Thursday, July 25, 2013

Last Chance to see TADW 2013 Productions!

As we reach the end of our sixth and final week of TADW, our productions are about to wrap up. If you haven't yet seen any of shows, Jack and the Beanstalk, Aladdin, and the Ten Minute Play Festival, this is your last chance! Both Aladdin and the Ten Minute Play Festival have final performances on Friday, June 26th, and Jack and the Beanstalk closes the following afternoon. 

In an earlier post we brought you a sneak peek of Jack and the Beanstalk. Here, we present a two-minute taste of Aladdin. This video certainly doesn't cover the entire show, so please come and catch our final performance if you can!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Jack and the Beanstalk Sneak Peek!

If you haven't seen TADW's production of Jack and the Beanstalk yet, you are missing out! Check out this "sneak peek" video to get an idea of what it's all about. The video contains footage from rehearsals and behind the scenes.

Below are a few shots with full lighting, sets, and costumes. It's a beautiful show!
For showtimes and ticket information, please visit our website at .

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Media Release: TADW's July 20th Special Sensory Friendly Performance of Aladdin

Click the link below to check out the media release for our upcoming special sensory friendly performance of Aladdin, which is, as the article states, "designed to make the theatre experience accessible to children and adults on the autism spectrum."

Click here to read the release CSUN’s Teenage Drama Workshop Is Offering an Inclusive Theater Experience

Monday, July 1, 2013

Sneak Peek - Jack and the Beanstalk: Meet the Writers/Directors

Curious about the Teenage Drama Workshop's upcoming production of Jack and the Beanstalk? Watch this video to find out what makes this production so unique:

What's going on at TADW: Weeks 1 and 2

This summer's workshop is off to a great start!

As usual, we kicked off the workshop with an empowering Masai Warrior chant - a TADW tradition.

During the first two weeks, the students in the performance track have been learning the basics in their dance, acting, and voice classes:

In their electives, the performance track students have been creating drafts of ten-minute plays, selecting musical theatre pieces to perform, or honing their improvisational acting skills.

The tech/design students have joined the TADW staff on set construction, and are taking classes to help them build their technical and design skills.

Both productions continue to be developed, from the construction of sets, props, and costumes, to the casting of various parts and the staging of scenes.

Travis works on a prop for Jack and the Beanstalk
Aladdin actors Daniel and Haley practice a duet 
TADW staff and tech/design students work together on the Jack and the Beanstalk set

Backstage at the Jack and the Beanstalk rehearsal

Pieces of the Aladdin set await assembly

Looking fierce in Aladdin rehearsal

Assistant Stage Manager Courtney keeps an eye on Aladdin rehearsal

Costume fitting for Jack and the Beanstalk
In addition to our usual activities, on June 27th the Teenage Drama Workshop also hosted a fundraising dinner at Marie Callender's and a special screening of Hello Herman - a new film that centers on the issues of bullying and teen violence. (More to come on that later!)

We look forward to the next several weeks at TADW as the classes become even more challenging and the productions continue to take shape.

P.S.: Have you checked out our YouTube channel lately? TADW has been uploading videos regularly. Check out this one, which showcases the first week of our 2013 season:

Monday, June 10, 2013

Presenting the Casts of our 2013 Productions!

Well, we made it through the weekend and our two days of auditions. What an amazing amount of talent we saw! All of our TADW students should be very proud of their outstanding work. Casting the shows is one of the most difficult jobs faced by the production staff at the Teenage Drama Workshop. With so many talented students, we are often confronted with some very difficult decisions. However, we believe that we've come up with two fabulous casts, and we can't wait to see how these students work together onstage.

Students reading sides during the 2013 auditions
Below are the cast lists for the two main productions of the Teenage Drama Workshop's 2013 season. (Other performance opportunities will arise later in the summer when we cast the 10 Minute Play Festival and the Munch & Crunch musical revue.)

