About Us

ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

Nathan Brewer has taught music and theatre to thousands of students, of all ages, for twenty years. Directing credits include Lincoln Center, The Kennedy Center, Washington National Opera, Theatreworks/USA, New York Musical Theatre Festival, Town Hall, Park Avenue Armory, Forestburgh Playhouse, Princeton Festival, Long Island Musical Theatre Festival, Pennsylvania Centre Stage, American Pops Orchestra, Fairfax Symphony, West Virginia Symphony, and Blue Hill Troupe. Nathan has also directed the Helen Hayes Awards, Standing Ovation Awards (Kennedy Center), and Hispanic Heritage Awards (aired on PBS). Committed to the development of new works, Mr. Brewer has directed three original movie musicals for the New York Film Academy, in addition to multiple productions and industry readings of new musicals (NYMF, The York, 54 Below). Nathan has taught and/or directed at New York University (Tisch), Penn State, Westminster Choir College, and New York Film Academy. Assisting credits include Aladdin (Broadway), and Relatively Speaking (Broadway).

Managing Director

Sharon Lawton started Recreational Arts with Nathan Brewer in 2007. Sharon has a BA in Mathematics and an MS in Library Science. While she has enjoyed careers in training adults (computer programmers at AT&T) and pre-schoolers (13 years at Pluckemin Church Preschool), it is her volunteer opportunities which have given her the most joy. She spent more than 25 years with Rolling Hills Girl Scout Council serving in many positions from troop leader, to cookie manager, to President of the Board. For more than 15 years she managed the children and youth choirs at Liberty Corner Presbyterian Church, where she first collaborated with Nathan in 1999. She organized dozens of summer camps and church-wide productions providing opportunities for both children and adults. She is currently involved behind-the-scenes helping with costumes for community theatre and Bridgewater-Raritan High School. Sharon met her husband, Rich, back when she was working for AT&T, and their two daughters grew up through Nathan’s summer programs!

Teachers

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).

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.

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).

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.