Wednesday, August 1, 2012

55th TADW Scholarship Recipients

As the 55th TADW blazes through its final week of performances, we want to take a moment to congratulate the 2012 TADW Scholarship recipients, and to again thank those who have donated funds to make these scholarships possible. 

In 2011, the Jacob family established The Endowment Fund (TADW alum Marylata and her husband Danny along with their son, also a TADW alum, Aaron) in the spirit of strengthening the program and making participation possible for more students. To support The Endowment Fund, please see the TADW website for further information and to find out how you can contribute.  

And several more scholarships exist for TADW - some long-standing, others more recent. When you apply for 2013, look for the option to apply for one of these gifts. The TADW 2012 Scholarship recipients are:

Madeline Castro as Pochadotas
Madeline Castro plays Pochadotas in Snow White and the Magnificent Seven.  She received the Nancy Cartwright Scholarship.  Nancy is a TADW alum who visited us in 2009 to establish a scholarship for students who could otherwise not afford to participate in the program.  Nancy is most immediately known for her work as the voice of Bart Simpson, a role she has played since the late 1980’s.  Titles like Kim Possible, Rugrats, and Pinky and the Brain add to her remarkable resume.  

Kaitlyn Rickaby as Wild Bill Hiccup
Kaitlyn Rickaby is Wild Bill Hiccup in Snow White and the Magnificent Seven.  She received the Sam Loeb Scholarship, also known as the “Spirit of TADW” scholarship.  The gift is named for Sam Loeb whose parents dedicated the scholarship in his name after he lost his battle with cancer. This full TADW scholarship is given annually to the student who best exemplifies the spirit of the workshop, namely leadership, friendship, artistry and commitment. Loeb family members and friends provide the funding for this annual award.

Natalie Hightower as Rose
Natalie Hightower is Rose in Bye Bye Birdie.  She received the Mary Ellen Clemmons Scholarship, named for longtime, legendary TADW director and instructor Maryellen Clemmons, professor emeritus from CSUN’s Department of Theatre.  During her tenure, Maryellen also served as acting chair of the department.  The award is given to the “ideal” TADW student and is presented at the end of the summer and includes a half-scholarship for the following year.

Sydney Reyes as Mrs. Doris Macaffee

Daniel Bellusci as the Sheriff
Sydney Reyes is Mrs. Doris Macaffee in Bye Bye BirdieDaniel Bellusci is Sheriff Charmin’ in Snow White and the Magnificent Seven.  Each of these students received the Ann Burroughs Family Scholarship – this gift embodies the spirit of TADW, which is that the students always come first.  A shortage of money should not be an obstacle to keep a student from the TADW experience. The late Ann Burroughs was a long time administrative analyst in the Department of Theatre at CSUN, and a great friend to the workshop.  The scholarship, funded by her family, provides two $500 scholarships for students with financial need. Through this generosity, the spirit of Ann’s caring heart lives on each year, as two deserving students get the support they need to participate in our program.

Savannah Ludwig as Kim
Savannah Ludwig is Kim in Bye Bye Birdie.  She received the Allan RichWe Care About Kids” Scholarship.  Renowned actor, producer and director Allan Rich has sponsored a student through the program each year since 2009.  Through his non-profit organization, “We Care About Kids,” he selects a student for funding with the perspective that TADW is a great community involvement project.  He talks about theatre as a tool for character development, “Whether you want to act, produce, write, build sets, or simply get to know yourself better and find your fit in the world,” he says, “The Teenage Drama Workshop is a great place to be.”  Watch the interview with Kim, Allan and Doug Kaback:

...And to be announced at Munch n’ Crunch on Sunday, the recipient of the Allan Oldham Scholarship, which will provide a particular student funding toward the 56th TADW, Summer 2013.

Congratulations to all of our recipients, and again, a heartfelt THANK YOU to our benefactors.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Callbacks GiveBack

"If you think you are too small to be effective, you have never been in bed with a mosquito." - Betty Reese

Danny, Aaron and Marylata Jacob (Elton) at the
TADW 54 production of Music Man
The Callbacks, the TADW Alumni Group is up and running. Over 300 alumni have joined our Facebook group (175 in the first 36 hours). More join every day, some who attended the Workshop as early as 1961. Many attribute their real-life successes to the lessons learned at TADW.

