NJ State Teen Arts Festival Workshops

2019 Workshops:

Up on Your Feet Out of Your Seat Shakespeare

William Shakespeare wrote his plays to be performed, not read.  He created rich characters wrestling with questions both tragic and comic.  Shakespeare did this through the use of intricate and sometimes daunting language.  To unlock that language we will explore his soliloquies, scenes and sonnets.  We will do this with games and exercises that have been developed by many theater artists over the years as they have approached Shakespeare’s text.  You will come out of this session with some techniques that will be helpful the next time you encounter Shakespeare.  You will have a set of tools that will help you shed some light on Shakespeare’s language so that it comes alive for you and your audience.  And I hope you will have a little fun as well!

Artist: Carlyle Owens

Vocal Music - Sing like the Stars

Students will receive voice and acting training in this workshop that immerses them in Broadway's greatest hits -- from the Golden Age of musical theater to the popular shows of today. Young performers work with a professional teaching artist to develop creative expression and build the collaborative skills needed to work as an ensemble

Artist: Matt Ciuffitelli


The workshop Behind the Puppet Stage will take you on a journey via the Puppet Arts where creativity meets imagination. Be it a road show, a school performance, the Broadway stage or a Hollywood film, the Puppet Arts can draw together your interests in performance, drama, dance, music, technical theatre, dramaturgy, literature, etc.

Artist: Bart. P. Roccoberton, Jr

Wire Sculpture & Multi Media

In this workshop students will create hand-built clay bowls with textures and unique patterns inside of paper template bowls. The bowls made by NJ Teen Artists at this year’s New Jersey State Teen Arts Festival will be donated for a charity fundraising event hosted by Jon Bon Jovi Soul Kitchen in Toms River, NJ later this year, in October, during World Hunger Month.

Artist: Mil Wexler Korinski

Bucket Brigade Drum & Rhythm Funshop!

Everyone will play drums in this exciting Funshop! This class is appropriate for the aspiring drummer or for participants with no prior drumming experience. Participants will learn basic sticking technique that will enable them to tap into their natural ability to play the snare drum, (bucket). They will build their confidence while saying and playing powerful rhythms! Several drum corps rudiments will be introduced while students have fun drumming. Participants will improvise and create exciting rhythms culminating in an BUCKET BRIGADE JAM! Bring an open heart and mind.

Artist: Mary Tashjian


Students will learn to play fun and simple melodies on the steel pan drums, while accompanied by instructor, Amy Schindler playing acoustic guitar.   Participants will sing and play colorful folksongs, including “One Love” by Jamaica’s, Bob Marley. Students will have the opportunity to explore, demonstrate and create their own songs. They will be introduced to basic elements of music notation and how to play a simple scale. Students will explore the history, music and origin of the steel pan drum, while learning about the culture and people from the Caribbean Islands.

Artist: Amy Schindler

Live Out Loud! "Writing and Performing Spoken Word Poetry"
When it comes to creative writing, starting is always the hardest part. In this workshop we'll start out writing our poems in a fun and collaborative way. Up on our feet, out of our seats. These are "identity poems". We'll be writing about the subject we know best...ourselves! Students will be supported with tools that will spark their writing and creativity. Then, we'll work to bring our poems to life with our voice! We'll learn how to "mark our script" to make our poems theatrical. From page to stage!

Artist: Angela Kariotis


Students will Crank Up the ‘Toons with the Doodle Dude in this interactive workshop that covers the business of cartooning, art and illustration! Doodle Designs are all around us! Learn the ins and outs of taking an idea start to finish. Students will take away from this workshop a foundation approach to creating a cartoon character and developing that character for potential projects for the future.

Artist: Art Kaney

ORIGAMI – It’s More than a Peace Crane!

Come join the fold!  Origami is a fun, creative, surprising, and challenging craft.    With Deanna Kwan’s guidance, everyone will fold their own model.  Learn about valley and mountain folds.   Practice making sharp accurate creases.  Test your listening, fine motor, sequencing, and spatial perception skills.  Expand your artistic horizons while experiencing the magic of turning paper into an amazing work of art.

Artist: Deanna Kwan

Destination Imagination

Your mission, should you decide to accept, is to confront an undisclosed challenge with nothing more than your imagination, your team’s energy and creativity. Your team will be supplied with some commonly available everyday items to use as you decide to accomplish your mission.  Your challenge may be to build a bridge, a tower or create a presentation that emulates a Shakespearean drama ... all within a given time limit. Behold the unlimited power of teamwork, appreciate the inner reserves of creativity, for without these qualities, success will not be fully realized. Think and work fast as a team and answer the question - Where will your imagination take you today?

Artist: Carmine Liuzzi

The Poetry of Being

For Edgar Allan Poe, poetry was all about sound: “the rhymical creation of beauty.”  For e.e. cummings, a poem incorporated both sound and sight: “the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses.” And for Langston, poetry included all the senses a person possesses as found in his poem “The Negro Speaks of Rivers.” Workshoppers will concentrate on and develop a poem from the following prompt : “What you don’t challenge, you become.”

Artist: Charles Johnson

Song Writing & Jamming           

Instruments from Around the World - How to “Jam” with any instrument Explore and learn how to play unique instruments from cultures from all around the world; including Germany, Mali, Cuba, Egypt, Italy, Japan, & China. Learn how to jump into any jam session with any instrument and play along with cadence and rhythm.

Artist: Ray MS

Imagery & Perspective in Film Story Telling

This workshop is designed to help the filmmaker translate the textual and physical story into applied imagery that taps into both the subtext and the driving narrative.

Using a variety of suggestive, metaphorical and symbolic Imagery, we will score our stories with both B-roll and other various shots directly related to character to help illustrate the deeper meaning of the scene and ultimately the story.



This lively and fun class will give students a basic understanding of “acting without words”.  The workshop will include a brief history of mime followed by physical warm-ups, fundamentals of pantomime and mime, attitudes, action gestures, object identification, and illusionary techniques.  This will be an active, participatory workshop, so dress comfortably and come prepared to move and have fun.  The physical and movement skills emphasized will enhance the work of the actor, singer, mime, dancer, and movement artist.  

Artist: Nancy Lyon

Theatre Workshop

Artist: Carlyle Owens


Come join the fold!  Origami is a fun, creative, surprising, and challenging craft.    With Deanna Kwan’s guidance, everyone will fold their own model.  Learn about valley and mountain folds.   Practice making sharp accurate creases.  Test your listening, fine motor, sequencing, and spatial perception skills.  Expand your artistic horizons while experiencing the magic of turning paper into an amazing work of art. 

Artist: Deanna Kwan


The New Jersey State Teen Arts Festival offers all students in attendance a diverse workshop selection each festival day. The daily workshop schedule allows students the opportunity to enjoy multiple different workshops throughout the festival day. Workshops span the literary, visual and performing arts led by professional artists currently working in their respective art forms and fields.