A former child actress herself and the mother of two dramatic boys, Amy Emke enjoys sharing her love of theatre with children and has been teaching theatre programs to them for the last fourteen years. In addition to her classes for Spotlight Arts, Amy also teaches after-school musical theatre programs for the Pawling Central and Carmel School Districts through Camp Herrlich, where she also serves as Summer Day Camp Director. Amy has taught music and drama programs for Kids Up Front, The Sunshine School, the Quaker Hill Country Club, “Shakespeare at the Castle” in Millbrook, NY., and Theatreworks New Milford in New Milford, CT. A graduate in theatre from the Baltimore School for the Arts, Amy also studied at the Experimental Theatre Wing of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Amy is a member of Hawk Rock Theater at Arts on the Lake in Lake Carmel, and has directed productions for Trinity Players in Poughkeepsie and for Pawling Public Radio. Amy’s goal as a teacher is to help children develop a life-long love of theatre as a means for creative self-expression.
Amy instructs our weekly improv classes, storytelling theater classes, and scene study classes.
Tara Micale is currently pursuing a BFA in music education at The University of Hartford’s The Hartt School of Music (Class of 2020). She’s an aspiring singer-songwriter and recently competed in the sixth season of New York’s Got Talent where she came in second place. Tara was the music director in Hartford’s chapter of Sigma Alpha Iota and directed their first live album concert, featuring songs from Sara Bareilles’ “Waitress.” She is the assistant music director of her collegiate level a cappella group, HartAttack, where she has arranged and soloed numerous works. Tara can also be found running music classes for little ones at local libraries (Sing Along with Miss Tara).
Tara assistant directs our summer camps and musical theater intensives.
Jessica Schwartz is currently pursuing a BFA in Musical Theatre with a double-major in Theatre Arts Management from Western Connecticut State University (graduating Spring 2019). Regional: Ensemble in Mamma Mia!(ACT of Connecticut), Ensemble in South Pacific, Sillabub in Cats, and Agnes in Gypsy(Interlakes Summer Theatre). Educational: Molly in Peter and the Starcatcher, Mistress in Evita(Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival National Award for Distinguished Performance by an Actress in a Musical), and Diana Barry in Anne of Green Gables.
Jessica assistant directs our summer camps and musical theatre workshops and also provides resume building services to our students.
Joey Dippel earned his BFA in Musical Theatre from University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music, where he choreographed the college’s productions of Little Shop of Horrors, Street Scene, Into a Lamplit Room (world premiere), and his class’ showcase in NYC. As a performer, he has worked at Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Bucks County Playhouse, Weston Playhouse, the John W. Engeman Theater in Northport, and Pioneer Theatre Company. He has directed/choreographed for Broadening Theatrics (A Chorus Line: The One Project), the Broadway Dreams Foundation, New York Musical Theatre Factory, New York Theatre Barn, Staten Island Academy, and the Children’s Musical Theatre of San Jose. As a dance coach, he teaches and consults for Polish Your Passion NYC (www.pypnyc.com).
Joey directs and choreographs our musical theatre workshops.
Eric is a New York City based Director, Choreographer, and Theatrical Professional, and a proud graduate of the prestigious Marymount Manhattan College Theatre Arts program. Most recently he was the Assistant Director to Emmy nominated Director/ Choreographer, Al Blackstone, on ANNIE starring Andrea McArdle. Additionally, Eric was the Staging Assistant to two-time Emmy winner and five-time Tony nominee Patricia Birch on the new musical SWEETEE, Off-Broadway at the Signature Theatre; served as the Assistant Director/ Choreographer to Ryan Kasprzak on ONCE UPON A MATTRESS at the York Theatre; and was a Choreography Assistant for Theatre Arts Center NY. Eric is a proud leader of the Mainstage program at Spotlight Arts, where he has received two National Youth Arts nominations for his Direction and Choreography, as well as guiding his students to receive a total of 21 National Youth Arts awards and nominations.
Eric directs and choreographs our musical theatre workshops and mainstage productions and coaches private acting and dance sessions.
Janina has been training and performing since the age of 5 and continued her studies at The Boston Conservatory Cap 21 NYU and in 2002 she graduated from The American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City for Musical theatre. Some of her favorite roles that she has played were Demeter in Cats, Reno Sweeny in Anything Goes and Velma Kelly in Chicago and had a pleasure being a part of In The Heights and Miss Saigon.
Janina also had the pleasure to sing on Jason Robert Brown’s Solo album “Wearing Someone Else’s Clothes, and also worked on varies music videos. Aside from her love of theatre Janina owns B-Xtreme Entertainment, a high energy interactive breakdance comedy show. They have been seen on America’s Got Talent and at The US Open.
Janina teaches our musical theatre dance class, assistant directs our musical theatre workshops and mainstage productions, and coaches private acting sessions.
Sarah is a graduate of Purchase College. She freelances and assists in direction, musical direction, stage management, and costume design. Sarah was nominated for a Metropolitan High School Theater Award in 2016 for her work as student director in Brewster High School’s production of Hello, Dolly! She has worked with many children’s theaters, community theaters, and schools in the tri-county area. As an actor, Sarah has had the pleasure of working with many different community theaters. Some of her favorite roles include Tracy Turnblad in Hairspray, and Rona Lisa Peretti in 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. She won a National Youth Theater Award in 2016 for Leading Actress in a Musical for her role as Hope Cladwell in Spotlight Art’s first Mainstage, Urinetown.
Sarah is associate director of our musical theatre workshops, directs our summer camps, instructs our after school program consisting of musical theatre classes at various local school districts, and stage manages our mainstage productions.
Stephanie (Rubino) Scuderi is the founder of Spotlight Arts Inc. and is a freelance director, actor and voice teacher. Stephanie received her musical theatre and theater management training from the University of Miami and has a decade of experience in directing, producing and theatre management in both NY & FL. Additionally, Stephanie is an adjunct instructor of Voice and a Master of Music candidate at New York University Steinhardt (dual degree Vocal Performance in Music Theatre and postmaster's Advanced Certificate in Vocal Pedagogy), which is ranked the #1 graduate musical theatre program in the nation. Stephanie has taught and directed many classes, productions and workshops at performing arts schools, public schools, children’s theaters, and nonprofit theaters & organizations all over the tri-state area. Additionally, Stephanie has spent the past seven years as the theatre department director for Brewster Central School District in Brewster, NY.
Stephanie is the Executive Director of Spotlight Arts. She produces all programs, teaches private voice and acting, and additionally provides direction and musical direction for our mainstage productions and musical theatre workshops.
Spotlight Arts provides students with a high-quality, fun learning environment while students work on their the theatre arts skills. We offer weekly classes, Mainstage productions, master classes and musical theatre workshops. Additionally, students of the performing arts develop vital life skills such as collaboration, communication, creativity, focus, problem-solving, self-confidence, and more!