Choreographer Candy Sherwin works with students at 2013 auditions

Aladdin Cast List

Aladdin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Daniel Bellusci
Jasmine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Annie Reznik
Jafar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Devon Yaffe
Iago . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Griffen Hamilton
Genie . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Lily Lester
Rajah . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jessica Bell
Sultan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Canaan Smith
Carpet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Orlie Smith
Abu . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Colin Mika
Aladdin’s Mother . . . . . . . Haley Perkins
Cave of Wonders/Guard . . .Michael Smith
Guards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Tom Johnston, James Johnston,     Joshua Lloyd
Peddlers . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Michael Dager, Noah Gephart-Canada, Canaan Smith

Genie-ettes, Harem Girls, Shopkeepers, Merchants, Homeless Boy & Girl, Prince Achmed, Bystanders, Proprietor, Matron and other Roles . . . . . . . . . . .  To Be Cast from Ensemble


TADW students await their turn at the 2013 auditions
Melanie Besnilian
Danielle Bray
Carmen Cabral
Maya Efrat
Abby Eisenberg
Allie George
Megan Glassner
Samantha Glassner
Brie Guenthner
Jordan Haddad
Kali Hale
Maya Hale
Willow Islas
KC Katalbas
Lily Khalighi
Savannah Kovacs
Elizabeth Lloyd
Kyla Lockette
Chris Halsted works with students during the 2013 auditions 
Sarah MacLennan
Liliana Magnanimo
Laura McDermott
Lauren Meltzer
Jenna Meadows
Paulina Mirabella
Talya Nathanson
Allison Norton
Sami Raskin
Sara Renner
Camille Roberts
Chloe Rosen
Lindsey Rosenblatt
Rachel Saporito
Analisa Venolia
Marisela Venolia
Cassie Weinberg

Jack and the Beanstalk Cast List

Toulousa Latrec – Melina Drake Young
Jack – Camden Garcia
Jill – Mara Eisner
Inspector Cluemein – August Robinson
Giant – Josh Knoller
Edith – Camille Martellaro
The Goose – Milli Miereanu
Louie – Arthur Parian
Fee, Fie, Foefum, and Laverne –
            Pasha Wynant
            Julia Lester
            Kate Westrum
            Samantha Fabisch
The Nun – Kaitlyn Rickaby
Madelines –
            Grace Jacobsen
            Paige Jensen
Rosey Murrah
Mime / Apache Dancer – Patrick Fitzsimmons
Apache Dancer – Zsanae Spinks
French Tour Guide – Maya Escobar


Many, many parts (Tourists, Balloon Seller, Cyclist, Baker, Tailor) will be cast from this ensemble during the first week of rehearsals.

Stage manager Owen Panno hands out sides at the 2013 auditions
Charlotte Anderson
Olivia Dalton
Megan Ehrenberg 
Spencer Ehrenberg
Ariana George
Rebecca Gottbetter
Danny Halsted
Dylan Halsted
Larissa Heatley
Garrett Knoller
Alex Lucas
Savannah Ludwig
Alia Martinez
Jennifer McNabb
Genevieve Miereanu
Megan Phung
Mackenzie Rickaby
Kristyn Salas
Sierra Slater
Sarah Sperling

We extend a huge congratulations to both casts, and we are certain that all of our students will have a blast this summer. We truly believe that every cast member is an integral part of his or her production. The directors for both of our shows strive to make these truly ensemble productions, and to give each cast member his or her moment in the spotlight. You will find that whatever role you are playing, you are part of the TADW family, and we are so happy to have you!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Everything You Need to Know about TADW Auditions

Auditions can be both exciting and nerve-wracking for performers. In this blog post, we hope to give you all the information you need to feel confident and well-informed at your audition for the Teenage Drama Workshop. (If you're enrolled for this summer, your family should have received an email with much of this information already.) Below are some frequently asked questions about TADW auditions:

What are the auditions for? Aren't I already signed up for TADW?

Everyone who is enrolled in the performance option of TADW will be cast in one of our two main productions. (Other performance opportunities, such as the 10 Minute Play Festival and the Munch & Crunch musical revue, will be cast later.)

The purpose of these auditions is to determine which production you will be in and which part you will play.

Additionally, these auditions are used to place students who have requested Musical Theatre as their elective. (The Musical Theatre elective is by audition only.)

Do I need to come both days?

Yes, if at all possible. The auditions will be different on each day. If you can only make it to one day of auditions, or if you have to leave before 12:15, please let us know!

When and where do I go?

This year, auditions will be held on Saturday, June 8th and Sunday, June 9th. We will meet in the Little Theatre in Nordhoff Hall at Cal State Northridge. (Check out the link to the map of CSUN on the right side of this page.)

We will begin at 8:30 with a welcome an introduction, and go until 12:15. (See below for more info on when we're done).

What do I need to bring/prepare?

  • You will need to bring the forms that were emailed to you (medical release form, t-shirt order form, pizza and Subway order forms, image release form, off-campus permission form, and TADW Code of Conduct -on't forget to sign it!)
  • Bring dance shoes and appropriate clothing for the dance audition.
  • You should prepare a song to sing. It can be any song you feel comfortable singing, but as a rule of thumb, musical theatre songs work much better than pop songs for an audition. You probably will not get to sing your entire song; in the interest of time you will likely only perform a few bars. Please bring accompaniment for your song - either sheet music for the pianist or a backup track (with no vocals) either on CD or an MP3 player. We prefer that you do not audition a cappella (without accompaniment) because we want to hear that you can match key and timing as you sing.
  • You do not need to prepare a monologue or a scene for the acting audition.
  • You do not need to prepare a routine for the dance audition.
  • You should bring a lunch if you would like to stay and eat with your new (or old ) TADW friends after the audition.

What will happen at auditions?

As previously stated, the Saturday and Sunday auditions will be a bit different. On both days, you will check in with the TADW staff outside the theatre. This is where you will turn in your forms (and checks, if you have them).

On Saturday:
We will break everyone up into three groups. The groups will be divided by age, so you will be in a group of people about the same age as you are. (For those of you who know about the TADW "levels" - these groups are not necessarily the same as the level you will be in). Each group will rotate through three different audition areas:

Dancing: With a group, you will be taught a short dance routine and asked to perform it. Many students who don't have dance experience may feel intimidated by this, but don't worry - you won't be alone up there, and attitude is just as important as skill.

Singing: Here, you will be asked to perform the song you have prepared. Again, students often feel nervous if they aren't used to singing in front of people. Don't be! TADW has students of all levels, and this is a very supportive group of people.

Acting: You will either be asked to improvise or you will be given "sides" - short pieces of the script - and asked to read them. You may not get to read for the exact part that you want, but this does not mean that you won't get that part.

On Sunday:
The auditions will be structured more like call-backs, where you will be auditioning for a specific show. Students will be split into two groups. Each group will audition for one of our two productions. After an hour and a half, the groups will switch. On this day, directors will be taking a closer look at who they want for their show and in what role. Again, performers will be given sides or asked to improvise or possibly to sing a little bit. You do not need to prepare any material for this audition.

When will I be done?

We will stop at 12:15; most people will be done with the audition at this point. You are invited to bring a lunch and picnic with us until 1:15.

After lunch on Saturday, some people may be asked to stay no later than 3:00. If you are asked to stay, you will know by 12:30 so that you can call your parents (or other transportation) and let them know.

On Sunday, we will be done at 12:15.

What does it mean if I am/am not asked to stay?

This is not a callback, and it does not mean that you will or will not be given a certain type of part. If you are asked to stay, it simply means that the director feels he needs to see more of you.

If you are not asked to stay, that does not mean that you are not going to get a good part. It may be that the director already knows how he wants to cast you and doesn't need more time with you to figure it out.

Are parents supposed to stay for auditions?

Parents are welcome to come and check their students in and to stay for the welcome speech if they like, but parents are not allowed to watch the auditions. If you choose to park and accompany your child to sign in and for the welcome speech, please be advised that you will have to purchase a $6 parking pass from one of the machines in the parking lot, or you risk getting a ticket.

When will I know what show/part I got????

The directors will be casting the show immediately after the auditions on Sunday, so the cast lists will be ready on Sunday afternoon at around 2:00-3:00. Once the cast lists are determined, they will be disseminated in various ways:

1) Posted on the call board at TADW - some students (usually only a hardy few) tend to hang around and wait for this event to happen, but they may have to wait a couple of hours!

2) Posted on our Facebook page

3) Posted on this blog. :-)

4) You will receive your TADW Student Handbook shortly after auditions, which will also include the cast lists.

What do I do then?

Show up at 8:15 am on Monday, June 17th READY TO ROCK AND ROLL!

Need some words of inspiration? 

Anyone who's ever auditioned has probably heard the voice of their inner critic. TADW acting instructor and adventurer extraordinaire Chris Halsted delivers some inspiring words in this video from the 2013 TADW auditions: 

Friday, May 31, 2013

TADW Staff and Crew Prep for Summer

It's been a steadily accelerating train since last winter, but this week marks the return of TADW staff and crew to working full-swing at the Teenage Drama Workshop!

Work on this summer's Teenage Drama Workshop really began picking up pace in April with our annual Meet & Greet, where new and returning TADW families and students gathered to say hello to one another and to the TADW faculty and staff.
Program Director Doug Kaback addresses the crowd at
TADW's Meet & Greet

Directors and designers for both shows were able to give attendees some insight into their vision for this summer's productions. Now that our set construction is under way, those visions are becoming a reality! We've been hard at work preparing for the upcoming auditions on Saturday, June 8th and Sunday, June 9th. We've also started construction on sets for our two productions, Ronnie Sperling and Chris Halsted's Jack and the Beanstalk, and Disney's Aladdin.

As our future TADW students are finising up the school year, we've been busy tracing...

TADW staff member Courtney

and painting...

and sawing...

and welding...

and sawing again...

and sometimes hiding...


all while generally having an awesome time.

Hala and Matt

We hope you're all as excited as we are about this coming summer. As you can see, the set build has been coming along quite nicely. We've also got some new and fantastic things planned for this summer (to be revealed later). 

Stay tuned for coverage of the 2013 Teenage Drama Workshop auditions!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

TADW Students Take the Stage at the Jerry Herman Awards

We at the Teenage Drama Workshop are so proud of our current and former students who graced the stage at the Pantages Theatre on Sunday, May 19th for the Jerry Herman Awards. This regional awards ceremony, which is open to all schools in the greater Los Angeles area, is designed to recognize achievements in high school musical theatre.

TADW alum Aaron Daniel Jacob, of Chaminade College Preparatory, was a runner-up for best actor, and Katherine Steele of Agoura High School was runner-up for best actress. Aaron and Katherine were last seen at TADW starring in our 2011 production of The Music Man.

Aaron and Katherine in TADW's 2011 production of The Music Man
Furthermore, Hollywood High School's production of In The Heights, featuring TADW's Devon Yaffe, won the award for Best Musical. Devon's most recent role at TADW was an electrifying turn as Conrad Birdie in last year's Bye Bye Birdie.

Devon in TADW's 2012 production of Bye Bye Birdie

Several TADW students attended the awards ceremony in support of their friends, demonstrating the kind of bond that our students generate during this program. We could not be more proud of our students, and we send our sincere congratulations to Aaron, Katherine, and Devon on your accomplishments!

Check out video of Aaron's performance at the Jerry Herman Awards here:
Watch Katherine perform at the awards ceremony here: