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State Theatre New Jersey presents Jersey Talent

originally published: 05/17/2024

State Theatre New Jersey presents Jersey Talent

(NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ) -- State Theatre New Jersey presents Jersey Talent on Saturday, June 1, 2024 at 8:00pm. Jersey Talent—hosted by Claudio Mir and Sarah Ferreira—is a new talent show in New Jersey for ages 5-25. Ten finalists, including singers, dancers, a pianist, a rock band, and more, will perform live at the historic State Theatre. The winner of Jersey Talent wins a spot as a featured performer at the New Brunswick Heart Festival on August 10. Tickets are $15.

Video auditions for Jersey Talent began in early March. From the video submissions, 26 acts were chosen to audition live at the State Theatre. Of the 26 acts, 10 were selected to move forward to the live performance on June 1. Four judges from the New Brunswick community will select the top three finalists. The winner will be chosen based on audience applause.

The 10 finalists include John Boudouvas, a 9-year-old tap dancer from Metuchen; Isabella DiStasio, a 17-year-old singer from Hillsborough; Victoria Wylde, a 16-year-old pianist and composer from Milltown; Emmanuelle Aria Castañeda, a 14-year-old singer from New Brunswick; Angelina & Marianna Berberich, 9-year-old twin Irish step dancers from Avon-by-the-Sea; Elizabeth Larsen, a 14-year-old singer from Elizabeth; Laura Rodriguez, a 24-year-old singer-songwriter-guitarist from Colonia; Cullen Hussey, a 20-year-old singer from Southampton, PA; Marissa Lazovick, an 18-year-old dancer from Branchburg; and the band Crowfield from Monmouth County.

Jersey Talent was created to provide a platform for youth to express themselves through art in a safe environment before a supportive audience of friends, family, and community,” said Sarah Chaplin, State Theatre New Jersey President & CEO. “There are so many talented kids in our region who are looking for an outlet, a place to perform outside their schools, and we wanted to provide that outlet with Jersey Talent.”

Tickets are $15 and available for purchase or by calling State Theatre Guest Services at 732-246-SHOW (7469). State Theatre Guest Services, located at 15 Livingston Ave, New Brunswick NJ, is open by phone and email only, Tuesday through Friday from 11:00am to 5:00pm. For in-person purchases, Guest Services is open Tuesday through Friday from 12:00pm to 4:30pm. Additional ticket and transaction fees may apply.

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The Finalists

State Theatre New Jersey presents Jersey Talent

John Boudouvas is a dancer, actor, and model in the NJ/NY area, John Boudouvas will be entering 5th grade this fall. He is a company dancer with The Jill Justin Dance Alliance in Edison, NJ.

State Theatre New Jersey presents Jersey Talent

Isabella DiStasio is a 17-year-old high school student from Hillsborough. She’s been singing and performing since she was seven years old.

State Theatre New Jersey presents Jersey Talent

Victoria Wylde is a 16-year-old with a strong passion for music. She is talented with piano, ukulele, guitar, and singing. Her favorite thing to do is compose her own songs on the piano. Although Victoria never received formal lessons, she is continually teaching herself. At this performance she will be performing her original song, “Blossom.”

State Theatre New Jersey presents Jersey Talent

Emmanuelle Aria Castañeda is from New Brunswick and has a love for singing and theatre. She has participated in chorus and the drama club at Saint Bartholomew School, where she has performed as Alice in Matilda, Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, and as Evie in The Descendants. She has also had the honor of singing the “Star-Spangled Banner” at flag raising events for Middlesex County.

State Theatre New Jersey presents Jersey Talent

The Berberich TwinsMarianna and Angelina Berberich are 9-year-old identical twins who love Irish dancing. At age four, they began taking lessons with Colleen Kenny, owner of D'Arcy School of Irish Dance; they continue to practice with Colleen and her assistant Jacklyn Mazzarisi several times per week. Their favorite things about dancing are learning new steps from their talented teachers and traveling to local, regional, and national competitions.

State Theatre New Jersey presents Jersey Talent

Elizabeth Larsen is 14 years old and is from Elizabeth, NJ. She is currently an 8th Grader at Terence C. Reilly School 7. She will be attending UCVTS Academy of Performing Arts next year. Elizabeth has been singing, dancing, and playing the piano since she was four. She has performed in many recitals, Off-Broadway, and local showcases and theatrical productions.  Her most recent role was Judy Bernly in 9 to 5 Jr. for Pixie Dust Players. During her free time, she loves talking on the phone with friends and taking family pizza road trips.

State Theatre New Jersey presents Jersey Talent

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Laura Daniela Rodríguez, 24, is a recent graduate of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She has played guitar for almost 10 years but has only begun sharing original music as of 2023. Laura is extremely thrilled and grateful for the opportunity to share her work on this stage.

State Theatre New Jersey presents Jersey Talent

Cullen Hussey is a 20-year-old actor, singer, writer, and director. He has done quite a few show productions throughout his life. He’s known for his range in both singing, characters, and voices. He is known to play diverse complex characters from the bully, Billy, from Carrie to Jesus in Godspell. Currently working his way into film and theater, Cullen has been making films and doing community theater shows. He hopes you enjoy his performance.

State Theatre New Jersey presents Jersey Talent

Marissa Lazovick is a lifelong dancer, training at Broadway Dance Theater in North Plainfield. She has performed for Fox Family Entertainment’s Dance Squad, Off-Broadway at the Playwrights Horizons Theater, and in the Palm Desert Choreography Festival. Certified in American Sign Language, she volunteers to raise awareness for the deaf community. She graduates from Ridge High School and the Somerset County Vocational Dance Program in June and will be attending Boston Conservatory at Berklee to study Dance.

State Theatre New Jersey presents Jersey Talent

Crowfield encapsulates blues, soul & rock ’n’ roll! These talented musicians met while studying at Rockit Academy, NJ’s #1 music program. Crowfield has captured audiences at legendary venues such as The Cutting Room and The Stone Pony and are thrilled to perform at STNJ. Members include Brendan McGreevy (Holmdel), 18, vocalist; Stephanos Tsompanidis (Holmdel), 16, drums; Antonios Tsompanidis (Holmdel), 19, saxophone; Kaitlyn Taylor (Avenel), 18, bass guitar, Avenel. Ryan Lowry (Howell), 18, Lead Guitar, Howell. Sean Ricard (Little Silver) 14, key; Samantha Rodriguez (Middletown), 17, vocals; and Nicholas Kouvaras (Middletown), 19, congas.

After major renovations, State Theatre New Jersey celebrated its 100th Anniversary in December 2021 in a fully renovated theater including newly renovated lobbies, all new restrooms, upgraded HVAC systems, a new elevator for access to all levels, and brand-new theater seats. Originally built as a silent film and vaudeville palace, State Theatre’s historic significance was honored by PBS by featuring it in its documentary series, Treasures of New Jersey, in the fall of 2018. “Treasures of New Jersey: State Theatre New Jersey” can be streamed online.

Today, State Theatre is the largest performing arts center in Central New Jersey and has welcomed more than six million people through its doors since reopening as a nonprofit performing arts center in 1988. State Theatre New Jersey is a cornerstone of the cultural vitality of Middlesex County and averages a total economic impact on New Brunswick and the surrounding area of more than $18 million a year. The mainstage programs have featured high-caliber artists such as Diana Ross, Tom Jones, Kevin Hart, Ringo Starr, Melissa Etheridge, John Leguizamo, Harry Connick, Jr., Diana Krall, and Crosby, Stills & Nash. Program offerings include Broadway, orchestra, family, dance, comedy, rock/pop, jazz, Performances for Schools, and Sensory-Friendly Performances.

State Theatre New Jersey’s programs are made possible by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts. Grant funding has been provided by the Middlesex County Board of County Commissioners through a grant award from the Middlesex County Cultural and Arts Trust Fund.



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