It is in this spirit the Callbacks GiveBack campaign came to fruition. In 2012, the CALLBACKS began a financial aid fund to assist a multi-generational Legacy student and students in greatest need.

Why “Giveback”? For the second time in TADW’s 55-year history, the program (along with all CSUN departments) must pay CSUN for use of the facilities. This summer, the facility fees increased to over $25,000. Even with raised ticket prices, the financial aid for students was severely jeopardized.

The goal is to fund $5,500 for financial aid annually. My husband, Danny Jacob (composer of Disney’s Phineas and Ferb) and I have contributed the lead gift of $2,500 to get the 2012 fund up and on its feet.

With each TADW Alum investing a modest $25 annually, no teen will be denied this fantastic summer program because of his or her inability to pay tuition. Let us not be the generation who broke the TADW commitment that no student is turned away due to the financial burden of tuition.

Your tax-deductible donation will bring the experience of a lifetime, to teens in need. Cash in that change jar. Set aside $25 and send a check to:

Teenage Drama Workshop
California State University, Northridge
18111 Nordhoff Street
Northridge CA 91330-8320
ATTN: TADW/Doug Kaback

- Marylata Jacob nee Latie Elton, TADW: ’73, ’74, ‘75

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Unsung Heroes: Techies at TADW

Caroline (above) jumps into many of the projects
with students to teach with a hands-on approach.
With both Bye Bye Birdie and Snow White and the Magnificent Seven opening within the week, the tech students are hard at work making sure both shows will light up your world.

Caroline Law, the creator and lead instructor of the tech program here at TADW, has made it clear that she is nothing but confident that her students will do wonders with the lights, sounds, sets, props, and costumes for the shows.

Glen (far right) in the booth of the Little Theatre,
 working the sound board with two tech students.

"I try to teach them [the tech students] professionalism and a strong work ethic so that they take pride in what they do," Caroline says.

Glen Howes, second in command to Caroline, also had sublime things to say about the program. As an alumni of the TADW tech program, he says that what he has learned from the crew has allowed him to advance his skills, and be confident enough with his knowledge of the equipment to teach the new generation of "techies."

Caroline and Glen work wonders as a tech duo.  They teach the students how to run a light or sound board, how to work with mics, build and follow designs for sets, hang and focus lights, and how to properly use all the tools and equipment found in a professional theatre.

The tech program gives students experience working as a unified group, and, over time, they learn to work with one another in a seasoned, and creative way! In fact, what they learn is how to work - and these are skills they can take with them anywhere they may go, whatever career paths they may follow. "We all work together, and we're a team," says Caroline. "I'm trying to take these kids and turn them into little professionals."

- Haylee-Rae Averill

A Sneak Peek: Snow White and the Magnificent Seven

Tickets: 818-677-2488. CSUN Teenage Drama Workshop's production of Snow White and the Magnificent Seven is underway. It's a Western. It's Snow White. It's magnificent!

It's a an original musical by TADW's own Ronnie Sperling and Chris Halsted. We're learning the choreography, rehearsing the scenes, building the sets, testing the sound and setting the lights to get ready for showtime: July 20 - August 4th, 10 performances in the Little Theatre at California State University, Northridge. 

Tickets: 818-677-2488. Discounts for group sales. Saddle up 'n git on out here! Ain't no better show west o' the Mississip... ner east, neither! Well, 'cept fer Bye Bye Birdie in the Big Theatre next door. It's great, too! Matter o' fact, that's gonna be yer next sneak peek!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Invitational to Current and Past TADWanians

Psst! Current and past TADWanians only: you are invited to... "The Invitational!" for Snow White and the Magnificent Seven!

This is a preview show of Snow White and the Magnificent Seven. Remember you must have had the TADW experience to pass through the saloon doors and out onto this mean street. (Actually, it's not such a mean street. But it has its surprises!)

The Invitational is Thursday, July 19th at 6:00 P.M. Parents, ask your teenager about the non-TADW sponsored "After Invitational Get Together." All we can tell you here is it's true when they tell ya that parents sit at one side of the restaurant and the TADW participants at the other. Yup. Go ahead. Ask 'em. ...Ah dare ya!

(Info on the Bye Bye Birdie invitational coming soon, but save the date - evening of July 24th).

Monday, June 25, 2012

Tickets now available for all shows!

TADW shows are selling out fast! Tickets are available for Snow White and Magnificent Seven, Bye Bye Birdie, and 10 Minute Play Festival, but you better get them quick! They can be purchased through the main A.S. Ticket Office (see map), the Nordhoff Hall A.S. Ticket Office (located in the Little Theatre Lobby, open only two hours prior to shows), or Ticketmaster (click here).

Ticket pricing is as following:
$14.00 - General
$10.00 - Kids and Seniors 
Groups - $10.00 - 10 or more
(no reserved seating) 

Right now, for every TEN tickets you buy (for one performance), you will receive ONE FREE! This offer is only valid at either A.S. Ticket Office, when you tell them you're with Teenage Drama Workshop.

Monday, June 18, 2012

The TADW 2012 Cast Lists are Here!

Bye Bye Birdie

Albert Peterson             Josh Knoller
Rose                             Natalie Hightower
Ursula Merkle               Alex Lucas
Kim Macafee                Savannah Ludwig
Mrs. Doris Macafee      Sydney Reyes
Mr. Harry Macafee        August Robinson
Mrs. Mae Peterson        Jessica Garcia
Conrad Birdie               Devon Yaffe
Hugo Peabody              Michael Dager
Gloria Rasputin             Lily Khalighi
Randi Macafee               Pasha Wynant

Numerous additional roles to be cast from ensemble below!

Genevieve Collins
Allie George
Noah Gephart-Canada
Hanah Gershkowitz
Samantha Glassner
Grace Jacobsen
James Johnston
Tom Johnston
Kyla Lockette
Sarah MacLennan
Alia Martinez
Laura McDermott
Renee Melkonian
Paulina Mirabella
Rosie Murrah
Allie Norton
Haley Perkins
Sami Raskin
Sara Renner
Camille Roberts
Theo Robinson
Michael Smith
Julia Trites
Analisa Venolia
Marisel Venolia

Snow White and the Magnificent Seven:

Sheriff: Daniel Bellusci
Mayor: Canaan Smith
Prospector: Danny Halsted
Snow White: Milli Miereanu
Willy: Annie Resnick
Little Jake: Chloe Rosen
Queenie: Camille Martellaro
Zero: Maya Escobar
Ms. Kitty: Ashley Stanford-Johnston
Pochadotas Madeline Castro
Clambake: Lily Lester
Chicken: Myles
Man with no name: Colin Mika
Frita Bandita: Julia Lester
Woodsy: Melina
Billy the Kidder: Kate Westrum
Wild Bill Hiccup: Kaitlyn Rickaby

Sarah Sperling
Maya Efrat
Nicole Fisher
Josh Lloyd
Elizabeth Lloyd
Kali Hale
Maya Hale
Larissa Heatley
Samantha Fabish
Brie Guenthner
Paige Jenson
Kaitlyn Catalbas
Mara Eisner
Megan Phung

Sunday, June 10, 2012

This summer TADWanians blew their first auditions out of the water!

Doug Kaback gathers all the crew and students in the Little Theatre for an
introductory speech to kick things off.
This summer's first round of auditions were excellent! The students were split into three groups, and went into three different auditions, including voice, acting, and dance.
For voice, each student sang along with either an accompaniment from voice teacher Diane, with a karaoke track, or acapella. For the dance audition, dance instructor/choreographer Candy, and her assistant Brynn, taught each group a basic routine to see their individual ability to pick up choreography, work in sync with other dancers, and take direction. And for the acting audition, Chris had the students participate in some warm-up activities to get their creative juices flowing. He then had small groups of students go on stage to act out improvised monologues, based on short blurbs he gave them based on some of the characters from this summer's Snow White and the Magnificent Seven. Overall, the general consensus of the talent this past week was top notch. This summer is going to be more impressive than ever! Can't wait to see how the callbacks go next week! Break legs!
-Haylee-Rae Averill

Friday, June 8, 2012

With auditions this week, and callbacks the next, TADWanians are going to be "hoping they get it"!

With first auditions tomorrow, we've got a feeling you're all amped with nerves and excitement, much like the characters in A Chorus Line. But to ease those nerves, just remember, every actor at TADW gets called back, so there's no need to think "God, I hope I get it!"

-Haylee-Rae Averill

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Your Summer in TADW: What to Expect

What's a TADWanian?!

Are you new to TADW this summer?  Perhaps you came to the Meet and Greet and saw lots of people who seemed like great friends and there you were: new.

Maybe you had a question you didn't think of til you got home.  Do you wonder what a typical TADW day will be like?

First of all, the TADW website has a FAQ page, for those of you who tend to stay up late at night wondering about things.

A day in TADW starts at 8:00 a.m. and ends at 4:15 p.m.  The season runs six weeks. Here's how the TADW day goes:

Performance Track: Students in the performance track begin the day with intensive classes in voice, dance and acting, along with an elective (improvisation, musical theatre or playwriting).  After lunch, they break out by cast to rehearse for the play they're in. This year it's either Snow White and the Magnificent Seven or Bye Bye Birdie.

Tech Track: Students in the technical track will begin their morning with classes in costuming, lighting, sound and stagecraft.  After lunch, they will break out by crew to work behind the scenes in Snow White and the Magnificent Seven or Bye Bye Birdie.

As the six weeks come to an end and the productions go up, the performance students will also use their afternoon session to rehearse for dance class finals, to stage and rehearse their 10-minute plays, and to prepare for the musical theatre showcase called Munch & Crunch. (More about that later. It's fun. It's silly. It's seriously funny).

TADW works like a theatre company with every member pulling his or her weight. So you'll be expected to attend all classes and rehearsals.  You'll work hard, but when you're having fun being creative, time flies!

So, what's this term “TAD-WUH”  you keep hearing people use? That's how TADW sounds-out when you read it as a word.  Look at it.  We're so amazing, we have our own word!  Actually we have another: The students are also called TADWanians. It's a name you'll never shake - and you'll never want to!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

FAQ's from the Meet & Greet

On Sunday, April 15th, past, current, and future TADWanians and parents and families, and TADW staff came together to meet and greet each other for the start of season 55 of The Teenage Drama Workshop at CSUN.

The meet and greet has been an annual event for several years now, and it is a great way to meet the people you will be spending your summer with at the workshop and for the parents to get some of their questions answered. Now of course, everybody has a very busy schedule, and we know that not each student and/or parent was able to make it to the event; so we have put together a Q & A with some of the questions that were answered by the staff at the meet and greet.

If you have more questions, feel free to either ask on the facebook page (write it on the wall- who knows, maybe other people have the same questions!) or email us at and of course there's a huge FAQ section on the TADW website.

Q: Does my child need to prepare a song/monologue/etc.?

A: For the first audition, each student needs to have a song prepared, to be either accompanied by the piano, ipod, cd, tape, or to sing acapella. (There will be the tools needed to play any of the above listed.)  Acapella is not recommended though, because the directors need to hear how you accompany a set pitch.

Q: What does my child need to wear to the auditions?

A: Your child needs to wear clothing that they can move in. There will be a dance element to the audition, so clothing must not restrict free movement. As far as shoes, jazz or ballet shoes are preferred (and required for the program), but if you do not own them at the time of the audition, sneakers are acceptable. But, absolutely NO open-toed shoes! (and that rule applies throughout the run of the workshop).

Q: Will there be any Saturday rehearsals, like last year?

A: There will be a few Saturday rehearsals scheduled at the discretion of each director, which will be announced at a later date (when it's known).

Q: When will the cast lists go up?

A: After the callback auditions, the casting process begins. It usually takes a few hours, but the cast lists go up on the call boards in Nordhoff hall around 3-4:00 the same day as the callbacks. They will also be posted on the facebook page and blog later that day for those of you who aren't able to stick around.

Q: What are the hours like once the program starts? Is it 8:15-4:15 every day?

A: Classes each morning officially start at 8:15, but students must arrive at CSUN at 8:00 so they can be in the classroom, ready to start, already beginning to warm up. As far as the ending time, up until tech and dress rehearsals start, TADW will end at 4:15, but once extended rehearsals begin, it gets pushed to 6:00, then once shows start, it changes again. (There are no guarantees that the students will get out at those times, with need to rehearse for musical theatre, ten minute plays, dance finals, etc.-all depending on directorial and teacher choices) but we'll keep you well informed along the way.
Q: Will there be a carpooling system?

A: Once we put together a final roster for this summer, we will be putting together a list that includes names, addresses, phone numbers, etc. allowing you to see which students live in your area that would be a possible carpool. (If you wish to not be included in the carpool list, please inform us via

If you have anymore questions, feel free to ask! As we said at the meet and greet, our goal this summer is to over-communicate so there are no unanswered questions!

-Haylee-Rae Averill

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Meet Haylee-Rae Averill

This summer, TADW is pleased to announce the addition of fellow TADW alum, Haylee-Rae Averill to the publicity team.

Haylee-Rae started the workshop at the age of 11, in 2004 and continued through until her final summer, in 2010. Through her summers at TADW she says she made life long friends, learned from some of the greatest teachers she ever had, and even performed in two, yes two, Doug Kaback originals!

Haylee-Rae has been in both musicals and plays, wrote a few ten minute plays, and even was able to perform in two Munch 'n Crunch musical theatre performances. When she's not covering TADW events, rehearsals and performances, she works as a cosmetologist. She is also taking on new jobs that allow her to develop some of her other creative passions: writing and photography (two more reasons we're so happy to have her with us)!

She says that the program changed her life, and that she hopes every student who has or will attend feels the same. She is honored to be a part of this great family again, now on the staff side of things, and cannot wait to see all the amazing things this summer will bring!  Welcome Haylee-Rae!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Snow White Bug: TADW Not Immune!

It seems there is some sort of bug going through Hollywood, and it's made its way to TADW! Yes, the "snow white bug" has taken a bite into the workshop. There is a lot of hype about the classic story of Snow White, and each new addition to the line-up is bringing a new twist.

The latest iteration of the story is the movie, Mirror Mirror, staring Julia Roberts, Lily Collins, and Armie Hammer. This new film gives a new twist to the fairy tale, telling it from the queen's point of view and exposing previously unseen asoects of  the characters we had all come to know and love.

Without giving too much away, we'll say the prince, Snow, the dwarves, and even the mirror itself have undergone a few character tweaks, allowing for the classic to seem like a brand new story.

If that sounds interesting, and you are into seeing your childhood favorites with a twist, check out the film.  But if you really want to see Snow White as it's never been done before, then plan to amble out west this summer to see TADW's production of Snow White and the Magnificent SevenRun: July 20 - August 4th.  Tickets and details.
 -Haylee-Rae Averill

Sunday, April 1, 2012

The Read-Through: Snow White and the Magnificent Seven

The original work of Ronnie Sperling and Chris Halsted is in its final stages of pre-production! A few of the staff members of Teenage Drama Workshop (TADW), and special guests joined them as the first official read through of the script commenced. 

The room was filled with excitement as the dynamic duo of Ronnie and Chris introduced their script, accompanied with the musical numbers, to the room. 

Without giving too much away, we can proudly say that this show is quite the family show; including catchy musical acts, classic western references, and a new, exciting twist to the story we all know and love of Snow White.
-Haylee-Rae Averill

Friday, March 9, 2012

TADW Social/ Meet and Greet April 15th Sunday

5th Annual TADW Social: Meet and Greet - Sunday, April 15th, 1:00-2:30.

Meet and greet your old and new friends for this year's Teenage Drama Workshop (TADW).  You'll find out about the shows you'll be doing, what's coming up this summer, what auditions will be like, what the tech jobs will be - and who you'll be working with!  Open to TADW participants and their families:
CSUN Theatre Building (room 107, "organ room")
18111 Nordhoff Street
Northridge, CA  91330

See you there!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Sneak Peek: Snow White and the Magnificent Seven

The summer of TADW 2012 has begun!  With the crew gathering together for a production meeting, we can already tell how amazing this summer and the shows will be. There was a meeting for Snow White and the Magnificent Seven and another for Bye Bye Birdie, and if the information the directors gave us are any indication of the production values of these shows (and it is), they will be fantastic.

Ideas were thrown around, talk was had of sets and costumes and the creative juices were flowing. Ronnie Sperling, director of Snow White and the Magnificent Seven, and partner in crime Chris Halsted even treated us to a live sneak peek of some of the music for Snow White and the Magnificent Seven, and you can get a sneak peek too - have you clicked the play button yet?

Early Enrollment Discount til 3/1:

It's only February but TADW Summer 2012 is already making the arc into full swing, so do your part and remember, if you haven't enrolled already - do it now!  

Early enrollment ($100 discount) ends March 1, 2012 so don't delay!  There are still openings for actors and techies (especially techies) We look forward to working with you! Apply online!  Questions? You'll find contact info on the website, too.

- Haylee-Rae Averill
Publicist Intern
TADW 2012