We Believe A GREAT Teacher Is A GROWING Artist
Our trusted and highly experienced staff continuously
train and work professionally in the industry
in an effort to bring you top notch instruction.
Samantha Hahn-Simpson - (Owner/Artistic Director/Instructor)
Samantha has been a proud member of the Screen Actor’s Guild and The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists since 1996 and Actors’ Equity Association since 2004. Her experience includes various regional theatre (Bickford Theatre at Morris Museum, McCarter Theater, Surflight Theatre, Judith Anderson, The Forum Theatre, Running Rabbit) television, film, national commercials, and modeling projects. Professional credits include guest starring roles on Gossip Girl, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, As The World Turns, as well as lead and supporting roles in feature films distributed by
Lionsgate and Paramount Vantage. Commercial experience includes Coca Cola featuring Jennifer Lopez, Verizon and Stove Top. Samantha has studied at the acclaimed Circle In The Square under the instruction of Mr. Alan Langdon and The William Esper Studio under the instruction of Mr. William Esper. Having began her professional career at the age of 9, Hahn-Simpson is able to identify and mentor performers of all ages and at every stage of their career. (Professional resume available upon request).
As a dance teacher and choreographer, Samantha enjoys developing and executing lesson plans, as well as mentoring children of all ages and skill level. Past choreography credits include Westfield High School (8 years +), Surflight Theatre, Plays in The Park, New Jersey Light Opera and more. Samantha is a two time Paper Mill Rising Star Award nominee and the recipient of the 2012 Paper Mill Rising Star Award for Outstanding Choreography/Staging of a Musical (Pippin) and the 2015 Broadway World New Jersey Award for Best Production by a Local Theater (Jesus Christ Superstar – Choreographer, Middlesex County Plays-in-the-Park).
In addition to the arts, Samantha held the National American Miss title (2004) which she used to create an anti-bullying school assembly program. She became the NJ state advocate for the NJ Cares About Bullying Campaign under the Division of Criminal Justice and Office of Bias Crime, traveling to schools across NJ raising awareness about bullying and speaking on victim’s impact (2004-2007). She placed 4th runner up in the 2007 Miss New Jersey Education Foundation and 4th runner up in the 2012 Miss New Jersey USA state pageant. She was awarded the 2006 & 2007 Miss NJ Education Foundation Community Service Award, the 2007 Miss Miracle Maker Award by The Children’s Miracle Network and “The New Wave of Bigotry and Hate” by the NJ Bias Crime Officer Association.
Samantha graduated Lambda Pi Eta with a B.A. in Communication and Media Arts from Montclair State University.
Amy Toporek (Voice and Musical Theater Technique)
A professional singer and actress originally from Edison, New Jersey, Amy has been a proud member of Actors' Equity Association since 2008. Amy is best known for her portrayal of Tracy Turnblad in Hairspray, a role which she has traveled all over the world playing, from China to North Carolina to St. John in the Virgin Islands, as well as the National/International Tour. Additional regional theater credits include North Carolina Theater, Walnut Street Theater and Flat Rock Playhouse, where she has worked with acclaimed directors like Tony nominated actor Hunter Foster and Stage/TV star Michael Kostroff. In addition to performing regionally, Amy has worked for Norwegian Cruise Line as a guest entertainer, as well as performs seasonally as a caroler with The Yuletide Carolers. In 2014, Amy debuted her one woman show, ONCE IN LOVE, at 54 Below in NYC.
When not performing, Amy works at the JCC of Central New Jersey in Scotch Plains where she's been a long-time staff member, working closely with kids ages 4-13 daily in their after school program. Over the years Amy has worn many hats at the JCC including, counselor, leadership team member, travel camp coordinator and director for their in house Performing Arts program, JPAC.
Amy has a BA in Communications from Rider University with a minor in theater and has since studied voice and acting with Craig Carnelia, Seth Rudetsky and Adam Roebuck. She continues to train and work regularly.
Lawrence E. Street (Guest Instructor)
A proud member of Actors’ Equity Association, Lawrence’s theatrical credits include Broadway: URINETOWN (Original Broadway Cast); Tours: FLASHDANCE THE MUSICAL (First National Tour), The Radio City Christmas Spectacular, and CITY OF ANGELS; Off-Broadway: ARCHBISHOP SUPREME TARTUFFE for The Classical Theatre of Harlem and THE HIDDEN SKY for The Prospect
Theater Company. Lawrence's regional credits include DREAMGIRLS at Theatre Raleigh, RAGTIME at Portland Center Stage, and PIPPIN at The Depot Theatre in Garrison, NY. Mr. Street began 2016 with a bang, performing the acclaimed one man show SATCHMO AT THE WALDORF for Seacoast Repertory Theatre and is thrilled to continue the year at the Fireside Dinner Theatre performing the role of "Curtis" SISTER ACT. Mr. Street holds a BFA in Music (Voice Performance) with Highest Honors from Carnegie Mellon University and a Master’s in Music (Voice Concentration) from The University of Akron. In 2013 he earned a Level 3 Certification in The Lovetri Method of Somatic Voicework (TM).
