The Play Group Theatre

 



PGT Summer Theatre starts here

Weather Watch: All performances of The Little Mermaid will be presented as scheduled this weekend. Check back here for weather watch updates. An update will be posted on Saturday, January 23 at approximately 4:30pm.

  • Jill Abusch

    Jill Abusch

    Jill Abusch (Artistic Director) is co-founder, Camp Director and resident second mommy to many students and alumni of The Play Group Theatre. As Artistic Director, Jill has guided PGT’s innovative theatre programs from their inception. She is proud to have directed the Teen Conservatory summer writing program for several years, resulting in the original musicals Pieces of Reality, Unpaved Roads, Second Cup and Foolish Mortals. Jill also co-wrote the book and lyrics for Girl Talk, Piper and Family for Sale. She has taught a variety of classes from Little Theatre to Advanced Acting Technique and has gone into schools and camps to train teachers on the use of drama in the classroom. Highlights of Jill’s PGT directing career include: Little Shop of Horrors, Into the Woods, Children of Eden, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Dining Room, West Side Story, Godspell, Guys and Dolls, Once on this Island, Hair, Romeo and Juliet, 13, The Tempest, Fiddler on the Roof and The Winter's Tale. Jill is a college counsellor, specializing in college admissions and auditions for theater and conservatory programs. She is also a public speaking coach and enjoys working with professionals across a variety of industries. Jill studied acting and directing at the Stella Adler Conservatory and the Classical Studio at NYU Tisch School of the Arts, where she earned a BFA in Drama. She adores working alongside her husband and partner, Steven, and is especially proud of their best productions, by far: Aviva and Ilana.

  • Steven Abusch

    Steven Abusch

    Steven Abusch (Executive Director) is co-founder of the Play Group Theatre and has proudly guided the organization through its nomadic years, ultimately spearheading the “NoBro” campaign and landing PGT in its permanent home. Steven is the ultimate multi-tasker at PGT — from the scene shop to the offices, he is equally happy climbing a ladder during tech week as balancing the books with the finance committee. As one of PGT’s resident set designers, Steven has designed the sets for Willy Wonka, Hair, Children’s Letters to God, Honk!, Once on this Island, Guys and Dolls, The Jungle Book, Godspell, Into the Woods, A Year with Frog and Toad, West Side Story, Charlotte’s Web, Our Town and Little Shop of Horrors, among others. Steven also designed and created a series of man-eating plants for Little Shop of Horrors, as well as the masks and puppets for Children of Eden. Steven has directed several PGT productions, including Pippin, Lord of the Flies, Peter Pan, The Wiz, You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown, The Hobbit and From The Inside Out, for which he also wrote the book and lyrics. He also co-wrote the book and lyrics for Family for Sale. Steven has studied both visual and performing arts throughout his life and received his BFA in fine arts after studying at SUNY Binghamton and Scuola Lorenzo De’Medici in Florence, Italy. Steven’s favorite roles are off-stage Husband to Jill and Father to Aviva and Ilana.

  • Rachel Berger

    Rachel Berger

    Rachel Berger (Programs Director) first studied acting at The Play Group Theatre as a student. She is very excited to return on staff to teach a new generation of PGTers! She recently graduated from Northwestern University where she received a BA in theater with minors in French and creative writing. She has completed Northwestern’s advanced fiction and playwriting sequences. In addition to writing, she has acted in many student productions, including several student written plays and new works. Endless thanks to Jill, Steven, and the PGT family for making PGT her home for so many years.

  • Yoni Bronstein

    Jay Akin

    Yoni Bronstein is a proud PGT alum and couldn’t be happier about coming back to PGT to be on the staff. A recent graduate of Brandeis University, Yoni studied Theatre Arts with a concentration in acting and a minor in Philosophy. He was a member of Boris’ Kitchen Sketch Comedy Troupe, for which he wrote, directed and acted. Credits include Urinetown, School House Rock, Marvin’s Room, You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown, and The Laramie Project. Yoni is a current student of the Barrow Group, and recently appeared in Oy! at the AlphaNYC Theatre Company and Twelfth Night at MaineStage Shakespeare.

  • Adrian Burke

    Adrian Burke

    Adrian Burke (rentals coordinator) is a nonunion actor, director, and improviser based in New York City. He is a current member of the apprentice company at the Barrow Group Theater in midtown NYC. He is a member of the house team DEATHWISH at Reckless Theatre where he performs every Thursday. He is an advanced level improvisor at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater. In New York, he has performed at New York Theater Workshop, The Barrow Group, Dixon Place, The Brick Theater, The Paradise Factory, and many more. He has trained at the Boston University College of Fine Arts, The Atlantic Theater Company, Terry Schreiber Studio, and The Barrow Group Theater Company. He received his undergraduate degree in film production from Boston University.

  • Jacob Chapman

    Jacob Chapman

    Jake is very excited to be music directing for Teen Conservatory this summer! Originally from Los Angeles, he recently graduated from Columbia University with a B.A. in music and computer science. He also studied jazz vibraphone in the Columbia-Juilliard Exchange program. In addition to being a vibraphonist and pianist, Jake is also a composer and lyricist. He wrote music and lyrics for the 122nd Annual Varsity Show at Columbia, and orchestrated the score for a 26-piece pit. One of the songs from the show, Beating Around the Bush, was recently featured in Outliers, a song cycle presented by the Student Leadership Program in the New York Musical Festival. He intends on pursuing a career as a composer and performer in New York City.

  • Sara Coombs

    Sara Coombs

    Sara Coombs is thrilled to be a part of The Play Group Theatre this summer! Her past choreography credits include: Big River, The Full Monty, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Forever Plaid, Toad of Toad Hall and The Drowsy Chaperone. She was last seen on the Barnstormers’ Stage as Christine Patterson (Girl in the audience) in One Man, Two Guvnors. In Boston she has been seen on many stages in productions of: 42nd Street, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Singin' in the Rain, Curtains and Follies. Her favorite Boston credit was a play that she, along with her classmates wrote and created, called Necessary Monsters. Sara teaches dance throughout New York City, including Broadway Dance Center and Peridance Capezio Center. She graduated with a B.F.A. in Musical Theatre from The Boston Conservatory.

  • Gia Gan

    Gia Gan

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  • Rachel Goren

    Rachel Goren

    Rachel Goren (Education Director) has been thrilled to be a part of the PGT family for the past four years! She received a BS ED in Elementary Education and Music from SUNY Geneseo, an MA in Theatre Education from NYU, and an Advanced Degree in School Building and District Leadership from Hunter College. Most recently, Rachel directed the K-8 Drama Program at P.S. 126/M.A.T in New York City, and worked in the Education Department at the Atlantic Theatre Company, followed by a position as School Administration Intern to the District Director of Fine and Performing Arts at Byram Hills School District. Rachel is dedicated to artistic education and believes that the arts are an important part of every child’s life. She loves being at PGT where she can fulfill her passions for both theatre and education and is incredibly grateful to her adorable 4-year-old son, Ari, precious 1-year-old son, Levi, her husband, Evan, and her dog, Parker, for all of their unconditional love and support.

  • Aaron Keller

    Aaron Keller

    Aaron Keller has been a working performer in regional and New York theatres for 11 years. He is currently in the MFA Acting Program at Columbia University. Credits include: National Tour: Junie B. Jones (Herb). New York: Cleansed (Tinker), No Exit (Garcin), Blood Wedding (Leonardo), Comedy of Errors (Dromio). Regional Theatre: Shakespeare's R&J (Juliet), Into the Woods (Baker), You’re a Good Man… (Charlie Brown), Lord of the Flies (Ralph). He also works as a fight choreographer and captain, with shows such as SAMMY GETS MUGGED! (FringeNYC), The Pirates of Penzance, and Richard III. He is thrilled to get to work with everyone at PGT this summer!

  • Viktoria Lange

    Viktoria Lange

    Viktoria is a proud PGT alum and is thrilled to return home! She graduated from Brandeis University with a BA in Theater Arts and Education Studies and has trained at the O'Neill Theater Center. While she most recently taught at Trinity Repertory Company, Stoneham Theatre, and the Junge Oper of Stuttgart, Germany, she got her start as a Little Theatre teaching artist at PGT during the summers of '09 and '10. Her favorite artistic credits include Amaranthine, Eurydice, Sunday in the Park with George, and recently directing three PGT Theatre Lab projects. In the fall she will begin pursuing an MFA from the University of the Arts.

  • Anna Llewellyn

    Anna Llewellyn

    Anna Llewellyn is a senior studying Psychology and Brain and Cognitive Science at the University of Rochester. She has acted, interned, directed, and roller skated at PGT since 2011, and cannot wait for another great summer! Some of her favorite PGT credits include Footloose, A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Steel Magnolias.

  • Nick Nicassio

    Nick Nicassio

    Nick started with PGT during the summer of 2009. Nick has been a music director for MainStage and StudioStage at PGT during the year, and has been teaching voice privately as well. At PGT, Nick was the music director for My Son Pinocchio, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, Bat Boy: The Musical and Footloose. Previously, Nick was commissioned to write a set of choral songs for the Young Men’s Ensemble of the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus, which have been performed throughout the year, including at a televised event from the LA Music Center. Nick has been singing and teaching voice for many years, and holds a Master of Music in Vocal Performance from the Manhattan School of Music. Originally from Los Angeles, Nick sang with the Los Angeles Master Chorale and LA Opera Chorus.

