Sunday, March 28, 2010

Practicing What They Preach

One of my children’s teachers once told me that the best advice she ever received about becoming a teacher, was that she not ask her students do to anything she herself was not doing. As a result, she teaches violin and plays in an orchestra. There is something about performance that is different than just taking lessons or teaching.

This story applies equally well to two of the teachers at the Elefante School for The Performing Arts. Both Karen Cantor and Susanna Baddiel practice what they teach.

In addition to teaching Musical Theater classes, Karen recently appeared in A Light in the Piazza at the Cranford Dramatic Club. Karen played Franca Naccarelli, a woman who does not speak English, only Italian. As the mother of the young man who falls in love, Karen portrayed a woman who loved life, her son, and who knew how to behave within the norms and constraints of an Italian family in 1953. Her accent was flawless, her musical number captivating, and her presence on stage was always felt by the audience.

This week our Shake It up with Shakespeare teacher, Susanna Baddiel, performed as Titania, Queen of the Fairies and Hippolyta, the Queen of the Amazons in the Actors Shakespeare Company production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Jersey City. Susanna was stunning as the lovely queens, believable as the woman who captured a changeling child, and did not want to give him up, and sympathetic as the wife of a man who deceived her into believing she was in love with a donkey. It was a terrific performance!

We are lucky to have great teacher/performers teaching our children every week.

Article contributed by Paula Roper

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Jersey Voices @ Chatham Playhouse

A Great Opportunity for Local Playwrights:

Hello New Jersey Playwrights

Hope it has been a good year for all of you. It is once again time to be thinking about submitting one-acts for Jersey Voices. For those of you who have already sent along submissions for Jersey Voices '10 - thank you! For those of you who have not, I want to remind you that the deadline is coming up soon - this years DEADLINE is MARCH 15th. So please put the finishing touches on those plays sitting on you desk/desktop and send them along. At this late date, I'd definitely suggest making submissions by e-mail to the address listed below.

Unfortunately, we've had some trouble with our ISP and our site has been down for a while now - including email. If you have been having trouble reaching us at, try submitting to The original address is better as it distributes the plays to those who need to have them automatically, but if that bounces, try the optonline address. Under the circumstances, we will stretch the deadline a little bit for those of you who have had trouble with your original submissions.

Play submissions of any genre (including short musical and dance pieces), style and length up to 20 minutes running time will be accepted through March 15, 2009. Selected pieces will be performed in our Black Box Theater in Chatham on the last weekend in July and first weekend in August.

If we've not chosen your work in the past, please don't give up on us. Each year we have produced new pieces by an author whose work we've passed over in the past; it usually has more to do with trying to balance 6 separate pieces for an enjoyable evening of theater than it has to do with the quality of the piece which has been passed over. In fact, under these circumstances, we have often held over a piece we've liked and given it consideration in the following year. Some of these 'holdovers' have subsequently been chosen, produced, and favorably received.

I'm looking forward to seeing your work this year and, as I know that many of you come to see Jersey Voices, to seeing you again this summer. If you have not already introduced yourself, when you're in the audience please stay for the reception we have after each performance and introduce yourself. We'd love to meet you.

If you have any questions, visit our website at or send me an e-mail at We're accepting scripts this year by e-mail (preferably) or regular mail (still ok):

Send submissions by e-mail to: or

or mail Submissions to:
Jersey Voices c/o CCP
P.O. Box 234
Chatham, NJ 07928
Include a SASE ONLY if you'd like your script returned to you

Best regards,
Bob Denmark, Producer
Jersey Voices '10

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Sprouting Elephants

Sprouting Elephants is a preschool enrichment program that teaches with children, not to children. Children are so open and willing at this age, and we want to keep that alive in each of them. Although the classroom will be structured, the atmosphere will feel relaxed and full of creativity.

Sprouting Elephants is for children ages 3 to 5. We offer a half day morning or afternoon program. You can choose from a 3 or 5 day a week program.

Our open house will be held on Wednesday March 10 and Saturday March 13 from 9 am to 1 pm. We will also offer showings and meetings by appointment.

Sprouting Elephants supports performing arts and will also provide opportunities in violin, ballet, and drama as wrap around programs. We invite you to meet our wonderful teacher, Melissa and see if Sprouting Elephants is the place for your special little one to continue growing!

What makes Sprouting Elephants right for your child?

Sprouting Elephants will allow your child to be him/herself while learning and exploring, making new friends, becoming independent and gaining responsibility. This will be done through creativity and a nurturing environment where your child will feel comfortable, cared for and excited to learn.

What is special about Sprouting Elephants?

Sprouting Elephants has elements that set it apart from other programs. Important areas of our curriculum are: The Performing Arts so that the children have endless ways to express themselves, Green Living which promotes community responsibility and Self Guided Learning which ensures the child will
be engaged in the process.

How are parents involved in the process?

Parents are often seen as mirrors of the community. Children learn roles and values from their parents and guardians. We feel that parental involvement is necessary and invaluable. Communication is constant throughout the program with a journal for the teacher and parent to write notes to each other. We are
always open to hearing your concerns. We offer three private conferences throughout the year: One at the start of the program, one during, and one at the end.

Sprouting Elephants
1790 Springfield Ave.
New Providence, NJ
(908) 464-5928

Summer Music Camps

We're really excited about our three instrumental music camps this summer. Click on the name of each camp below for more information: