Thursday, March 24, 2011

Jamika Stevenson Encourages The Arts Program for All

Jamika loves the Hoboken High School Arts Program. She feels comfortable with her student peers in theatre and believes that the arts can change your life. The opportunities that have come to her, thanks to her involvement with this school play have changed her a lot. In fact, her theatre experience has rewarded her with multiple interviews for college. Ya hear that? College, folks. Step it up and learn from a wonderful high school student who knows the power of theatre, the arts and the future that it can mold for students like her.


Angel Berrios Jr. Is SO Proud of His Role in "Hairspray"

Theatre to him means a lot. His mom always yells at him because he's always singing. What's inspiring is that his love of the arts comes out naturally at home, which is a beautiful thing. Thanks to his role in this year's "Hairspray" Musical, he is becoming more positive and is forever grateful for the experiences and opportunities that he's given. And BTW, this is his 9th play! Woo hoo! We think he's a superstar, what do you think of his amazingness?


Gabriella Clemente Discusses Her Love of GLEE and "Hairspray"

Gabriella is 14 years old, she's in 8th grade and she ultimately feels that this is one of the best experiences she's ever had in high school. In fact, since she's such a big GLEE fan, Gabriella is proud that she is able to live the life of those stars she sees on TV- within her own school. The best part is that there is pride coming from her heart in this interview. Gabriella thanks Paula, her Theatre Director and quite frankly "She Can't Stop The Beat".


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Jibril Odem Talks About Getting an Amazing Opportunity This year

Getting the role of "Wilbur" is like a blessing from God for Jibril. Get up close and personal with this 19 year old, a senior at Hoboken High School, who tells us his personal experience about the opportunity he received when Paula OHaus offered him the lead role. Learn the value of dedication and persistence and the excitement that follows from his story.


Melissa Arias Talks "THEATRE"

Melissa plays the role of "Penny" in "Hairspray" this year and she's so happy to be a part of the theatre program. She's especially thankful to the individuals involved in the play because they're like family to her. She appreciates the opportunities from Hoboken High School and the arts itself. Her enthusiasm will warm your heart. Learn more about this maven now.


Imani Hightower Tells Other Students About Dedication

Imani knows about "gaining a lot" from theatre arts, especially since she won a scholarship from the Papermill Playhouse. She understands that extracurricular activities allow teens to learn dedication and motivation. Having friends and mentors like Paula Ohaus who are supportive, including the support of her family, especially when she's rehearsing until 10pm at night during the week means so much to her growth and development. Learn how building relationships in the arts can help you build your portfolio, go to college and have recommendations and connections from her video. She's a superstar.


Samuel Olmedo Talks About His Love Of Theatre

Meet Samuel. He's a student at Hoboken High and is so proud to be in the theatre department. When you watch this video, you'll experience his animation and his vitality for the arts. It's truly astonishing to know that the creative arts can take shape in young teens like they do with Samuel. The outlet = the arts; hands down.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Samantha Scios Shares Her Musical Stories

With only two years in theatre at Hoboken High, she has blossomed from a shy student and plummeted into knowing who she is as a young adult. Samantha has discovered how to grow into herself via the roles she has been playing in theatre. She's definitely a more confident young woman thanks to the arts. We want you to listen in to her story. She may be on her way to college, but she'll never forget the experiences she's had with "Hairspray" and Hoboken Theatre Arts.


Michael Valladeres Shares His Arts Vision

Meet Michael. He tells us what the meaning is behind "Hairspray" the musical and how he got into theatre including the importance of his role in this year's play. Connecting the story with his role models, Michael showcases an integral part of how theatre can take you to places you've never even imagined-including feeling like your mentors and role models.


Duke McCourt Debuts on Youtube

Duke, who was inspired by his brother, Joe, joined the theatre program and since then he has been rewarded with the arts, not only acting, but learning lighting design and set design. He plays a woman onstage and tells us how get gets inspired to do so. Listen in.


Meet the Choreographer of "Hairspray"

Derrick Ladson has a lot to be thankful for. He is an alumni of Hoboken High School and was a part of the theatre 10 years ago. Today he's the choreographer of "Hairspray". He has an interesting story to tell about the cast this year and wants to put you in the audience seat. Buy tickets today. The show goes up this coming weekend.


Let The Video Series Begin

Hello everyone in the Hoboken Backstage crew...

