New Jersey Youth Theatre

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Coordinates: 40°38′34″N 74°20′40.71″W / 40.64278°N 74.3446417°W / 40.64278; -74.3446417 New Jersey Youth Theatre is a 501(c)3 charitable organization based in Westfield, NJ. It is one of the most celebrated and critically acclaimed youth-theatre companies in NJ and has presented in premiere venues across the state.

Founded in 1991, New Jersey Youth Theatre has produced more than 32 main-stage productions. The summer programs alone have served more than 130,000 patrons from NJ, NY, PA, CT, and over 2,200 talented young performers from the State of New Jersey.

In addition to professional youth theatre, New Jersey Youth Theatre also offers a School for the Performing Arts. Launched in 1992, the school provides professional classes in acting, dance, musical theatre and voice for students (ages 8 –18). The school currently trains approximately 110 students a week between September and May at their studio, located at 172 West Westfield Avenue in Roselle Park, NJ.

New Jersey Youth Theatre’s programs also extend to underserved youth with limited access to professional performing arts training. New Jersey Youth Theatre's veteran theatre professionals offer several free workshops each year in "audition protocol and technique" at public schools in various communities across the state.

New Jersey Youth Theatre's outreach activities also include a year-long, Musical Theatre Residency Program at Newark Arts High. This residency has become an important part of the core curriculum at this school.


NJYT was founded in 1991 by husband and wife duo Theodore J. Agress and Cynthia Meryl - both veterans of stage and television, as Westfield Young Artists Cooperative Theatre (WYACT). In 2006, the company changed its name to New Jersey Youth Theatre to more accurately reflect the geographical area it serves. Mr. Agress currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer, and Ms. Meryl serves as the company's Artistic Director.

The critically acclaimed theatre organization has performed:

NJYT Performances Cabaret (Upcoming, 2015)
Oklahoma! (2014)
West Side Story (2013)
Smokey Joe's Cafe (2012)
Kiss Me, Kate (2011)
Rent (2010)
Sweeney Todd (2009)
1776 (2008)
Midnight Madness (2008)[1]
Carousel (2007)
Ragtime (2006)
Guys and Dolls (2005)
Anything Goes (2004)
West Side Story (2003)
South Pacific (2002)
Once On This Island (2001)
Brigadoon (2000)
Oliver! (1999)
Carousel (1998)

The organization's Board of Directors currently consists of:

Barry J. Roy, Board President
Sam Doctor
Michael J. Plescia
Peter L. Skolnik
Cynthia Meryl, Board Advisor
Ted Agress, Board Advisor


NJYT has won several prestigious awards over the years, including the Music Theatre International Award for Excellence and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts Citation of Excellence.


NJYT has produced its summer musicals in collaboration with the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, NJ, the Algonquin Arts Theatre in Manasquan, NJ and the Morris Museum's Bickford Theater.


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