The Theatre's Rising Stars (Students)
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The Theatre's Rising Stars (Students)

Every semester we will shine the spotlight on a few of our RISING STARS students from the previous semester who not only show great promise and great potential in the performing arts, but great purpose by demonstrating how arts can develop their life skills and help improve academic performance, such as building confidence, increasing literacy and collaborating to complete a common goal.

Student Success Spotlight (Winter 2018)

Jaiden Bell
The Master of Memorization

Jaiden Bell

Jaiden Bell is a young man who is filled with determination. If he is given a task he is sure to follow it through until the end. Jaiden is willing to learn exactly what he needs to know in order to perfect his role. He is such a pleasure to work with and extremely respectful. Jaiden has proven to have found his niche. Jaiden is the master of memorization which makes it that much more easier to teach him the art of theater. We look forward to seeing more work from Jaiden and are honored to be a part of his journey to success. Jaiden you are the face of SUCCESS!

Dr. S. Aisha Steplight Johnson
The Outstanding Orator

Dr. S. Aisha Steplight Johnson

Dr. S. Aisha Steplight Johnson was such an honor to work with during this winter session. It was awesome to see how she transformed from an orator to a performer. She was committed to her role and studied endlessly to perfect her performance. Dr. Steplight Johnson was such an asset to this production and could often be seen encouraging other members of our cast and giving friendly reminders to the staff of how we progressed. Her desire to step out of her comfort zone and admiration for the theater was evident in her persistence to learn more and more about theater technique as well as the subject of our production. She understood the purpose of her character, embraced her role, and executed it superbly. We look forward to working with her again! Dr. Johnson, you are the face of success!

Student Success Spotlight (Fall 2018 - In Between Time Production)

Iyana L. Taylor
LIGHTS. CAMERA. ACTION.

Iyana L. Taylor

Iyana is no stranger to the spotlight. She is not only known for her acting skills but she is well capable of walking any runway set before her. Iyana's zeal for success sets precedence for her work ethics. At only 8 years old she has already become quite the entertainer. She is an awesome dance choreographer and lyricist. Iyana didn't just memorize her lines, but knew everyone's lines as well, which we all know is the making of a professional. She was a positive feature to this production. Iyana is truly a budding star. It is our absolute honor to be a part of her journey to greatness. Iyana Taylor, you are the face of SUCCESS!

Tye A. Pace
FIRST AND NOT THE LAST

Tye A. Pace

Tye, known as the baby of our cast, is a force to be reckoned with. No one would ever know that this was his first major role in a theater performance with the way he commands his audience. Tye is extremely lovable and has never met a stranger. He is an artist in his own right, having the ability to make the character his own at only 6 years old. He works extremely well with others and is a stickler about his lines. We look forward to watching Tye grow as a thespian and are more than honored to be a part of his story to greatness. Tye Pace, you are the face of SUCCESS!

Jalissa Sterling
A STAR IS BORN

Jalissa Sterling

Affectionately called Barbie, Jalissa Sterling came in ready for the stage. She was one the first to have all of her lines memorized. Jalissa appeared eager to learn and worked hard to perfect every directive given. Jalissa's voice is captivating and her sweet character is infectious. She is a great student and loves doing school theatrical projects. She is also a phenomenal singer and dancer and quickly picks up on choreography. Jalissa is a joy to work with and has already developed a professional character during rehearsals that is even admired amongst her peers. Her commitment to this performance was inspiring. We look forward to seeing Jalissa in future projects and anticipate continued greatness in her. Jalissa Sterling, you are the face of SUCCESS!

Student Success Spotlight (Summer 2018)

Courtney Joy Breeden
THE STAGE COMMANDER

Courtney Joy Breeden

Courtney came to the Children's Performing Arts Academy at the age of 7 and though small in stature she knew how to command the stage. She has been performing since the age of 5 and, now at 14, Courtney has proven to be extremely knowledgeable and skillful in the art of musical theater. Her fearless commitment has made her known for giving any task her full dedication. She encouraged and inspired the younger actors who studied with our Academy and was often seen rehearsing with them and applauding their efforts. In the fall of 2018 she will be attending the Union County Performing Arts High School. She was such an asset to our program because she was a shining example artistically as well as academically. While she has many goals, her desire is to act, write and teach. It is our absolute honor to watch her soar and be a part of her journey to success. Courtney Joy, you are the face of SUCCESS!

Keith Folk
MIND OVER MATTER

Keith Folk

Keith joined our theater academy when he was only 8 years old. He was quiet, shy and had no clue of what to expect. However, there was only one thing that Keith needed in order to be a beneficial participant of Newark Symphony Hall's Children’s Performing Arts Academy and that was an open mind. Keith was noticeably open to learning everything there was to know about the world of theater. He continued to amaze us summer after summer by giving life to his characters and working hard to perfect our end-of-session production's songs and choreography. Keith Folk, you are the face of SUCCESS!

Isaiah Miller
THE TOTAL PACKAGE

Isaiah Miller

Isaiah came to the Children's Performing Arts Academy two years ago with so much enthusiasm and filled with potential. The stage absolutely loved him. It was evident that Isaiah enjoyed performing by his total commitment to his characters. Isaiah's ability to dance, sing and act made him a triple threat. He also appeared to enjoy meeting new people, which is always a great characteristic to have especially during our full-day summer intensive when we have more students. Isaiah expressed that his goal was to become an awesome entertainer and we must say that he is well on his way. We loved watching him grow and mature into quite the performer and we look forward to some great things occurring in his future. Remember his name... Isaiah Miller, you are the face of SUCCESS!

Student Success Spotlight (Spring 2018)

Dasianee Williams
THE LINE SAVER

Dasianee Williams

Dasianee, affectionately called "Daisy," came to the Children's Performing Arts Academy at the age of 8 and is no stranger to the theater. She has been performing in productions written by our current Program Director Cisely Breeden since she was 5 years old. At age 11 and full of zeal, Daisy has become quite the performer. She is considered one of our veteran actors. Daisy is known as the "line saver" for remembering everyone lines. She is such an asset to our program because she is an example of shining artistically as well as academically. While she has many goals, her desire is to be an awesome business woman. It is our absolute honor to be a part of her journey to success. Dasianee Williams, you are the face of SUCCESS!

Tomias James Breeden
THE PROMISING PRODUCER

Tomias James Breeden

Tomias has been intrigued with the theater ever since he saw his older sister perform in her first stage play, Let It Go. He absolutely loves the stage. He brings his own flare to everything he does. Tomias enjoys acting and dancing, but has a great passion for singing and has been doing so for as long as he can remember. He is often the one adding his own critiques and cue to performances. Tomias also enjoys creating the scene and setting the stage. His dream is to build and own his own theater and is often found drawing the possible layout. We are more than excited to see how awesome his future will be. Tomias James Breeden, you are the face of SUCCESS!

Lillian McCloud
THE CONQUERING COMPOSER

Lillian McCloud

Affectionately called Lillie, Lillian McCloud was really born to be a star. She is usually the first to have all of her lines memorized. Lillie has never met a challenge that she didn't attempt to conquer. At only 7 years old her voice is melodic and stronger than someone three times her age. Lillie is a great student and loves doing school theatrical projects. She is also a little composer and can create an awesome song from almost any experience. Lillie is a joy to work with and has already developed a professional character during rehearsals. Her excitement to perform is inspiring. We look forward to seeing Lillie in future projects and anticipate continued greatness in her. Lillian McCloud, you are the face of SUCCESS!

Student Success Spotlight (Fall 2017)

Nia Hutchins
The QUADRUPLE THREAT

Nia Hutchins

This little lady came to the Children's Performing Arts Academy at only 5 years old and was full of zeal. Now at 8 years old she is a singer, dancer and actress. There has never been a dull moment from the time she arrives until she bids us all a good night. Our advantage with Nia is that she enrolled in our program reading way above her grade level. We advise all of our parents to encourage their children to read. She is proof that a great reader has great potential. One of Nia's many goals was to be a part of an intergenerational theater production, so in December 2017 her dream came true. Nia was a featured star in LeapNhigh Productions' "In Between Time" and did a phenomenal job! Nia is a triple threat singer, dancer, and actress. It is our absolute honor to watch her grow into her greatness. Nia Hutchins, you are the face of SUCCESS!

Armani Smith
The DISCOVERER

Armani Smith

Armani joined the Children's Performing Arts Academy in the summer of 2017 at 12 years old. She came with the desire to increase her ability and skill in dance. What she didn't know was that she would tap into a gift that she never knew she had. Armani was under the impression that if she got an acting role in our summer production it would box her in and she wouldn't be able to dance. However, here at the CPAA we encourage the triple threat. After asking Armani to read as the princess in our summer production of "UNTANGLED," the drama instructors discovered that she was actually a great little actress. After much encouragement, when Armani returned for our fall semester she came ready to learn the art and skill of acting and conquered every task as we knew she could. We are more than excited to see how awesome her future will be. Armani Smith, you are the face of SUCCESS!

Naim Hall
The MAN IN FRONT AND BEHIND-THE-SCENES

Naim Hall

At 12-years-old Naim made it very clear at his arrival that he was merely here to support his younger brother Emmanuel's tenacity for acting and theater. Naim planned to learn the business aspect and back stage roles of theater. While we could all clearly see that Emmanuel was destined for stardom we also observed a hidden talent in Naim. After about one week of instruction Naim had found his niche. He auditioned for one of the lead roles in the summer production but, sang, danced, and asked to be a teacher in training. All of his goals were met! After an awesome summer Naim returned to us in fall 2017 at age 14 as Langston Hughes in our production of the "Harlem Renaissance" and remains committed to his gift of acting. He has found his ability to captivate an audience with his words and character. We look forward to seeing Naim in future projects and anticipate continued greatness in him. Naim Hall, you are the face of SUCCESS!

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Box Office: 1030 Broad Street, Newark, New Jersey
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