My name is Elizabeth Barry and I am the President of Elizabeth Barry & Associates. My firm is a strategic marketing, brand consulting, PR and design company that creates ad campaigns and winning taglines, websites, Facebook welcome pages and much more. A great majority of our clients are in the arts and creative fields so this project means a lot to us. We met Elizabeth Johnson and after she told us about the incredible students with their dedication, determination and will at Hoboken High School within the Theatre Program- there was no way we could turn down the opportunity to create the master plan one month prior to their spring musical "Hairspray".

Today I am pleased to say that within a month, we have secured more than 4 press stories including the Jersey Journal, Hoboken Patch, the Boken Online and the Hudson Reporter. We have more to come...

In addition to this blog, we are thrilled to begin telling you the individual stories of some of our students-straight from their hearts to your ears. They're living, breathing and eating theatre and their stories ring true to any young teen that loves the arts.

Please join in celebrating this video series by posting each one on your Facebook. If you're a Hoboken High School student, parent or fan, do your part. Pay it forward and thank you for watching our new video series.



Elizabeth A. Barry
President, Elizabeth Barry & Associates,

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Thank you Ian Wilson of East View Photography

We are so grateful to have had Elizabeth Barry & Associates helping us create our new video blog coming soon, but when she showed up with Ian Wilson yesterday who brought his professional equipment, we were honored! Ian was so much fun to work with and he made us feel comfortable. We laughed a lot and had an amazing time. The Hoboken High School Theatre students are now huge fans of Ian and we want to thank him immensely for his time and experience yesterday. Thank you IAN!!

Monday, March 7, 2011

GLEE Fever Hits Hoboken High School Theatre Program

“Hairspray” Set To Entertain Audiences March 25 - 27
The students of Hoboken High School are no strangers to stardom and this spring, they’re hoping to steal the spotlight from Carlos Bakery to garner their own local fan base. 
Over 8 million American households watch the hit show “GLEE” and from Golden Globe and Grammy wins, theatre arts has mesmerized thousands of newfound fans as a popular phenomenon. Hoboken High School’s theatre students are hoping to nail their March promotions to pack the house and get audiences on their feet. “With that, we will feel like television stars ourselves,” they said.
In an effort to launch their name in lights within the one mile square town, students have put together an active blog entitled: “HOBOKEN BACKSTAGE-Your guide To Aspiring Young artists This Side of the River”- which depicts that there are qualified actors to be found outside of NYC. In fact, Angelica Rivera, a student in Hoboken High’s Musical “HairSpray”, and the choreographer, Derrick Ladson were handed the Black Youth Empowerment Award from Mayor Zimmer. Last year, Saquan Williams won a Governors Award with Christian Castro, Namibia Donadio, Pedro Jimenez and Javier Nieves capturing the award in previous years.
Local Strategic Marketing firm, Elizabeth Barry & Associates, which publishes a weekly email magazine connecting nearly 30,000 creative artists, has taken a liking to the teens and has offered to develop a Youtube series to visually portray how the arts change young, aspiring Hoboken lives.
“I was blown away from the recent story in The New York Times where Paula Ohaus, Program Director, explained that the Hoboken Theatre program houses 150 of the 500 students at the High School,” commented Elizabeth Barry. “After that, I yearned to put my efforts to good use and help the students achieve local stardom in town. With an inch of publicity, these kids can experience a positive attitude with drive, enthusiasm and increased dedication to specialized interests.”
The students have begun inviting neighborhood ‘fans of the 60‘s’ to their Spring Musical, “Hairspray” which will debut from March 25th through 27th at Hoboken High School. Interested attendees can visit to view the schedule for the show.
The students also appeared on a float in this past weekend’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Washington Street to promote ticket sales and exposure to the busy crowds.
The teens will be interviewed mid March for their vlog series premiere at

All residents who admire the arts are encouraged to learn how this town is harboring some of the most talented rising stars. Please come to the Musical, “Hairspray” and sponsor the students if interested.
For more information, please call 201.356.3731 or visit

"Hairspray" Performers Debut at the St. Patricks Day Parade in Hoboken

This weekend, the exciting theatre students of Hoboken High School took to the streets. Their voices engaged the crowds throughout the Washington Street parade as they belted out tunes from "Hairspray" their upcoming musical, as well as other numbers. This is the first of many public appearances the students will create as they increase their promotions for the March 25- 27 premiere of the show.

Friday, March 4, 2011

A Closer Look at Hoboken High's Theatre Awards Since 1998

Awards and Recognitions
1998: HHS entered its first Paper Mill Playhouse competition with a production of Fiddler on the Roof and was nominated in three categories. Reny Rosado (Tevye) was nominated for Best Actor and went on to receive a scholarship to attend an intensive summer workshop at the Paper Mill Playhouse.
1999: Hoboken High School's production of Once on this Island won for Best Overall Musical in NJ at the Paper Mill Playhouse Rising Star Awards. In addition, Erich Raush won for Best Musical Director and Vadim Avksentyev won for Best Lighting. HHS became part the "Adopt-a-School Program" sponsored by the Paper Mill Playhouse's educational department.
2000: Dreamgirls received nominations for Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor and Best Graphics. Malachy Orozco won the Best Supporting Actor category.
2002: West Side Story, received 13 Paper Mill Playhouse nominations including, Best Musical, Best Direction, Best Choreography, Best Poster Design, Best Set Design, and Best Overall Production. That year, Hoboken High School received the most nominations than any other school in the state.
2004: Junior Pedro Jimenez received the prize for "Best Actor in the State of NJ" at the STANJ Festival held at Rutgers University. He also won the "Best Comedic Pairs" category along with partner Javier Nieves, a freshman at the school. Junior Colleen Kirk and Senior Manny Medina won "Best Actress and Best Supporting Actor," respectively, for Ragtime in the prestigious Rising Star Awards held at Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, NJ. Paper Mill Playhouse presented HHS with the Young Critics' Award. This exciting program allows our students to view a season of performances at the Playhouse free of charge to students. The program also includes performance and writing workshops for the students.
2005: Students from the Drama Program won "Best Large Group" for their performance of a scene from The Crucible, held at the Teen Arts Festival at New Jersey City University. Christian Castro and Kristina Merced also won in the "Best Pairs" division of the competition.
2006: Diandra Soto won "Best Actress" at the Paper Mill Awards for her performance in the musical Raisin.
2009: The Odyssey won 4 awards at the Montclair State University, "Theatre Night" Awards - Best Overall Production, Best Classical Production, Best Sound and Best Costumes. Joe McCourt and Diandra Soto were nominated in best actor categories. Paula Ohaus also won Best Director for the production. In June, Paula Ohaus received the coveted Jimmy Award for National Best Theater Educator.
2010: Saquan Williams received the award for Best Dramatic Monologue at the STANJ Festival at Rutgers University. Fires in the Mirror, originally performed in December 2009, was specially requested by the mayor of Hoboken to run as an encore performance in February 2010. Aida received nominations for Best Supporting Actor and Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble Member.
Paper Mill Playhouse Summer Conservatory-Millburn, NJ:
Colleen Kirk, Michelle Martinovich, Malachy Orozco, Deborah Rodriguez, Jennifer Rosado, Reny Rosado, Saquan Williams
Governor's Award:
Christian Castro, Namibia Donadio, Pedro Jimenez, Javier Nieves, Saquan Williams

Thursday, March 3, 2011

A Look Back at our NY Times Interview

"I Love It" was repeated several times during this exclusive New York Times interview when 100 schools across the United States competed for the Rising Star Award from the Papermill Playhouse. Miss Paula Ohaus was interviewed on behalf of Hoboken High and she quoted, "500 students occupy Hoboken High School and 150 of them have a passion in the arts and are involved in our theatre program." That's pretty remarkable.
Joshua Delgado, an athlete turned artist and lead performer talked to the cameras about opening his eyes to what he was capable of after choosing theatre.

Hoboken High School theatre students are proud to say that they started with very little and to date, they are proud to be supported by the community. They are eagerly looking forward to this spring's performance of Hairspray and are happy to look back at this interview with their hearts in the right place for the future.


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Don't Miss It! This Spring's Hottest Hit in Hoboken

Get your tickets today for "Hairspray" based upon the New Line Cinema Film written and directed by John Waters. $10 general admission, $7 college students and $5 K-12 Students. Seniors, we got you... you're ticket is only $2.

Directed by Paula Ohaus, this play will brighten your day and bring you back to the hair-raising 60's decade. For more info visit

Friday, March 25th, 8pm
Saturday, March 26th, 2pm & 8pm
Sunday, March 27th, 2pm

Hoboken High
9th and Clinton