Bios

Erika Lupo, Owner, CEO/President

Erika Lupo

Erika Lupo is the CEO/President and creative force behind the Acting-A-Part® brand and AAPFranchising®. We are in our 14th year at Acting-A-Part. Erika launched her successful company after completing 10 years as a certified English teacher in Ramsey and Maplewood, School Districts of New Jersey. While teaching, she developed and established the Middle School Theater Program in both NJ School Districts. Her efforts earned her a nomination for the prestigious NJ "Best Practice" Teaching Award in 2001. In addition, Acting-A-Part® is a franchise! Offering our state of the art theater and film schools through out the United States! We have also launched our own make up line and apparel! They can be found at our theaters. Her Acting-A-Part® program can best be summarized by the registered slogan of her company: "Bridging the Gap From School Play to Broadway." Whether the purpose is for a student is to turn professional, or simply the enjoyment of stage or film acting, the exposure to an Acting-A-Part experience will bring out his or her theatrical skills, and self confidence and self esteem .Erika will be hosting her own radio show on AM970 featuring women entrepreneurs beginning August 2016

Erika has directed and produced over 100 stage productions including and not limited to Bye Bye Birdie, Sound of Music, Footloose, Guys and Dolls, Oliver, Fiddler on the Roof, The Wizard of Oz, Our Town, Annie, High School Musical, Grease, Lion King, Peter Pan, Little Shop of Horrors and Beauty and the Beast. Erika writes her own movie and stage scripts. She holds a BFA from Roger Williams University in Creative Writing and Theater and a Graduate Degree in Teaching from William Paterson University.

Acting-A-Part® has evolved into a creative force in New Jersey and has grown to include "Original AAP® Short Films". Erika has her own film crew and film editors. Her first student-produced Film Festival at the Sussex County Technical School was a big hit in 2012, well received by a large crowd of acting enthusiasts. In addition, she hosts several film festivals throughout the year, showcasing her class films.  One of her AAP student films, "Very Different Times," was featured at the 2011 Garden State Film Festival. She can be found on the International Movie Data Base (IMDB). www.actingapart.com and aapfranchising.com

AAP® hosts Acting Birthday Parties Acting-A-Part collaborates with several schools districts and brings her phenomenal programs to their stage. In addition, she has created a program for children with special needs, that has been implemented at The Park Lake School in Rockaway Township in NJ.  In addition to Acting-A-Part's two successful locations  in Sparta,  NJ and Ridgewood, NJ  AAP has become a national franchise!  Franchises are being offered throughout the United States! Visit www.aapfranchising.com for more information.

We have launched Acting-A-Part® into a franchise offering our innovative programs and workshops across the nation. We were recently featured in Investment News with Erika earning the cover and the photo shoot spread inside the magazine as well as online.  We are a creative force in the industry and plans to franchise internationally are being considered.  Erika was featured on the Small Business Franchise Show three times on AM970 and will be  You can see Erika on FoxNews and Friends  "On the Job Hunt" on Fox and Friends

 

Thomasina Thomas O'Boyle – Director of Business Operations

Thomasina is pleased to join Erika Lupo and the talent that is AAP®. While appreciative of the Arts, it is her wealth of organizational and business leadership skills that she brings to AAP®. She has a BA in Communications and a Minor in Business Finance from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Her background stems from 17 years of corporate work experience with Fortune 500 companies, the last 10 as a Project Manager with Lucent/Bell Labs in the Wireless R&D Division. Most recently as a volunteer at Reverend Brown School serving as the President of the Parent Guild. While working as a Project Manager in the Telecommunications Industry she travelled frequently for business, domestically and internationally, living in London for a semester garnering experiences she hopes to apply assisting AAP Franchinsing, LLC grow globally.

While her professional background is business, she loves the Arts herself. She studied music and dance since the age of 5, and played piano for 13 years under a Juilliard instructor. She plays today for her own personal enjoyment and has recently taken up learning the harp. She lives locally with her husband and son and can be contacted via email at: aapbusinessmanager@gmail.com/973.879.3650

 

 

 

Kelly Dacus-Smith, Choreographer/Acting Teacher

Kelly Dacus-Smith graduated from Webster Conservatory in St. Louis, Missouri with a BFA in music theater. She then lived and worked in New York City for more than sixteen years. During her performance career, she has toured nationally with Blues Clues Live. and Dora the Explorer Live. Having performed at New York City's Radio City Music Hall and Los Angeles Kodak Theater. She toured the high seas while dancing with Holland America cruise lines and toured Europe while performing Kristine in A Chorus Line. Other favorite roles performed include Val in A Chorus Line, Gladys in The Pajama Game, Celia in Shakespeares As You Like It and Popeye in The Miss Firecracker Contest.

 

Dayna Grayber, Acting Teacher

Dayna

Dayna Grayber is a NYC based actress, singer, director/choreographer and teaching artist. She has been a voice teacher for all ages since graduating with her Master's from NYU in Vocal Performance in 2007. Her teaching experience and training focuses on Vocal Technique, Acting Technique, and Audition Technique.  In 2010, Dayna appeared Off-Broadway in the run of the hilarious farce Perfect Wedding, in which she was critically acclaimed by The New York Times for her performance of "Julie", the witty housekeeper.  She starred in the National Tours of two Tony Award-Winning Shows, Mel Brook's The Producers and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.  Dayna has been in several new works in numerous venues in New York City, such as The York Theater, The Snapple Theater, NYMF,The Fringe Festival, and The NYU Workshop. She has studied and shared the stage with artists such as Kristen Chenoweth, Stephen Schwartz, Carol Channing, and Brian Stokes Mitchell.  Dayna is also a Voiceover Artist currently working with PDR Studios in New York City and is pursuing her dream of one day being the voice of a Disney Princess. Dayna holds a Master's of Vocal Performance: Musical Theatre from New York University, a B.A. in Marketing from Emerson College. She is currently acting, singing, directing, and teaching in and around New York City. Proud member of AEA.

 

Stephanie Ferrari - Beaudoin, Acting Teacher

Stephanie Ferrari - Beaudoin

Stephanie Ferrari - Beaudoin, a former Miss New Jersey from the Miss America Pageant and a recipient of a Bert Park's talent award, is a renowned vocalist with over 20 years of experience in musical theatre and classical repertoire. She obtained her Bachelor of Vocal Music in Education from Ithaca College and her Masters in Music Education from the University of North Carolina in Greensboro. For 3 years, Stephanie was a USO performer for our troops overseas in Egypt, Bosnia and Kuwait and here in the US where she sang and danced to nostalgic music from the 30's to today. She is a former public school music teacher, as well, and is currently on her 14th year of teaching private vocal instruction. Stephanie's private students have gone on to receive scholarships, awards and/or been accepted to fine music colleges and universities. She has also judged State pageants and vocal competitions throughout the state. Her experience on stage, in the classroom and in her own voice studio have helped create fun, effective and vivacious workshops!

 

Anna Gundersen, Acting Teacher

Anna Gundersen

Anna Gundersen's first acting experience was as an Acting-A-Part® student many years ago and is thrilled to be coming back to teach! Since getting the acting bug at Acting-A-Part®, she has performed on stage and on screen for over a decade, and continues to do so professionally. Anna is a recent graduate from The Pennsylvania State University where she majored in Theatre and minored in Business. Anna returns to NJ following an acting apprenticeship at The Florida Studio Theatre, where she worked in the theatre as well as toured as a "Playmaker," performing and teaching playwriting in elementary schools throughout the state of Florida. Anna looks forward to sharing the joy of the performing arts with her students!

 

Christina Stavrou, Acting Teacher

K. Leigh WeinmanChristina Stavrou graduated from William Paterson University with a BA in English/Creative Writing and studied in the Master's Program at St. Peter's University where she obtained her teaching certification. She then taught Middle School English/Language Arts for 3 years in Fairview, NJ and continues to tutor the subject presently.

Her deepest lying passion is for the performing arts and she has been involved in various theater and music groups and productions since her early childhood. She started playing piano at the tender age of 3 and continued classical training for 17+ years, performing at Carnegie Hall and Kean University. Christina has fronted multiple bands as their lead singer over the last 12 years. She is pleased to join Erika Lupo and the talented teachers at AAP and looks forward to sharing her love of performing with us!

K. Leigh Weinman, Music Director

K. Leigh Weinman

Leigh Weinman is pleased to add her musical talent to the many wonderful productions of the Acting-A-Part® Theater Company. In addition to her experience as an accompanist and music director, she has been teaching piano in Morris County for more than 20 years. Miss Leigh, as she is known by her students, enjoys nothing more than sharing her love of all forms of music, and she is especially passionate about collaborating with burgeoning young performers as they discover the thrill of musical theater while they develop and engage their talents. Leigh started her own journey in the theater during her high school years, which included a memorable opportunity to perform in the pit ensemble for a summer theater production of Pippin. It was this experience that instilled her longstanding love of the art and the joy of the kinship that musical theater inspires. Most recently, she has performed as both a sole accompanist and as part of a pit ensemble for local middle school and high school productions, including Grease, Peter Pan, Seussical the Musical, The Sound of Music, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Annie, and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Leigh is proud to be a part of the Acting-A-Part® family.

 

Evianna Hawkins Teacher/Assistant

Evianna HawkinsEvianna Hawkins is currently majoring in communications at Bergen Community college and plans on pursing a career in musical theatre when she graduates. Evianna has been teaching at Acting-A-Part® since 2014. She first found a love for the arts while attending Teaneck high school, where she participated in many of her school's musicals and plays as well as singing competitions. In addition to her work and studies She also to participates in community theatre. Evianna is excited to be part of the Acting-A-Part®family and looks forward to sharing her love of theatre and performing with us.

 

Kristin Jackson, Acting Teacher

kristen Jackson Kristin Jackson is excited to be part of Acting a Part® After years of teaching Pre-Kindergarten, she's returning to the world of children's theater. Kristin has studied theater for years and has worked with improvisation, scene study, movement, mime, directing, neutral masks and commedia del arte. She holds a BA in Theater and a CE in Early Education. Favorite stage credits include Harpagon in THE MISER, Edith in 'DENTITY CRISIS, Alice in THE MATING OF ALICE MAY, Helen in BABY WITH THE BATHWATER and Puck in A MIDSUMMER'S NIGHT DREAM. Directing credits include THE HOUSE OF BLUE LEAVES, THE MIDLIFE CRISIS OF DIONYSUS, THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE, FIDDLER ON THE ROOF JR., ONCE ON THIS ISLAND JR., THE HOBBIT and ALICE IN WONDERLAND. She has directed numerous improvisation pieces and has performed at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center. She taught various children's theater courses and supervised summer camps at Brundage Park Playhouse. She also worked with Centenary Performing Arts Guild as a Resident Teaching Artist, and stepped in as an adjunct in the theater department of the college. Kristin currently resides in Sparta with her husband, daughter and two dogs.

 

Otto Salamon

Otto Salamon

Otto Salamon is a Golden Globe and Emmy nominated writer and producer. He has worked with several Academy Award actors and actresses, as well as represented them as their agents! He is a former talent agent for the William Morris Agency and was a professor of film production at the New School in New York City for 14 years. Otto Salamon has produced movies for NBC, Showtime, Columbia Pictures and PBS. He is a member of both the Writers Guild of America and the Director's Guild of America. Otto, a Holocaust Survivor, has just completed his autobiography on his experiences. Otto Salamon can be found on IMDB.com (Internet Movie Database).

 

Dan Salamon

Dan Salamon is a self-taught musician who has played in various bands throughout his musical career. He began drumming at the age of 13 and branched out to guitar at 17. Being family, he has been with Acting-A-Part®since its inception. However, he became an official member of the musical ensemble in 2005's production of West Side Story.

 

Robert Durish

RobertAmazing Web Developer. Takes all concepts to reality. Has been part of the Acting-A-Part®family for over 7 years.  This is the second website Rob has created for Acting-A-Part®.