working on her BFA in musical theatre. Some show credits include Urinetown (Hope), Parade (Lucille Frank), Shrek (Fiona), and Sweeney Todd (Mrs. Lovett). She was also a recent counselor for the Penn State Musical theatre intensive, S.T.A.T.E., and a participant in the Nu Musicals Festival 2016.
Sadie Spivey is a recent graduate of State High and will be a freshman at Penn State in the fall, where she will be pursuing a double major in voice performance and acting. While at State High, Sadie was active in Thespians as well as Master Singers. Recent performances include Les Miserables with FUSE Productions (ensemble), La Boheme with Penn State Opera Theatre (chorus), Hairspray with State College Community Theatre (Corny Collins Kid), and numerous shows at State High, including a performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Puck). In the summer of 2014 she was honored to perform Alice in Concert (Alice) at the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland, along with many of her Thespian colleagues from State High.
Michael Timcheck is a music teacher at Eden Hall Upper Elementary School with the Pine-Richland School District. A magna cum laude graduate of Slippery Rock University, Michael received his B.M. in Music Education and Piano performance in 2009. Since then, Michael has taught elementary general music, chorus, and band in both public and private schools in the Pittsburgh area, most recently with the Ambridge Area School District. In addition to teaching, Michael has been involved in performing with local choirs and community theaters in the Pittsburgh area, most recently singing with the Renaissance City Choirs. Michael received his Level 1 Orff-Schulwerk certification from Carnegie Mellon University in 2012 and received his M.Ed. in School Administration from California University of Pennsylvania in 2014.
Josephine Wilson has trained extensively at Shakespeare & Co in the Berkshires and holds her MFA in Acting from Pennsylvania State University. She has recently been seen as Annie in Table Manners, Miss Jean Brodie in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Lady Macbeth in Macbeth, and Nancy in Frozen. She has worked with ages 3-30 and has been a part of Shakespeare & Company’s nationally acclaimed Education Department for 8 years teaching and directing in the Fall Festival of Shakespeare, Shakespeare & Young Company and the Juvenile Court Project. Josephine currently teaches for New York Film Academy and is a proud member of Actor’s Equity.
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. email@example.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.