  • Malachi Nimmons

    Malachi Nimmons

    Malachi Nimmons is a Resident Company member of New York City's longest running production, Chicago City Limits Improv Theater. He has been performing with Chicago City Limits since 2011, and has played several different venues in New York and across the country. Malachi is also a stand up comic, and has performed all across the country with several notable comics including Bobcat Goldthwait, Damon Wayans Jr., and Hannibal Buress. Along with his stage work, his commercial work can currently be seen on Nickelodeon and Comedy Central. Malachi also produces a weekly improv show in Manhattan, featuring the best independent improv and sketch teams in the city. He is thrilled to be a part of The Play Group Theatre's team!

  • Barbara Orwick

    Barb Orwick

    Barbara Orwick earned a Bachelor of Music degree from Manhattanville College in 1983 and has been making music in Westchester and Fairfield Counties ever since. Barb’s first position at The Play Group Theatre was Musical Director for PGT’s 1995 production of Little Shop of Horrors. Since then she has accompanied and musical directed over fifty productions and events at PGT - including the inaugural student Cabaret and the staff Benefit parody Avenue PGT. Barbara composed music for several PGT original musicals including Family for Sale and Girl Talk. As a piano accompanist, she has also worked throughout the area for various schools, churches, community choirs, singers, instrumentalists and theater organizations. She is currently keyboard player and vocalist for a classic rock band known as SR2 (formerly Shake, Rabbis and Roll) and accompanies a group called Poperatic, a non-profit group of singers who perform at area nursing homes and other functions. By day, Barbara can be found in the Accounting/Finance department at Taro Pharmaceuticals in Hawthorne, NY. Barbara is pleased to now bring her years of experience in financial management to The Play Group Theatre where she is currently Bookkeeper.

  • Brett Radke

    Brett Radke

    Brett Radke is thrilled to be joining The Play Group Theatre again this summer! Brett is a current MFA Acting candidate and recipient of the Bob Hope Fellowship at Columbia University. Favorite Columbia credits include Creditors (Gustav) and Medea (Jason). Other favorite credits include Left in Ink (Tony) and Armature (Evan) at Cleveland Public Theatre, The Pitmen Painters (Young Lad) at The Beck Center, and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (Alfred/Horatio) at Performance Network. Brett has performed internationally in Greece and Ukraine, and apprenticed with Jeff Daniels' acclaimed Purple Rose Theatre Company in Chelsea, Michigan. As a teaching artist, Brett has worked with Great Lakes Theater and Baldwin Wallace University's Conservatory Outreach Program in Cleveland, Ohio.

  • Emily Rosen

    Emily Rosen

    Emily Rosen graduated from Tufts University with a BA in Drama in 2009 and recently completed her MA in Educational Theatre and English Education at New York University. She fell in love with musical theatre and PGT as a 5th grader, and acted on the PGT stage as much as possible throughout middle and high school. In the summer of 2005, Emily joined the PGT Summer staff as a teaching artist and assistant director. She developed original musicals with Jill and PGT's six-week teen conservatory students for three years, and wrote a senior honors thesis at Tufts about the writing process entitled “Creating Original Theatre with Adolescents.” In the summer of 2010, Emily greatly enjoyed following through with the crazy idea of adapting the teen writing process for the three-week teen conservatory program. During the academic year, she currently teaches high school English at The Churchill School in Manhattan. Much love to Steven and Jill for the endless opportunities to discover and develop her passions for theatre and teaching – without which, she believes her life would be a lot less fun and fulfilling.

  • Laura Snell

    Laura Snell

    Laura Yumi Snell is thrilled to be joining the PGT team to share her passion for musical theatre with talented young artists! Born and raised in California, she has served as Artist-in-Residence and Music Director for dozens of productions with California Musical Theatre, Sacramento Theatre Company, and Woodland Opera House. She is an accomplished classical pianist and accompanist, having worked with opera companies, churches, and orchestras, but her favorite genre was always musical theatre. As much as she enjoys playing piano off stage, she finds great joy in singing and dancing on stage as well. Upon graduating from the University of California, Davis with B.A.s in Dramatic Art and Music, she moved to New York City, where she landed her first national tour and national commercial in the same week! Favorite roles include Christmas Eve (Avenue Q), Aldonza (Man of La Mancha). Marcy Park (...Spelling Bee), the Witch (Into the Woods), Ariel (The Tempest), and Bianca (Taming of the Shrew). An avid performer, pianist, and teacher, she is excited to inspire and to be inspired by all artists who are brave enough to follow their dreams.

The Play Group Theatre is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization made possible in part by generous donors like you. Thank you for your support!