Emalina Thompson (Group & Private Vocal Coach)
A Los Angeles native, Emalina has over 15 years of experience in the music industry. She received her B.M. in Music Education and Performance at the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music in Long Beach California and then moved out to New Jersey in 2012 to complete a Masters in Horn Performance from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University. As well as being a freelance Hornist, Emalina teaches privately and music directs for shows throughout the tri-state area. She is the current Music Director for Skylight Theater and Countrygate Playhouse and has most recently worked with companies at Villagers Theater in Somerset and the JCC in Scotch Plains. On top of all of her musical endeavors, Emalina is the Admissions Associate for Mason Gross School of the Arts and recruits the top artists from all over the country.
Amy Suznovich (Group & Private Vocal Coach)
Amy Suznovich was the first recipient of the Deborah Maher Award from The Opera Project and received nominations for Best Leading Actress as Cunegonde in Candide and Best Female Solo for her performance of Glitter and Be Gay. She most recently appeared at the King’s Theater in Brooklyn, televised live on October 6th, as the Cantor/Soloist with the Philharmonia Orchestra of New York and Magnificat Foundation. Other performances this season include Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, Konstanze in Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail and Gilda in Rigoletto.
Last season she performed as Musetta in La Boheme and Gilda in Verdi in Vermont with the Southern Vermont Lyric Theatre, and Musetta with the Orchestra Society of Philadelphia, as well as Soprano Soloist for Saint-Saens Christmas Oratorio with the Kips Bay Chorale and Soprano Soloist for Handel's Messiah with Hunterdon Symphony.
She appeared as the Hungarian Opera Singer in Our Town Now at the George Street Playhouse, and originated the roles of Frenchie in A Night in the Wilde Wild West with the Baroque Orchestra of NJ, and Dr. Lipskom in Sephro: Earth's Revenge at the Philadelphia Fringe Festival. She has performed with organizations that include the Newtown Chamber Orchestra, the New Brunswick Chamber Orchestra, Queens Opera (NJ), Boheme Opera, trio@Play and Main Street Theatre, among others. Some of her signature roles include Musetta (La Boheme), Cunegonde (Candide), Lucia (Lucia di Lammermoor), Donna Anna (Don Giovanni) and Gilda (Rigoletto), as well as Orff's Carmina Burana, Handel's Messiah, and Saint-Saens' Christmas Oratorio in the concert repertoire.
She is often sought as a National Anthem/God Bless America Soloist for professional sports teams, such as the Philadelphia Phillies, Brooklyn Cyclones and the Boston Cannons. Ms. Suznovich is an alumni of the OperaWorks Winter Intensive and a magna cum laude graduate of Ithaca College.
Olivia Tobolewski (Musical Theater Technique)
A professional actress originally for Cranford, NJ, Olivia has spent a large majority of her life in the performing arts industry. Olivia is an Academy for Performing Arts alum and received her B.A. in Acing, as well as a B.A. in Dance Performance from the Westminster College of the Arts at Rider University. While in college, she avidly worked on numerous projects in addition to her performing, spanning from directing to creating, and managing a student run production team dedicated to producing student-driven performances and creating a network of working artists on campus. Over the past five years, Olivia has taught and directed at prestigious performing arts conservatories and studios throughout New Jersey.
Zachary Love (Musical Theater Technique & Private Vocal Coach)
Zachary Love is a graduate of Muhlenberg College (B.A. in Theatre, concentration in Acting, w/ a Minor in Music), having just finished his first year as Director of Theatre for the North Plainfield School District. Zach has taught throughout the state of NJ, acting as a Music Director (The Forum Theatre of Metuchen, Cranford Dramatic Club), Drama and Music Teacher (Mother Seton Regional High School) and Musical Theatre Teacher (The Pineda Studio, UCVTS APA). Zach also continues to perform on both the Regional and Community theatre levels, having performed at his Alma Mater w/the Muhlenberg Summer Music Theatre in HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS (WITHOUT REALLY TRYING) as Bud Frump alongside Broadway Performer/Reality TV and Social Media Star Frankie J. Grande, and most recently performed in East Brunswick’s Playhouse 22 as the title role in THE MAN OF LA MANCHA. Zach is ecstatic to be joining the T.A.P. family. He cannot wait to get started teaching the current and future performers of this next generation of theatre!
Amanda Papa (Ballet Instructor)
Amanda Papa is a dancer, choreographer, and dance educator with more than 20 years experience. She began dancing at the age of 3, competing at age 8, and dancing professionally at 16. She was twice named an All-Star by the Universal Dance Association as a teenager, where she first performed internationally. Amanda received her Bachelors of Fine Arts in Dance Performance from Montclair State University.
As an original company member, soloist and dance captain of The Dawn Lau Dance Company, Amanda performed throughout New York and New Jersey. She spent time studying, creating and performing her art in Italy, where she truly found her passion for and refined her skills as a choreographer.
Since then Amanda’s achievements include the creation of more than 600 original pieces and she's been certified through Dance Educators of America and is a proud member of Dance NJ and NDEO. Her choreography has been recognized by Paper Mill’s Rising Star Awards.
Some of Amanda's favorite choreographic credits include: "Thoroughly Modern Millie," "Rent," "Oklahoma!," "The Rocky Horror Picture Show," "The Drowsy Chaperone," "High School Musical" and "Camp Rock."
In 2012, Amanda fulfilled her lifelong dream of owning her own dance company, co-founding Solo Danza, where she is currently the artistic director. She is also currently a Judge and Master Teacher for Groove National Dance Competition.
"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams" ~ Eleanor Roosevelt