New Jersey Youth Theatre


656 Westfield Avenue
Westfield, NJ 07090
County: Union


Mr. Theodore J. Agress

Grant Amount


Program Area



Grant Details

To help maintain NJYT's exemplary performance opportunities and professional training for aspiring, young talent.

Organization Background

New Jersey Youth Theatre (NJYT), formerly Westfield Young Artists' Cooperative Theatre, Inc. (WYACT) was founded in 1991.

The Mission is: 1) to PROVIDE professional caliber theatre-arts training and stage experience to aspiring, young artists and technicians, inspiring their passion, creative expression, and life-long appreciation for the arts; and 2) to PRODUCE on the live stage, for audiences throughout New Jersey, a diverse repertory of theatrical classics, lesser-known significant works and new works, demonstrating and promoting the cultural richness of America's heritage.

Tuition-free professional performance opportunities, workshops, residencies, and modestly priced theatre-arts classes constitute NJYT's programming. Participating students learn all aspects of craft to achieve the highest standards in drama, dance, improvisation, musical theatre and vocal performance. Students also gain the opportunity to learn from seasoned artistic and technical professionals and prepare for performance in a Broadway-caliber production.

For over 14 years, NJYT's critically acclaimed productions at NJPAC and elsewhere have identified NJYT with the highest standards of excellence as a major training ground for young talent, producer of professional youth theatre and collaborator in bringing diverse theatrical fare to audiences throughout NJ. NJYT is also a recipient of New Jersey State Council on the Arts' prestigious "Citation of Excellence" in recognition of the company's artistry, governance and public benefit.

NJYT is led by co-founder and Artistic Director Cynthia Meryl, also Master Teacher for NJYT's Performing Arts School. A professional theatre arts educator for over 40 years, she has garnered critical acclaim for her work training young artists and directing NJYT's productions at NJPAC and other professional NJ theatres. Theodore J. Agress, veteran Broadway performer and NJYT's co-founder, serves as Executive Director and Producer. He governs all administrative and production operations.

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