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-five 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 audition workshops to high schools throughout New Jersey. A 50-year veteran of theatre and television, Ms. Meryl was in the original Tony Award-winning musical, Nine, with Raul Julia, played Eliza opposite Noel Harrison in My Fair Lady, Nellie opposite Giorgio Tozzi in South Pacific, and the list goes on. She has directed over 40 major productions and for 15 years, directed NJYT musicals at New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), including West Side Story (winning the 2003 Music Theatre International Award of Excellence), Ragtime, the Musical and Sweeney Todd, both named by Peter Filichia of The Star Ledger for “Best Revival of a Musical” and “Best Director of a Musical” in New Jersey, 2006 and 2010, respectively. Presently, Ms. Meryl is collaborator on a screenplay based on her husband’s experience as a soldier in Vietnam commended for entertaining and raising the morale of the troupes, and she is also book writer/lyricist for a new bound-for-Broadway musical based on A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Midnight Madness.
MEGAN McDERMOTT (Ballet) graduated from Somerville High School and the Somerset County Vocational and Technical High School Performing Arts Dance Program. She trained at The Dance Factory in Montgomery, New Jersey where she became a teaching assistant and eventually joined the teaching staff. Megan graduated from Montclair State University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance. While at MSU, Megan was privileged to work with Claire Porter, performing in Sentence to Sentences at the Kasser Theater. She was then asked to be a part of Claire Porter’s PORTABLES, performing Witnessing Adverbs at Joe’s Pub at the Public Theatre in NYC.
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. James recently composed a new musical called “What Do Critics Know?” which has been selected as one of ten finalists by the New York Musical Festival’s Next Link Project. The show was performed in the festival as a full production at the end of July 2015.
ALYSSA KEMPINSKI (Acting for the Camera). A graduate of the William Esper Acting Studio, she has worked in film in front of the camera and behind the scenes as a makeup artist for the past 8 years. Her work in film has been seen in screenings and film festivals from Sundance, Fantasia International Film Fest, LA International Film Fest, IFC and many more festivals in NYC. She has currently been seen on James Franco and Maggie Gyllenhaal’s new HBO series, “The Deuce.”
YEZENIA RODRIGUEZ (Stage Make-Up) is an accomplished actress and certified make-up artist. She received her make-up certification at the Artist Makeup Academy in Hoboken, NJ. Yezenia has both performed and provided make-up services for shows such as Fame! the Musical, Moon over Buffalo, and Little Shop of Horrors. The Artist Makeup Academy is known for its work with celebrities such as Kanye West and Kim Kardashian, and their work in television and professional theatre. Yezenia aspires to continue with her Acting and Make-up career and hopes that she can inspire other interested artists to do the same.