MEET OUR STAFF & BOARD MEMBERS
LAURA A. RIZZO ED.D.
Ms. Rizzo is the President of RSYTC and has been performing since the age of 5. After college she toured with the American Ballet Theatre, and toured in several Broadway shows. In addition to performing in numerous shows both on and off Broadway she did print work and commercials and was a member of SAG and Actors Equity Association. She has been teaching, directing and choreographing for youth for over 36 years. Ms. Rizzo holds a doctorate degree in ESOL from Northcentral University, and most recently received a third masters degree in Educational Leadership graduating summa cum laude from Western New Mexico University. She also holds 2 other masters degrees in Educational Theatre, and Educational Dance from NYU, and a bachelor's degree in Dance/Theatre from Bard College. She is a certified Dance and Theatre teacher in N.J. She has directed/choreographed over 190 shows for children in both the U.S. and abroad. She currently has several RSYTC students performing in Broadway shows, and several other former students who have gone on to do professional theatre, commercials, radio and television shows.
Board Member |
VP Sales & Marketing
Renata is a 20+ year publishing professional and the owner of Socialize Marketing Co. (marketing company for Rising Stars)
A published author of several books and magazines in the entertainment genre and a contributing writer to many entertainment publications.
As a teen Renata performed all over the east coast with a dance troupe and later taught ballroom dancing for 10 years with the Arthur Murray Dance Studio on 5th Avenue in NYC; where she taught celebrities like John Leguizamo and Antonio Banderas, before Dancing With the Stars ever existed!
Her forte is in sales, business development and marketing and she brings in a wealth of experience to Rising Stars.
Legally Blonde Jr.
& Freaky Friday
Jeff Colarusso has been teaching vocal, instrumental, and general music in Sussex County for 20 years. He has worked with elementary, middle, and high school students in the Hardyston Township School District and at Wallkill Valley Regional High School. Jeff has served as director, assistant director, or vocal director for numerous shows, including Annie Jr., Willy Wonka Jr, Alice in Wonderland Jr, Addams Family, Curtains, The Little Mermaid, and Once Upon a Mattress. Jeff has also been the pit conductor for Curtains, Little Mermaid, Drowsy Chaperone, Legally Blonde, Freaky Friday, 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, and Chicago, High School Edition.
Hal Keshner has been a part of Rising Stars YTC for many years. . He has worked with us on Annie Jr. and The Wizard of Oz Jr. at the Newton Theatre and has served as musical director for many other shows with other companies.
Hal comes from a very musical background; is a composer and has his own band, The Hal Keshner Band, that entertains all over the country.
Jack Richman (he/they) is a music director, pianist, arranger, and theater songwriter based in Boston and NY and a current Berklee College of Music undergraduate student. Most recent shows worked on include: Pinkalicious, Grease (John W. Engeman Theater), and Chicago (Cultural Arts Playhouse). For more information, visit JackRichman.com
Beauty & The Beast Jr.
Jillian Jones is a rising sophomore in college studying to become a pharmacist, but, will always have a love for theater.As a former student of Ms. Rizzo and Rising Stars, this is her first time being a Stage Manager and is more than excited to be able to help bring this tale as old as time to life.
Stage Manager for Beauty & The Beast Jr. (Bronx)
Jr. Stage Manager
Samantha has been a part of Rising Stars YTC since 2018, having performed in Annie Jr., The Wizard of Oz, Descendants, and Beauty & The Beast Jr..
She will be playing Elle Woods in Legally Blonde Jr., and Savannah in Freaky Friday.
Aside from RSYTC, Samantha has worked with other theatre groups and is a member of The PJ Players.
In total Samantha has performed in 14 shows.
Academically, Samantha also has the brains, being an academic scholarship winner.
This is her first time being a Junior Stage Manager and she is super excited!